For years, the Rotary Club of Port Arthur provided scholarships to high school seniors, provided dictionaries to third graders and helped other organizations in their attempt to help others.
The Port Arthur Rotary Foundation was one of 13 nonprofit organizations that awarded grants in late November during the Port Arthur News giving season that Port Arthur LNG supports.
This giving goes a long way with the local organization that is over 100 years old.
Johnny Brown, former Rotary President and Foundation Board Member, thanked Port Arthur Newsmedia for sponsoring the Season of Giving and Port Arthur LNG for providing grants to help others in the community.
The Port Arthur Rotary Foundation is 100 percent non-profit in its operations, he said, adding that not a penny goes to any of the members directly. All resources go to organizations that struggle for resources, position themselves to help others or both and for youth scholarships.
“For example, in the past two years, we have sponsored scholarships for youth worth over $30,000, including Sabine Pass, Memorial High School, Bob Hope High School, Tekoa and Early College High School,” Brown said.
They’ve also helped other nonprofits like CASA in Beaumont and Community Care Prayer Outreach and have given thousands of dollars to help others.
And there’s more.
“The Taste of Gumbo is a fun and festive program that we sponsor to raise extra money,” Brown said.
Community members buy tickets and have a chance to sample different bamboo and other dishes from local restaurants. This provides an opportunity for restaurants to advertise, allows the audience to see what they are serving and attendees get a chance to win a door prize.
One of the special events the club participated in was in coordination with 100 black men in Greater Beaumont.
Brown said that after last year’s severe freeze, which left some without power during the pandemic, the group came together to surprise HEB shoppers in Gulfway Drive with $50 gift cards. This sum amounted to 3000 dollars to help their fellow men.
The Dictionary Project works jointly with Motiva and is held at the Gulf Coast Museum. Third graders from the Port Arthur Independent School District receive free dictionaries.
Brown described it as exhilarating to see the faces of the club’s support recipients. It reminded him of something his mother had taught all her children – trying to get out every day and reach someone.
“It’s as if she knew about Rotary in terms of the idea of service before she knew herself about Rotary. To do whatever you can every day to help others,” he said.
Russell Boss, president of the Port Arthur Rotary Foundation, recently spoke about the impact of the organization and the additional funds.
He said the additional funds would allow Rotary to double the number of university scholarships offered in the coming years.
Promoting their access to helping others fits the Rotary model, in service before self, he said, echoing Brown’s sentiments.