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Water Walk An Eye Opener To Plight In Other Countries
Representatives of the Riverbank High School Interact Club, in cooperation with other students and chaperones, participated in a fundraiser recently on the all-weather track at RHS to provide an elementary school in Guatemala with a rainwater collection system. Photo Contributed

Riverbank High School Interact Club members and other students participated in a fundraiser recently to provide an elementary school in Guatemala with a rainwater collection system. Students were challenged to walk for an hour and a half carrying a gallon jug of water to represent the struggles that communities in third world countries experience to obtain clean water. The idea put forth through the event is that some people in those far away communities may have to walk for miles daily to get water.

The Interact Club is the youth component of the Riverbank Rotary Club and began last year at RHS. First year Interact Advisor and Graphic Design Instructor Jon Gianelli meets with the club members every other Wednesday during lunch. The group of approximately 15 students has participated in three events so far this school year.

“The first was getting volunteers to help out at the Boys and Girls Club Halloween Haunted House,” said Gianelli. “We managed to get around 25 students, some of whom helped for multiple nights of the fundraiser in downtown Modesto.”

Like their parent club Rotary, one of the main focuses for Interact is community service.

“The second thing we did was an informal trash pickup on a Saturday at Jacob Myers Park,” noted Gianelli. “About eight of us went and picked up trash for a couple of hours. The third thing we wanted to do was a water walk, where we could raise money for a worthy cause.”

The walk was hosted recently at the Riverbank High School all-weather track where they raised $1,024. Participants got pledges to participate and the total raised exceeded their initial $800 goal.

“We managed to raise, with the help of the local Riverbank Rotary, $1024 towards this cause,” Gianelli stated. “The walk itself had a small turnout but we are hoping to increase that in the future.”