Chartering a new club is not for the faint-hearted, but John Moser, District Governor, 2020-21, District 5810, and Rotary International paved the way for a successful start-up of the Rotary Club of Collin County.
The Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise Rotary was the sponsor of a satellite club known as McKinney Sunset Satellite Rotary Club in 2014.

When Rotarians Lyle and Sandi Froese presented a proposal to start a satellite club sponsored by the Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise in 2014, little did they know where the process would lead. McKinney, Texas, grew from a small farming community of 15,000 in 1970 to become a major community of almost 200,000 fifty years later. Strategically placed in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex, the city of McKinney has become an economic, social, educational and cultural powerhouse. The need for a third Rotary club in the city was apparent.

In addition to the Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise, the Rotary Club of McKinney is one of the oldest and most prominent Rotary clubs in Collin County. There are also several Rotary clubs in Plano, Frisco, Allen, Melissa, Celina, Wylie, and Fairview. Most Rotary Clubs follow a traditional model with weekly meetings, dues that include meals, and service projects that need additional funding resources.

The McKinney Sunset Satellite Rotary Club revised their meeting schedule to twice a month with one meeting to hear a guest speaker and one meeting to network and invite potential members to a Happy Hour.  The quarterly dues of $60 with no meals barely covers the operations costs owed to Rotary International and District 5810. Meetings held in the late afternoon at 5:30 PM were popular with members who could attend immediately after work. Having little or no money for donations to non-profit organizations, the McKinney Sunset Satellite Rotary Club participated in hands-on service projects at Shiloh Place, McKinney Sunrise Rotary Flag-lease Project, Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney, Collin County History Museum, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

With those changes in hand, the McKinney Sunset Satellite Rotary Club struggled for several years to shape their identity. The original premise was to attract young professionals including more women and a diversity of cultures. When the club was formed, only four members of the original eight had any experience as Rotary members. The fledgling club spent a great deal of time explaining what Rotary was all about and what it was not.

Lenda Fidelman, 2021-22 President of Collin County Rotary Club, is the daughter of Debra Pope, who was one of the first female Rotarians to join a Rotary Club in Missouri in 1991. Debra was a Past Presiding Chair of McKinney Sunset Rotary Club and is the current Membership Chair. With inspiration from her mother, Lenda recruited seven of her friends and co-workers to join the club in 2019-20.  Not only did Lenda win a membership contest award for recruiting the most members, the club grew in size to fifteen members. With that core group, the club added more members and the membership grew to twenty members in 2020-21. At the beginning of 2021-22, the club currently has 22 members and 1 honorary member.

Upon reaching twenty members, the Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise urged the McKinney Sunset Satellite Rotary Club to become a stand-alone chartered club. Presiding Chair Benita Sharpe appointed Past Presiding Chair, Stephen Barotta, to research the process and requirements. Stephen gathered data and contacted Rotary International for information. Upon a presentation to the Leadership Team and the McKinney Sunset Rotary Club in March, the club members were enthusiastic to move forward. A meeting with District Governor John Moser and Jeff Caserotti, President of McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club, was set for April 26, 2021 to discuss next steps. At that meeting, DG John suggested that the club not only vote for a resolution to charter, but also to collect a minimum of $15 per person as their commitment to support a newly charted club. The $15 per member covered the Charter Fee of $300. At the May 6 meeting, the club unanimously voted to charter as a stand-alone club and each member agreed to pay the $15 charter fee.  The final count of charter members was 21.

Stephen Barotta completed the 2-page application to Rotary International, which was accepted pending current membership data. The spreadsheet containing the required data by RI was completed by Lyle Froese, Club Administrator. The application, signed by District Governor John Moser, Chair Benita Sharpe, and Secretary Sandi Froese, including the charter fee and data spreadsheet, were submitted electronically. Within a week on May 11, 2021, the Rotary Club of Collin County received word that the club was chartered and all former McKinney Sunset Satellite Club Rotarians were separated from the McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club.

On June 17, 2021, the Rotary Club of Collin County celebrated their charter with a dinner at the home of AJ and Lenda Fidelman in Anna, Texas. The outdoor BBQ event included DG John and Trudy Moser, McKinney Sunrise President Jeff Caserotti, and the spouses and guests of Collin County and McKinney Sunrise Rotarians. Charter Chair Benita Sharpe presided and presented awards to the officers and committee chairs who served under her leadership in 2020-21. DG John Moser read the charter and announced Chair Benita as President Benita, Charter President of Collin County Rotary Club. The Rotarian of the Year was named as Jeff Shannon, who was presented an award for his exemplary "Service Above Self." Incoming President Lenda Fidelman presented outgoing President Benita with a plaque for her exemplary leadership.

The days ahead were a flurry of activity to order necessary club supplies and open a club checking account and PayPal account. With financial assistance from McKinney Sunset Rotary Club as the sponsor of the new club, new banners, flag supplies, awards, member badges, and a Club Runner website subscription were purchased. The new website and Facebook Page media were generated by Lyle Froese, Club Administrator. The PayPal account to receive credit card payments for dues was set up. The bank account was opened by Stephen Barotta, incoming Treasurer.  Membership and attendance data were entered into the Club Runner system by Sandi Froese, Secretary.  

And, that is how it is done to become a new stand-alone Rotary Club. Our perseverance paid off to set in motion a new club with a diverse membership of 21 members. If you are a visiting Rotarian or a potential member, please join us on the First Thursday of each month at the Caddo Offices Reimagined Conference Room, 6401 Eldorado Parkway, McKinney, Texas 75072, at 5:30 PM. We do not serve a meal, but a glass of wine and snacks are available. Visiting Rotarians are asked to pay a $3 hospitality fee, but potential members are not charged. If you can't make it to a meeting, join us at a Happy Hour at a local pub or restaurant on the Third Thursday of each month at 5:30 PM.  Watch for announcements on social media for the place and address of the Happy Hour or contact Sandi Froese, Secretary ( for more information.