On Saturday June 17, 2017, members of the Rotary Club of Austin Southwest (formerly Austin-Oak Hill Rotary) and honored guests gathered to celebrate 35 Years carrying out Service as a Rotary Club and to install the board of officers for the 2017-2018 Rotary year.
The event kicked-off with the recognition of guests and a rundown of 35 years of history. 
The introductions began with present and past District 5870 leaders. The District Governor for 2017-2018,  Governor Gene Holiman; DG for 2016-2017 Bruce Golden;  PDG Jose Guerra and his wife Bertha; PGD Barbara Warden and her husband Jim, a former member of this Rotary Club.
A special welcome to  2016-2017 District Governor for District 4130 Governor Juan Guerra and his wife, Elena Salinas. Also acknowledged was the special relationship between of our club and our partners of 30 years, the Rotary Clubs of Matamoros Sur and Monterrey Professional, Mexico.
In recognizing the guests, it was pointed out that the club’s success rest three specific legs as you would imagine in a stool.
The first leg is represented by the members of our club.  It is their passion and caring for one another that is at the heart and soul of the club.  They are the doers.
The second are those who give us purpose - Those we serve, the recipients of our efforts:
This diverse group of people and organizations is represented by the following guests: Mr. Eric Travis, Head Librarian, Will Hampton Library which is named for an Oak Hill attorney and Rotary club member who was tragically killed in Oak Hill. The library is one of the longest running Club service projects. The partnership began with construction of a gazebo on the grounds in the 90’s, followed in 2006 by the Trailhead construction, and 3-4 years ago, “The Learning Tree” project.  There is also the semi-annual clean-up, or ‘war with the weeds’. Rest assured, as long as there is a Will Hampton library, the Rotary Club of Austin-Southwest will be there.
A moment was taken to recognize Club Member, Jim Foster. For years, Jim has been a guiding the force behind planning, executing and maintaining these library projects.  Once an engineer, always an engineer!
Literacy has long been a corner stone of our club’s commitment.  Representing those who have long been served by the club were (1) Dean Patricia Recek, Health Sciences, Austin Community College who represents our scholarship recipients who received  vocational and scholastic scholarships (2), Mr. Paul Cumings, from Oak Hill Elementary who is also the Early Act Sponsor. He represents the students who benefit from our dictionary/atlas/thesaurus  program as well as many other literacy focused programs, and (3) the dozens of community agencies, some of which are listed on the program, to who our club has contributed its time, dollars and sweat. From the YMCA, Mr. Jim Pacey, former club member, and currently YMCA Senior Vice President and Mr. Joe Mc Neeley, the current director Southwest YMCA.  
The third leg of the stool is our supporters. These businesses and individuals have a significant impact on how much we are able to accomplish. Their contributions of materials and dollars make our Club’s aspirations come true. I would be remiss not to mention that a portion of this leg has a distinct ‘Club member” cast to the grain.
These individuals and organizations are represented on the program by our golf tournaments Championship Sponsors. These Championship Sponsors are Roger Beasley Auto Group, Mr. Jim Bagan,( represented by Ms. Michelle Anderson),  First State Bank of Central Texas and the President Mr. Jack Brinkley. While he could not join us, he asked I pass on his best wishes and full commitment of support in the years ahead. And the third Championship Sponsor is The Hayner Valley Grove, LLC, and that representative would be me, Gary Cataldo.  I am representing my two sons and 4 grandchildren who, upon the passing of my sister, were entrusted with the ownership and care of her beloved 6.2 acres of 248 pecan trees( some with family member names) in Hatch NM.
Some interesting Austin-Southwest Rotary statistics over these years:
  • 286 members
  • 31,500 meeting hours
  • 8500 project hours
  • $351,00O foundation contributions
  • $170,000 scholarship dollars to 160+ students
  • $100,000 plus to matching grants
  • 11,000 dictionaries thesauruses and atlases to 3-4-5 graders
  • $15,000 for Polio Plus
  • Thousands of coats
  • Hundreds of pounds of school supplies