Rotary Interact Club Reflects On Past Year

June 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

The outgoing Hamilton Rotary Interact Club President has reflected on the club’s past twelve months, taking note of the goals that have been accomplished.

Hamilton Rotary Interact Club President Keren Smith said, “As outgoing President of the Hamilton Rotary Interact Club, I take this time to thank my District Governor, Mahbub Ahmad, Hamilton Rotary Club President, Graeme Henderson, the Hamilton Rotary Club and my wonderful members who worked with me in delivering service to our community.

“One of my goals for the year was to attract younger members. I took on the presidency in my last year in middle school. This goal was accomplished. The number of middle school members increased by 75 percent.

Other goals were as follows:

  • “To become closer to our sponsoring Club, Hamilton Rotary Club, and to participate in more of their activities. We attended the On To Bermuda barbecue this year as well as the President’s Inauguration at CoCo Reef Hotel . We also participated in a KBB/Rotary Beach clean-up at Clearwater Beach.
  • “Another goal was to increase media coverage of events and activities sponsored. We had a number of events showcased in the news. This increased our membership and gave more publicity to Rotary.
  • “Another goal was to involve our club in more community service events. We invited a charity in to one of our meetings. This was called INSPIRE and their vision was to assist members who were disabled. We sold tags for them in Hamilton and raised a lot of money for their members who were needy.

“The visit by this group helped to make our members sensitive to the needs of those with disabilities. We were proud to have shed light on those with disabilities. The presentation helped to sensitize our members.

“This year we supported the following charities:

“SCARS, the Coalition for the Protection of Children, PALS and INSPIRE.

“We invited Toastmasters to our meetings to help us with our oratory skills. As a result we were able to represent ourselves well locally and at the Convention in New York City. Many thanks to friend of Rotary and Toastmaster, Ebony Fray.

“We reached out to our exchange students this year and involved them in all our activities, including our trip to New York, where we attended the NHSMUN Convention for high school students. Fourteen members of our Interact Club attended this awesome conference, which was a Model United nations Conference.

“We visited the UN along with thousands of teens from all over the world. We were given the country of Dominican Republic to study and each student had to write a position paper where specific topics were presented at the conference in three minute, five minute and ten minute debates.

“We examined virtually every topic including the impact of environmental pollution on health and welfare of children, women’s issues, education, farming, relations between citizens of Haiti and Dominican Republic, the impact of the United Nations on healthcare, economic status, and programmes designed to improve economic status of the people of the Dominican Republic.

“This was the highlight of my presidency.

“In January I attended CedarBridge Academy Interact Club Polar Swim at Horseshoe Beach. It was cold but refreshing!

“Felipe Branco, CBA Interact president and members embraced me and welcomed me with open arms. The swim was a fund raiser and they raised over $300 for charitable contributions.

“During the month of June, our club funded a programme to provide Reading Support during the summer for seven children from Northlands Primary School ranging in age from 5-8 years old who have been impacted by the Pandemic.

“We spent $380 to purchase books and resources for the students who will be tutored online twice a week, free of charge for July and August by our teacher/adviser, Rotarian Cathy Bassett and friend of Rotary, Mrs. Sharon Swan, retired teacher. This project replaces a Movie Night planned for the Northlands’ students, but cancelled due to the Pandemic.

“Another programme we introduced during the pandemic is the Intergenerational Call-Up Club. Our senior high school and returning college students have embarked on locating senior Rotarians from all four clubs who would like to have a call once a week to find out how they are doing during the Pandemic.

“The programme is going quite well and many friendships have been created. Nadhiri Simons and Exchange Student Macarena from Chile coordinate the programme.

“We have raised funds to supplement our trip to New York to the NHSMUN Convention from February 28th-March 2nd. We had a hot chocolate sale and two bake sales-one in Hamilton and the other at the Christmas boat parade in St. George’s. We also had a successful tag day in Hamilton.

“We thank Hamilton Rotary Club for funding the airfare of all fourteen student delegates. They generously gave $6,000 to finance our airfare to the U.N. Convention.

“We also thank Renaissance Reinsurance company for their generous donation, Lindos Family Stores, Ernst and Young, Rotarians, Past President Kirk Kitson and Past President Mansfield Brock, Director Jean Akol, Mevelyn Watkins, friends and family, The Supermart for donating baked goods toward our bake sales, and all four Rotary clubs for their financial support and well wishes.

“Commendations to St. George’s Rotary for donating $1,000 towards our hotel costs for the NHSMUN Leadership Convention. We appreciate the St. George’s past presidents Raymond Walker and Andrew Roberts, who accompanied us as chaperones to New York.

“We also thank our advisers Glenda Edwards, Hamilton Rotary Youth Director Cathy Bassett, Denoris Armstrong, and Shammara Simmons for always being there for us. We appreciate their mentorship and patience. We also thank District Governor Mahbub for his ongoing support.

“We will never forget his efforts to get us to the Convention and his generous donation of $1,000 from District 7230 towards hotel costs. The NHSMUN Conference was shared with us by visiting On-To-Bermuda Rotarian and Professor Jahnbaz Almas.

“He presented the Convention to Interacters and parents at the Leadership Breakfast Seminar, held at CoCo Reefs in Paget during the On To Bermuda Festivities. District Governor Mahbub was our Guest Speaker.

“We participated this year in Past President Dr. Raphael Loutoby’s Kidney Walk/Run. We distributed water to runners and handed out t-shirts. We learned so much about the need to keep healthy from an early age to avoid life threatening illnesses. The funds raised were used to support initiatives to assist those with non-communicable diseases and to educate people about kidney disease.

“This has been a very productive year. We have all grown and become better acquainted. We have enjoyed the fellowship as we performed service above self and look forward to next year when we will be working on providing presentations to interested high schools who wish to start Rotary Interact Clubs in their schools.

“I proudly hand over the Interact baton to President Elect Sari Smith. I wish her much success as she takes us further into the future.”

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