Welcome to the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston

Upcoming Events

The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is proud to host all our events at the Ballroom at Bayou Place. It is downtown Houston’s largest private event venue. For the new Rotary Year beginning 2020 our featured monthly luncheon speakers are:

2020 Downtown Rotary Christmas and Holiday Party

2020 Downtown Rotary Christmas and Holiday Party

Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

Downtown Rotary Christmas and Holiday Party Benefiting the Salvation Army


Join us as we hold our annual Christmas and Holiday Party benefitting the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Program.

COVID-19 Health Guidelines:

  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
  • 50% capacity will be enforced.
  • Documentation will be taken of the meeting.

This will be a fun event for all ages with a special visitor from the North Pole and the entire award-winning Parker Elementary School Chorus!

Make sure you pre-register to not miss this fun event with all your Downtown Rotary friends.

DON'T FORGET! We are collecting toys to benefit The Salvation Army's Angel Tree Christmas Assistance Program.

Please bring your new and unwrapped gift to the party. Toys are needed to serve children age's infants to 12 years old.

Come and enjoy our Christmas and Holiday Party luncheon 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dress is business or festive!

Members are entitled to one free ticket. Guests and visiting Rotarians are $50. All credit cards accepted.

RSVP / Buy Tickets

Thursday, February 25, 2021 — Sunday, February 28, 2021

Rotary President-elect Training Seminars Lone Star P.E.T.S.


Lone Star PETS is Rotary's training program for Rotary Club Presidents-elect and President-nominee throughout the State of Texas. The goal of Lone Star PETS is to prepare Presidents-elect and President-nominees for their upcom-ing roles through provocative plenary speakers, in-depth breakout sessions, and informal fellowship and networking with Rotary peers throughout Texas. Lone Star PETS is a joint effort of ten Rotary International districts in the States of Texas and Oklahoma.

Learn more about PETS at lonestarpets.org.

Lone Star P.E.T.S.

Lone Star P.E.T.S.

5890

5890 "Serve Like A Champion" District Conference

Thursday, April 15, 2021 — Sunday, April 18, 2021

5890 "Serve Like A Champion" District Conference


Horseshoe Bay Resort is the perfect place to bring your family!  Come make new Rotary Friends, reconnect with old Rotary Friends, build connections with potential service project partnerships with other Rotarians and Clubs at our 2021 Rotary District 5890 Conference!  Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about our district while enjoying friendship, fellowship, food and fun. It's going to be an event for the entire family! 

For more information on registration, hotel accommodations, and advertising opportunities, go to https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50025/Event/5890-district-conference-(horseshoe-bay)

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 12:00 pm

Downtown Rotary at the Preakness Stakes Horse Racing Party And Brunch


Watch and wager on the Preakness Stakes horse racing party and brunch at Sam Houston Race Park! This event is for Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members only.

This will be a first come first served live, simulcast racing event. This event will include a seat in the Jockey Club. Also included is the Jockey Club special full buffet for Jockey Club patrons only.

Dress code: no shorts, no jeans for race day.

Ticket price is $50/person. Tickets will be at "Will Call" by name. Valet parking provided.

The event starts at Noon and ends with the last race.

* No refund on tickets purchased. Limited seating.

Preakness Stakes Horse Racing

Preakness Stakes Horse Racing

Rotary International Convention in Taipei

Rotary International Convention in Taipei

Saturday, June 12, 2021 — Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rotary International Convention in Taipei


Each year, Rotary members from all over the world come together to discover new opportunities to increase our impact, broaden our reach, and strengthen our ability to adapt for future success. It's also the perfect venue to find new ways to enhance your Rotary experience. The 2021 Rotary International Convention in Taipei will energize every attendee and deliver memories that last a lifetime.

To learn more and register, go to convention.rotary.org/en/taipei.

April 2021 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The State of the City presented by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner


The Ballroom at Bayou Place, 500 Texas Ave.

The State of the City presented by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner 

Join us for our monthly luncheon with special guest speaker Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. We will also be honored with performances by America's Got Talent Finalist Christina Wells. 

  • COVID-19 Health Guidelines:
  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
  • 50% capacity will be enforced.
  • Documentation will be taken of the meeting.

About Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Elected in December 2015 and re-elected in December 2019, Sylvester Turner is serving his second four-year term. He is Houston's 62nd mayor. Since taking office, Mayor Turner eliminated a $160 million budget shortfall in record time; led the city's remarkable rebound from Hurricane Harvey; championed historic pension reform; cheered on the 2017 World Series-winning Houston Astros; hosted a successful Super Bowl LI; expanded municipal investments in renewable energy and led the winning bid to host the World Petroleum Congress in 2020.

