The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 16, 2011

Enid Rotary Club flavors its fundraising

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— About 300 eager diners filled Enid High School’s Food Court April 7 to enjoy the culinary offerings of local eateries — all in the name of raising money for a good cause.

Festival of Flavor, sponsored by Enid Rotary Club, raised money for two projects — one local and one international. The lion’s share of the proceeds from the event will fund technology purchases for Emerson Middle School.

Emerson principal Kim Jones said the money likely will be used to buy SmartBoards and responder kits. The school nearly has completed its 100 percent Smart initiative to place the interactive boards in every classroom.

A smaller portion of proceeds from Festival of Flavor went to a Rotary International campaign to wipe out polio worldwide.

Diners, who paid $10 per ticket, got to sample delicacies from Enid-area restaurants and food suppliers including Golden Chick, Jumbo Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Oakwood Country Club, Shieber’s Donuts and Deli, Angel Delight, Advance-Pierre Foods, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, KFC, Mid America Whole-sale, El Chico, Rib Crib, Pastimes, Cafe Garcia, Donna’s Catering, Great American Cookie Company and United Supermarket Stores.

The 148-member club quietly does a number of community service projects while members network and expand their personal horizons.

The club, which has a long history of proud community service, celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2007.

Rotary is an international organization with local branches that take on community service projects and assist with international projects.

The club’s ongoing project to fight child hunger is found in its Breakfast Club at Lincoln Academy. A breakfast of granola bar, pop tart, cheese stick or Chex mix and juice, provided this year for 93 students, is funded with coins Rotarians drop in a jar at Monday lunch meetings.

Club members also have a weekly raffle during meetings, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army shoe project for needy children.

Besides ongoing projects, Enid Rotary Club selects special endeavors. In December 2010, for instance, instead of a Christmas party for members the club opted to give a car to a needy family. Community service chairwoman Martie Oyler got to be the one to deliver the car.

“It made my Christmas,” Oyler said, beaming as she spoke. “We see needs, and we are able to make those donations to our community.”

Schools are a frequent recipient of Rotary support.

“Since 2007 we have contributed over $43,000 to Enid Public Schools,” Oyler said.

Rotarians also support after-prom or after-graduation events for EPS, Oklahoma Bible Academy and Chisholm Public Schools.

“In 2010, we contributed over $13,000 in additional money that goes back into the community,” Oyler said.

Those projects run the gamut, from sponsoring a team at National Junior College World Series and helping purchase a copier for Booker T. Washington Center to buying supplies for back-to-school backpacks for underprivileged children.

“It is a pleasure to be a part of the Enid Rotary Club and see the difference they can make in the community,” Oyler said.