2012 MAU Rotary Interact
February 1, 2012
The first Rotary Interact Club was established in 1962. Twenty-three students at Melbourne High School in Melbourne Florida formed a club with the sponsorship of their local Rotary Club. As of October, 2011, there were 13,732 Interact Clubs with 315,836 members.
The local Bennington Rotary Interact Club was formed in 1993 by Sal Sarcantangelo and Jim Ross working with Tony Krulikowski, who was then principal of the school. The following year, Dan Lucy became the club's high school advisor and has been its advisor ever since.
The club currently has 45 members and is active volunteering to help different organizations in the community with various projects.
The club is sponsored by the Bennington Rotary Club and the Catamount Rotary Club.
In 1999, the Bennington Rotary Club, on behalf of the Interact Club, wrote a proposal to the Rotary Foundation and received a $25,000 Children's Opportunities Grant for RIMS, the Rotary Interact Mentoring Service in which fifteen Interact students volunteered to be mentors to children from two local elementary
schools who were high risk children. The grant, which funded the program for a year, paid for a coordinator's position and covered the cost of activities, supplies and training. After the grant was over the program continued for an additional year with the Interact co-chairs taking it over with support from a committee made up of members from the Bennington and Catamount Clubs. That is one example of the work of the Interact Club.
For many years now, club members have been going to Somotillo, Bennington's sister city in Nicaragua, during the February vacation. They bring supplies of various kinds and do different types of work in the community. This has not only been helpful to the children and the community but had a profound affect on the Interact students themselves as they described their experiences to the Rotary clubs.
In their red shirts the Interact students can be seen helping out at many local activities from Winter Fest to May Fest, from bell ringing to the Spaghetti Supper. These are young people who have learned the meaning of Service Above Self.
Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)
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