As the head of the energy capital of the world and the most diverse city in the nation, Mayor Turner has brought a performance-driven approach to the job, creating more responsive, streamlined and efficient delivery of city services while shoring up Houston's financial future. Thanks to his leadership, the Texas Legislature and local voters approved the pension reform package that reduces the city's liability by billions of dollars and provided a "fix" that had eluded the city for 17 years.

One of the mayor's signature initiatives is Complete Communities, which aims to improve the quality of life for residents in all neighborhoods. The mayor's other priorities include filling more than 90,000 potholes on city streets, implementing a six-point holistic plan for addressing homelessness, reducing flooding and improving drainage.

Mayor Turner's civic leadership has been nationally recognized through his service as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Standing Committee, vice chair of the National Climate Action Agenda, member of the C40 and Global Covenant for Mayor's for Climate and Energy and an advisory board member of the African American Mayors Association. He is also the recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government's highest honor. Turner has been featured in publications and news outlets such as 60 Minutes, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, Cuba Today Magazine, Ebony, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today.

Prior to his election as mayor, Turner served for 27 years in the Texas House as the representative for District 139. He worked on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and served as Speaker Pro Tem for three terms. He was appointed to several Budget Conference Committees to help balance the state's budget and served on the Legislative Budget Board.

Mayor Turner is a life-long resident of Houston and lives in the Acres Homes community where he grew up with eight siblings. He is a graduate of the University of Houston and earned a law degree from Harvard University. He began his law practice at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and later founded the Barnes & Turner Law Firm.

Mayor Turner is the proud father of First Daughter Ashley Turner, who is continuing the family tradition of public service in the higher education field.

Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members are entitled to one (1) free ticket per paid member. Visitors and guests must purchase a ticket at $50. All credit cards and PayPal accepted. Valet parking included.

RSVP: TBD

Mayor Sylvester Turner

Mayor Sylvester Turner

Free Enterprise Camp - Think Tank 2021

Free Enterprise Camp - Think Tank 2021

February 2021

Free Enterprise Camp - Think Tank 2021


For two consecutive Fridays, Think Tank 2020 hosts a scholarship competition for current high school sophomores or juniors. These young leaders will participate in a business plan competition, be mentored and compete for prize money. 

Ten high schools have submitted business plans that have survived the scrutiny of the judges. They've been invited to present those business plans to an audience and judges. 

The top three will be presented by our club with cash awards totaling $6,000 provided through the generosity of our members. The presentation will restore your faith in the youth of America. 

If you have any questions or would like to participate as a mentor, judge, or audience member, reach out to Larry Smith at ljsmith.sfs@gmail.com.

February 2021 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Downtown Rotary Go Texan Luncheon Salutes the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with Brady Carruth, HLSR Chairman


Come and enjoy our annual Rodeo Houston Go Texan luncheon. Dress is "Go Texan," so wear your boots and hat.

This is a very popular event, so RSVP early!

Reserved tables are available to purchase. Please contact David Hale dhale1901@comcast.net.

  • COVID-19 Health Guidelines:
  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
  • 50% capacity will be enforced.
  • Documentation will be taken of the meeting.

ABOUT Brady Carruth

Brady Carruth has deep ties to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. His father, Allen H. "Buddy" Carruth, was a Rodeo president and served as chairman of the board from 1979 to 1981. His mother, Ethel Carruth, was a past chairman and passionate supporter of the Rodeo's School Art Committee.

Carruth first became a member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1970. He joined the Lamb Auction Committee in 1982, working his way through the volunteer ranks to become chairman of the committee in 1996.

In 1998, he was elected a Rodeo vice president, serving as officer in charge of the Ladies' Go Texan, Ladies' Season Box, School Art, Special Children's and Western Art committees. Carruth has been a member of the Rodeo's Executive Committee since 2013 and began his tenure as Chairman of the Board in 2020.

"It is truly an honor to be named as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo chairman of the board," said Carruth. "The Rodeo has a powerful impact on Texas students, and I look forward to working with the volunteers and staff to continue the success of this great organization."

Carruth currently serves as the president of Gulf Coast Capital Corp. and is heavily involved with several Houston-area organizations. He and his wife, Zane, live in Houston.

Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members are entitled to one (1) free ticket per paid membership. Visitors and guests must purchase a ticket at $50. All credit cards and PayPal accepted.

RSVP: TBD


Brady Carruth, HLSR Chairman

Brady Carruth, HLSR Chairman

Rev. Dr. Bill Lawson

Rev. Dr. Bill Lawson

January 2021 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Martin Luther King Day with Rev. Dr. Bill Lawson and Vocalist Christina Wells


Dr. Bill Lawson

Join us in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at our monthly luncheon. We will be honored to hear from Rev. Dr. Bill Lawson. Special musical numbers performed by American's Got Talent Finalist Christina Wells.

