Rotary Club of
Downtown Franklin



The Downtown Franklin Rotary Club is committed to the needs of our local community. We are constantly taking on special projects to help immediate needs. We make an ongoing, long-term commitment to fighting World Polio and locally supporting My Friend’s House.



We are proud of our Club’s record of service. In just a short time over the past three years alone, our Club has donated more than $200,000 and countless volunteer hours to service projects. Join us!


We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—

The Heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a King—

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

A Word from our President

To my Rotarian Friends and Family—

Even though Emily Dickinson is not one of my favorite poets, I find much inspiration from her words here.  In short, Dickinson is referring to everyone’s potential for greatness, and how we do not truly know its depth until we are asked to do our best. Unfortunately (in the second stanza), she also indicates that we diminish our own goals, our own potential success, by the fear of being smaller, or weaker, than what we truly are. As Rotarians, we are asked to “rise” daily, and as your President, I am honored to rise with you, to grow with you, to continue to strengthen our community, and as Dickinson would have liked, for you all to be “Kings”—to become the best version of yourself.

I, like most of you, fell in love with the town of Franklin quickly. In early June of 2011 I came to Franklin to interview at Battle Ground Academy for a teaching position, and I distinctly remember getting a tour of “Downtown Franklin” before heading to campus. Between 1st and 5th avenue I knew this was the place I wanted to live, to continue my career as an educator, and serve my community. There is an energy Franklin possesses, an energy we all can admit we don’t find just anywhere.  And as proud as I am of all the articles written on behalf of Franklin—praising its history, culture, and “livability,” how we have a perfect blend of modern and historic sites, and how we are nationally recognized as having a “Great American Main Street,” I know you will agree that it is the people who live here that foster such energies.

 I am humbled to be your President throughout this Rotarian year, and I hope you know how grateful I am to serve alongside you. I will never find the right words to express my immense love for this town, for you all, or for Rotary International, and I can only hope my actions will speak louder than anything I can say here. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to move this club in a direction that will provide service to others and foster fellowship throughout the entirety of our wonderful town. I only ask that you try to step out of your comfort zone this year, do things you have never done before, and strive to be the best version of yourself.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes and hope you will continue to “shine your light” as Rotarians.

Patrick Shairs

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”         

                                                                                    —Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love


Sunday, November 1, 2020
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Downtown Franklin Rotary Club (DFRC) has become known for its annual Jockeys & Juleps Kentucky Derby Party held annually at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the club was forced to be creative in still using the Kentucky Derby to drive a fundraiser.

Thanks to a sponsorship from Raymond James, the club was able to create and sell 100 special Jockeys & Juleps Party Packs. The packs, sold for $150 each, included either a collectible bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon or three bottles of wine (provided by Moon Wine & Spirits), special Derby party food (prepared by Catering & Events by Suzette), two official commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses and other goodies.
“Like every other organization that raises funds for local charities, 2020 has not been a good year,” said Club President Patrick Shairs. “We were in full preparation for the best Derby party ever when COVID-19 put a halt to all large events. While we won’t raise near the same amount through our Derby party packs, it does bring in some much-needed dollars that we can put back into the community, while also keeping the Downtown Franklin Rotary Club synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. We plan to be back with our party at Harlinsdale even bigger and better next year!”

Through the Jockeys & Juleps Party Packs and the support of Raymond James, the club has raised approximately $7,000 for its foundation. Additionally, Renasant Bank, Peggy Kingsbury/Kingsbury Mortgage, Inc. and Tony and Lynne McAlister contributed to Jockeys & Juleps, bringing the total raised to more than $11,000. These funds will be appropriated by the club to local charities.

“Non-profits in Franklin have also had their fundraising activities curtailed at a time when the need in the community has never been bigger,” said Shairs. “We hope that we can use these funds to help fill the gap.”

Chartered in May 2017, the DFRC was named District 6760 Large Club of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club met at the Williamson County Enrichment Center on the first and third Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. The club continues to meet via Zoom and in small gatherings. The club now has nearly 150 members dedicated to service both locally and internationally. More information can be found at or on the club’s Facebook page.


Club Events

There are no events at this time.