Rotary Interact is a community service organization that offers opportunities for students to do meaningful volunteer work. The “Interact” stands for International Action and serves as a symbol of the impact the club has on not only the immediate Cortland community, but also the international community. The partnership with Seven Valleys and Rotary Interact Club started in fall 2018 and was initiated by Seven Valleys Spanish Facilitator Maria Gimma through the Cortland Breakfast Rotary. At the recent ceremony, Gimma talked about how the organization helped her as a 12-year-old girl from Columbia by paying for her education. Encouraged by the organization’s support, Gimma decided to bring the Rotary Interact to Seven Valleys.
On Jan. 13, the new inductees were warmly welcomed into the Rotary Interact Club by current members, including Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club President Don Richards, District 7170 Interact Club Chair Martin Winsor, and Cortland Breakfast Rotary Member Jeremy Boylan.
Boylan presented an overview of the organization and highlighted the projects members from Seven Valleys have worked at, including the Election Day/ Pancake Day, River Clean Up and Adopt a Highway, Pumpkinfest, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, and more. Two students from Seven Valleys – Brennan Mahon from Onondaga Central School District and Ethan Westbrook from Homer CSD – shared their experiences from these events during the presentation. Both students reflected on how their time with the Rotary has helped them feel that their voices have been heard, while learning something new about the people in their surrounding community.
Boylan concluded his presentation by thanking the students, past and present, for their willingness to join the Rotary Interact Club.
“A lot of people say they like to give back to the community, but you guys are actually out there and you’re doing it,” Boylan said.
Following Boylan’s presentation, Student Club President Megan Porter took to the podium to reflect on all that the club has accomplished during its short tenure. Since September, students in Rotary Interact have been busy giving back to the community by participating in a total of five projects, already far exceeding the two projects they are required to complete each year. As a group, Porter shared that they have earned a total of 1,724 volunteer hours. With this success in mind, the group hopes to participate in an international project next year.
Congratulations to the newest Rotary Interact Club members!
Newly Inducted Members
Jade Barber, Homer
Returning Interact Club Members
(Inducted January 2019)