The Interact Club received a surprise when two Thousand Oaks Rotary representatives paid a visit to Thousand Oaks High School on Wednesday, Oct. 26. TO Rotary President Robert Bianchi and TO Rotary Youth Service Director Trevor Tyloch presented the club with a sponsorship check for one thousand dollars during their lunch meeting this week.
The Rotary is an international service organization, dedicated to serving the community and providing humanitarian aid.
“We serve the community of Thousand Oaks as well others around the world,” said Bianchi.
One international club that the TO Rotary teams up with is the Tijuana Rotary Club in Mexico.
“They’ve got us involved in a couple of their projects,” Bianchi said. “The Rotary club of Thousand Oaks put together international grants that have funded equipment in their children’s cancer hospital. Another thing we have done is we’ve supported the orphanage down there in supplies and special needs that they’ve had.”
The TO Rotary, along with other Rotary clubs in their district, raised money through grants and club funds to pay for vans that the orphanage needed for transportation.
The Rotary partners up with clubs in the area to carry out service projects every year. In previous years, they’ve painted buildings and planted new trees at the YMCA, and cleaned up and performed maintenance around Paramount Ranch.
“It’s usually simple projects, projects that take place over one day,” Bianchi said. “It’s a lot of organizing ahead of time but then we all get together and sometimes there’s 12 of us, sometimes there’s a hundred.”
“We’re really a group effort,” Tyloch added. “If one club has something going on, we support them, just like we support the Interact Club.”
The Interact club at TOHS works in conjunction with the TO Rotary at various service events.
“Because we are the youth version of the Rotary, we use our youthful energy to be a part of bowling tournaments, float building, Christmas carolling for MANA and we host poker tournaments,” club president Gavin P. Norton said.
The proceeds from these poker tournaments will now go towards the Bernard Moon Scholarship fund, which was recently established last school year.
Support from the Rotary allows clubs like Interact to recruit new members, carry out their own service projects, hold fundraisers, and develop leadership skills. Club members have already laid out how Interact will put the sponsorship money to good use.
“The money will be used as a basis for our own fundraisers; people are more likely to take us seriously if we have financial support from the Rotary behind us,” said Norton. “It will also be used for pizza at meetings when we have a lot to discuss and are trying get more people involved.”
Interested in joining Interact Club? Meetings are held every Wednesday, except on CPT days, in Mrs. Carvalho’s class, room F8. Stop by at the next meeting and enjoy some free pizza while learning about how to give back to the community.