Club Only Validates Interact Directives

Service Club Adapts Method and Mission During Pandemic

Interact+Meeting+ZOOM+Style+2021

Interact Meeting ZOOM Style 2021

Every year at West G food drives and fundraisers are held. The people who run many of these programs are a part of the Interact club. 

Interact is the student extension of Rotary International, which is self-described as, “Where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change.” They do extraordinary work with helping underprivileged countries and various other service – related projects.

Our section of Interact here at West Geauga has just under 120 members, and that is crazy to think about when you realize just how much they do. Take the global grant that they started with the Rotary Club of Chesterland for example. They were able to raise $120,000 for the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School on the island of St. Thomas to rebuild and improve their literacy program after the devastating hurricanes in the fall of 2017. 

With COVID-19 still raging more than a year after the first confirmed case in America, Interact has to change the way they do everything. They’ve had to cancel volunteer events and fundraisers like their jazz benefit concert, which raises a lot of money for a program called Music Guerilla. This provides education through musical programs to underfunded schools.  They have had to change the way they run in-school programs, too. One example of this is the annual food drive; this year it became a fundraiser, rather than an actual food drive. A silver lining did shine through, though, as they were able to raise $2500 dollars for the local food bank.

Mrs. Chelsea Talty, who runs Interact as the faculty sponsor here at West G, says that the 8 board members for Interact are, “…the glue that holds the club together.” These students who have sacrificed their time and needs for others are president, Julia Martinez,  vice president, Maddie Barker, secretary, Jessica Beukemann, treasurer, Sammy Aidja, as well as David Allen, Skye Hackathorn, Rae Ehrbar, and Isabella Maguire

Julia Martinez has been a member for three years and said, “Interact is all about taking action, helping others, and building leadership skills, while making new friends and having fun.” She originally wanted to join Interact because her friends joined and it seemed fun. It looks good on college applications, but she really stayed in the club for the work they do. 

With their motto being “Service above Self,” it’s obvious that when faced with challenges, members will persevere and continue to help the community. Interact can teach leadership and communication skills and is very rewarding to those looking to change the world. Anyone can join by talking to Mrs. Talty or filling out the Interact Google Form sign up. 

Interacts website is as follows: https://www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/interact-clubs 

If anyone is interesting in helping with a monetary donation, you can donate here: https://www.rotary.org/en/donate