Rotary Club of Weatherford, Texas
Serving Since 1921
Weatherford Rotary
We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Allene Strain Community Room in Weatherford College's Doss Student Center
225 College Park Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086
United States of America
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 12:00pm
Upcoming Programs
Scholarship Luncheon
Apr 16, 2024 12:00 PM
Location Change- Emerging Technology Building 3rd Floor
Parker County Sheriff's Posse
May 07, 2024 12:00 PM
Upcoming Rodeo
Upcoming Events
Weatherford Rotary
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. We invite you to visit our local branch of Rotary International here in Weatherford, Texas on Tuesdays at Noon.
Rotary News




Paul Alexander, a 78-year-old man from Texas, USA, who spent most of his life in an iron lung, died on 11 March. Alexander contracted polio in 1952, when he was just 6 years old. The disease paralyzed him from the neck down so he couldn’t breathe on his own. He earned a law degree, passed the bar exam, and practiced law in Dallas for a time. He was also briefly a member of a Rotary e-club. 

The following is a story we reported in 2015.

One might think a man living with polio in an iron lung would know about Rotary. But it wasn't until Paul Alexander had a business meeting with a member in Duncanville, Texas, earlier this year that he learned Rotary fights to eradicate the very disease that left him almost completely paralyzed.

"I was completely blown away by the idea. For all these years, I didn't know the work they were doing," says Alexander, a practicing attorney in Dallas. "It's such a perfect fit for me."

Alexander contracted polio during a major U.S. outbreak of the disease in the late 1950s when he was six years old, and almost died in the hospital before a doctor noticed he wasn't breathing and rushed him into an iron lung, an airtight metal tank that encloses all of the body except the head and uses regulated changes in air pressure to force the lungs to inhale and exhale. Alexander is among a small number of people in the world today still using an iron lung to assist his paralytic polio. The need for the 800-pound machines declined dramatically after the polio vaccine became widely available in the early 1960s.

In October, Alexander became a member of the Rotary E-Club of District 5810 during an induction ceremony held in his home, attended by Rotary's President Gary C.K. Huang through an online connection. Alexander is writing a book about his experience and wants to be an ambassador for Rotary promoting the benefits of eradicating polio.

Freed from the lung

For 10 years, Alexander never left the device or his house. But then he had a breakthrough, teaching himself to breathe on his own by forcing air into his lungs. That allowed him to get around in a wheelchair for up to eight hours.

"The first day I was outside the house was extraordinary. It was a 100 percent improvement," he recalls.

Determined to go to college, he moved onto campus and with the help of a nursing assistant attended classes, earning a degree from the University of Texas. He eventually went on to earn a law degree, passed the bar, and practices civil and criminal law.

He has a computer keyboard and a touchtone phone by his head which he can manipulate with a plastic stick held in his mouth. When he goes to court for a case, he has assistants who help him. He's traveled farther from his home on rare occasions. The iron lung, which has wheels, is shipped to meet him at his destination.

Long lost connection to Rotary 

His father was president of a Dallas Rotary club in the 1960s, but Alexander says he doesn't remember it. His introduction to Rotary began when he met Duncanville member Alexander Peralta. Peralta told the Rotary District 5810 governor, Bill Dendy, who immediately decided Alexander would be the perfect subject of a video his wife was making on polio eradication. Alexander agreed, and a film crew from the district's e-club came out to shoot the interview.

"I visited him weekly after that," Dendy says. "One day, I said to him, 'Paul, you could be a contributing member of Rotary.' He asked me how that would be possible. And I told him with an e-club, which meets online, it would be very possible."

Since joining Rotary, he's become a popular speaker in the Dallas Rotary community. He's already addressed two large gatherings and is scheduled to speak at the next district conference. The Waxahachie Rotary Club, which builds wheelchair ramps as a project, built him a new one when they heard he transports his iron lung to the hospital or for longer trips.

"It means so much to me to belong to this organization," Alexander said during a phone call to his home recently. "I'm having a great time and staying awake at night thinking of ideas. So many people have come into my life. I never knew there were so many caring people out there."

— March 2024

The Rotary Club of Weatherford donated $500 to the Texas Pythian Home during Pythian Home Week to help continue their work with local children in this community.  Opening on March 1, 1909, the Texas Pythian Home became a home for widows and orphans of Knights of Pythias members. The Pythians made the decision to build the home in Weatherford, Texas, due to the 300 acres of land given, as well  as the support of the community. The  Pythian Home was designated an independent school district on  August 1, 1910, continuing until 1972. In 1937, the last high school graduating class walked across the Pythian auditorium stage. The  decision was then made to send 6-12 grade to WISD and 1-5 grades continued to have classes at the Pythian Home until 1972. Now, the “Castle on the Hill” is a home for local children who need a safe place to stay. The Pythian principles of friendship, charity, and benevolence continue to be the driving force behind the organization that supports the home.  Go to for more information about this local landmark. 
Rotarians came out in full force last Thursday to serve Christmas dinner to 147 seniors at the Senior Center. It was a festive celebration for the seniors and a great way for us to serve in the community.
"It was an awesome turnout by our club," President Beau Rees exclaimed. " It was so gratifying to have such a large number of club members serving our senior citizens Christmas dinner on fine china while wearing pancake supper aprons! We really lived out our motto, 'Service above self.'"
Photo courtesy of Senior Center 
Photo courtesy of Senior Center
Photo courtesy of Senior Center
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