Dear Friends,

Times like these are when the spirit of community service really shows its value. For over 100 years, Fort Worth’s local Rotary Clubs have proven that “service above self” is more than a motto.

Rotary Clubs are part of Rotary International, a service organization bringing together business professionals and local leaders who believe in making positive changes in their community, country, and the world.

There are five Rotary Clubs in Fort Worth alone, including the Rotary Club of Fort Worth and the Rotary Clubs of Fort Worth North, Fort Worth South, East, and West. The Rotary Club of Fort Worth was the 75th Rotary Club ever established in a network that now includes over 35,000 Rotary Clubs in almost 170 countries. In fact, I joined the Rotary Club of Fort Worth on this date in 1987, as one of the first women to join Rotary.

In the early years of my membership, I was involved in the Club’s local education and anti-crime initiatives. After my 2006 request that the Navy name a combat ship after Fort Worth, local Rotary Clubs organized years-long letter-writing campaigns in support. According to a Rotary Club of Fort Worth club executive, a Defense Department official said he’d never seen the D.O.D receive so many letters! Our efforts paid off in 2013, when the U.S.S. Fort Worth was officially commissioned. The Rotary Club of Fort Worth continues to regularly send her crew care packages, and helps organize the annual Regatta in celebration of our city’s ship. The U.S.S. Fort Worth’s Commander and her crew sometimes even join a Rotary meeting when they are in town!

While the heart and soul of each Rotary Club is its own community, all Clubs unite around one common goal: the worldwide eradication of polio. The threat of polio has fortunately been eliminated in the U.S. for decades, but many Americans—like me— still remember someone who was affected. In 2014 I was honored with Rotary International’s Polio Eradication Champion Award, and as I accepted the award, I spoke on the importance of Rotary International’s commitment to a world free of polio, and of my mother’s battle with the disease. Since Rotary International’s anti-polio crusade began in 1979, it has played a large role in worldwide polio cases plummeting by 99.9 percent.

Throughout my service in Congress, I’ve always found time to support our community’s many Rotary Clubs. Last year, I visited the Rotary Clubs of Aledo, Weatherford, Fort Worth, and Fort Worth West for meaningful discussions on immigration, border security, and the rising threat of China. When the Rotary Club of Fort Worth held an important virtual meeting this summer, I was sure to participate—through Zoom, this time—and provide an update from Washington.

This year, our community’s Rotary Clubs have fundraised to support local nonprofits, small businesses, and restaurants impacted by the pandemic—while the global health infrastructure Rotary Clubs have collectively built is supporting the coronavirus response in poor parts of the world. Texas 12 Rotary Clubs, which keep us thriving locally and globally, are part of a big story proving that community action can create a world of good.


Kay Granger

Member of Congress