Tenth year for Interact includes big projects | ParkRecord.com

Tenth year for Interact includes big projects

by Lindsay Cooper, Park Record Intern

The Interact Club is nothing new to students at Park City High School. The organization which focuses on international action, was first chartered in Florida in 1962 and started in Park City 10 years ago.

The goal was to have students gain an understanding of community involvement and has blossomed into a service club promoting international understanding and natural leadership. Currently, there are more than 11,000 clubs in125 countries and about 250,000 youth participate.

Each year, Park City Interactors and members of their sponsor organization, The Park City Rotary Club, celebrate the first meeting of the school year. Together, the two clubs participate in activities to increase awareness of the club in the community. Last week, in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary the local Interact Club, the Rotarians and students set a goal of gaining a wider range of international recognition.

Interact is a free community service club, sponsored by the Rotary Club, but administered as a completely self-governing and self-supporting organization. Student leaders are in charge of organizing projects and communicating current and future projects to Interact members.

Although Interact is a separate entity, Interactors and Rotarians are partners in service; Rotarians mentor the youth in the club while Interact members help develop new ideas for community service and ways to increase support for projects.

Interact focuses on growing leadership skills, increasing personal integrity, representing helpfulness and respect for others and emphasizing the value of individual responsibility and hard work. Therefore, each year Interact member completes a service project that furthers international understanding and goodwill.

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Most years, two or three members are sent on humanitarian missions and this year students are hoping to travel to Peru, Kenya, or Thailand to work with local Rotary clubs. Students can also choose to travel with Park City and Sunrise Rotary Club members to Belize for another humanitarian project. However, most of the Interact club projects stick close to home.

In recent months, club members have participated in projects such as painting pumpkins for Shriners Hospital, participating in the highway cleanup, and helping to organize the Miners Day Parade. In order to incorporate community into the club’s service, members will be going to the Rescue Mission in Salt Lake City to serve food to the homeless.

In December there will be lots of service projects for Interact members: Sub for Santa is coming up quickly, during which participants provide gifts for low-income families. Also, a new project is on the calendar. This year, Interact club is working with the Sunrise Rotary Club to throw a holiday party for low-income children in Park City.

The club’s next project is the annual Scavenger Hunt Food Drive sponsored through Park City Market. On November 18th from about 5 to 9 p.m., members of the Interact Club will go door-to-door requesting canned foods or donated turkeys to benefit the Food Bank of Utah. Flyers will be posted throughout the town and will be passed out starting on Nov. 13. Participating neighborhoods will be Park Meadows, Prospector, Silver Summit, Ranch Place, Northshore, and Sun Peak.

Those with questions or a desire to get involved can contact Rotary supervisor Jess Reid at 649-3000 or Interact member Sam Totten at 513-0156.