NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Rutgers University basketball and wrestling fans enjoyed special service at the Rutgers Athletic Center concession stands again this season from the Interact Club at North Plainfield High School.

The Interact Club sent twenty to twenty-five members to four basketball games and four wrestling events to staff two concession stands and raise money for scholarships.

Along with members of the Rotary Club of the Plainfields, the Interact Club members prepare hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot pretzels, and hotpopcorn. They make fountain sodas to order, serve up candy and chips, hot sandwiches and empanadas, hot chocolate and coffee for the hungry fans. Their reward is the opportunity to work together, develop skills in dealing with customers, and sharing the fun of a social evening with others.

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“We have been working concessions at Rutgers for over 18 years,” said Michael Townley, a member of the Rotary club who chairs the event. “For over half that time, the Interact Club has supported our project with their hard work and dedicated service.”

Interact clubs are the high school equivalent of Rotary clubs, serving others through various projects and programs. At North Plainfield High School, they are led by Alexandra Pereira, a Spanish language teacher and the club’s adviser. 

“Alex is a great club adviser,” said Townley. “She guides the club through their own activities and service projects, such as sponsoring blood drives, and really allows them to develop their leadership skills. Alex also identifies the ‘best of the best’ for recognition as ‘Students of the Month’ throughout the school year.”

From the slowest nights at the concession stand to the busiest, the Interactors take their jobs seriously. “I love working with the kids at the Rutgers games,” said Roberta Smith, Rotary club president. “They are so enthusiastic and conscientious about their work, it’s fun to be there with them. The scholarships that we award at North Plainfield High School only go to members of Interact. This is our way of thanking them for their hard work and dedication to our club and the community.”

The Interact Club also helps the Rotary Club with their annual Track and Field Meet, held every year on the first Wednesday of June. Club members serve as assistants on many of the events, filling positions side-by-side with Rotarians as they help officiate events for approximately 300 student athletes in area middle schools.

“We are blessed to have the kids from Interact support our club’s service projects,” said Ravenell Williams, immediate past president of the club. “And it’s our pleasure to help instill in some and strengthen in others the ideal of service to others.”

The Rotary Club is open to membership by business and community leaders in the Plainfield’s and in the surrounding towns. Club members meet Wednesday’s for a luncheon meeting at Giovanna’s Restaurant, 1462 South Avenue, Plainfield, except for the first Wednesday of each month. On that day, members gather for a Social Hour at The Coffee Box at 1359 South Avenue from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Anyone wishing to learn more about Rotary and the many opportunities to volunteer assistance to the Rotary Club should come to a weekly meeting or to the Social hour as a guest of the club, or contact the club through PNPRotary@gmail.com or call 908-822-1441.