March 9th, marks the beginning of World Rotaract week. Legally, anyone who is an adult, 18 years or older, can join Rotary, yet, few Rotary clubs have many members under age 30. The first Rotaract Club was created in 1968 at Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States partly to address this situation. However, Rotaract Clubs were not Rotary International’s first youth clubs. 
 
 
That honour belongs to clubs, created for High School Student’s called “Interact” clubs a few years earlier in 1962. "Rotaract" stands for "Rotary in Action", although the name originally comes from a combination of "Rotary" and "Interact" (International + Action).
 
Rotaract members must be between age 18 and 30. After age 30, they are encouraged to become members of a local Rotary club. The Rotaract clubs are structured similarly to the traditional club and must be sponsored by a Rotary Club. Rotaractors are now considered by Rotary International to be full members of Rotary, but with fewer financial costs. Meetings are held biweekly or monthly. There is an emphasis on leadership development, community and International service. The clubs are often University or College based, but there are also community based Rotaract clubs. Currently, the closest Rotaract club to Dryden is based at the University of Manitoba. In the past, Dryden had a community-based club, with several ex-Rotaractors still living in Dryden, including Rtn. Deanna Pacheco.
 
As mentioned, the first Interact Club was founded November 1962 as a youth project by the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Florida at the Melbourne High School. Interactors can be age 12 to 18. Clubs can be school based, or community based and must be sponsored by a Rotary Club.  Interactors must complete at least 2 community service projects per year, one of which must be an International project. Currently, there are about 33,000 Interact clubs worldwide, with about 340,000 members in 200 countries worldwide. Kenora has our closest Interact club. There are several students in the Dryden High School who wish to start an Interact club. We need one or more teachers in the High School and one or more Rotarians to volunteer to make this happen. 
 
Today, there are now about 11,000 Rotaract clubs with 250,000 members in 184 countries. 
 
Anyone who wants more information on Interact or Rotaract can follow the links on the RI and District 5550 websites.
 
Sponsors