  • COVID-19 Health Guidelines:
  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
  • 50% capacity will be enforced.
  • Documentation will be taken of the meeting.

ABOUT Rev. Dr. Bill Lawson

William A. Lawson is Pastor Emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.

He retired in 2004. Lawson was born in St. Louis, Mo., and reared by Walter and Clarisse Lawson Cade in Kansas City, Kansas, where he graduated from Sumner High School (1946). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Tennessee A. & I. State University in Nashville (1950). He returned to Kansas City to attend Central Baptist Theological Seminary, which conferred upon Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees.

While in seminary, he married Audrey Hoffman Lawson of St. Louis. The Lawsons have four children, two grandchildren, and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in January of 2015.

He came to Houston after graduation from seminary to serve as director of the Baptist Student Union and Professor of Bible at the new (eight years old) Texas Southern University. He served in that position for ten years, also becoming director of Upward Bound, a pre-college program for high school students on the TSU campus. During his years at TSU, a number of residents of the neighborhood persuaded the Lawson's to establish a church near the university. Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church was established in their home in June1962. The congregation has grown to over 12,000 members, with many outreach programs, and is much respected in the community. Since the church was born and lived its infant years during the Civil Rights Movement, Lawson has been deeply involved in advocacy activities for African Americans, for Hispanics, for women, and for the poor.

In 1996, his 50th anniversary of being a minister, the Houston community honored him with the creation of a non-profit advocacy agency called WALIPP, the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity. That agency has gone before public officials and bodies on behalf of the underclass, and now has established two single-gender charter schools for boys and girls. WALIPP has also constructed 50 units of apartments for seniors in Houston's Third Ward.

Finally, the agency is pulling together community development groups, churches, civic clubs, and local governments to redevelop the Third Ward so that aggressive real estate development will not expel all who need affordable housing. He has received honorary doctorates from Howard Payne College in Brownwood, the University of Houston, and Texas Southern University in Houston. He is the author of a book of meditations called Lawson's Leaves of Love. Lawson always works in close partnership with wife Audrey, who worked with the Baptist Student Union at TSU, with the church for his 42-year tenure there, and now with WALIPP. Rev. Lawson will celebrate his 86th birthday in June of 2014.

Lawson retired from Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in 2004, but remains its Founding Pastor Emeritus.

Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members are entitled to one (1) free ticket per paid membership. Visitors and guests must purchase a ticket at $50. All credit cards and PayPal accepted.

RSVP: TBD

June 2021 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Downtown Rotary Installation and Awards Luncheon


Join us as we celebrate another year of the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston as we say thank you to outgoing officers and board members, and install new club leadership. Awards will also be handed out to our outstanding members.

Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members are entitled to one (1) free ticket per paid member. Visitors and guests must purchase a ticket at $50. All credit cards and PayPal accepted. Valet parking included.

RSVP: TBD

Downtown Rotary Installation and Awards Ceremony 2020

Downtown Rotary Installation and Awards Ceremony 2020

Lauren McGough

Lauren McGough

March 2021 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lauren McGough "Hunting with Eagles in the Mongolian Steppe"


Join us for our monthly luncheon with special guest speaker Lauren McGough, a falconer who flies and hunts with eagles in Mongolia, the United States and South Africa. She is the main figure in the 60 minute documentary  "Hunting with Eagles in the Mongolian Steppe." 

COVID-19 Health Guidelines:

  • All attendees must wear a mask.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
  • 50% capacity will be enforced.
  • Documentation will be taken of the meeting.
  • About Lauren McGough 

Lauren McGough has been a licensed and practicing falconer since age 14, and has been particularly enamored with golden eagles as hunting partners - a unique branch of falconry that has only a handful of practitioners in the United States. After spending nearly two years as an exchange student in the United Kingdom and learning the strong European tradition of eagle falconry, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with dual degrees in Zoology and International Studies.

In 2009, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Mongolia, where she apprenticed herself to local eagle masters and trained eagles for hunting foxes off of horseback. She loved Kazakh eagle culture so much, that she earned a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland on the subject. 

Most of all, Lauren has enjoyed bringing the eagle training techniques she's learned abroad back to her home country, where she teaches golden eagles in need of rehabilitation how to hunt on the great plains. The last two years she has also been using this technique to rehabilitate eagles in South Africa. Loving flight in all its forms, Lauren is an avid skydiver and is currently pursuing her private pilot's certificate.

 Downtown Rotary Club of Houston members are entitled to one (1) free ticket per paid member. Visitors and guests must purchase a ticket at $50. All credit cards and PayPal accepted. Valet parking included. 

RSVP: TBD

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