Our club has knocked it out of the ballpark in three Rotary-related groups that are exemplary in working with young people.
CU Rotaract came to Boulder in the 1990s. Sam Pottinger and John Mozeliak are among those active in working with the group, a worldwide Rotary organization for men and women 18 to 29. Among its projects have been raising money for Honor Flights to send aging veterans to tour military monuments in Washington, D.C., with many dramatic moments when they finally see the tributes to their wartime service. Rotaract also works with Peruvian Hearts to help educate girls in Peru, and provides meals, collects coats, and hosts holiday parties for the homeless in Boulder.
Boulder High and Fairview High Interact clubs grew out of a community Interact group formed in the 2000s by the three Rotary clubs in Boulder. Jamfest, a yearly “battle of the bands” between Boulder and Fairview, has raised some $20,000 over 10 years for Attention Homes. Interact makes PB&J sandwiches for the homeless, then members walk the creek path and give them to those in need. Other projects include sleepouts benefiting the homeless, mentoring and tutoring at the Family Learning Center’s after-school program, and helping organizations including Share-a-Gift, Community Food Share annual food drive, the Buff Bicycle Classic fundraiser, and Boulder Mental Health Partners on suicide prevention and awareness. Bake sales at schools are one yummy and tried-and-true method of raising money for projects. Among Boulder Rotarians working with Interact: Bill Rubin, Ty Melton, Shoni Kahn, Doug Yeiser, and Nancy Chin-Wagner.
Rotary Youth Leadership:
Boulder Rotary’s Mr. RYLA, Bill Rubin, has been honored often since 2003 for his work with Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: RYLA for high school students and Young RYLA for middle schoolers. Each summer 700 students from districts 5440 and 5450 take part in the six-day program in Estes Park during the summer. Rotary Clubs pay for their scholarships at $450 per student. Students who visit BRC afterward always talk about how RYLA has changed their lives by teaching them leadership skills. They learn how to begin a lifetime of service to others – and many return later, as great Rotarians!