Rotary Corner: Del Mar Solana Beach Sunrise Rotary Club sponsors Canyon Crest Academy Interact Club


By Jan Parsons, DMSB Rotary Public Relations

Rotary has five “Avenues of Service” that are the philosophical and practical framework for all Rotary clubs. They include Club, Vocational, Community, International, and New Generations (formerly Youth). New Generations recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding. Vicky Mallet is New Generations service chair this year for the Del Mar Solana Beach Sunrise (DMSB) Rotary Club.

One of the main New Generations activities for the DMSB Rotary Club is its sponsorship and support of the Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) Interact Club. Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18. They are self-governing and self-supporting but look for help from the sponsoring club. There are more than 10,700 clubs in 109 countries and geographical areas with over 200,000 people involved in Interact. CCA Interact club was established over five years ago and has been under the capable mentoring of Kevin Cahill, founding President of DMSB Rotary. Mr. Cahill is passionate about working with and helping youth to learn the importance of:

•Developing leadership skills and personal integrity

•Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others

•Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work

•Advancing international understanding and goodwill

Katie McDowell is this year’s president of CCA Interact and after being a member for two years is excited to be leading several of their service projects this year. The club helped families in a dump in Tijuana in conjunction with Hope Without Boundaries, and will visit and contribute again this year. As Katie says, “The best part will be seeing students take part in what I was able to experience over the years; to be able to see them serving breakfast to children and their families in Mexico, and to enjoy it so much that they’ll bring several of their friends next time.”

Ms. McDowell and other board members Micaela Minor and Rachel Marren recently met with Mr. Cahill to strategize about the upcoming year, draft a succession plan, and discuss how to retain the 50+ freshman who have shown an interest in Interact. One of their main areas of focus will be on the homeless and includes helping with food serving and a t-shirt drive for St. Vincent de Paul and working with the Community Resource Center sorting and distributing food for their holiday baskets, and holding a teen gift drive to help the older children. As Mr. Cahill says “they are an energized and highly enthusiastic group and are going to have another fabulous year”.

Other youth activities that DMSB Rotary is involved with include sending students to Rotary conferences — a rising junior to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), last year Courtney Hesse; middle-school students to LEAD (Leadership, Ethics, And Determination), last year Aaron Fogg; and high school students to Model UN, last year Katie

McDowell, Micaela Minor, Rachel Marren, and Claire Worsey. At the Model UN event, student teams become ambassadors of foreign countries and debate global initiatives that are currently being considered by the actual United Nations. DMSB Rotary also helped send ten needy foster children to YMCA summer camps and gave out $1000 scholarships under CCA Dollars for Scholars Awards to two worthy graduating seniors, Grady O’Leary and Giovanni Toth.

To learn more about DMSB Rotary, please join them at their weekly meetings on Friday mornings at the DoubleTree Hotel in Carmel Valley from 7:15 – 8:30 a.m. For more information contact President Kirk Collins at 619-254-8234 or visit For more information on CCA Interact, join them on Facebook.