FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 26, 2014 —
By Danny Thirakul
Interact Club, River City High School
Thirty members of the Interact Club at River City High School helped out with the Shamrock Run Saturday, March 15, which ended at West Sac’s Raley Field. The Shamrock Half-Marathon and 5k, sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds, benefited Project FIT, a non-profit youth fitness initiative. The Triumph Cancer Foundation, a Sacramento-based registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, benefited from the 5K.
The course began right outside Raley Field and traveled as far as Discovery Park to the streets of downtown Sacramento. Participants would see the First Aid Station positioned on 13th and F St. The last station they would see before crossing the finish line was on Front Street near the Auto Museum. They would then finish right where it started, but inside Raley Field. (Information source: http://www.shamrocknhalf.com.)
My duty as a volunteer was to work the Medal and Water Distribution station. As were all volunteers for that station, I was instructed to check in and be there at 7 a.m. After checking in, I headed straight for my station. To my surprise, though, there wasn’t a supervisor there to tell the other volunteers and me what to do.
However, there were staff members, but they only guided us in our ways of managing the station.
Since there was no real leadership, I took the initiative in leading the volunteers and a few Interact members. After I consulted with the staff, I then instructed everyone on what to do, assigning and grouping individuals with a task. When completed, I would give them a new one to do or tell them to help others who were struggling.
The true test of my leadership abilities occurred when waves of athletes finished running. As they came, I feared the runners receiving water and medals would crowd the exit for others. To prevent this from happening, I set up mini-stations along the cool-down path. This would allow the volunteers and me to distribute more and keep the runners moving. I was very proud of my handling of the situation, even when a few volunteers had to leave.
The staff also provided great support. They kept control of the crowd and maintained a steady pace of movement throughout the event. I was glad to see the volunteers and the staff working so well together. I want to thank the staff and other volunteers for collaborating with me. I know without them we wouldn’t have done such a great job. Thank you to Blue Diamond Almonds as well, for putting together this charitable event.
Carol Bogart, an adult volunteer, adds:
A first year Interactor, student writer Danny Thirakul says he originally joined Interact Club at River City High School “for the community service hours.” Then, he says, it was “so fun helping others in need with my Interact Club friends beside me” that he wishes he’d joined his Freshman year. He says, “If I could go back in time and run for a board position, I would do that as well.” Danny describes Interact as “a phenomenal club.” Danny and the other Interactor volunteers exemplify Rotary’s motto: ‘Service Above Self.’ Through the Interact Club, Interactors like Danny become connected to the community and, in Danny’s words, enhance their awareness of the difficulties of the world. River City High School’s Interact Club is co-sponsored by Rotary Club of West Sacramento and the Centennial Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The Interact Club Rotary adviser is Charyl Silva, Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The Interact Club adviser at RCHS is Brandon Duff, who teaches English.
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