In early May of 2015, six local residents and business owners – Andy Eads, Lori Fickling, Lori Walker, Chuck Elsey, Julie Meyer, and Ginger Eads- came together to discuss starting their very own Rotary club. 5 of these individuals had originally come from the Flower Mound Rotary Club but were finding the meeting times not ideal for their lives and schedules. So, with the encouragement of Flower Mound Rotary Club member, Gerald Robinson, they created Cross Timbers Rotary Club.
“We started Cross Timbers Rotary Club with a vision of having a large Rotary club filled with people across Southern Denton County to come together and make lasting relationships and conduct community service here locally and across the world while having fun doing it,” Charter President, Andy Eads said. “Our early vision soon became a reality when we chartered in August of 2015 with 62 members and it continues to this day with 120 members. I’m most proud of the positive culture that we maintain.”
The six founders wanted Flower Mound to be the club’s home, but they also wanted more than just Flower Mound residents to be able to be members. With Cross Timbers Rotary Club’s forming, the geographical reach of Rotary also grew. Cross Timbers Rotary covers Flower Mound, Lewisville, Argyle, Bartonville, Lantana, Copper Canyon, and Highland Village. The club is also a part of District 5790 which covers 74 clubs across North Central Texas.
The club’s first meeting was actually held at the Bridlewood Golf Club and had 17 people in attendance. The group continued to meet each week on Friday at 8 am and also continued to see growth within the club with every meeting.
From its beginning, Andy Eads graciously offered to act as Charter President of the Rotary club and from there, the group’s vision took flight. They had a visioning process of what they wanted the club to look like and they immediately set out to make these goals a reality. Their first goal was to be able to charter with 20 members by August of 2015. The group worked hard to increase their charter members through the summer and finally, by the time August had arrived, they had surpassed their goal with a total of 62 charter members.
In the seven years that Cross Timbers Rotary Club has been active, they have truly represented the club’s motto “Service Above Self” in the truest form. And with that service, came growth within the club. They created fellowships for the club’s members to grow and connect so that they might be able to serve better alongside each other. They have groups such as book club, wine club, camping club, wine and dine golf club, culture club, and even pickleball club. These fellowships have helped to build lasting friendships between members and have allowed their service to the community to grow.
One thing that Cross Timbers Rotary Club has become known for in the last five years is their biggest annual fundraiser, Rhythms at the Riverwalk Duck Derby. The club knew from the beginning that they wanted their biggest event to be hosted at the Riverwalk and again their vision came to life. This event takes place on the third Saturday of September every year and this year it will take place on September 17th. The Duck Derby nets $100,000 annually and provides funds that the Rotary club donates to their local nonprofits each year. Their hope is to be able to grow their Rhythms at the Riverwalk Duck Derby every single year and so far they have been extremely successful in that. The club totaled 30,000 ducks sold in last year’s annual fundraising event.
Cross Timbers Rotary Club is special in the sense that it is made up of members from all different backgrounds, walks of life, genders, careers, and skills. Each member brings something unique and special to the group and it is one of the many reasons that this Rotary club has become the largest Rotary club in Denton County. With the club’s dedication to selflessly serving the community, it’s safe to say that this truly is only just the beginning.