with contributions from
Antonia Ambrosio and Tara Obma
2014 was a very productive and exciting year for us, and we are looking forward to our upcoming projects in 2015. In December, we held a Cake Bingo, hosted a Facebook auction, and went winter camping, all in support of the Rossland Skate Park. All events were very worthwhile, and we thank everyone in the community who participated and supported us — we couldn’t have accomplished this without you.
During the Rekindle weekend, we had a great Cake Bingo at the Miners’ Hall. We received about $120, and it all went towards the Rossland Skate Park. As part of the admission, some people donated non-perishable food items that have now been donated to the food bank. We hope to continue our ongoing support of the local food bank this year and are glad that the community is contributing so generously.
In December, Interact also hosted our second annual auction on Facebook. Because of the generosity of the 14 local Rossland businesses and individual donors, we were able to collect 20 items for people to bid on. Pictures of these items were posted on the Facebook page and people would comment the amount they wanted to bid. Thanks to the businesses and the community’s participation, it was very successful! A big thank you to everyone who generously donated items and participated in our auction. With your help, we managed to raise $618 for the Rossland Skate Park.
Finally, again, in support of the Rossland Skate Park, members of the Interact Club — Antonia Ambrosio, Alex Stephens, Tara Obma, Maya Winckers, Hannah Klemmensen, Hannah Kroeker, Madelaine Fisher, Isabella Fisher, Fiona Martin, her son Xander, and Maggie Chan, — all spent the night outside in tents on December 21, the winter solstice, at the Emcon lot. By creating online challenges through a site called Yodel and inviting people to donate to our cause, we managed to raise about $1420! There, we had a potluck, roasted marshmallows, played cards, chatted and celebrated a birthday, all around a warm fire under the stars. For quite a few, winter camping was a new experience, and for some, it was even their first experience with camping! This was the case for Antonia Ambrosio, our exchange student from Italy and a member of the Interact club since September, and here she writes of her memorable experience:
“It was the first camping trip of my life and in addition, I come from a warm city in Italy (Naples), so I wasn’t used to that temperature; I can say that it was quite an adventure. When we first arrived, we set up for the night. Afterwards, we had dinner, but because the fresh pizza had become cold, we warmed it up using a roasting stick. At this point, I started to become really cold even though I was close to the fire and wearing ski pants with tights and three layers on the upper-half of my body, including a sweater, ski jacket, a hat, a scarf and gloves. Fiona (the Interact teacher sponsor) was a little bit worried about that, so she boiled some water and made me a bottle of hot water. I started to feel better after hugging this bottle and standing close to the fire. We were about to make some s’mores when, suddenly, a policeman came and told us to shut down the fire, because, apparently, it wasn’t allowed. The thing that impressed me was that he was only wearing a t-shirt, while I was pretty much freezing even with all of my clothes. So I asked him if he was cold and he told me that he was actually pretty warm since he moved a few years ago from a city in which the usual temperature is -30. So after that answer, I was shocked, but it helped me to think that it wasn’t actually that cold and that I could do it. However, without the fire, it was actually getting really cold, so we warmed up some food on the stove while Fiona was tried to get us permission for a fire, to heat us up and to make some s’mores. Eventually, she called the right people that explained that we were completely fine, because a little fire is allowed to celebrate some events, and that night, we were fundraising, it was the winter solstice, and also Fiona’s birthday. So later on, one of her friends came with some cupcakes to celebrate with us as well. We enjoyed ourselves while listening to music and talking; but at about 10:30, I decided to go to sleep, mostly because they told me that it would be warmer. I slept pretty well in two sleeping bags (plus a thermal one) without taking any of my clothes off. In the morning, we had some hot chocolate to warm us up and some s’mores. It was a great experience, a little bit hard for me because of the cold, but I am glad to have done it and that I can add this “crazy” (as my Italian friends call it) experience to the things that I have tried here in Canada.”
For Tara Obma, who used to live in Thailand, it was not the first time camping, but rather the first time camping in Canada. In comparison to Thailand’s warm, humid weather, winter camping was quite a drastic change as well. Here is a bit of what she has to say about her night:
“On December 21st, I went winter camping with the Rossland Interact Club and it was my first time camping in Canada. The best part was when we were sitting in the cold, around the fire talking, laughing, and making and eating s’mores. The only part I didn’t like about winter camping was that we didn’t have an actual washroom. However, I have to say that winter camping brings us closer to the other members in the group and that it was a great team-bonding experience for all. So although it was very cold, I enjoyed the night. It was a good experience and I’ll never forget it. Thanks to Interact, I have an opportunity to try out new things and do something that I’ve never done before.”
We thank Mike Kent for organizing the equipment that was needed that night and the many parents that made this happen. It couldn’t have been done without you.
All in all, we were able to end the year on a great note and we hope the next year will be even better than the last.
Rossland Interact Club is a group dedicated to serving both the local community and international ones. Our motto is “Strengthening Communities through Service.” We are always open to new members, so feel free to drop by one of our meetings on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 6:45 p.m. at the Rossland Public Library.