RHS Interact Celebrates 100 Years of Rotary in Roseburg!


Members of this year’s Interact Club pose with messages thanking their Rotary mentors.

Rotary is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. The organization was founded by Paul Harris in Chicago, Illinois on February 23, 1905. The organization has substantially grown since then. There are currently 46,000 Rotary clubs internationally and 10,700 Interact clubs. Rotary has over 1.2 million members and Interact has over 200,000 members. Interact is the high school division of Rotary. The goal of Interact is to teach teenagers the importance of leadership, community, and serving something bigger than themselves.

Rotary has been in Roseburg for 100 years! The current president is Meme Tenold. Back in the beginning days of Rotary, a female president would not even be possible. The 1989 Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. Meme was the first female member of Rotary in the San Francisco division. Women like Meme are inspirations and trailblazers for the women and teenage girls who have joined Rotary or Interact. This year’s Interact club has more young women than young men making up its members. Meme Tenold, the current members, and past members of the Roseburg Rotary have served our community for years. Rotary members serve as mentors and inspirations for Interact members.
Interact is one of our school’s popular service clubs. The current officers are(president), myself, Ella Finley (vice president), Helena Garcia (communications officer), Kristen Ramirez (treasurer), and Jazylnn Landeros (secretary). Over the last few years, Interact funded two wells to be built in Africa, co-funded the RHS clothing closet, built a bench for the RHS campus, donated several shelter boxes with resources for the natural disaster recovery internationally, purchased 50 duffel bags for foster children to store their belongings in, installed water fountains at RHS, gave a scholarship to a graduating senior, cleaned up the Fred Meyer duck pond, and volunteered hundreds of hours of community service at events or other service opportunities.

I personally joined Interact at the start of my sophomore year to get more involved in our school and our community. Since I began Interact, I have participated in so many fun service opportunities and made some great friends. I am now the vice president of Interact. My public speaking skills have grown because of the club, and I have learned important leadership skills. I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most successful business men and women in Roseburg. They have been very supportive and inspiring for not only the members of Interact, but the whole community. The skills I have learned from Interact are skills that I will use for the rest of my life.

Megan Danielson, a former Interact club vice president and RHS student, says “One of the many things that I took away from Interact Club was a deeper appreciation for serving others. Not only was I able to grow as a leader, but I was also able to connect with other student leaders around Oregon. While serving as vice president of Roseburg High School’s Interact Club, it was important for me to be able to speak confidently about my club and what we were doing for our community. I also had the opportunity to see what other clubs were doing for their communities at the Interact leadership conference. Now being in my career, there are many things that I still hold on to from this experience. Meeting new people, leading with confidence, and taking action are all benefits that can come from being a part of an Interact Club, and are characteristics that I value as a manager and team player.” Megan is now the marketing manager for FleetNurse.
Marin Gray, this year’s president of Interact, says, “Interact has given me a fresh perspective on service above self. Having the opportunity to witness so many bright, community-oriented individuals rallying together for causes they’re passionate about is such an inspiring experience. From providing wells in Africa to sending resources to those affected by natural disasters in Haiti, it’s an honor to see the tangible impact we can have when we serve collaboratively. Working in partnership with our parent organization, Rotary International, gives me hope for the future of our community and beyond!”

Interact and Rotary have helped so many people and communities worldwide. The point of Interact and Rotary is to put service above self or to worry about something bigger than you.