Members of Pocahontas County High School Rotary Interact are: kneeling, from left: Kayla Shaw, Kaylin Murray and Amber Sisler. Second row, from left: Gavin Gilmore, Mia Ellison, Carlie Ervine and Kayla Gibson. Third row, from left: Max Dunz, Joseph Whalen, Jake Faris and Trey Walton. S. Stewart photo
Members of Pocahontas County High School Rotary Interact are: kneeling, from left: Kayla Shaw, Kaylin Murray and Amber Sisler. Second row, from left: Gavin Gilmore, Mia Ellison, Carlie Ervine and Kayla Gibson. Third row, from left: Max Dunz, Joseph Whalen, Jake Faris and Trey Walton. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

A new club at Pocahontas County High School has students reaching out past their peers and giving back to the community – locally and internationally.

The Rotary Interact club is a high school program started by Rotary International. Interact clubs select two service projects each year – one with a focus on the community or the school and one that promotes international outreach.

The PCHS club is sponsored by English/language arts teacher Joy Boothe, who worked with Marlinton Rotary club member Roger Trusler to start the club four years ago.

“He asked me if I’d be interested in this club and so I found out all about it,” Boothe said. “We’ve done a lot of projects. Last year is the only year we didn’t have it because we couldn’t fit it in.”

Rotary Interact has gained a good group of students who have hit the ground running with outreach projects. Officers are: president, Gavin Gilmore; vice president, Kaylin Murray; secretaries Mia Ellison and Kayla Shaw; and treasurer, Amber Sisler.

“We do service projects to help the community,” Gilmore said. “We usually get ideas from each other and piece together what we should do.”

The club has reached out to the Humane Society and the Pocahontas Center as part of its first projects.

“We did a Humane Society pet food and supply drive,” Ellison said. “We collected over two-hundred, ninety items all together. We’re also making Easter cards for the nursing home.”

The club is currently working on an Easter basket drawing to benefit PolioPlus, a project Rotary International raises funds for, as well.

“[The Marlinton Rotary Club] came and talked to us in December,” Ellison said. “They gave us a list of the goals that they want to achieve.”

With an eye to the future, the students are always bouncing ideas off each other to find projects they can support.

“We want to do projects that benefit the community in the best ways we can,” Gilmore said.