Collaboration: Water resource interests pooled

December 2015 Posted in School

SHS seniors Adrienne Metzger and Nichole Beyer are the presidents of the  Interact Club.

SHS seniors Adrienne Metzger and Nichole Beyer are the presidents of the Interact Club.

By Kristine Thomas 

It’s been hinted the reason Silverton High School’s Interact Club members show up before school for meetings is because of the doughnuts.

But Silverton Rotarians Janet Dalisky and Kyle Palmer know it’s something more. They have spent time volunteering with the students and have insight into what motivates them.

“These kids are civic-minded,” Palmer said. “They are ready to jump in and do community work.”

The Interact Club is a service club for youth 12 to 18 years old. Each club is sponsored by a Rotary Club, which provides support and guidance. Interact’s name is a combination of the words “international” and “action.”

What amazes Dalisky and Palmer is how the local club has grown in the last six years.

They attribute the growth to its advisor, John Mannion, and to the leadership of the club’s presidents over the years.

“This club is really student driven,” Mannion said. “We just provide guidance. The Interact students know they are doing good things for the community.”

Mannion said when he started as advisor there were about 10 members. Now, there are 57.

“It’s been fun to see the club grow and to see how the students are involved,” Dalisky said. “We are hoping they all become Rotarians.”

“There has been a real difference in the club since John became the advisor,” Palmer said.

“Any community is as good as the people who live in it,” Mannion said. “I think these students are civic-minded and know it’s important to pitch in.”

Silverton High Principal Mark Hannan said he thinks Mannion, who is also the school’s football coach, has been instrumental in the club’s growth.

“The kids want to follow and learn from him,” Hannan said.

It’s also the way students are at Silverton High, he said.

“This student body gets the whole pay- it-forward mentality,” Hannan said, adding not only do the students do things to benefit their community but also for far-reaching organizations like Medical Teams International.

Dalisky serves as the liaison between the Interact and the Rotary Club. She sends group texts to students about upcoming events such as Christmas caroling and receives texts from the club’s co-presidents, seniors Nichole Beyer and Adrienne Metzger.

Both Palmer and Dalisky said they are impressed with co-presidents’ leadership abilities and enthusiasm.

Metzger said she joined Interact  because of her sister, Lydianne Metzger, who graduated in 2013.

“She was going to a meeting so I decided to go with her,” Metzger said. “This club is totally service based and it’s a way to give back to our community. I feel really blessed to grow up here and it feels good to give back.”

Beyer decided not to participate in sports her sophomore year, leaving her time for new activities. Her brother, Eric, was a senior and encouraged her to join Interact. When she was a junior she met Dalisky and that meeting inspired her to help the club grow and do more.

“I think as teenagers we often get caught up in the trivial affairs of life,” Beyer said. “This club is about giving back to our community and welcoming people in our school to participate. It has helped me be less shy and with my public speaking.”

Both Metzger and Beyer appreciate how the Rotary members serve as mentors. On Mondays, three or four Interact Club students attend the weekly Silverton Rotary Club luncheon.

Students have participated in Rotary Club events including the Strawberry Festival, Christmas caroling, helping with the Tree of Giving and senior clean-up day. Dalisky has plans for the students to help with the Homer Davenport Community Festival and delivering Rotary-purchased dictionaries to all fourth-grade students in the Silver Falls School District. In addition, before graduation the Interact Club members beautify the high school, including spreading bark dust.

“I think as teenagers we do a lot of stuff for ourselves,” Metzger said. “This club allows us to do stuff for other people.”

The Interact Club recently donated 758 pounds of food to SACA. It’s also written and delivered Valentine Day’s  cards to local nursing homes.

“Our club is easy to join,” Metzger said. “All you have to do is show up. It doesn’t require much of you and what you get out of it depends on how much you put into it.”

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