By Conrad Dudderar
For the first time in its 55-year history, the Yukon Rotary Club will start convening regularly after normal working hours.
Since its founding in April 1967, this civic group has gathered for Tuesday noon meetings.
“It’s been that way every week for years and years and years,” Yukon Rotary Club President Bill Martin said.
Aiming to increase membership by reaching people who can’t attend at lunchtime, the Yukon Rotary Club is now offering an “after-hours” option.
“To open it up to new people who can’t make luncheons, we will meet from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at Flower Shop Winery,” Martin said.
“It will be ‘come-and-go’. We’ll have a short meeting of the regular members to show new members how we operate.”
Current Yukon Rotarians will invite others to join them in a social setting.
The Yukon Rotary Club will continue meeting at noon Tuesdays on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Grace Episcopal Church, 600 N Mustang Road.
The new twice-monthly evening gatherings will proceed through the fall at Flower Shop Winery, 629 W Main.
“Rotary has had a couple of functions here and we like it,” said Martin, the local club’s 2022-23 president. “It’s easy to find and a fun location that’s geared toward people of all ages.
“Then after the first of the year, we’ll start moving around town to some of our other restaurants.”
The over-arching goal is to grow the Yukon Rotary Club, Yukon’s leading civic group.
“We have 22 members now and my focus is to increase that to 35 by the end of my term next summer,” Martin explained. “In five years, I’d like to see 50 regular members.”
A financial advisor with Edward Jones, Martin has been a Yukon Rotarian for 16 years.
“We want to recruit people who can’t do lunch meetings along with those who don’t know about Rotary,” he said. “They will be able to see what we do to help the community – and how they can be a part of it.”
The evening socials also will be geared toward younger residents who want to participate in projects without attending normal meetings, he added.
The Yukon Rotary Club typically hosts guest speakers and other presentations at its lunch meetings.
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”
The Yukon Rotary Club supports the community through events like its annual pancake breakfast.
The group contributes annually to non-profits like Yukon Public Schools’ Foundation for Excellence, Manna Pantry and Compassionate Hands, and projects like Christmas with a Cop; among many others.
Rotary members are now raising funds for the Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni’s AED (automated external defibrillator) project to help the Yukon Police Department.
They also have volunteered for a “Paint Oklahoma Beautiful” project set Saturday, Sept. 17 at the former Ross Garage service station, 900 W Main.
Yukon 66 Main Street was awarded a Keep Oklahoma Beautiful grant to buy the paint and supplies. Yukon Rotarians will join Main Street volunteers to provide the labor.
The Yukon Rotary Club also contributes to the International Rotary Foundation supporting disaster relief aid and the eradication of polio.
For more information the Yukon Rotary Club, contact Martin at (405) 350-0234 or Bill.Martin@edwardjones.com