Rotary is not just for adults; making a difference in the lives of many
The Interact club’s final meeting of the year was a celebration of their accomplishments. Representatives from the Rotary Club of Castle Pines joined the students and their faculty sponsor, along with representatives from two organizations which benefited from the money raised by the club.
The Interact club at Rocky Heights Middle School worked on several community service projects this year. Their final project yielded 375 pairs of socks to be distributed to the homeless throughout the Denver area.
By Amy Shanahan; photos courtesy of Renee Palmer
Four years ago, members of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines reached out to students at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) to form a student-run branch of the Rotary club. Known as the Interact club, it has since grown into a wonderful club for students who wish to build their leadership skills while working to benefit both the local and global community.
RHMS counselor Kate Egan has worked with the club since its inception and is supported greatly by Renee Palmer and Gary Bartmann from the Rotary Club of Castle Pines. The club is self governed and all decisions about the club are made by the student members.
An important tenet of the club is service to the community. This year the club raised a great deal of money by selling concessions at many school functions and numerous organizations benefited from their hard work and generosity. At the final meeting of the year, the club was pleased to present a $1000 check to David Addor for Shelter Box, an organization that provides shelters which may be erected in areas that have been affected by natural disasters like the recent earthquakes in Nepal. The club also presented a $500 check to David Talbot with Crutches4Africa, which provides crutches, wheelchairs, soccer balls, and clothing to those in need throughout Africa. Lastly, the club collected 375 pairs of socks to donate to the Sock It To ‘Em Campaign, providing socks to the homeless throughout the Denver area.
The Interact members also surprised their faculty sponsor Kate Egan with a special Rotary award. Egan was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for her many contributions to the club and to the Rotary organization. Castle Pines resident and Interact club member Madison Tran enjoyed her experience in the Interact club and is looking forward to continuing with the club in high school. “I liked making a difference and helping out others,” Tran remarked.
Sue Lee, founder of the Sock It To ‘Em Campaign was thrilled to be a beneficiary of the club’s efforts. “These leaders of tomorrow, chose the Sock It To ‘Em Campaign as their local project and on their own initiated, planned, orchestrated, and completed a sock drive for the homeless. We should be so very proud of them. They demonstrated skills of perseverance, leadership, collaboration, and cooperation – and their success paid off. Thank you to the Interact club of Rocky Heights Middle School!” stated Lee.