History of Our Club


The Mesquite Rotary Club had its beginnings at the 1958 Rotary International Convention, held in Dallas. Dr. Sam Scothorn, a prominent physician and Rotarian, partnered with Rotary past district governor Briggs Todd in organizing our club. The first meeting as a provisional club was held in January of 1959 at the newly opened Big Town Shopping Mall. We requested our charter on May 5, 1959, and Rotary International officially granted it on June 30, 1959. Many of the club's 24 charter members were merchants from stores located at the mall, which was the first air-conditioned mall to open in the southwest. Later, the club moved its meetings to the local Holiday Inn, and then to Eastfield College before eventually moving to the current site at the Dallas Athletic Club.

Members of the club who have worked for the benefit of the area community, and for the benefit of people all over the world through Rotary International, have included leaders in local municipal government, education, banking, insurance, real estate, retailing, restaurant, service businesses, and more.  The club is organized, as are all Rotary clubs, to promote the ideal of "Service Above Self," and are to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.  Our members work in the four Rotary "Avenues of Service," including serving the needs of the club, the community, vocations, and the international community.

Early fundraisers utilized by the Mesquite Rotary Club included the annual fall "Turkey Shoot," sponsoring carnivals, and parking cars at area events and festivals.  The club's current signature fundraising event, the Mesquite Rotary Bike Ride, was first organized in 1995 as the "Mesquite Rodeo Bike Ride" by the 1994-95 president Steve Whitworth, and was produced in collaboration with the Mesquite Service League for the first three years. After a two-year hiatus in 1998 and 1999, the club became the sole producer of the ride, returning it to the area's cycling calendar in 2000. The success of the Rotary Bike Ride has enabled the Mesquite Rotary Club to provide strong support to the area community, and in support of Rotary International efforts.