RPHS Interact Club: Service Above Self

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Published: March 26, 2014 @ 6:43 AM EST
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Roselle Park is a diverse community. No doubt about that. Over the years since its establishment in 1901, the town has grown and developed to include a vast range of cultures and people.  It is still Roselle Park, rich with diversity, having all who move in and become a part of the community bring something to the table – so to speak.

The Roselle Park High School (RPHS) Interact Club is one of the many jewels in the town and unique in its two focuses – bringing awareness of the multiculturalism that makes Roselle Park great while performing community service to give back to the town.

Nelia Elmera, a junior at RPHS and Vice President of Service for the Interact Club, said, “As a club, we aim to combine serving the community along with learning about and appreciating different cultures. These are important aspects of becoming a well rounded person.”

With over 30 active members, the club along with its advisor – RPHS teacher Vincent Fucci – meet on Thursdays after school and hold workshops that are followed by activities.

“In past, we’ve learned about Italian cultural significance to our country and borough. We’ve done trivia contests during Black History Month, learned about the history of the Chinese New Year celebrations, presented the differing cultural aspects of Hispanic Heritage Month, and showcased the different nationalities that make us one Roselle Park,” remarked Mr. Fucci.

In addition to educating themselves and teaching the student body, the Interact Club also has a community service aspect to it. Throughout the school year, they hold three major activities as a community service: a food drive at the beginning of year, a toy drive during the Christmas Holiday season, and a Pasta Night.

The last one combines both facets of the club, with presenting one of the many significant enrichments of Italian culture while giving back to the community. In putting into action their motto ‘Service Above Self’, the club reflects and embodies one of Roselle Park’s many distinct attributes – many coming together as one to help.

2014 marks the 10th year that the Interact Club holds its Pasta Night, which is held on Opening Night of the annual RPHS Musical – this year it is “Little Shop Of Horrors”. This years, the funds collected for Pasta Night will be donated to a local organization, the Roselle Park Rescue Squad, and an national charity, The American Stroke Association.

The dinner, which is sponsored by the Roselle-Roselle Park Rotary Club as well, will have members of the Interact Club run the event.

The 2014 Interact Club includes President Alexcis Tapia, Vice President of Culture Lauren Dinardo, Vice President of Service Nelia Elmera, Secretary Nikki Keaveney, Treasurer Colleen Sweeney, and Public Relations Officer Carmichael Pugliese.

“It’s a great organization,” Mr. Fucci said, “I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The Interact Club will be holding its annual Pasta Night on Thursday, March 27, 2014, from 4:30 p.m. till 7 p.m. at the RPHS cafeteria. The fundraiser dinner is $5 for students as well as senior citizens and $7 for adults. Followed by the dinner will be Opening Night of “Little Shop Of Horrors”.