Rotary Club of Georgetown

Courtesy Rotary Club of Georgeto

Brookwood in Georgetown citizens and lead teacher Connie Preston (back left) accept a $3,800 District Assistance Project grant in 2011 from the Rotary Club. The money was used to buy a production kiln for the group’s pottery enterprise.


Service organization celebrates 50 years in community



The Rotary Club of Georgetown, which was founded in 1962, has spent the last 50 years serving the citizens of Georgetown with various service projects.

Georgetown’s club was founded in the ’60s and was sponsored by the Taylor Rotary Club, said Gene Davenport, past president of the Rotary Club of Georgetown.

“Back in the ’20s, Taylor was the economic center of this county,” Davenport said. “It had three railroads that went through there, cotton gins all over the place, and at that time Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander, Round Rock and Georgetown were just little spots on the road. But with time, they put in I-35, which brought Round Rock and Georgetown to the forefront.”

Since its inception, the Georgetown club has grown to include 115 members and helped start two other clubs in Georgetown: the Sunrise Rotary Club and the Sun City Rotary Club.

“Today, there are about 200 Rotarians in Georgetown [Rotary clubs],” Davenport said. “Georgetown’s growth has been good for Rotary, and Rotary has been good for Georgetown.”

Rotary International was founded in 1905 by a Chicago attorney. The international club now has more than 1 million members participating in more than 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.

Club members volunteer and raise money locally and abroad in support of education and job training, providing clean water, combating hunger, and improving health and sanitation. Another mission the international group has taken on is eradicating polio worldwide through the Polio Plus Campaign. The program started in 1982 in the Phillipines and was so successful, a worldwide mission began, said Bill Conner, past president and Georgetown Rotarian for 40 years.

“If we can eliminate that from the world, well, that’s a project that I’m particularly interested in and proud of,” Conner said.

In Georgetown, Rotarians participate in a variety of community efforts and have supported area nonprofits, including The Caring Place, The Georgetown Project and Georgetown ISD Partners in Education.

“Rotary Club is not a social club. Yes, we meet weekly and have fellowship and a program, but if that’s all it was, it would be shallow,” Davenport said. “Our real reason is to serve others.”

Each club member is encouraged to donate at least $100 a year to The Rotary Foundation, which grants money to clubs to participate in humanitarian efforts. Although not every member has to donate money, Davenport said the Georgetown club is continually recognized as an “Every Rotarian Every Year” club for its high participation rate.

Other locally generated funds are given as scholarships to students and teachers in Georgetown ISD.

“With the results that they’ve accomplished, I’m certainly proud to be a Rotarian,” Conner said.

In April, Georgetown Rotarians will celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary with a special luncheon for club members and other Rotary dignitaries.

Annual auction and barbecue

The Rotary Club of Georgetown will host its annual auction and barbecue fundraiser April 13. Money raised during the live and silent auctions will be used to fund local and international projects, including 20 $500 scholarships to Georgetown seniors and the Polio Plus Campaign.

Rotary Club of Georgetown, Meets every Friday at noon, First United Methodist Church, 410 E. University Ave.,