In mid-June between raindrops, the Rhinebeck Interact Club dedicated several hours to beautifying the gardens at the Astor Home for Children. As part of its mission to provide support to a number of local and international humanitarian efforts, Interact Club members hoped to make a valuable difference for the children who reside at Astor by enhancing the beauty of the grounds through planting, weeding and general landscaping. Participants included Jonah Rosenberg, Emma Steele, Elizabeth Steele, Jenna Bergstraesser, Bryan Dewkett, Michelle Dewkett, Jake Chapman, Bailey Lyons, Parents Debi Duke and Steve Rosenberg, and Interact Advisors and Parents Kiki Steele and Kathy Dewkett.

Jan Weido, Recreation Director at the Astor Home, expressed his gratitude to the group by sharing: “spaces like the step garden are important for bringing beauty and grace to a place of treatment”.

 The Interact Club is made up of Rhinebeck High School students in grades 9-12 and is sponsored by the Rhinebeck Rotary Club. Interact focuses on a variety of service projects each year. This year, their international initiative was The Nicaragua Project.  The club raised funds to build classrooms, purify water systems and plant gardens in a small village called La Ceiba in Nicaragua. A group of 10 Rhinebeck High School students traveled to La Ceiba in March to participate in the hands-on phase of the Project.

In addition to raising funds for The Nicaragua Project, the members of the Interact Club, responding to the immediate crisis in Haiti, decided to donate additional proceeds from the Blue Jean Ball to a Haitian Disaster Relief Organization. The project at The Astor Home for Children in Rhinebeck symbolizes their commitment to local causes as well.

For more information on Rhinebeck Rotary or the Rhinebeck Interact Club, please contact Marybeth Cale at 845.229.0700 X118.

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