From left: Maggie Carlberg, Jane O’Connell, Frannie Hertz, Alex Marino, Amelia Mooradd, Brooke Soininen, Claire Buletza, Charlotte Donahue, Jenny White, and Annika Johnson
On Sunday, June 11, Ipswich High School Interact held a special meeting that was attended by their families and some friends from the sponsoring Ipswich-Rowley Rotary club.  In addition to celebrating their achievements and installing new leaders, the club created this event to strengthen their connections with parents, school administrators, and the Rotary club.  Supported by Rotarians, Interact is driven by the children and enabled by the parents who raise them and shape their values. 
Following dinner, Rotary President Martha Mauser shared a bit about Rotary and our annual Youth Exchange program.  The club then presented a year-in-review slide show, beginning with a leadership camping trip in August and running through each club event.  Interact runs a number of events during the year to raise money for charitable organizations.  Their managed and hosted ‘Jingle Bell Walk’ just completed its 10th year in Ipswich and has become an annual town tradition.  This year, the club also raised money to fund Kiva revolving micro loans to small businesses in developing countries.  Many of these loans already have been repaid and reissued as new loans. 
Several committee chairs and each Board member received awards recognizing their service.  Club Officers received special gifts, and a new Board of Directors was sworn in.  Vice President Annika Johnson was installed as incoming President, Jenny White will be Vice President, Charlotte Donahue Secretary, and Claire Buletza Treasurer.
Keith Harris, our long-time Interact Chair and the club’s guiding spirit, presented Rotary’s highest honor, a Paul Harris Fellowship, to outgoing President Courtney Stevens (at left).  She is the first Interactor from Ipswich to be so honored. 
The purpose of Interact is to bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop their leadership skills while they discover the power of ‘Service Above Self’.  During this special evening, family members had an opportunity to better understand the great work their kids have done, and the opportunities that lie ahead.  Hopefully, it will become an annual event of celebration and appreciation of youth development.