Chelan student club raising funds

By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Interact Club members work on projects at the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica during a trip in April. (Provided photos/Adam Poush)

The Interact Club of Chelan High School is sponsoring a “Walk for Water” event on May 19 from noon to 2 p.m. at Riverwalk Park in Chelan.

The goal of the event is to raise money to purchase a well for a village in Ethiopia in east Africa.

?The event is free,? says Adam Poush, the Interact Club advisor. ?Anyone may come for a walk around the park or simply come to observe and learn. If people feel it is a good cause, we will gladly accept donations of any amount.?

Everyone in the community is encouraged to attend. Whether those attending desire to do the mile-long loop once, twice or more is up to the individual.

?There are millions of people in our world who do not have clean water to drink,? Poush said. ?We will have jugs of water available so people can feel what it is like to carry a jug of water for a mile.?

?Most of the time,? Poush continues, ?People walk between three to six miles to get water for their household needs each day and then who knows how clean it will be. Usually it is the young girls who do the walking and carrying of water. Because of this, most of these girls do not attend school.?

It is a well-documented fact that providing a well to a community is the best way to insure that young females receive an education. Instead of walking miles to get water every morning, they can go to the well, get water for their family and then go to school.?

The Interact Club at Chelan is an organization for high school students who desire to tackle issues they care most about in their community and the world. It is sponsored by the Lake Chelan Rotary Club and meets monthly at the school.

Interact Club assists students with hands-on service projects and gives opportunities to make international connections and develop leadership skills.

Poush led a group of seven students on a trip to Costa Rica in April. The students toured San Jose for a day seeing the sights, experiencing the culture and visiting the national museum.

The bulk of the trip was spent volunteering in the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge where they worked for five days preparing the ground for construction of a wheelchair-accessible ramp, reconstructing aging stairs, deconstructing a dangerous bridge, weatherproofing another bridge and painting four buildings.

Poush, with one other adult sponsor, patiently managed the group of teens in a foreign country they had never before visited. Poush planned every aspect of the trip including meals, hotels, tours and even bathroom breaks.

?I was glad to get home,? he laughed. ?But it was a really impactful trip.?

For anyone unable to attend the “Walk for Water” event May 19, donations by check may be sent to: Interact Club, c/o Adam Poush, 215 Webster Ave., Chelan, 98816. For more information, call Poush at 860-1945.