History of Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club

The Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club was chartered in 1985 through the vision of a small group of like-minded individuals who felt that there was a need for a second club in Grand Prairie. With 30 charter members, two of whom are still members, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary hit the ground running in more ways than one.
While the club was diligent in assisting with various charitable events and Rotary programs such as PolioPlus, food drives, water projects and others, the leadership of the club hit on the idea of holding a 10K race. Over the past 30+ years, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club has set itself apart by hosting the annual Lake Joe Pool 10K, 5K Run and 5K Walk, Fun Run and Pumpkin Rest (or simply, the “Pumpkin Run”). In an age where road races experience relatively short lives, the Pumpkin Run has grown and become a staple in the community.
During this time, the club has been able to funnel more than $650,000 back into the community for use by local charities. Most of the coordination of the race comes from volunteer help so that expenses can be kept at a minimum. Through the years, the run has taken on a festival atmosphere with music, door prizes, awards, food and the inclusion of the school challenge that encourage local schools to compete.

Held every October, the run is set against the picturesque backdrop of Joe Pool Lake and the developing community of South Grand Prairie. Averaging anywhere from 800 to 1,200 runners, the race has become one of the more anticipated races in the Metroplex.
Throughout the 90’s, we had a longtime relationship with Cam Gray and Orphans of the World. Cam was instrumental in using his connections with Rotary clubs in Central America and Mexico to further the cause of Rotary on an international scale. Through Orphans of the World, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club was able to obtain matching funds that help provided food, hygiene products and educational supplies to impoverished areas of Central America.
Today, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club stands at just over 30 members. Since 1985, the club has seen a number of ups and downs including a period that almost witnessed the club’s demise. But in a testament to the strength and commitment to the vision of those individuals who began the club many years ago, the current membership has doggedly pursued those things that make the club viable and relevant in today’s society; service above self.

Even following September 11th and now the pandemic, when local charities and non- profits saw financial inflows decrease and even stop, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club through its ongoing service to the community though the Pumpkin Run was able to distribute valuable resources and meaningful service back to local charities.

While the existence of the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club may not be long, its commitment to the community of Grand Prairie and the ideals of Rotary International are timeless.