Chilliwack Rotary seeks youth for new service club

Chilliwack Rotary Club is holding an information session this weekend for new Interact Club geared for youth between 12 and 18.

While some may think Rotary is just for old people, it’s not.

And nothing speaks to that more clearly than the new Interact Rotary Club starting up in Chilliwack.

The Interact Club, which is a partnership between Chilliwack Rotary and YMCA, is a service club geared for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 that promotes leadership and community involvement.

And unlike school-based leadership programs, there is no limit on membership, no selection process, and no criteria beyond age.

“It’s open to anybody,” said Sharon Blaker, member of Chilliwack Rotary.

There are currently 11,000 such clubs worldwide with over 250,000 youth involved. Blaker believes it’s high time Chilliwack had such a club.

Every year the club will be responsible for one community project and one international project. It will be mentored by Rotary and Rotaract members, but will have its own president, secretary-treasurer, board, bank account and committees.

“They’re going to be self-governing and financially independent,” said Blaker. “They’re going to be the ones setting up the structure and making the decisions for their club. They’re going to learn how to lead and run an organization.”

Something she believes will not only benefit the youth involved, but also the community.

“It’s going to make our youth more community minded, they’re going to see the positive aspects of volunteering, and they’re going to take ownership of their community,” said Blaker. “We’re building great citizens.”

And for the kids, “it’s going to open up doors for them,” said Blaker. “They can use this on their resume, and it will connect them with other Rotary opportunities like our scholarships and youth exchange programs.”

An information session is being held on Sunday, July 22, at the YMCA on Hocking Avenue from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Any parent or youth interested is welcomed.

For more information, contact Sharon Blaker at sblaker@shaw.ca

kbartel@theprogress.com

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