T he Interact Club of Syosset High School, New York, USA, is the grand-prize winner of the 2010 Interact video contest with its entry, "How Do You Interact?"
Over the past seven years, members of the Syosset club have raised more than $100,000 for Gift of Life International, a nonprofit that provides free lifesaving heart surgeries and cardiac care for young children whose families cannot afford treatment. The video shows the club's efforts during 2009-10, when the Interactors raised $42,000 for the organization. The funds covered the cost of four surgeries for children in El Salvador.
Lindsey Murphy, past club president and producer of the video, and club adviser Carisa Steinberg traveled in April to El Salvador to visit children awaiting surgery, including the four sponsored by the club. Murphy included photographs of her trip in the video.
"Seeing the end result of our club's hard work strengthened my belief in what Interact can accomplish," says Murphy. "Meeting the children and their families was a profound experience."
The 250-member club raised money through Blue Jeans for Babies, a school fundraising effort that sells pins made out of denim to benefit Gift of Life. Other initiatives included lollipop and bracelet sales, a pancake dinner with food donated by a local International House of Pancakes, a bowl-a-thon, and a Gift of Life Walk.
Murphy, who graduated in the spring, says the club's video will help promote the project and generate support in the future.
"It's hard to put into words what this project has meant to our club," she says. She hopes the video “can show how important and effective we can be.”
The second annual Interact video contest received 28 entries from Interact clubs and their sponsor Rotary clubs in 14 countries. Entrants were asked to create a short video (three minutes or less) about how they Interact. Entries were judged by a panel that included members of the 2010-11 Rotaract and Interact Committee and RI staff.
In addition to the grand-prize winner, two clubs were selected as first-place prize winners: the Interact Club of A.M.M. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Tamil Nadu, India, and the Interact Club of Jefferson High School, New York.
Veiw the first place prize winners and all video entries on YouTube at Rotary International's Interact Video Contest channel.