By David Taylor
For more than a decade, the Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club has focused their fundraising efforts with the annual Million Dollar Chili Feast on scholarships for Galena Park High School seniors. Last Thursday, the area leaders continued that tradition with feisty bidding amidst a great deal of fun as the money flowed for GP’s finest.
“Everything that we raise is devoted specifically to the scholarships,” said GP/JC Rotary Club president Julien Guillory.
The timing for the chili feast is perfect during the fall season.
“Sometimes it works out it’s cold and others it isn’t, but the Rotarians and guests still open their wallets to give,” Guillory said.
The club president said they average between 16-20 scholarships every year.
“We try to raise more money with additional fundraisers that go to the scholarships as well,” he said.
Most scholarships, he said, average in the $1,000 range but not always.
“There are different types of scholarship so each one is different. We have scholarships specifically for the culinary arts program, some that are specific to Rotarians honoring members, and others depending on the money we raised through the year,” Guillory said. Some scholarships could be as much as $2,500.
Students can apply for the scholarships through their counselor who then submits the applications to the GP/JC Rotary club. Students are selected based on certain criteria.
Guillory began in Rotary in the early 2000s and took a slight hiatus when he became an educator.
“This is my second year as president for the Rotary,” which is a rare feat.
The club came through the pandemic and is growing.
“We add new members to the club each year. We are now in the Top 4 percent of the fastest growing clubs in Rotary International,” he said.
The club has in-person and virtual meetings the dates of which can be found on their website at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/3929.
“Keep supporting Galena Park Jacinto City Rotary and if you want to be a member, just let us know,” Guillory said.
The club will present the scholarships to the students during their April meetings.
“That way we can get those out to them as soon as we can so the kids have the money to use for the following academic year,” he said.