Interact Monthly Newsletter
February 1, 2021

No birthdays in February!
RYLA - application opens Feb 1, 2021
YRYLA - application opens Feb 1, 2021
Preparing the dessert
Preparing the casserole
Clean up!
Each month, a different club will be featured in this section to promote recent service projects that exemplify "Service Above Self."
This month we are featuring...
The Titan Interact Club from
Lake City, Iowa 

Every year in November, members of the Titan Interact Club gather to prepare frozen meals for families in need. The elementary school has a food pantry, and it is available to any family registered with the school system. The elementary principal, guidance counselor, and two social workers have an idea of families in crisis. They can get a meal out of the freezer and give it to the families. 

This is the fourth year that Titan Interactors have prepared frozen meals! Rotarians from the Rockwell City Rotary Club volunteer alongside the students. 

The first year, Interactors made a chicken broccoli casserole, but found that it was difficult to put together. They decided to switch to making a tater tot casserole, something much easier to assemble, and the ingredients are easier to find!

Alongside the frozen tater tot casserole meal, students got creative and prepared a crushed oreo and pudding dessert. They hope that it goes over well with the families.

Students generally make enough casseroles for ten meals to serve ten families. 

The ingredients are divvied up amongst Interactors. Each student donates 1-2 items, making this project entirely member-funded. Of course, they make extra so they can enjoy the meal too!

The Titan Interact Club is sponsored by the Rockwell City Rotary Club. 


Nominate your club here to be showcased for March!


Upcoming Events
Friday, April 30th - 6:00pm
Saturday, May 1st - 9:00am
*Times subject to change.
There will be opportunities for Interactors, faculty advisers, and Rotarian liasions. We hope that you can join us! 
Who's Who on the Interact Committee?
This is a section dedicated to get to know who's behind the scenes on District 5970's Interact Committee. 
Helen Ruth Beneke
Hometown: Pocahontas, IA
Rotary Club: Pocahontas Rotary Club
District Role(s): Vice President, Youth Coordinator
Rotary Minute: Having presented programs to the Pocahontas Rotary club several times during 1970 - 80s, I wanted to join this club that contributed to our community. When I asked a Rotarian how I could join Rotary, he tapped my hand saying, "Not to worry about that little lady." It wasn't until 1988 that women could be considered for membership. I was the first little lady to join this club, having waited for 13 years to become a member of this vibrant, friendly group.
Career: Retired educator & community volunteer
Hobbies: Baking, sewing, reading, and connecting with friends & family
Because Helen has always gone above and beyond the call of duty...she sent the editor a biography! You really need to read this.
Helen joined the Pocahontas Rotary Club in 1988, which was the first year women were invited to join Rotary International. She is her club's Youth Coordinator, the Dictionary Project chair, and has written a few grants for local projects involving the Pocahontas club. Helen had served as Rotary District Trainer for four years, served on the joint districts (#5970 and #6000) RYLA board for five years, served as trainer for District 5970 Rotary Youth Exchange program, coordinated the Rotary district 5970 Interact and Rotaract clubs one year, and currently serves on the Interact/Rotaract district committee and the Y-RYLA district committee.
She has devoted her career to education as a first grade teacher, a special education teacher, an educational strategist, and 25 years as a special education consultant for AEA5. Helen had also been affiliated with Iowa Public Television for seven years as an utilization specialist, and she served as the coordinator of the first state-wide teacher learning teams. She supervised interns for the graduate department of Morningside College and Buena Vista University was an adjunct instructor for both colleges.
Helen is active in two international special education organizations. Within the past 20 years, she has presented at conferences held in Warsaw, Poland; Wroclaw, Poland; Sligo, Ireland; Alicante, Spain; Braga, Portugal; Vancouver, British Columbia; Riga, Latvia; and Hong Kong, China. She has also provided teacher training at special educational facilities in Zagreb, Croatia and Visakhapatnam, India.
She received the Winterstein Award of Excellence from the Iowa Council of Exceptional Children (2004) and the Educator of the Year award from the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association (2007). Helen is a Paul Harris Fellow and she had received the District Rotary Avenue of Service Award in 2010.  
Helen and her husband, Don, have four children and nine grandchildren. She and her husband are active in many community groups, and currently Helen serves on the state board of the Iowa Community Theater Association and the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association. She is concerned about youth and appreciates the opportunity to continue to be involved with youth programs.
Do you know an Interact alumni member with a compelling Interact story?
We want to hear from them!
Please encourage them to contact

