BY STEPHANIE BEACH
---- — The new Benzie Central High School Interact Club, Rotary International’s service club for students ages 12 to 18, hit the ground running — literally — after its inaugural ceremony in April.
The club sponsored a Relay for Polio on June 15 to support Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. The event was a 72-mile relay run that attracted 40 track and cross country team members from Manistee, Bear Lake/Onekama, Benzie Central, Glen Lake and Traverse City Central high schools. Manistee High School began the relay at 8 a.m. at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee and Traverse City Central High School brought home the baton at 5:30 p.m. at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. The baton used in the relay was specially designed to honor Richard Knechtges, a polio victim who was active in Manistee programs for people with disabilities until his death in March.
The Interact Club raised more than $3,000 in donations from area Rotary Clubs, local businesses and individuals. The club plans to make this an annual event until polio, already close to elimination, has been eradicated worldwide.
A group of Real Estate One agents “adopted” Third Level Crisis Intervention Center. One positive result of this new relationship was a work day that helped beautify Third Level’s office and grounds.
Real Estate One employees donated their time, money and landscaping materials, painted doors, trimmed bushes, planted flowers, mulched, washed windows and even put in air conditioners.
“They performed these tasks on a very warm day with an enthusiasm and pride that humbled us,” said Third Level Executive Director Ken Homa. “The hard-working agents also prepared a picnic lunch, which they generously shared with Third Level employees. Another result of this relationship is that these agents are learning about Third Level’s programs and our hope, of course, is that the word will spread and reach many others.
“Third Level staff would like to send out a great big thank you to those who participated in this work day and to all of the participating Real Estate One agents for taking us under your wing. Stop by or take a look as you drive by and enjoy their amazing handiwork as we employees are doing each day.”