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Stories

A Note from Grove Norwood of the Heart of Texas Foundation

The Sugar Land Rotary Club of Sugar Land, Texas, recently made an historic donation to the work of The Heart of Texas Foundation.  President Ward Pendleton, flanked by District 5890 (62 Rotary Clubs) Governor Bob Gebhard, presented founder Grove Norwood with an unprecedented donation by Rotary to our prison reform movement in Texas.  Below you will find a link to the full article, which we encourage you to read.  The donation was in excess of $20,000.  The Heart of Texas Foundation says, "Thank you, Sugar Land Rotary, President Ward Pendleton, District Governor Bob Gebhard, and all of the future donors in District 5890 Rotary Clubs in Texas!"

 

Read the Article about the Rotary Club Donation to The Heart of Texas Foundation in "Your Houston News" 

 

Grove Norwood, former USAF fighter pilot and Founder of The Heart of Texas Foundation,  says:

 

"Thank you to Rotary for joining us in this monumental work!  Rotary has recognized what is upon us, and the opportunity we in Texas, and all of America, have.  It is clear that what is coming is this:  the 'American Prison Seminary Movement.'  It is a movement that will lead to the establishment of a prison Seminary Bible College  in every state in America.  The results are clear:  less violence, more safety, more reconciliation with families, significant financial benefits to taxpayers, healing of the children.   All that is needed is another 48 such prison seminaries in America, based on the Texas-Louisiana Model.  Regardless of a person's political or religious persuasion, the fact is that a privately funded, open-to-all, voluntary, Bible College program inside a maximum security prison-- in any state-- will reduce violence and victims, heal families, and reduce costs to taxpayers.  This has been demonstrated in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and its experience as the first American Prison Seminary.

 

Thank you, from our hearts.  And thank you, Rotary of Texas!

 

Grove Norwood, Founder

The Heart of Texas Foundation, Inc.

Some highlights from the event

Outgoing President Patrick Bullard congratulates Dr. Stacy Croft as she is inducted as President of Sugar Land Rotary Club 2015-16.
Outgoing President Patrick Bullard and event emcee Past President Greg Pendley.
Rotarian of the Year, Justin Steinhard, is honored by President Patrick Bullard for his contributions for the year as Treasurer. Justin went above and beyond in his role, even securing contracts which lock in fees for the next 2 years so that the club is not burdened by rate increases from our various vendors. Way to go Justin.
 
Congratulations to the the outgoing 2014-15 Rotary Board of Directors for all of your successes in the past year. And welcome to the incoming Board of Directors for the 2015-16 Rotary year. Incoming President Dr. Stacy Croft looks forward to an exciting year. The Rotary International motto for this year is "Be A Gift To The World". Dr. Stacy hopes this year's board can Enlighten, Update, Educate and Entertain the members of Sugar Land Rotary through great speakers each week and a phenomenal fundraiser on October 3: Escape to the Rainforest.

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At a recent meeting, Sugar Land Rotary donated $30,000 to the Literacy Council of Fort Bend for a GED project at Fort Bend ISD's Ridgemont Early Childhood Center. Pictured are Sugar Land Rotarian Mitch Rahim, Kelli Metzenthin - Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend; Dr. Charles E. Dupre - Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools; Tammie Rankin - Outreach and Program Coordinator of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend; and Sugar Land Rotary President Patrick Bullard.

Read more...

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In June, Sugar Land Rotary installed a new slate of officers for 2014-2015 that includes: Patrick Bullard, President; Stacy Croft, President-Elect; Mitch Rahim, Vice-President, Rafael Manrique de Lara, Secretary; Justin Steinhard, Treasurer; and Ward Pendelton, Past-President. Pictured is the new Sugar Land Rotary President Patrick Bullard giving an award to outgoing President Ward Pendleton.

 

At the installation ceremony, awards were given to those who were Rotarians of the Month for 2013-2014, as well as those who served on the Sugar Land Rotary Board of Directors. Other awards presented include:

Sugar Land Rotary Hall of Fame recipient, Robbie Bates.

Each year the current president is allowed to induct a Sugar Land Rotarian into our Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include: Steve Harris, Steve Smelly, Bob Bilski, Marshall Wichard, Jeff Tallas, Charlie Myer and Cynthia King and Bill Griffin. The inductee should meet the four way test of Rotary. In addition, he or she should be a long time member of Sugar Land Rotary.  This Rotarian is a charter member of this club with a long record of service to Rotary. His spirit and hard work embody the spirit of Rotary and especially Sugar Land Rotary.

