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February 1, 2019

Rotaract was established in 1968. The name stands for "Rotary" and "Action." The earlier name, "International Action," was a secondary school organization founded by Rotary in 1962.

Interact members wanted to extend their experience with service beyond secondary school. A number of proposals were sent to Rotary International requesting an extension of the age graduates could be members. However, Rotary International decided to set up a new organization for people ages 18 to 30. This would provide them with an opportunity to continue to do service and to develop leadership skills.

The first club was established in Charlotte, North Carolina. Many clubs all over the world quickly followed. There are now 10,904 Rotaract Clubs in 184 different countries with 291,006 members. Many of the clubs share their activities on Facebook and Instagram. They do many service programs in their communities as well as internationally.

Members of the Rotaract clubs organize and run their clubs, manage their funds and service projects. Sponsoring Rotary clubs act as partners offering whatever support is needed. The Rotaract motto is "Self Development –Fellowship Through Service." One of our members, Maria Burt, was president of the Castleton Rotaract Club which is still very active When she was a member. a highlight was their trip to Hondouras.

As co-sponsors of our local Interact Club, the Bennington and Catamount Rotary clubs wish to work together to sponsor a Rotaract club in our area. They have formed a committee to facilitate the development of such an organization.

With five colleges in Bennington, the chance for the students to become involved in the community as well as with each other through service projects seems beneficial to all concerned. Members of the Rotaract Committee will contact administrators and students at the various colleges as well as other young people in the community.

Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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