Julie Scott introduced Alicia Childs, who presented a program on Rotaract. Alicia was raised in North Pole, and went to France as a Rotary exchange student a few years ago. Now she and several other rotary "alumni" form the core of a small but active Rotaract club that meets at UAF.
Rotaract is for young people between age 18 and 30. The current membership is mostly college students, but they welcome young businesspeople to join. They also love to have Rotarians visit their meetings, which are the first, second and third Wednesdays of the month at 5:45pm in the Kayak Room down the hall from the UAF Rasmusson Library.
Rotaract members thrive on hands-on projects, such as pumpkin carving and face painting for youth in the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program who don't yet have a big brother or sister. They have a long tradition of helping with the Education Center in Denali (everything from helping paint a building to assisting with the annual auction).
One of the Rotaract members was an exchange student to Ecuador, and Rotaract recently began sponsoring a child from Ecuador through Children International.
The group hopes to start an Interact Club in the Fairbanks area for high school students. They're still figuring out which high school would be feasible, and hope to get a club started in the 2011-2012 school year.
One of the challenges of Rotaract clubs is that the members "age out." The Aurora Borealis Rotaract Club is no exception. They have lost many members dues to aging out, or because they moved away from Fairbanks.
The club is currently actively seeking more members who are interested in doing service in the community. Prospective members are invited to visit a Rotaract meeting. The club is structured so that members don't pay dues.
For more information about Rotaract, e-mail aurora.rotaract@gmail.com or friend them on Facebook.