Interact is a Rotary club-sponsored organization of young people whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for them to work together in a world fellowship dedicated to service and international understanding. Every Interact club carries out at least two service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. As members of Interact, they are part of a global movement of service. Programs for students and youth change the lives of those who participate. Just ask them!
The Interact club has a Rotarian Advisor (Lana Zarlenga, MD) that informs Rotarians of the Interact club’s plans and activities and a Faculty Advisor (Mike Shaw) that serves as a liaison between the school administration and the Rotary club.
In 2015, 14 students came together to paint 10 cans that have been put on Oval Beach and around the City of Saugatuck. The cans promote throwing trash away rather than littering the landscape. Liz Engle, a local community member, presented the project to the Interact Club earlier this year. Engle liked the idea of the project because it supported beach clean up. From there, the idea of brightly colored trash cans was born. The Interact Club was given a variety of bold, colorful paint to decorate the metal trash barrels. The cans were then covered with fun designs and phrases that promoted throwing trash in the cans, rather than tossed onto the landscape.
Students help with the Mt Baldhead Challenge by serving water to runners and guiding the course.
Students have prepared and sent care packages to service members overseas.
In 2012 the first group of Saugatuck High School Interact Club students and a Rotarian chaperone along with students from another Interact Club from Rockford traveled to the Dominican Republic to install Biosand filters to provide clean water for families in the batey communities surrounding La Romana. This trip was made possible by the hard work of Interactors, the Rotary Club of Saugatuck-Douglas, and the Good Samaritan Hospital. View a student-made video about this trip here.
Since then, a group of Interact youth have traveled to the Dominican Republic each year on humanitarian projects. Their projects have evolved from biosand filter installment to building sanitary latrines to future efforts to help fund the construction of a new classroom for the education of children in the bateys. Learn more about the 2015 trip by watching the video below:
The club elects a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer, and follow the Interact bylaws. It is the responsibility of the club to raise the funds necessary to carry out its program. Students learn about running meetings, soliciting participation in its projects, working with Rotary members, fundraising, and public relations.
Students have the opportunity to participate in Rotary Youth Leadership Academy camp. Awardees are chosen for their leadership potential to attend an all-expenses-paid camp to discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice. Rotary clubs select participants and facilitate the event's curriculum.
For more information, go to the Saugatuck High School Interact Club website.
Rotary of Saugatuck-Douglas magnetic bumper stickers are available for $5 per magnet to represent our Club and our community service projects.