The Community Interact Club of South DeKalb has earned the Rotary International’s Platinum Award for community service and leadership, the highest citation an Interact Club can receive.
The 12-member student club is the first in the Southeast region—from Philadelphia to the Caribbean Islands—to receive the Platinum Award. There are over 500 Interact clubs in Zone 33/34(Southeast region).
“We worked really hard to stay on task and we are very proud of the work we put in,” said Solomon Gaiters, a senior at DeKalb County’s Arabia Mountain High School who helped grow the club from six members to 11.
Among the activities that earned the 2-year-old club a perfect score of 50 out of 50 points:
The club met twice a month for meetings or projects; donated snacks to the South DeKalb YMCA afterschool program; collected and sent toiletries to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian; and worked with the Rotary Club of South DeKalb to collect and send Hurricane relief supplies to the Bahamas. The club also organized several successful fundraisers and collaborated with the Columbia High School Interact Club on agroup training.
Each year, Rotary International uses a point system to gauge the community service and leadership participation of each Interact Club worldwide to receive recognition for its work.
South DeKalb Rotary Club President Irvin Johnson, who serves as DeKalb County Tax Commissioner, commended the youths for their outstanding work with so few members.
“Many of the clubs around the world have 20 to 100 members. This is a huge accomplishment for a small club like ours,” Johnson said.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox presented the club with a certificate of achievement for being the first Interact Club to achieve Platinum status in the Southeast and in DeKalb. Maddox also presented the club’s two seniors with gift cards during the club’s Feb. 22 meeting.
“As seniors, we want to thank you for your hard work and dedication. We hope that you continue what you have started as you go on your journey to further your education,” said Maddox.