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Arbor Day Tree Planting

Featured Article

50 Years of Service

Neighbors Helping Neighbors In Our Community — and Beyond

Article by Jennifer Edwards

Photography by Boerne Noon Rotary Club

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

The people of Kendall County are amazingly generous and caring, and one of the best examples is the Boerne Noon Rotary Club which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! They have an amazing history in our community — yearly service projects, responding quickly to help during times of crisis, and participating in programs that assist people in need around the world.  

The organization began in Boerne in January 1973 with 20 members united by the vision to make lasting change in their neighborhood, across the globe, and within themselves. Since then, the Boerne club has spun off two other Rotary organizations — the Sunrise Rotary and Fair Oaks Rotary — while enjoying the fellowship of almost 50 members themselves.

Joe Anzollitto, the incoming President, and Susie Smith, Vice President and longtime member of the organization, sat down with us to share the numerous, valuable ways the Noon Rotary Club has served our community for the past 50 years and how they plan to continue that tradition for at least the next 50 as well.

A large portion of their efforts focuses on youth in our community, Joe and Susie say. They contribute supplies for the “Blessings in a Backpack” program that provides food to children on the weekends. The Early Act/First Knight program furnishes a character curriculum to local elementary schools, instilling the qualities of honesty, care, and compassion in area children while incentivizing them to demonstrate these skills daily.

Every year, Santa makes a visit to the Rotary’s annual Christmas breakfast, bringing gifts to kids in our community. They provide access to leadership conference opportunities, exchange student sponsorship opportunities, and college scholarships to graduating seniors. And recently, they became the new sponsor of Boy Scout Troop and Pack 102.

But people of all ages benefit from the Rotarians’ work. They raise money to purchase fans in the summer and heaters in the winter for the elderly. They work hard to benefit the community by caring for community outdoor spaces. At Boerne Lake, they planted trees and built a boat ramp along, and they installed the fishing dock at Joshua Springs Park and Preserve. Their annual Arbor Day celebration in conjunction with Burkett Arbor Care and the City of Boerne has planted over 200 trees in the last seven years.  

Susie and Joe like to point out that one of the Rotary’s first projects was providing the first Jaws of Life equipment to Kendall County EMS in 1972. And since then, they have continued their service through projects like providing a refrigerator for Hill Country Family Services that allows them to keep vital medicines cold. Their longest single project — from 2003 to 2005 — raised funds to help build the building for Hill Country Mission for Health.  

Local commerce benefits from the organization’s work as well, such as when they raise and lower flags for businesses on Main Street on holidays, and when they organized the Boerne Strong campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic by raising funds to assist impacted businesses and their employees. These are just a few reasons the Noon Rotary was awarded the title “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” in 2021 by the Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce.

They are a vibrant organization full of giving individuals that meet every Friday at noon at The Kronkosky Center. Of course, they also make time for fun and fellowship with social gatherings like holiday parties and wine tours.

Everyone is invited to meet them at the 50th-anniversary celebration Chamber mixer on June 8th. See our Events section for details. 

Fast Facts

Humble Beginnings
Founded in January 1973 with 20 members. Now, almost 50 members and two spin-off clubs.

A Greener Community 
Arbor Day celebration has planted over 200 trees since 2017.

Focus on the Future
“Blessings in a Backpack” program helps care for hundreds of local children and keep them well-fed.

Supporting Local Businesses
Named 2021 “Nonprofit Organization of the Year” by the Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce.

2023 Leaders

Ruben Cardenas, Jr., Joe Anzollitto, Chris Taylor, Ken Stickney, Rick Swinghamer, Jack Estes

Christina Bergmann, John Peterson, Susie Smith

  • Arbor Day Tree Planting
  • Preparing Santa Breakfast
  • 2023 Leaders