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Why are you in Rotary?

February 1, 2017

Jim Thibodeau
Recently, our President Elect asked our membership the following question: "Why are you in Rotary"? So many answers came to me immediately. "I enjoy giving back to the community I live and work in". "I value the camaraderie and friendships I've made over the years". "Because I love being the self- appointed General-at-Arms with my bully pulpit". "So I can jump into the Frosty the Snowman suit and ring the bell for the fuel fund with Ted Bird". "Because I enjoy working with the MAU students in the Interact Club". While all of the above are certainly true, it is my work with Interact that most accurately answers Vicki's question.

This is my 10th year as our club's liaison to the MAUHS Interact Club. Right from the start, I knew that I had huge shoes to fill. I Followed Jim Ross and Sal Santarcangelo, and their groundbreaking involvement with Interact since its inception 25 years ago. Although he has told me that Interact had been meeting for 6 months when he first started as the club's leader at the school, Dan Lucy has been the driving force behind Interact since day 1. I really didn't know Dan very well before I got involved with Interact, and that was my loss. I can tell you honestly that there is no one at the school more giving of their personal time, or more concerned about the student's well-being than Dan. He has been the driving force behind, and has gone on all 6 trips to our sister city Somotillo, Nicaragua, delivering medical and dental supplies, sports equipment and computer equipment. He told me that the largest contingent that went numbered 34, between the adult chaperones and students. When I asked Dan how he made the arrangements for such a large group, and the tons of supplies that went down. He very humbly said "Jim, I honestly don't know how I was able to do that". He then clasped his hands together as if in prayer.

On any given night, at any Interact event, you'll find him working side by side with the students, selflessly giving of his free time. With the hundreds of students that have gone through the Interact Club, Dan still remembers the first club president, Jody Dionne, now Jody Dionne MD.

I don't think that the date has been formally announced, but Dan Lucy will be retiring before too long. To say that I'm worried about the future of the Interact Club might be the greatest understatement of all time. Who at the school will step up? I previously wrote that I had big shoes to fill in following Sal and Jim Ross? Who can possibly fill Dan's shoes? Try filling the Pacific Ocean with a Dixie cup! In 2010 the MAUHS Interact Club won the Governor's Award for Outstanding Community Service. It is absolutely imperative that a club of this caliber continues on; for the sake of our community, for Dan's sake, as well as that of Jim Ross and Sal Santarcangelo.

Author: Jim Thibodeau
Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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