Video Challenge

Start: January 1, 2021
End: March 31, 2021
As Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors, you are no stranger to working to make the world a better place together with likeminded people. Now we are facing a brand-new set of challenges, helping fix the environment and the future for us all. Rotary International has risen to that challenge by declaring a new seventh Area Of Focus – “Protecting the Environment.” 
But how?
In ESRAG – The Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group – we are working together to provide a platform for the Rotary family around the world to get engaged. Our challenge is to create a video, ideally 70 seconds long (but no more than 100 seconds), where you show us an environmental project you are working with, have worked with, or are planning to work with.  
Publish that video to this site (, and when that is done, look around and see what your fellow Rotarians are doing. Then, vote for the videos you like best. Challenge your club members to do the same. Challenge everyone! The more votes we get, the more people see and get inspired from our films, the more we will all help fix the planet with this competition. 
In three months' time, a representative jury of the Rotary family will select a group of winners from the top voted.
Your Service-Learning
Journey Starts Here!
Find your voice and change the world with service-learning, Rotary’s new approach to youth service!
Interactive courses and downloadable workbooks are available now in Rotary’s Learning Center for adult advisors and youth program participants ages 16 and older.
Get started on your service-learning journey today at
Rotary Branding
A consistent voice and visual identity are essential components of a strong brand. Use this guide when producing print, digital content, or merchandise related to Interact.
For more technical alignments, use this Rotary-specific guide to help build awareness and understanding of Rotary and its impact in the community.
Unlike Brand Center on, the above link can be accessed by non-Rotarians to create compelling images to be used in advertising and social media posts. It is VERY user-friendly.
January's Trivia Question: What year was Interact founded?
Answer: 1962! 
No winners from January's trivia. 
WITHOUT GOOGLING THE ANSWER, can you answer the following Trivia Question? The first respondent with the correct answers receives bragging rights for the next newsletter. 
Which was the first established Interact club?
Citation for Interact Clubs

The Rotary Citation for Interact Clubs recognizes clubs that support Rotary's Action Plan by completing activities that help increase the organization's impact, expand its reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase its ability to adapt. Interact clubs that achieve the Interact goals by the end of the Rotary year will earn a citation.

Only Interact clubs that are listed as active in Rotary International’s database can earn the citation. To confirm that a club is active, Rotarians can check the Listing of Club-Sponsored Organizations in Rotary Club Central.

All activities need to be completed by August 15, 2021.

The sponsor Rotary club’s president completes the online nomination form for the citation by August 15th. For Interact clubs with more than one sponsor club, only one nomination should be submitted for any given Interact club.

Beginning in 2020-21, you can select at least 11 of the 20 goals in the PDF. This flexibility allows you to choose the goals that are the most relevant and attainable. You have the entire Rotary year to achieve your goals for your club to receive the citation.
Use this PDF as a worksheet to set your goals and track your progress. Your sponsor club officers and club adviser can refer to it when completing your nomination form.
To achieve the citation:
  • Review the 20 goal details.
  • With guidance from your club adviser, select at least 11 goals to achieve.
  • Indicate the goals you plan to achieve and set a target, if appropriate, in the SET YOUR GOAL column.
  • When your club has met a goal, indicate that in the GOAL ACHIEVED column.
  • Your sponsor club officials and club adviser should refer to this worksheet throughout the year to ensure that your club is on track to meet its goals.
  • Work with your sponsor Rotary club officers or Interact club adviser to submit your nomination form before August 15th. Have them refer to this worksheet to complete the form.
To be eligible for the Rotary Citation, Interact clubs need to be certified by Rotary International and endorsed by the district governor before July 1st. An adult adviser to the club also needs to provide their name and contact information to Rotary before July 1st.
2020 Interact Award WINNER!
Who won?  
Out of over 200 submissions from around the world, eight videos were selected as finalists in the 2020 Interact Awards!
The Interact Club of Prativa Pokhara Fishtail Nepal earned the "Best Video" in the 2020 Interact Award. Watch their video here
A message from the winning club
Project 15 Precious Days was a fifteen day-long project which was done to utilize our vacation. We believe that our small acts can make big change in our society. In those fifteen days we did five different activities. This video is a sum of those five activities. We have decided that this video will represent the Interact Club of Prativa Pokhara Fishtail for Interact Video Awards 2020.

The District 5970 Interact Newsletter is a quarterly source of news, resources, and event information for young leaders in Interact, their Interact advisers, and the Rotarians who support them. 
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