HAMMONTON – The Hammonton Rotary Club held a chartering ceremony celebrating the establishment of the Hammonton High School Interact Club Monday, Jan. 23 in the high school cafeteria, opening a new avenue of community service and global perspective to local students.
Sponsored by the Hammonton Rotary Club and Rotary District 7640, The Hammonton High School Interact Club is part of Rotary International’s global network of Interact youth service clubs. Emphasizing leadership, integrity, helpfulness and respect for others, its members advance goodwill and international understanding by following the motto, “service above self.”
“Interact, the Interact organization and the Rotaract organization (Rotary’s college service club) and Rotary are in the business of making a difference,” said Ulysses James, Rotary District 7640 governor. “These organizations have like-minded people who have all come together for the purpose of making a difference in the world, a positive difference. And when you join Interact you join together with us, and as a group we can make a huge difference.”
Members and officers were installed with assistance from James, Melanie Druziako, District 7640 youth service director; Mary Crawford, District 7640 Interact chairwoman; Joseph Brown, Hammonton Rotary Club president; Phyllis Mazzeo, Hammonton Rotary Club Interact adviser, and Teah Daniels, Hammonton High School technology teacher and Interact Club adviser.
The program included a pinning ceremony, charter signing and refreshments. An official club bell was also presented to Interact President Alexandra Guillot by Brown and Mazzeo.
Don DeFiccio spoke on behalf Brown who had lost his voice due to a cold.
“I’d just like to thank the students for stepping forward and wanting to get involved with the Interact Club,” said DeFiccio. “For those of us in Rotary it means a lot. It’s what we do and it’s nice to see young people coming up and wanting to do more for their school and for their community.”
The Hammonton High School Interact Club has already completed its first service project, creating care packages for Project Night, a non-profit organization that helps homeless children.
The club collected blankets, stuffed animals, hats and glove, hygiene products, and children’s books for distribution to the Covenant House in Atlantic City.
District Governor James praised the new members’ commitment to helping others.
“I congratulate you for joining together with over 3,000 other Interactors in this district (six South Jersey counties) who share the passion and the commitment to enhancing our communities and improving the lives of people around the world.”
There are more than 468,000 Interactors worldwide, in 159 countries serving in 20,372 clubs, according to Rotary International.
In addition to President Guillot, other officers include Vice President Kaithlyn Atty, Secretary Scott Jakuboski, and Treasurer Matthew Ortiz. Directors are Club Administrator, Mandy Lin, Community Service Director Katelyn Mckeown, Fundraising Director Megan Mcferren, International Understanding Director Justin Gusorius, Public Relations Photographer Karlie Mazzeo, and Public Relations Journalist Brooke Pizzi.
Members are Samantha Casian, Allison Cunningham, Marina Elias, Malcolm Graham, Fernando Ortiz, Kevin Lin, Keith Montalvo, Celena Salvo, Maranda Jo Shinn, Victoria Sbraccia, Zach Piro, Jeff Clouser, Jared Long, Patrick Breen, Joe Weiss, Tom “TFD” Donio, Samuel Sotelo, Erin Cohen, and Emily Pavesi.