Member Spotlight
Member Spotlights
Mickey Rouse is a member of the Spindletop Club in Beaumont and is a first generation Rotarian.  Mickey joined the West Beaumont Rotary Club in 1984, under the sponsorship of late Bill Hickman.
Mickey had great respect for the presidents of both of the companies at which he had worked and both of these gentlemen were Rotarians.  Being in Rortary was something that Mickey wanted to be a part of as well.  He thought it would be good way to meet potential clients since he was just starting his accounting practice.
During his thirty-six (36) years as a Rotarian, he has been Club Treasurer, served on the board of directors several times, and been involved with the annual Soap Box Derby Committee Several terms on the board of directors, 17 years on the Soap Box committee, as well as one year as the Soap Box Derby race director. He has been involved in numerous community projects and feels that he has made valuable professional relationships and many invaluable personal friendships which for him and hundreds of thousands of other Rotarians, is irreplaceable.
Mickey says “As I began to make lunch on Tuesday at the Ramada Inn a part of my routine, I also began to make friends with people who were more or less like me- or in some cases not like me, and maybe more interesting.”
It actually took about ten years before he began developing clientele through Rotary, but in the meantime, he feels he got a lot more than expected. He feels that the weekly programs have always been top-notch. For example, Irwin Mingle from Port Arthur was leading a group to have the West Beaumont area established as a home port for the USS Wisconsin. Mingle made a presentation to West Beaumont detailing the economic benefits of having several thousand sailors stationed in the area plus the thousands of shore support crew and administrative jobs. The home port was never realized but it was eye opening to hear the reasons why from a leading citizen trying hard to make it happen. Soon thereafter another program outlined similar efforts and reasons why Boeing Aircraft should open a large maintenance facility at Jefferson County airport. That didn’t happen either, but Mickey began to soon grasp that Rotary was where people that really made things happen could be found, both in the membership and on the programs. The programs provided the speaker’s side of the story which was  presented, unfiltered and unedited by time or space considerations imposed by local media, and members could ask questions and visit with the speaker to know more.
The All-American Soapbox Derby is a highlight for Mickey as well as the Spindletop Club.  It was established as a signature club project by the late Jack Hauser.  The project fully engages the membership and has an impact on the community. After its first running in 2002, it quickly attracted sponsors, drivers and involved Rotarians to become the largest Derby in the nation west of the Mississippi. In the 18 years of derby competition, over 1000 kids raced down the Maury Meyers Bridge, with several hundred thousand dollars raised to fund scholarships and family travel to Akron representing the Spindletop club and Southeast Texas in the world championships.
Mickey and his wife decided to travel for a while and left Beaumont in 2000, but when they returned in 2004 Mickey immediately renewed his association with Rotary and found that his former Club had merged with the South Park to become Spindletop Rotary of Beaumont. Old faces and new faces combined to create a newly invigorated club. Mickey returned to a robust Club with a renewed spirit of involvement with the community.
Mickey writes, “Rotary has been a huge part of my life for over 35 years.  I am proud that the international scope of Rotary has allowed it to do truly great things, but I am most proud that our club does great things in our community by people I share a weekly lunch with.  At age 73 I am not too old to still have heroes. These people are my heroes.”