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The New Community Service Clubs

Modern models for service organizations



Members of Bricktown Rotary

 


The concept isn’t new – coming together to do good works as a group has a rich history, and Rotary International members have been devoted to “service above self” for more than a century now. Nevertheless … these aren’t your grandfather’s service clubs.
 

Sandy Wright presides over Bricktown Rotary, which meets after work during “happy hour” – and several members enjoy an adult beverage sitting in front of them versus a rubber chicken and rice lunch. When the meeting is over, they are in no hurry to leave.

Catherine Lippert, co-chair of Code for OKC, helps set up folding tables and chairs at Prototek, a somewhat dingy, utilitarian “makerspace” at NW 10th and Hudson. After quickly grabbing slices of pizza from boxes, members open their laptops and start collaborating on a project.

Populated by folks who have very different ways of doing it, Bricktown Rotary and Code for OKC are new models for community service work.

In earlier years, the dominant service club scenes were of besuited businessmen meeting for one hour at breakfast or lunch, quickly leaving afterward for work. Then their weekend pancake breakfasts or chili suppers would raise money for charitable causes.

That still happens in many service clubs today, but in larger urban areas like Oklahoma City, the model is changing to a productive service mode.

Cynics might wonder whether the 45-member Bricktown Rotary is basically a drinking club that gets little done. Wright would disagree.

“I figured it up and we probably did about 400 or 500 hours of volunteer service just over Christmas,” she says. “That work had an impact on 600 to 700 people.”

Patrick Gaines speaks to fellow Rotarians at a recent Monday meeting.


It’s hardly the work of a club only interested in schmoozing.

The club was formed in 2003 and has met at the Bricktown Brewery since. “They wanted from the start a different dynamic in a service club,” Wright says about its founders.

“Meeting after hours with a couple of drinks provides people with an opportunity to be in a very relaxed and engaging atmosphere,” she says. “You’re not rushing to get back to work.”

Others are finding the evening meeting time to be helpful, too. There are 13 Rotary clubs in Oklahoma County. Four of them meet after work, which reflects the new desires of people who are not in traditional work or family situations.

Code for OKC embodies a newer type of service organization, a child of the digital society. Rather than declining, today’s service clubs and work are changing in both form and substance.

There’s no ringing of a bell, formal structure of meeting or formal membership. They only have a connection as a Meetup.com group. You belong if you are passionate about a specific project.

Instead, what the 10 to 15 members of Code for OKC have in common are basically two things: their coding skills and their desire to promote “data transparency” and open government. They are currently writing code that will let the public view the Oklahoma City budget online.

“I think having the budget in a visual format will engage OKC residents,” Lippert says.

But if they get good money for coding at their day jobs, why put in unpaid time after hours?

“Coding isn’t just work,” Lippert says. “It’s creating something out of nothing. It is the most satisfying feeling to work hard to create something you’re proud of.”

 

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September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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