Rotary Interact Clubs Reflect On 2022 Activities

December 29, 2022

Reports for the Hamilton, Mount St. Agnes, and Somersfield Rotary Interact Clubs have been released highlighting their work and activities throughout 2022.

The Hamilton Rotary Interact Club report said, “Rotary Interact Clubs are making a difference in Bermuda. Their motto, like Rotarians, is ‘service above self.’ This year, Rotary is celebrating the significant works of three Rotary Interact Clubs: Hamilton Rotary Interact Club, sponsored by Hamilton and St. George’s Rotary, and Somersfield and Mount St. Agnes Interact Clubs, sponsored by Pembroke Rotary Club.

“Recently, the Sandy’s Rotary Rotaract Club was chartered and will commence their community service. All three clubs are sharing their reports this year and have already commenced working together to enhance friendships and carry out service projects in Bermuda.

“On November 26th, all three clubs, as well as Rotaractors, participated in a Leadership Supper Seminar at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. Students honed their skills in organization and planning and started the team building process.

“The Hamilton Rotary Interact Club started off with a bang this year in Dockyard when they met over 150 overseas Rotarians who were part of the Mangrove Restoration Project. They were part of a symposium onboard the cruise ship Norwegian Joy.

“They helped to clear a path through dense overgrowth leading to the Mangrove habitat along with several Rotarians from many countries.

“They sold Bermuda books with author Joan Aspinall in Dockyard and ran a snowball stand to raise funds to buy a camera to take pictures of their events for the year. Proceeds from the book sale will be presented to Keep Bermuda Beautiful [KBB].

“In addition to participating in a cleanup at Glass Beach, they cleaned up Black Bay and Heydon Trust Property in Somerset. Pledge sheets were sent out to friends and relatives and they raised additional funds to help KBB in its ongoing efforts to rid the island of litter.

“The Interacters worked as martials in the Hamilton Rotary Club’s 5K race held on November 12th at the Botanical Gardens. They purchased and presented medals to each youth categories first place winners.

“A charitable donation of $600 was presented to Windreach Recreational Village by the Interactors to fund the care and board of three therapeutic ponies, which are used to provide therapy for school children with special needs. An additional $400 was presented to Windreach to purchase crafts and materials for the day clients with dementia. Funds were donated as a grant from Liberty International to help create and finance programmes for seniors and special needs residents.

“The students embarked on an Intergenerational Garden Initiative, which culminated in the presentation of 10 garden boxes supplemented with soil and leafy green seedlings to seniors at Heydon Trust Senior Home. Students held numerous meetings and took pride in planning for this initiative.

“Rotaract student Zayne Sinclair, who has his own gardening business, had been invited by the Interactors to assist the seniors with their gardens and work with volunteer interact and Rotaractors in helping seniors to maintain their garden boxes.

“Media has taken off this year for the Interact members. Mom Nolwenn Pugi is currently mentoring students in creating electronic folders for storing minutes for meetings and a Dropbox for storing photos for press releases and articles.

“Students received a template and are learning how to take minutes for general and break out meetings to work on projects.

“This year, the Club has continued with their Career Exploration Programme. Under the guidance of corporate business executive, Rotarian Mentor, Katherine Mcdonnell, students are being mentored in careers in the corporate sector as well as the hospitality industry. Past President, Rotarian Kirk Kitson, has been instrumental in setting up a Career Exploration and Training programme at the Huckleberry Restaurant at Rosedon Guest House. Already, two recruits from the Interact Club have graduated from CedarBridge Academy and are now pursuing careers in the hospitality industry.

“The International Affairs Team is presently working with a primary school in Zimbabwe to create opportunities to harvest water by boring pipes to water sources underground. They will work with local well drilling firms on island and form a board to develop this project fully. They will seek corporate sponsorship via a grant to fund this initiative. It is envisioned this project will continue through 2023.

“In addition to the initiatives shared, students are working on building relationships and creating balance. To this end, they organized a bonfire at Long Bay Beach and held a Haunted House Fright Night under the direction of District Governor, Andrew Roberts, where they raised $2,000. Part proceeds went to the purchase of Rotary Interact t-shirts, gift donations to charities, and future club initiatives.

“On November 26th, club members joined Interactors from Somersfield Academy, Mount St. Agnes, and the Sandy’s Rotaract Club at a Leadership Supper Seminar on honing organization skills at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. All Rotary Clubs sponsored this event.

“Rotary Interact Clubs are committed to serving locally and globally and have developed friendships through fellowship, realizing the importance of exercising integrity, goodwill, fairness, and the willingness to serve above self.

“Current advisors of the Hamilton Rotary Interact Club are Rotarians Shammara Simmons, Darmell Jones, and Denoris Armstrong. They are supported by Interact mentor associates Katherine McDonnell, Nolwenn Pugi, and Director Cathy Bassett.”

The Somersfield Interact Club report said, “The Somersfield Interact Club has had a very busy year so far. In September, we organized a popcorn and baked goods sale at our annual Back to School Barbeque at Somersfield, where we raised over $700. We wanted to donate the majority of our funds to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona.

“The rest of the funds we invested into tools and seeds for our community garden at school to donate the fresh produce results to First Baptist Church’s homeless feeding programme. We have been tending, weeding and watering our garden frequently. We’ve been able to harvest lettuce and some other produce and have donated it to the church.

“In December, we organized and promoted a food drive at Somersfield for The Eliza Doolittle Society, where we raised over 2,400 items of food, a school record.

“Additionally, in December we had a bake sale raising over $1,000. We purchased toys with the funds, which were donated to the Salvation Army. Moreover, we have also been doing regular trash cleanups of our campus to keep waste off the ground and our campus clean. Lastly, we have been advocating and have created a proposal for menstrual hygiene products to be available for students in our bathrooms. The proposal is being considered currently. We fundraised $1,200 in a bake sale to buy toys for children in need.”

The Mount St. Agnes Interact Club report said, “The MSA Rotary Interact Club decided to brighten some local seniors’ holidays this year. Over the past few weeks, students brought items to put together gift baskets and had a Sock Grub Day, where students presented socks as payment for wearing non-uniform clothes. All in the MSA spirit of giving!”

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