Good News File: Rossland Interact Club Donate Picnic Table to City

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
June 11th, 2009

An impressive group of young Rosslanders came before Rossland Council as a delegation this week from the Rossland Rotary Interact Club to notify City Hall that they plan to donate up to $5,000 to the city for the construction and installation of a picnic table in the park next door to the Rossland Municipal Pool.

The interact club is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to 18, and is sponsored by the local Rotary who provide support and guidance to the club. Each year the Rossland interact club complete at least two community services projects, one local and one international. With 15 RSS students making up Rossland’s Interact club, the stated goals of the group are to:

•Develop leadership skills and personal integrity
•Demonstrate helpfulness and respect for others
•Understand the value of individual responsibility and hard work
•Advance international understanding and goodwill

Through numerous fundraisers organized by the youth including book and bake sales, a wine tasting event and a fund raising concert the young women raised just over $6,000 this year.

For their local community project they saw a need and an opportunity to spruce up the pocket park beside the pool on Columbia Avenue.

“We talked to people from the pool and to help with kids camps with crafts and things they wanted a table there to use. They really wanted a table that was totally flat on top rather than planks so that things couldn’t fall through it when they were doing crafts and activities,” explained Charlene Houlden. “We’ve always walked past that park and thought that it was a nice little park that could be even better. That plus the need of the camps at the pool made it seem to us to be the best place to put it.”

Having presented their plans to an appreciative council, the next step will be bringing a formal request before council in two weeks time. In consultation with the Interact club council will then move forward with sourcing the picnic table and installing it with the money donated by the club.

Taking their youthful energy out to the world for the clubs international project the club ventured to Honduras last year to volunteer at an orphanage last year.

“It was really a great experience and was great to know that you’re not just travelling to another country but also helping out people in need while you are there,” added Houlden.

In addition to their major projects the students also regularly volunteer for other groups in need around the area. Just last week they spent a Thursday afternoon at People Loving People in Trail washing, cleaning and organizing shoes for the charity. Proud of their efforts one of the smiling students chuckled that, “Last week we were down there helping them to clean up old shoes for them. I spent like two hours picking rocks out of the treads of skate shoes.”

As a shining example of youth getting involved not only in their own community but the greater world as a whole and giving back to the community that raised them, we should all give the club a resounding thank you and be sure to support Rotary Interact Club events in the future. When asked why they do what they do Charlene Houlden eloquently described their motivation.

“Rossland is such a fortunate place and we feel like it’s our responsibility to give something back to the city that has given so much to us.”

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