2016-17 Interact Report
 
The West and East Interact Clubs are wrapping up another successful year of service activities.  Special thanks to teacher sponsors John Ruhlin at West and Kevin Ratliff at East as well as all of the Rotarians who attended a club meeting to give advice, support a project, make a presentation, or teach a skill.  Thank to club presidents Evie Sorrell at West and Alex Stein and Celia Sheppard at East.   Thank you also to Katie Johnson who will be taking over the leadership of the AER sponsored Interact Clubs in the new Rotary year.
 
West projects
• Held a Newcomer Center fundraiser to aid the integration of immigrant and refugee students and donated $200
• Made an Interact presentation to AER
• Ran a book drive and installed a Neighborhood Lending Library
• Prepared a video for newly arrived refugee students on how to open a locker
• Prepared care packages for troops overseas for the holidays 
• Held a clothing drive for the CSS Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services (RAIS)
• Sponsored Hot Chocolate and Skating at Westchester Lagoon featuring free hot chocolate and a donation jar 
• Developed a new officer position: Historian whose task is taking pictures of all events
• Picked-up trash at Westchester Lagoon
• 1 Interactor earned a President Volunteer Service Award - gold medal (over 250 hours of service)
 
East projects
• Project Peanut Butter campaign - Made peanut butter sandwiches for Kids’ Kitchen and Clare House 
• Made a Rotary Polio eradication campaign awareness photo collage /poster to hang in school
• Random Pies of Kindness campaign -  Delivered 150 surprise pumpkin pies just before Thanksgiving to shelters, food kitchens, seniors and distributed the funds earned for the following international humanitarian projects:       
$200 towards water filters for distribution in Huichols, Mexico through the Anchorage East Rotary Service Fund; $175 towards a natural disaster emergency box to Shelter Box USA; $200 for adjustable shoes for Nepalese children through Helping Hands for Nepal, Inc.; and $175 for education support for HIV/AIDS orphans to the Malawi Children’s Village Foundation
• Operation Gratitude campaign - Wrote holiday cards to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital and soldiers stationed overseas 
• Ran a book drive, solicited a library box from a carpenter and installed a Little Reading Library in front of the CSS Refugee Assistance and Immigration Center (RAIS) @ St. Anthony's Church
• Crocheted baby blankets for Children’s Hospital and scarves for Covenant House with donated yarn from community
• Picked up trash around the school with other East HS service clubs 
 
Other events that some East Interactors participated in: 
• Helped at AER Mobile Food Pantry at the Fairview Rec Center parking lot
• Assisted at Trick or Treat Street at the Hotel Captain Cook
• Attended 1-day Alaska Hopes and Dreams conference - fall and spring
• Attended 5-day PYLI (Prudential Youth Leadership Institute) Training - spring break
• 2 Interactors earned President Volunteer Service Awards - bronze (100 hours of service) and silver (175 hours of service)