First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s Interact Club hosted “See You at the Pole,” an internationally observed day of prayer, at the school’s flagpole Wednesday morning.
FPCA students, faculty members and parents, as well as members of the Hinesville Rotary Club, gathered at the school beginning around 7 a.m. to enjoy a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes and biscuits prior to the event.
At 7:45, participants rallied around the flagpole to join together in prayer and song.
Michelle Roberts, FPCA senior and president of the Interact Club, kicked things off by thanking attendants for participating and explaining the purpose of the gathering.
According to its website, “See You at the Pole” is a “global day of student prayer” that began in 1990. Held every fourth Wednesday in September, the event is observed in over 20 countries worldwide, including Korea, Japan and Turkey.
“This is something that is so important, not only to our community, but also to the world around us,” Roberts said.
Following Roberts’ introduction, FPCA sophomore and Interact Club board of directors member Greg Cannata read aloud a poem he wrote. Fellow Interact member Sarah Gonzalez then led the group in a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
According to FPCA Principal Shannon Hickey, the Interact Club is the youth extension of the Rotary Club. Hickey, a member of the Hinesville Rotary Club, said that although an Interact chapter existed at FPCA a few years ago, it had since lapsed. She said it was Roberts who took the initiative to approach her about restarting the club.
“I’d looked at a yearbook and saw it had an Interact Club, and I was like, ‘OK, they’re collecting cans — what are they doing? What is it about?’ And then my mom joined Rotary and I was like, ‘OK, so now we’re connecting,’” Roberts said. “I think Mrs. Hickey got tired of me coming into her office every day saying, ‘OK, when are we going to do this?’ Because it’s something important.”
Roberts’ mother, Brigitte Shanken, is president of the Hinesville Rotary Club.
Although an Interact chapter is required to complete two service projects — one domestic and one international — per year in order to keep its charter, Roberts has a much greater vision for FPCA’s Interact Club.
“We actually have a goal set in this year that we’re going to do at least one service project every month,” she said. The club already met its goals for August and September and is working on its October project — a fundraiser for World Polio Day.
According to Hickey, the Interact Club has given back roughly $10,000 in the past four years. She said some of the club’s highlights include sending five boxes of school supplies to Costa Rica, collecting an estimated 2,000 pairs of shoes in a shoe drive and taking over $1,000 worth of gifts to patients in the Shriners children’s hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Roberts said she looks forward to becoming a member of the Rotary Club after she graduates.
“I honestly can’t wait to join Rotary,” she said.