Our First Year History
The McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club
Chartered on May 22, 1992
The Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise is celebrating its 30th club anniversary this month. To be exact, on May 22nd. The Club started through a unique postcard campaign that the Rotary Club of McKinney was conducting. Unfortunately, their Club had reached the maximum membership growth from the old part of the city of McKinney. However, new members were not coming from the new growth area of McKinney because of the Club’s meeting location, which was downtown McKinney.  
The postcard campaign would uncover new potential members for a new Rotary breakfast club and possibly some prospects for them. The McKinney Rotary Club would be ready to sponsor a new club in the Stonebridge Ranch area where the actual new population growth was happening.
The McKinney Rotary Club was ready to make it happen, and this is what occurred below. You can read the story for yourself.
The McKinney Rotary Club started the McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club. The McKinney Rotary Club sent postcards in the west part (Stonebridge Ranch) of McKinney that invited men & women to come to a meeting at the Ranch Country Club to discuss the possibility of starting a new breakfast club in Stonebridge Ranch. Over 50 attended the dialogue on a Saturday morning. The city of McKinney’s population was approximately 23,000 and was beginning to increase rapidly in west McKinney, especially in the Stonebridge Ranch area. Therefore, the mission of the Rotary Club of McKinney was to establish another Rotary Club: A breakfast club in Stonebridge Ranch. 
The next meeting on a Saturday morning was at the Ranch Country Club to sign-up as many new members as possible. Thirty-nine people were signed-up as ‘charter’ members. The new members called the new breakfast Club – The Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise at Stonebridge.
For several years, the Ranch Country Club was the meeting place of the Club each Monday starting at 7 AM; Luby’s between Lousiana and White St on the east side of route 75 was next, then the Eldorado Country Club until the virus closed the Club. We are meeting at The Pantry.
The first formal members’ meeting was developed by the ‘steering committee’ from the McKinney Rotary Club, and the proposed slate of officers and directors was presented.  The new officers and directors of the Club were elected as follows:
  • President – Tom Healy, President-Elect – Bob Flinchbaugh, Treasurer – Lynn Bascom, Secretary – Betty Walker, Club Service – Arlene Fowler, Tom Blodgett, and Fred Bahrenburg, Community Service – Isiah Joshua, Vocational Service – Dr. Steve Overn, Sgt. Of Arms – Bob Matlock, and International Service – Paul Yeager
Early Milstead was the McKinney Rotary Clubs’ sponsor and mentor of the Club during the development stages of the Club.
During the first meeting, Sgt.of Arms–Bob Matlock fined President Tom Healy $25.00 and several other members $25 each. You didn’t fine officers, especially the President in Rotary. Since the Club had no budget yet for the Club established, Madlock stated that he would fund the treasury. He almost did in the future Club meetings with his fines.
In October, Judge Nathan White was one of the speakers, and his topic was ‘Ethics and the Philosophy of Rotary International as it Relates to Ethical Practices.’Wow!
The first service project was the ‘Angel Tree Project,’ which started in November. The members were divided into four groups to go into the community and solicit residents to take an ‘Angel’ ticket for disadvantaged students. Chuck Koehler was one of the Captains and served as President in 1998.
A committee of members met with the Superintendent of the Mckinney ISD and explained what the Club had in mind for helping in-need students of the school district. As a result, they obtained 400 ‘Angels’ from the school district in the first year.
The ‘Angel Tree’ project continued for many years until it became too large for the Club to handle workforce-wise. Consequently, the Club decided to give the  ‘Angel Tree’ project to the McKinney Chamber of Commerce and various local churches that wanted to jump into the project. As a result, the Angel Tree project still booms in today’s community.
Club members’ suggestions for the first Fundraiser were given to the Fund Raising Chairperson, Isiah Joshua, in December as follows:
A 10k Run, Christmas Tree sales, Art Auction, Household Items Auction (a.k.a. garage sales), Spaghetti Dinner, Bingo, Soccer Tournament, Fruit Sales (sale & delivery), Silent Auction (in Conjunction with a concurrent event), Golf Tournament, Wine & Cheese Party, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, and a Coupon book. 
The first Fundraiser selected was the Fruit Sales, and the Golf Tournament was next, which was chaired by Jim Gilmore.
Larry Offerdahl, Director of Parks and Recreation of McKinney, was one of the speakers in March. Larry also served as our President in 1999.
The second service project was a ‘Buy a Park Brick’project, which laid bricks at the gazebo entrance with your name on the brick at the new park next to the Glen Oaks Elementary School – the W.B. Finney Park. Proceeds of $15,000 went to the new park for playground equipment.
The Club lost four members for not fulfilling the attendance requirements of Rotary. At that time, if you missed four meetings sequentially, you were automatically dismissed from the Club.
Colonel (Retired) Paul Yeager served as the Club’s President in 1994. District 5810 installed Paul Yeager on June 25, 1999, as the District Governor of Rotary District 5810.
Many of our Club members successively have served as President of this Club, i.e., Bill Bilyeu (3), Jeff Caserotti (2), Stacey Kemp, Tim Kocsis (2), Steve Mitas (2), Tom Parker, Bill Smith (2), Lyle Froese, and Nathan White.
The Flag Lease program discussion and development started in 1993 as the lone Fundraiser of the future for the Club and was implemented in 1994 with Paul Yeager and Fred Bahrenburg as co-chairpeople. The Club members placed 300 Flags on the flag holidays in the first year - 1994. In 2022 the flags placed are over 3,300 flags. The Flag delivery process back in 1994 put the flags out the morning of the flag holiday and retrieved the flags on the same evening. The flag delivery and retrieval process started or ended with breakfast at Luby’s.
The first ten years of Presidents: 1992 – Tom Healy, 1993 – Bob Flinchbaugh, 1994 – Paul Yeager, 1995–Linda Terry,1996–Pat Beaman, 1997–FrankShushok, 1998–Chuck Koehler, 1999 – Larry Offerdahl, 2000 – Jeff Caserotti, 2001 – M. Lee Bean.
We are People of Action!
McKinney is a City of Flags, Built by the McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club.
Visit Us Anytime or Join Us. Breakfast is on Us!
Meeting Time and Location: 7:30 AM each Wednesday, E J Wills