Keuka College’s Rotaract Club doesn’t expect thanks for all of the volunteer work it does, but members of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division delivered a big thank you that meant a lot to members of the service club.
The club connected with the soldiers through the College’s Adopt-a-Platoon program. Rotaract, along with the Center for Spiritual Life, adopted two platoons from the 10th Mountain Division (stationed at Fort Drum) who served in Afghanistan. The students provided care packages (filled with food, supplies, letters and cards) periodically throughout the 2011-12 academic year.
To show appreciation, the soldiers sent the club a U.S. flag flown in Afghanistan, a 10th Mountain Division flag, and a certificate recognizing Rotaract’s support of the soldiers.
“It is an honor to receive these gifts,” said junior Alex Morgan, president of Rotaract. “It showed the group how much the platoon appreciated our help while overseas.”
When Morgan, a biology major from New Berlin, enrolled at Keuka College, he had not heard of Rotary, or Rotaract, the college arm of the international organization.
“But once what Rotaract does had been explained to me, I knew I was interested in joining,” said Morgan, who was recruited by Janelle Davidson ’12, former president of the club.
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, Rotaract boasts more than 8,400 clubs in about 170 countries and geographical areas.
Morgan is no stranger to community service. In high school, he took part in such activities as assisting with a haunted house for kids, painting pumpkins at a nursing home, and participating in the New Berlin Village Christmas and Easter events, among others.
Senior Amy Moore joined Rotaract because “I have always been active in community service so when I arrived at Keuka, I was interested in [continuing my community service],” said the senior biology major from Groton. “I have been part of Rotaract for four years, and I am even more active in community service. I like helping our immediate community along with communities around the world.”
Locally, Keuka Rotaract Club members have lent their time and talents to Milly’s Pantry (Weekend Backpack Project), Humane Society of Yates County, Clinton Crest Manor, Celebrate Service…Celebrate Yates, Easter Basket and Angel Tree Projects, and Daffodil Days. Club members have also read to elementary school children as part of a project to boost literacy, and will assist with the St. Michael’s Church (Penn Yan) Halloween party.
According to Moore, the College’s Rotaract Club future plans include volunteering with Habitat for Humanity; the national Let’s Can Hunger drive, sponsored by Campbell’s Soup; and participating in bell-ringing for the Salvation Army.
Nationally, the club supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; internationally, it has been involved with the ShelterBox relief organization and Rotary’s Pennies for Polio program.