Pittsford Rotary's Student Interact Club

Our students are exemplary on so many levels. Among the many things I am so proud of, is our students' willingness to devote their time to making the lives of others better. While there are countless examples of this every day, today I want to highlight our students through Interact Clubs. The Interact Clubs of Mendon and Sutherland High Schools were chartered by Rotary International in 2002. Their purpose is to provide opportunities for community service, leadership development, friendship and fun. Over the past fifteen years, more than 1,700 Pittsford high school students have shared in the Interact experience logging more than 22,000 hours of community service.

Within the past few months alone, our students in this club have:

  • Welcomed veterans returning from Honor Flight visits to Washington, DC
  • Served lunch for the hungry at the Salem Nutrition Center in Rochester
  • Helped entertain students and their families at Jefferson Road Elementary School’s “Welcome Back” picnic
  • Swept the Erie Canal Path of debris from Bushnell’s Basin to Schoen Place
  • Registered donors for Mendon High School’s Red Cross blood drive
  • Assisted the PTSA with its annual Super Sale
  • Operated carnival games for the Town of Pittsford’s annual community Halloween Fest

Pittsford’s Interact Clubs have partnered with Special Olympics on many occasions throughout the years providing volunteers for athletic competitions including track & field, floor hockey, bowling, basketball, aquatics, softball, volleyball and soccer. They’ve taken a lead role in creating visibility and support for the Pittsford Panthers Unified Basketball team and provided entertainment for Special Olympics’ New York State Winter Games on several occasions. Soon, our Interact students will be jumping into Lake Ontario for the Special Olympics “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser, the 2018 Polar Plunge. The clubs have raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics through this activity in the past four years and will be asking all of their classmates to join them again this year.

A hallmark of Pittsford Interact’s community service over the years has been their carnival games with which they’ve entertained thousands of children and adults at events like the aforementioned Halloween Fest, Mendon Ponds WinterFest, Special Olympics events, Kicks for Campers, and many other elementary and middle school activities both in Pittsford and Rochester.

Interact Club members have caring hearts and helping hands. They’re always willing to help others in need and are living examples of Rotary’s motto, “service above self.” I have attended several functions with our Interact students and have seen first-hand their impact. I witnessed our students with signs and cheers welcoming our veteran’s home after Honor flight. I have seen our students volunteer on days’ off to prepare food, serve and socialize at a soup kitchen. I have seen our students dance with senior citizens, entertain young students and help those with special needs. I have seen the best in our students through their involvement. Special thanks to my fellow Rotarian Pat Mallery for encouraging, facilitating and developing all of these opportunities for our students, our PCSD community, and beyond.

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