Third-Grade OKES Interact Students Distribute $1,000 to Hurricane Irma Victims

Third-Grade OKES Interact Students Distribute $1,000 to Hurricane Irma Victims
Share this: The Rotary Club of Groton, NY has donated $1,000 to the Old Kings Elementary School's Interact Club to distribute locally to assist Hurricane Irma storm victims. #Rotary #Rotary6970

Press Release ( - PALM COAST, Fla. - Feb 24, 2018 - The Rotary Club of Flagler Beach is pleased to announce that the Rotary Club of Groton, NY has donated $1,000 to the Old Kings Elementary School’s Interact Club to distribute locally to assist Hurricane Irma storm victims. Students at Groton Elementary School, where the attendance is 425, were challenged to earn .01 cent for every minute they read. Students were encouraged to read at home, and donors sponsored classes. Churches, businesses, family members, and other individuals stepped up to sponsor.

“I had implemented this same type of fundraiser when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004,” said Janet Watkins, Past President of the Rotary Club of Groton. “At that time, we worked with the Rotary Club of Sri Lanka to donate funds to help rebuild their school,” she added. The population of Groton is 5,950 and Janet added that they do not even have a stoplight in Groton. Janet felt the fundraiser was a great way for kids to help kids and feel connected to them and what they were going through. The club got the word out via social media (where most of the sponsorships came from), and email blast to Groton Business Association, and an article in local paper. Not only did they get sponsors from Groton and neighboring towns, but they had sponsors from MA, MO, NC, and more. Janet personally sponsored a Pre- Kindergarten and Kindergarten class.

The students started reading and raising funs for Hurricane Harvey victims, then Irma hit and they knew they wanted to keep it going to help Florida, then Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and they kept reading to donate to the storm victims there. OKES Interact received $1,000 to distribute to OKES families in need and to replace any books that the Flagler Beach Library needed replaced, $1,000 was donated to the Orangefield Elementary School via the Orangefield Rotary Club in TX (their library was on the list of disaster school libraries in TX), and $500 was sent to Puerto Rico. Most of the sponsors rounded their donations up – for example if a classroom earned $98.56, they would donate $100.

“This fundraiser just goes to show the power of Rotary to connect people throughout the world,” said Jon Emery, the Flagler Beach Rotary Club Foundation Chair and the facilitator of the project here. “I have family in Puerto Rico so this project really hit home for me,” he added.

Pictured: Sitting left to right: Aaralyn Weeks (pink shirt), Daniela Mendez, Ava Rose, Matthew Sholes, Logan Daniel, Eliana Mendez, Summer Craig, Alia Raiszwink, Keri Pietro (white shirt standing). Standing: uthqq Nikolas Lee, Cindy Dalecki – Immediate Flagler Beach Rotary Club Past-President, Sandra McDermott – Flagler Beach Rotary Club Interact coordinator, Jon Emery – Flagler Beach Rotary Club Foundation chair, and third grade OKES teacher and Interact Club Coordinator Mrs. L. Schiller.

About Interact

Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. There are 20,372 Interact clubs around the world in 159 countries with 468,556 members.

Interact students connect with leaders in the community and around the world to: take action to make a difference in your school and community, discover new cultures and promote international understanding, become a leader in your school and community, and have fun and make new friends from around the world. Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.

About Rotary

Rotary is a global network of volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries. When you sponsor a Rotary Club of Flagler Beach event, you support the following local and international projects: Project Share Christmas – Toys to more than 1300 children need, Project Share food – Monthly groceries for 300 families, FPC and Matanzas  HS Scholarships for graduating seniors, construction of the multi-sport fields in Bunnell near the Carver Gym, Construction of the new Fitness Trail around the Bunnell Fields, Purchase of pack ‘n play portable cribs to help prevent SIDS in Flagler County, Sponsoring and organizing the Flagler Beach Christmas parade, International projects including working with Rotarians worldwide to eradicate Polio, building wells for villages in Africa, supporting an orphanage in Paraguay, and purchasing a Mammogram machine for an underserved indigenous community in South America.

About the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach

The Rotary Club of Flagler Beach was chartered in November 1991 and currently has 40 members; we are part of Rotary District 6970. Program speakers typically address a variety of interesting and important topics. The membership is a group of local business and community leaders from the fields of business, law, education, real estate, and government; including those who have retired from successful pursuits in these fields. All are welcome and are included in all our social and civic activities. For information about joining the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach, please contact Cindy Dalecki at 386-566-3466. The club can also be reached at or

Source : Rotary Club of Flagler Beach

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