September 21, 2014

SSC students start interact club

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Jr. Rotary-Interact Club
By John Fischer|Staff writer
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STANDISH — After two Standish-Sterling Central High School students, Evan Skarbek and Quinn Shorkey, attended a summer leadership camp last June, they became motivated to start their own interact-club, a junior division of a rotary club.

According to Shorkey, on the last day of camp, campers talked about becoming more involved in the community and decided an interact-club based out of the school would be the best idea.

“We started attending regular (Northern Bay-Arenac) Rotary Club meetings in early November to get an idea of how to run it,” Shorkey said.

According to Skarbek, the club recruited some members and got the ball rolling.

“We got serious and put the word out,” Skarbek said. “We got a positive response and things really started to pick up. Mr. (Mark) Williams (SSC principal) helped out a lot.”

Skarbek says the club has held 10 to 15 meetings since November and has a membership of about 25 to 30 students.

“We’re getting things organized and finding out what kinds of things we can do,” he said, adding another school he knows of tried starting an interact-club, which fell apart because of disorganization.

Shorkey says on Feb. 12, the organization submitted their final paperwork to District Governor Bob Chadwick to become nationally chartered.

The interact-club is looking for fresh ideas and is completely open to suggestions on ideas for community support, says Skarbek.

“There’s a lot of eager people,” Skarbek said. “They’re ambitious and looking to start some projects.

“We’ve got a pancake dinner planned for the near future to get our name out there and familiarize ourselves with the community.”

Shorkey says the group is looking for project ideas on an international level as well.

According to Chadwick, youth rotary club members learn to run organizations and rotaries specifically by doing service projects in the schools and in the community and after high school, the members of the interact club have opportunities to become Rotarians.

“There’s stages to becoming a Rotarian,” he said. “You work with Northern-Bay club members; learning about being a humanitarian.

“They can also join a rotary-act club for college-age students and the next step would be to actually become a member of the rotary club.”

The district governor also said rotary is the largest international support club.

“In 1985, when polio existed in 127 countries and in 320,000 people, rotary began its push for total eradication of polio in the world,” Chadwick said. “Today, (polio) exists in four countries and only 2,000 people are contracting the disease each year.

“We’re approaching $1 billion towards this goal.”

Chadwick says the club also does work for water wells, hospitals, schools and wherever else there’s a need.

He also adds rotary, like other services in these economic times, is facing challenges.

“Fortunately, we’re still growing,” Chadwick said, although he added the growth is not at the pace the club would like.

“(We’ll) just have to dig into our pockets for projects for fundraisers a little more. Like everyone, we’re struggling for a piece of the pie but so far coming up with the money.”

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