IT’S OFFICIAL!  As announced at the 4th Annual Interact District Conference, held in Cottonwood on Saturday, February 25, the four AZ Interact Ambassadors to Kenya will be Bridget MacDonald, Loralli Johnson, Dylan Boyd and Samantha Hazel McGuffin.
After independently reviewing the statewide applications and letters of reference submitted, and conducting individual interviews with each of the aspiring candidates, the special Rotary Youth Exchange Committee selected these four top Interactors (two from D5490 and two from D5510) to be sent to Kenya in June to represent the Interact clubs of Arizona, assisting their international partners in Kenya and the Rotarian organization, Crutches 4 Africa, with the distribution of the crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility devices the Interactors here have been collecting.  The RYE Committee also selected Tien Le and Aalayah-Ann Keyes, both Seniors at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, to be the first and second alternates, respectively.
Bridget MacDonald, a Junior from the Interact Club of Mohave High School in  Bullhead City, is currently serving as District Governor of Interact District 5490.  In addition being the Activities Coordinator of the large MHS Interact club, Bridget is the captain of the MHS Swim Team, is on the Speech & Debate Team, and plays on both the Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball Teams.  Bridget led and presided at the successful 4th Annual Interact District Conference, with 350 registered.
Loralli Johnson, a Sophomore from the Interact Club of Perry High School, which she organized and is the President, is currently serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Interact District 5510.  Recognized for her leadership abilities, Loralli as a Freshman ably served as the MC for the D5510 Rotary District Conference last year.  She helped organize, RYLA, the Fall Leadership Conference and the Interact District Conference.  Loralli enjoys her horses and volunteers with the annual Ironman Competition, in which her father competes.
Dylan Boyd, a Junior from the Interact Club of Mohave High School in  Bullhead City, is currently serving for the second year, as the Chief Assistant Governor of Interact District 5490.  He was the first Freshman to ever serve on the Interact District Council, after successfully leading for 2 years as the President of his Fox Creek Junior High Interact Club.  Also on the MHS Swim and Speech & Debate Teams, Dylan is heavily involved in student government, enjoys travel, and hope to become a Rotary Youth Exchange Ambassador to Spain the year after he graduates from MHS.
Hazel McGuffin, a Senior from the Interact Club of Show Low High School in Show Low in District 5510, organized that club and is serving as its President.  She plays violin and string bass.  Her Rotarian Interact Club Advisor says. “Besides Hazel’s academic excellence, she runs a business raising championship goats and sells goat milk...saving the money from her sales to put toward her college savings.  She plans on a career in animal epidemiology.  Hazel is also passionate about music and plays the violin and bass guitar in the Show Low Marching and Jazz Bands.  She is the only violin player I have ever known who is gutsy enough to play her violin in a marching band.” 
All four of these top AZ Interactors selected credit their experiences as RYLA Delegates in helping to inspire and hone their leadership abilities, and increasing their commitment to Interact and Rotary.
Now that the crutches and other mobility devices have been gathered, and wrapped & packed at the Interact District Conference, and the AZ Interact Ambassadors have been chosen, Interact is now turning to their sponsoring Rotary Clubs to help them raise the $18,500 they need in cash to reach their AZ Interact Crutches 4 Africa Project Goal.  Of that amount, $6,000 if needed to underwrite the airfare for the Four Ambassadors, $10,000 to help cover the costs associated with the shipping and distribution of the mobility devices, and $2,500 they have added to help install a solar system to enable their international Interact partners at the Trinity Mission School to be able to read and study after dark at night. 
Contributions for this project should be made payable to Rotary District 5490, designate for the Interact Crutches 4 Africa Project, and sent to Michael Zongolowicz, CPA, the Rotary District Treasurer, 12455 West Bell Road, Surprise, AZ 85378.