Rockwall Area Chamber features non-profit Community Champions at monthly luncheon

Rockwall Area Chamber features non-profit Community Champions at monthly luncheon

Rockwall, TX (March 22, 2024) – Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Community Champions, eight local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, to the March Chamber membership luncheon.  Sharing their mission, passion projects, and little-known facts, those in attendance saw firsthand how these wonderful organizations contribute to the betterment of Rockwall County and surrounding areas.

Showcasing their organizations serving a wide range of ages, genders, and purposes, representatives detailed not only the challenges that many in our community face, but the need for volunteer and financial support to meet the increasing needs of a growing population. With that growth and increased need, the Rockwall Area Chamber wanted to bring awareness of the many opportunities in which community members might serve others.

Rockwall is known to be community-oriented and philanthropic in nature. The organizations represented at the Chamber luncheon are a sample of the many devoted, charitable organizations in the Rockwall area. Many of these work in partnership with other local organizations, Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County, Meals on Wheels Senior Services, Helping Hands and Women in Need for example, as their missions meet a wide-range of individual needs. Community members who have a particular interest or need on their heart are likely to find an organization eagerly accepting volunteers and or financial donations.

Jenny Krueger, Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Texas

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Texas (Jenny Krueger, Chief Executive Officer)

Serving 350-500 young people in the Rockwall area, the Boys & Girls Club focuses their programming on a 3-pronged Formula for Impact.

  1. Academic Support
  2. Social, Emotional, and Mental Wellbeing
  3. Workforce Readiness

The Club helps young people move through challenges with targeted programs and enriching activities, while encouraging the children and youth to participate with regular attendance so they can reap the benefits.

Boys & Girls Clubs hosts a variety of events to support their mission and bring awareness to their programs. Community support through participation, volunteerism, and financial donations keeps the program on track to serve more young people each year.

To learn more about the youth development programs offered through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Texas and how you can help support their cause, visit their website

Douglas Barkley, East Trinity Masonic Lodge

East Trinity Masonic Lodge (Douglas Barkley)

Who are the Freemasons? While some may believe Freemasons are surrounded by conspiracy theories and hidden treasures, the truth is that just makes for good movies.

The original Freemasons were stone masons who created many European cathedrals. However, today there are 5 million Freemasons worldwide (2 million in the United States alone) all seeking to be “a group of good men trying to be better” by practicing the principles of faith, hope, and charity.

The goal – to build a better community – is sought through a focus on childhood causes. With 23 masonic hospitals in North America, including Texas Scottish Rite, children receive treatment for a wide range of health concerns despite their ability to pay.

East Trinity Masonic Lodge holds regular blood drives to directly support patients at Texas Scottish Rite, sponsor families for Christmas, and provide meals for those in need. The lodge also awards annual scholarships to Rockwall County students to support educational goals.

Visit the East Trinity Masonic Lodge website to learn more about their mission, special projects, and the upcoming scholarship golf tournament at

John Horoho, Texas Valor Project

Texas Valor Project (John Horoho)

Texas Valor Project is a volunteer organization, made up of Veterans and First Responders who want to help their fellow man or woman in need.

Founded in 2022, the Texas Valor Project seeks to serve those who served their country. The project, supporting Veterans and First Responders affected by Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), provides funding allowing those individuals to receive treatment programs at no cost to themselves.

Statistics show that 1.2 million veterans have been identified as having a TBI. While the Veterans Administration works hard there is more help that is needed. To date, the Texas Valor Project has raised $430,000 providing treatment for 45 veterans. More are waiting.

The community is encouraged to help the Texas Valor Project through volunteer efforts, financial donations, connections, and through participation in various events, such as the annual Clay Shoot. The Clay Shoot is held each September, and the current auction raises funds that go directly to support Veterans and First Responders seeking treatment.

Visit to learn about Texas Valor Project and how you can support veterans and first responders with traumatic brain injuries.

Mary Walker, Grace Clinic

Grace Clinic (Mary Walker, Executive Director)

Grace Clinic is a Christian nonprofit healthcare clinic that provides quality, affordable care to patients in and around Rockwall County, treating chronic diseases, acute illnesses, women’s health, mental health, pediatrics, and more.

Founded in 2013, the clinic originally only treated adults. Today, Grace Clinic sees patients throughout the county from 3 years of age and up. Furthermore, with 70% of their patients being economically disadvantaged the clinic offers a sliding scale for those in need.

While perhaps known for their need-based health care, Grace Clinic offers quality care to individuals, families, and businesses throughout Rockwall County with special membership plans that include office visits, physicals and more.

Another feature that sets Grace Clinic apart is their Christian foundation that combines spiritual wellness into their physical care. The small staff members and many more health care professional volunteers will often pray with their patients and help connect them to churches and Christian resources.

