For more than four decades, Wylie ISD has honored senior citizens in the form of the Gold Card Club as a way of giving something back to residents who have supported the district, its teachers and students throughout the years.
“One of the District’s core values is Gratitude and Celebration,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Vinson. “We are honored to provide this program which shows our gratitude to this vital segment of our community while at the same allows them to join in celebrating our students. We hope all Wylie seniors will take advantage of this program.”
The program involves residents age 65 and older to complete a brief application form in the District’s Community Relations Office. The cost is free and the card is good for a lifetime. Members enjoy free general admission to all Wylie ISD home athletic events. This is a huge benefit especially for those who are living on fixed incomes.
“I still enjoy high school football but gate fees are costing $5 or more per game,” stated Jerrell Clemmons, long-time football fan and Wylie resident. “My card is accepted everywhere I go, except for maybe Jerry’s World (AT&T Stadium).”
In the 1990s, the club was expanded to included retired WISD teachers in appreciation of their years of service to children and schools. Moreover, many of them have adult children who have settled in Wylie and have children attending Wylie schools.
“My wife and I have nearly worn our cards out chasing our grandkids around to all their sporting events,” added Wayne Benton. “It’s convenient to pull out our gold cards rather than keeping up with purchasing tickets and it saves us money.”
Another feature added in the last ten years was discounted admission to fine art events. With three junior highs and two high schools, the opportunities to watch student performances including concerts, plays, musicals or dance shows have increased.
Julie Pannell, Recreation Guest Service Specialist for the Wylie Senior Recreation Center, began adding some of Wylie ISD’s Fine Art performances to the center’s activity calendar. She also works closely with the school district’s community relations staff in insuring her guests are members in the Gold Card Club.
“The senior citizens in our community are the heart of Wylie. We love giving them a chance to be a part of the Gold Card Program as it gives them access to music and the plays they love,” added Ms. Pannell. “In addition, the program allows them to have access to the local athletic teams and to show their pride and spirit for Wylie!”
Wylie ISD couldn’t agree more. That is why it is planning to resurrect another tradition once associated with the Gold Card Club…a catered appreciation luncheon for members.
“When the program first started, one of the highlights of a school year for Gold Card members was an annual spring luncheon hosted by the district in their honor,” shared Betty Stephens, retired Wylie ISD Director of Public Relations. “We held it a school campus and had it catered by the student nutrition office. It was well-attended that featured a delicious seated meal, door prizes and entertainment provided by students.”
Residents interested in the Gold Card Program may apply at the District’s Community Relations/Communications Department located at 951 S. Ballard Street Wylie Texas. Contact Diane Neel at 972-429-3012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The District also encourages current members to update their contact information so they may receive information about upcoming events.