Rotaract club promotes local and international community service

Tori Russel
Staff Writer

“Are you the ROTC? The Rota-what?” These are just a couple of the reactions both students and staff have had when hearing about

Members of Goucher’s Rotaract club in the Athenaeum posing for a picture (Photo: Tori Russel)

Members of Goucher’s Rotaract club in the Athenaeum posing for a picture (Photo: Tori Russel)

Goucher’s brand new Rotaract Club, more formally known as the Rotaract Club of Towson. Established in Feb. of 2013, the Rotaract Club was started by Sara Kern and Tori Russell, who were both freshmen at the time. Rotaract is the young adult version of Rotary, with its members ranging in age from 18-30. The club’s main goals include developing professional and leadership skills, as well as participating and organizing service activities. As required by Rotary, each club is also in charge of one local service project, as well as one international service project each year.
The Rotaract Club of Towson is sponsored by the neighboring Rotary Club of Towson, an organization for adults with many of the same focuses as Rotaract. They have the four-way test, a guide for Rotarians to follow. It states: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
So what does the Rotaract Club at Goucher do? For its international service project, Rotaract hosted a benefit concert at the beginning of the month, raising $10,000 for Gift of Life International, a Rotarian-based organization that helps save children suffering from congenital heart defects. The club planned the event, went out into the neighboring community and advertised the event. They also hosted a number of singing and dance groups, including many of Goucher’s own performers.
“The benefit was a success,“ Treasurer Derek Grimaldi ‘16 said  “We had many great volunteers and the event went so smoothly. We hope to host it again next year.”
In addition to planning this benefit, the Rotaract club went to Edenwald, the local nursing home, and helped many seniors with their iPads. “I really enjoy going to volunteer at Edenwald. It’s one of my favorite Rotaract service projects,” Grimaldi said. “The senior citizens were very willing to learn. Plus, they love to show us pictures of their grandkids. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Rotaract Club hopes to make this a monthly event and anyone is welcome to join.
So what events should students expect in the future? The Rotaract Club is looking into volunteer, as well as participate, in a couple of charity walks within the Towson/Baltimore area. One includes the MS walk coming to Goucher on Sunday, April 13. The club is also looking into participating in the Rotary District Conference from May 9-11 in downtown Baltimore.
If someone is interested in joining the Rotaract Club, Grimaldi says, “We love to see as many people as possible at the Rotaract meetings. One of Rotary’s mottos is ‘Service Above Self.’ More college students should make time for service in their lives. It feels so great to give back to your community.”
If you would like to get involved with the Rotaract Club, please contact president Sara Kern at saker001@mail.goucher.edu and be sure to “like” the page on Facebook. Club meetings are held bi-weekly on Wednesday evenings in Geen.

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