BAR HARBOR — The students crowd around a slightly tippy table at Chocolatte in Bar Harbor. One sips a drink. Another writes out thank-you notes long hand. The air manages to be muggy, hot and full of excitement. White envelopes each labeled with a student’s name wait on an empty chair. Filled with raffle tickets, those envelopes are the key to the MDI High School students’ project’s success.
“We’re looking forward to going to Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York so that we can learn what other Rotary groups from all over the country are doing and share with them what we’ve done,” said Xan Rush.
Every year, Rotary Day at the United Nations brings 1,300 Rotarians together at U.N. headquarters in New York. The program is meant to inspire and increase the relationship between the service organization Rotary International and the United Nations. A large part of the day is a special program for youths like the ones from MDI High School – students who are inspired to do humanitarian service.
Currently about 30 students strong and sponsored by the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club, the local high school Interact group has already done much for the community. They provided backpacks for DHHS programs, sponsored a Downeast Horizons prom, painted the ASPCA, and helped clean up Acadia National Park carriage roads.
But they are inspired to do even more and to learn more about humanitarian service. Which is why they are meeting at Chocolatte late on a Wednesday afternoon, distributing raffle tickets to sell for a fund-raiser, writing thank-you notes to donors, and plotting how to raise approximately $7,900.
A big part of that fundraising effort is a calendar of 30 prizes ticket purchasers can win. They are selling the tickets at $20.00 each or three for $50.00. Each ticket purchased gives the ticket owner 30 chances to win. The drawing begins August 15.
As they meet, it’s obvious to tell they are both motivated and busy. It’s the middle of the summer. Most of the students have at least two part-time jobs. The treasurer of the group is so active that the only time she could meet with Maryanne Mattson, the group’s Rotarian advisor, is 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday.
“These kids are inspired and motivated,” Mattson said. “I really want them to be able to have a good experience.”
Others in the community seem to want that as well. Donors quickly filled up the fundraising calendar and First Express in Bar Harbor donated all the printing for the 300 tickets and calendars. The students know that means a lot.
“We really appreciate everyone and their extreme generosity towards helping us achieve our goal of New York,” said Cassidy Parady, who was still wearing her sports clothes as she wrote out thank you’s.
Parady and Rush are two of approximately 11 Interactors who hope to attend U.N. Day.
The students hope to sell tickets via Facebook and email. Anyone interested in tickets can contact Grace Drennan at email@example.com or check on the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Facebook page www.facebook.com/barharbormdirotary
Author: Carrie Jones