Interact Club Volunteers at Oakland Walk

Interact Club Volunteers at Oakland Walk

Joelle Nelson, Co-Sports Editor

Members of the Interact Club volunteered at the 13th annual Center for Early Intervention on Deafness (CEID) Walk-a-thon on May 14 at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Sophomore Sierra Warshawsky and freshmen Genie Lee and Joelle Nelson participated in the 5-mile walk around Lake Merritt and helped with painting faces and playing with children. “The [CEID] is an incredible source of education for children and adolescents who have learning disabilities such that they cannot hear at all or very well,” Warshawsky said.

Interact Club is a world-wide organization that completes at least 2 service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Clubs meet at least twice a month and are sponsored by their local Rotary club.

Interact Club adviser and science teacher Jane Kelson was contacted by the event planner Carol Lettko. Nelson then asked Warshawsky to organize the club’s involvement.

Warshawsky, Nelson, and Lee arrived at Lakeside Park near the entrance of FairyLand at 9:00am and received promotional t-shirts. At 10:00am, they began their walk.

The event involved a raffle with prizes ranging from a minions-themed basket to a calligraphy set. Lee said, “I think the raffle tickets were a really fun way to raise money for a good cause.”

“I didn’t expect the walk to be very long, but I actually found myself enjoying it and time flew by as I talked to my friends,” Lee explained.

The walk lasted an hour and a half. “I liked joining the walkathon because it was for a good cause and I had a lot of fun, especially interacting with the kids as they came by my station,” said Lee. She painted butterflies and hearts on children’s faces until 2:00pm.

“It was amazing to be able to show my support for their cause and do what I could to help,” Warshawsky said. “Interact in general has allowed me to have so many opportunities to really give back to our local community and help those in need. I hope to progress through these next few years as a person and volunteer and Interact really opens my mind to new ideas and people and challenges that the world faces and how much of a difference one person can make. I hope to not only be an Interactor in the coming years, but a Rotarian [member of the Moraga Rotary Club] for life as ‘service really does come before self.'”