Students raising money for trip to United Nations

BAR HARBOR — The Interact group at Mount Desert Island High School, about 30 students sponsored by the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club, are holding a raffle to fund a trip to the United Nations in New York, N.Y.

“We’re looking forward to going to Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York so that we can learn what other Rotary groups from all over the country are doing and share with them what we’ve done,” said Xan Rush.

Every year, Rotary Day at the United Nations brings 1,300 Rotarians together at U.N. headquarters in New York. The program is meant to inspire and increase the relationship between the service organization Rotary International and the U.N. A large part of the day is a special program for youths like the ones from MDI High School, students who are inspired to do humanitarian service.

The local high school Interact group already has done a lot for the community. They provided backpacks for DHHS programs, sponsored a Downeast Horizons prom, painted the ASPCA and helped clean up Acadia National Park carriage roads.

But they are inspired to do even more and to learn more about humanitarian service, which is why they met at Choco-Latte on a Wednesday afternoon, distributing raffle tickets to sell for a fund-raiser, writing thank-you notes to donors and plotting how to raise approximately $7,900.

A big part of that fundraising effort is a calendar of 30 prizes that ticket buyers can win. The tickets cost $20 each or three for $50. Each ticket purchased gives the ticket holder 30 chances to win. The drawing begins Aug. 15.

As they meet, it’s clear they are both motivated and busy. It’s the middle of the summer, and most of the students have at least two part-time jobs. The treasurer of the group is so active that the only time she could meet with Maryanne Mattson, the group’s Rotarian advisor, is 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday.

“These kids are inspired and motivated,” Mattson said. “I really want them to be able to have a good experience.”

Others in the community seem to want that as well. Donors quickly filled up the fundraising calendar, and First Express in Bar Harbor donated all the printing for the 300 tickets and calendars. The students know that means a lot.

“We really appreciate everyone and their extreme generosity towards helping us achieve our goal of New York,” said Cassidy Parady, who was still wearing her sports clothes as she wrote out thank-you notes.

Parady and Rush are two of approximately 11 group members who hope to attend U.N. Day.

The students plan to sell tickets via Facebook and email. Anyone interested in tickets can contact Grace Drennan at [email protected] or visit the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Facebook page.

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