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Men’s social hour

Breakfast club a time for food, fellowship

Created date

June 23rd, 2014
men's breakfast club hanging out

Every other Friday morning, red-shirted men flock to the Cotton Belt Café at Springs. It’s the Men’s Breakfast Club, one of the longest running clubs at the North Dallas Erickson Living community.

“The men’s breakfast group formed shortly after Highland Springs opened in 2006,” says Herb Hoxie, the club’s current leader. “It gives the men of the community an opportunity to get together regularly for food and fellowship.”

Hot breakfast, a cup of joe

The club’s official start time is 8 a.m., although men begin to trickle into the café as early as 7:30 to pick up their hot breakfast and cup of coffee.

“It’s a good time to get together with the guys,” says Olin Atkinson. A retired production manager for Mobil Oil, Olin started coming to the Men’s Breakfast Club shortly after he moved to Highland Springs with his wife Mary in 2009. 

The idea for wearing red shirts came about because many members of the Men’s Breakfast Club are veterans. Red Shirt Friday is a movement dedicated to honoring service men and women by wearing red on Fridays.

“I’m not a veteran, but I wear red to honor those who are,” says Olin.

Swapping stories

After breakfast, the men gather for an informal program, beginning with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. And, in the spirit of manly bonding, a few (mostly) clean jokes follow.

The program, a short presentation by a resident or staff member, rounds out the morning.

“The diversity and backgrounds of our club members is key when it comes to planning the programs,” says Herb, who selects the speakers. “Their vocations or their avocations provide ample material to fill our schedule.”

John Hodge, who moved to Highland Springs in 2010, spoke to the club about the six years he spent in Saudi Arabia working as a geophysicist for ExxonMobil.

“I shared about the culture and Saudi relations with Americans at that time,” says John. “The Men’s Breakfast Club allows us to get to know each other, where we’ve come from, and discuss various perspectives.”

Secret to success

“The Men’s Breakfast Club is successful because it encourages residents to tell their stories,” says Barbara Blachly, community resources coordinator at Highland Springs. “We have other offerings for men, including horseshoes, the putting green, and the woodshop, but the Men’s Breakfast Club provides a unique opportunity for the men on campus to share a meal and swap stories.”

As for the women of Highland Springs, their invite to the Men’s Breakfast Club comes only once a year, to the meeting that falls closest to Valentine’s Day.

“I don’t think my wife minds that I go off with the guys twice a month,” says Olin. “She knows how much I enjoy it.”