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Daybreak Rotary Club History


A Club is Born

DayBreak Rotary Club was chartered on August 6, 1992. The Club was actually formed several months before as the result of a brokered deal with the original (Monday) Rotary Club of Bartlesville. James Pritchard of the Monday club was to be the District 6110 governor for the 1992 Rotary year. However, his appointment was predicated on the agreement to form a second club in Bartlesville during his tenure. Not everyone at the time thought it was a good idea, but DayBreak happened just the same!

Bob Glass, Bob Harling and Dick Moser were our club’s godfathers. They were all members of the Monday club and had agreed to mentor the foundlings. About 20 men and women were contacted as potential founding members and over a period of months the number increased to just over 25 members; the minimum needed to apply for a charter.

The original meeting place was at Burt’s Sub-King Restaurant in the TRW-REDA building (now home to Rogers State U). We stayed there until after the charter was received. As the group continued to grow, we had to find larger quarters. The next move was to the conference rooms at Hotel Phillips. It was a grand treat to see our American Flag march down the street from Burt’s to the hotel. The flag was a gift from the Rotary Club of Bartlesville as a charter gift. Our District Governor gave us our bell and gavel. Ken Adams, president of the Monday Club at the time of chartering also presented us with a blank banner on which to hang the exchange banners we have received over the years.

The Charter

Bettye Williams headed the committee which oversaw the Chartering Banquet which was held at Hillcrest Country Club. Vince Orza, who was a candidate for governor and the head of the Garfield’s restaurant chain was the keynote speaker. At the date of the Charter we had 26 members. Immediately after the charter we fell to 24 but after that the growth was steadily upwards. Many of our charter members were women which was still a bit of a novelty at the time. Our second and fourth presidents were also women, so we have always been an equal opportunity club. Women have held the president’s slot on other occasions as well.

Our next move was from the hotel to the Phillips Cafeteria’s Garden Room where we are today. Our growth has continued through out that time frame. The Reveille has been with the club since it’s inception and has served us well with its information.

Because we were chartered soon after the start of the Rotary year, we did not have the benefit of the PETS training that club officers normally receive. This was both good and bad. It was good because we made it up as we went along, it was bad because we made it up as we went along. Everyone dug into their various club assignments and in spite of a late start, we received our first ever Presidential Citation for club accomplishment. We now have a tradition of achieving that citation each year, an accomplishment not every club in our District achieves.

Doers, Not Funders

Because most of our members were young, and because we had no treasury to speak of, our Board decided that our club would be known as “doers” rather than “funders”. As of late, that distinction has become a bit blurred. However, as a result of that commitment, our club spent many hours working on Habitat for Humanity house projects, operating the rides at the Kiddie Park, creating and operating the original “Tom Boyd Benefit Golf” tournament at Hillcrest Country Club to fund Cystic Fibrosis research. We demonstrated that things could be done and then we turned them over to others to keep them running. We have participated in Bowl for Kids, and run the Pine Wood Derby for the Scouts. Our first benefit was for our club treasury and was held in conjunction with the opening of Garfield’s. Garfield’s manager was a charter member of our club. (Read more about our service projects.)

Daybreak Rotary Foundation

Under the urging and leadership of Earl Sears, the Club created its own Foundation to fund scholarships or underwrite other projects the Club find worthy. This Foundation is in addition to support of the International Rotary Foundation.

Past Projects

Centennial Project

Our biggest community project was our Centennial Project. We replaced the floor of the bumper cars facility at the Kiddie Park. The Club, under the guidance of Gary Wise and Joe Blackmon, took on an opportunity to alleviate local hunger problems through the coordination and purchase of surplus MREs from the military. As a result, the local agencies dealing with such issues began to coordinate efforts through the help of Thad Satterfield, a former club member who now heads up the local United Way. Additionally we work at the Agape Mission kitchen and the Tulsa Medical Supply Network (a Rotary funded operation) organizing materials and preparing them for overseas shipment. We have undertaken the provision of dictionaries to local third grade students so that each student has a personal dictionary. We have participated in reading exercises at Jane Phillips School. We continue to provide, monthly, funds to purchase canned goods for use in the pantries of the Salvation Army, CONCERN, and Mary Martha outreach. We also do Christmas Family sponsorships through SA.

International Projects

We were involved in international projects as well. We joined with the Monday club to complete a library facility in India. We undertook to sponsor an international student with them as well. As a result we had members with various families in Bartlesville for about two semesters. Additionally we have hosted (with the Monday club) a group of Russian entrepreneurs who were interested in the restaurant business.

Festival of Lights

Our annual Festival of Lights in Johnstone Park each Christmas season is a real crowd pleaser and takes the work of all of our members in the weeks between Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving. Although there is no admission fee, a donation is accepted. Once the expenses are paid money is set aside to purchase or repair displays and a budgeted amount goes into the Club’s Foundation to cover educational scholarships to students in the Washington County area.


Our club is known for its early morning behavior. No other group on earth is a cheery and sharp as is this group. One of the club traditions is “trivia” quiz. This was the result of a need to raise some money in a short time frame. Originally the funds went for a Christmas family sponsorship but now it is divided into several uses. John Ford was the originator of the idea. John had the club guess petroleum futures prices each week. Later the format changed and trivia questions became the basis so that there might be some chance of being a winner.

Click Here to download a Powerpoint slideshow about Rotary International and our Club.