PERU — The Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary Club has announced the formation of an Interact Club at St. Bede Academy.
The charter kickoff, a special event in which students, parents, St. Bede staff, Rotarians and community members were invited, was held to celebrate the charter of St. Bede Interact on March 14 in the Little Theater of the Worship Assembly Building at St. Bede Academy. Leo Patterson, district governor for Rotary District 6420, was the keynote speaker.
Interact is Rotary’s service club for youth ages 12-18. Individual Rotary clubs sponsor Interact clubs and provide them with support and guidance, but each Interact club is self-governing and self-supporting.
The goals of Interact include developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others, understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advancing international understanding and goodwill.
Like Rotary International, Interact clubs provide their members with the opportunity to engage in international service projects while connecting with and improving their local communities.
The initial Board of Directors for St. Bede Interact include President Nick Miller of Peru, Vice President Max Halm, Secretary Abby Milus, Treasurer Sam Brolley, and directors Megan Tiger and Chris Sampson. Father Ron Margherio will serve as club advisor.
“Visiting Rotary has given me an opportunity to meet local business people and learn about various aspects of business in our area,” said Nick Miller. “It is inspiring to see these business people come together through Rotary and give back to our community. Similarly, the students of St. Bede have a lot to offer in regard to community service. We thought it would be most efficient to better our local and international community by providing helping hands for charitable causes. The St. Bede Academy Interact Club gives students a more organized opportunity to offer their charitable talents to local and international organizations. This club is our legacy for St. Bede that will set an example for future St. Bede students and encourage them to become more involved.”
Members of Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary, including president Stan Wolf, participated in the charter ceremony.
“The Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary Club is proud to sponsor the Interact Club of St. Bede Academy,” Wolf said. “Our club sees this partnership as an opportunity to create new avenues of service, both locally and internationally, for our youth. It is important for today’s young people to learn the values of charity and cultural tolerance. Through Interact, members will connect with other Interact Club’s around the world giving them a chance to meet other youths, build friendships, learn about different people, and through service projects, improve the quality of human life.”
St. Bede students interested in participating in Interact can reach out to any member of the Board of Directors, or make contact through the St. Bede Interact page on Facebook. For more information about Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary Club’s youth programs, contact Rotarian Allison Ryan at 815-830-5096.