Visit Grace Clinic at to view programs, medical plans, volunteer needs, and ways to support their mission to provide quality, affordable primary care, health education, and family education.

Harold Young, JER Chilton YMCA

JER Chilton YMCA (Harold Young, District Executive Director)

Many are aware of the YMCA for its youth sports programs, swim lessons, and fitness programs. But what many do not know is that the YMCA is a nonprofit organization!

The YMCA mission is “to put Christian values into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all”. The “for all” is important as this means programs are available regardless of ability to pay, thereby offering scholarships to those in need.

To achieve the goal of building a strong, healthy community takes a wide range of programs from youth development to healthy living and social responsibility.

Putting their cause into action, the YMCA seeks to eliminate one of the leading causes of death in young children – drowning.  In 2023 alone, the Safety Around Water program taught 414 youth how to swim – at no charge! The Active Older Adults program seeks to empower and educate seniors through Lunch & Learns, special events, discounts, Thanksgiving food baskets, and more.

Perhaps one of the most fulfilling programs is Angel Camp, providing an 8-week, day camp experience to special needs young people who may not have the opportunity otherwise. This camp is provided to families at no charge – and is a dedicated program of JER Chilton YMCA.

Explore the programs offered by our local YMCA and learn how you can support the mission for a healthy mind, body, and spirit for all at

Gunnar Lederman, Rockwall Kiwanis Club

Kiwanis Club (Gunnar Ledermann)

The Kiwanis Club is a volunteer organization focused on children causes of health and nutrition, education and literacy, and youth leadership development.

The Rockwall Kiwanis Food for Kids program serves RISD students in need by providing food items over the weekend. Today, over 600 food bags are distributed to six campuses each month during the school year to provide those weekend meals.  With more children than ever in need, volunteers are important to the future of this program.

Angel League is a 9-week free baseball program offered each spring and fall. Angel League provides both T-ball and coach pitch baseball for ages 4-60 years! Uniforms and gloves are provided free of charge as well as a season-ending banquet complete with trophies, and team photos for each player.

Community-wide events hosted by Rockwall Kiwanis serve as fundraisers and fun! Rockwall Christmas parade is a long-held tradition. Held annually on the 1st Saturday in December, the parade kicks off the Christmas season with a day of downtown events. The Rockwall Triathlon held on the 1st Sunday in August each year also raises funds for the Kiwanis children’s programs.

To participate through volunteering your time or through financial support visit the Kiwanis website for more information and project details

Lauren Rowe, Lone Star CASA

Lone Star CASA (Lauren Rowe, Executive Director)

Founded in 1992 by community members who drove to Dallas working with Dallas CASA, the mission of Lone Star CASA is to serve children and families in crisis. The goal is to see children return to a safe, healthy family with their parents but in some cases with other family members.

Children served by Lone Star CASA are found right here in the community. Although Rockwall is a safe community there are children facing abuse and neglect each day. It is so important that we have volunteers to help and serve those children when their circumstances come to light. When children experience trauma and abuse, Lone Star CASA steps in to serve as the child’s advocate. In court hearings, each party has a representative – the State, the parent, and the child – Lone Star CASA serves as that child’s representative.

Last year, Lone Star CASA’s 121 active volunteers served 203 children over 161 cases of abuse or neglect, finding 78 children permanent homes in which to thrive.

You can support Lone Star CASA with as little as $10 a month, which can make a surprising difference. You can also volunteer your time to make a difference in the life of a child. Visit for more information and to learn about upcoming events for Child Abuse Prevention month.

Sherri Fite, Soroptimist Club

Soroptimist of Rockwall (Sherry Fite)

Rockwall Soroptimist Club began in 1984 – 40 years ago – with a mission to serve women, helping them become the best they can be. A global volunteer organization, Soroptimist Clubs have a consulate status in the United Nations.

To assist women, of all ages Rockwall Soroptimist has several key projects. They offer small business loans to women pursuing their own businesses. For women who have struggled to get out of a difficult situation, the Soroptimist Live Your Dream program offers up to $17,000 in scholarships and grants allowing them to move forward to a better future.

Locally, Rockwall Soroptimist is pleased to have partnered with the Children’s Advocacy Center providing a house to the CAC as a foundation project. The Soroptimists also provide scholarships to local high school female students, host parties at Manor House for retired senior citizens, and provide basic needs and supplies to the pregnancy center.

Soroptimist fund their projects through several annual events including their upcoming Bunco night and Black and White Casino Night.  Learn more about the Soroptimist Club and how you can be involved in their mission on their website

BRN Media Staff Report. Photos by BRN Media.