EDHS Rotary Interact Club is growing

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

by Sylene Argent

Members of Essex District High School’s Rotary Interact are celebrating the first anniversary of this youth-orientated service club.

The club was founded last year as a way for local high school students to fundraise for a local cause in addition to continuing showing support for EDHS’s sister school in Maforeka.

“We’re 48 strong,” John Garinger said of the group. The former EDHS teacher returns to the school weekly to help coordinate the club with the students.

The Rotary Interact Club has made a splash in the community since its inception through not only hosting fundraisers, but lending a hand to support other local organizations as needed. For instance, members of the Rotary Interact Club assisted the Essex Centre BIA when it hosted its first “Fall in Love with our Local Street Party,” at the end of September.

The Rotary Interact Club has many new members this year, and that is believed because getting involved in this group is not too strenuous on the high school class schedule and provides students with an outlet to get involved and make a difference not only in their own back yard, but in the world, too.

Garinger shared a story with the students recently about Safi Charles, who was able to become a teacher at Shengbeh Pieh Memorial Secondary School in Hamilton, Freetown. Garinger explained EDHS is very familiar with Charles and her daughter, Theo. In 2012 they were “adopted” and were help by local efforts. As a result, Charles enrolled in school, graduated, and became a teacher. This is an example of how local support can change the lives of those living in Africa in need of support.

Kaitlyn McCarthy and Emma Mineau work together to lead the organization as co-presidents. Many of the students involved noted they enjoy being involved and that the club was even more than they expected it would be when they joined.

The group recently hosted its first Halloween Fun Day at a Lakeshore farm a few weekends back. Garinger said the feedback heard from those who attended noted the youth involved with the club make up for a fantastic group of young people and that they had done a nice job on the event.

The students will host a pasta dinner for Maforeka at the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch  201) on November 20. It is hoped the community attends the event in droves.

On the evening of Saturday, December 9, the students will collect letters to Santa at the annual Essex Centre Santa Claus Parade. The students, who are looking to also hand-out candy canes along the parade route, will join the Essex Rotary Club, a parent-organization of sorts, during the parade. Members of the Rotary Club will collect non-perishable food items for local food banks.