When speaking with other Hall of Fame members the sentiment was “it’s about time”.

  • Bates is a Paul Harris Benefactor which means he writes a $1000 check every year to the Rotary Foundation.
  • He has perfect attendance for his entire Rotary Life.
  • He and his family have hosted an exchange student.
  • He is also a past president of Sugar Land Rotary and has held numerous officer positions on many Rotary boards.
  • Every year he commits himself and members of his office to help account for our fundraiser.
  • The 2014 inductee to the Sugar Land Rotary Hall of fame is Robbie Bates

Sugar Land Rotarian of the Year, Robert Walters

"There is not enough time for me to express how many ways I can thank this man. A year and half ago he convinced me to take this job," said Ward Pendleton, Past-President Sugar Land Rotary. " Indeed he believed that it would be a great experience and Sugar Land Rotary and I would be better for it. Sugar Land Rotary is better for the many sacrifices this Rotarian has made. Even though he has a stellar record for many years of service to this club he agreed again to be on my board. I believe he has made a difference in the attitude of Sugar Land Rotarians. I know he made me better and most of all he helped to bring the club back as the most dynamic club in district 5890. My decision for this award was based on his service to this club. He, I am sure will say this should go to someone else, but I disagree. So the 2014 Sugar Land Rotary Rotarian of the Year goes to Robert Walters," said Pendleton.

Cornerstone Awards for service went to Rotarians Steve Harris, Rick Smith, and Greg Pendley

Steve Harris: This Rotarian helped Sugar Land Rotary the entire year by promoting the Rotary global Grant, numerous trips to Angola, and with the District has raised the funds to make the project at Darrington Prision a reality. Without his vision Sugar Land Rotary, would never have connected with Grove Norwood and Sugar Land Rotary would not have been part of the Darrington project.  Steve Harris embodies the spirit of a Rotarian making a difference.  

Rick Smith: With Smith's assistance, Sugar Land Rotary is in a better financial position. He is relatively new to Rotary and has already served secretary and treasurer. I expect even greater things from him in the future. A cornerstone award goes to Rick Smith.

Greg Pendley: This Rotarian not only has helped with Sugar Land Rotary's fundraiser but he has also served as a mentor. He helped with youth programs and most important submitted a global Grant to Rotary International and will sit on a board that will administer that grant. There is no one in this club who more embodies the objective in the 4 way test of Service Above Self.

 

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For the first community service project of the new Rotary year, on Saturday, June 28, a dedicated group of Sugar Land Rotarians volunteered as waiters for The ARC of Fort Bend County’s Special Olympics athletic banquet. More than 200 people attended the event and the athletes had a wonderful time.

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Pictured from left to right are: Patrick Bullard, Jon Gorosh, Robert Valenzuela, Doerthe Gottschalk, Michelle Royster and her son, Jordan; Trent Wayne, Garvin Stryker, Pam Filip, Lance Ragle, Karl Schleicher; ARC Executive Director Laura LaVigne, and Tabb Dye. Thanks to all who participated!

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    April 16th was a very good day for Sugar Land Rotary and for the City of Sugar Land. We have been waiting since 2007 to give the $30,000 check that will be used to help build a barrier free park at the Little League ball field at Austin Parkway, and that was finally done. The Sugar Land Legacy Foundation had to be organized so the rest of the funds could be raised to make the park a reality. Sugar Land Rotary’s name will be on display there to show our contribution to this project. 
    Thanks to Past President Scott Finley, who started this project, and to Charlie Myer and their boards for having the vision to make this a reality. In addition to the District Governor Bob Gebhard and many Sugar Land Rotarians the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation board, including Gene Reed, Bob Brown, William Jameson, Suni Sharma and John Null, attended.
    Sugar Land Rotary also honored City Manager Allen Bogard with the Service Above Self Award. This was voted on by the Sugar Land Rotary board and is only the second time Sugar Land Rotary has recognized a city official. In attendance were Mayor James Thompson, City Council members Himesh Gandhi, Joe Zimmerman, Amy Mitchell, Steve Porter and Harish Jajoo and former councilmen Don Olsen and Sonny Johnston. From the city manager’s office Jim Callaway, Mike Goodrum, Steve Griffin, Judy Janecek and Jennifer May were in attendance. Former Mayor Dean Hrbacek and Mayor Thompson spoke about Mr. Bogard and his dedication to the city.
   It was a great day for Sugar Land and Sugar Land Rotary. Thank you to all of you who attended.Image