Michelle Williams, Lincoln College director of counseling, is the
new club's sponsor. She says the group started with a simple
"I was talking to Deb Ackerman, who asked if I would
be interested in working with a student group associated with
Rotary," Williams said. "She told me the group's mission is to work
on community-based projects. I thought it was a great idea. I know
several of our students had asked me about resources for this, so I
Williams said they actively recruited students and have about 20
individuals who help with a variety of projects throughout the
community. She says the new student group created a constitution and
established the criteria for membership.
"It was pretty straightforward," Williams said. "We asked the
students to attend 60 percent of the meeting and activities and to
sign a contract in order to be active and receive club benefits."
Freshman Marty Bolger of Bensenville liked the core values of the
group and became the Rotaract president. "The community service
thing is something that appealed to me," Bolger said. "At Lincoln
College we can really connect with the community and help change the
little things that matter the most."
The little things that Bolger mentions include keeping a stretch
of old Route 66 clean, helping provide some of the labor for
Lincoln's Habitat for Humanity and providing the labor for various
fundraising events at Lincoln College.
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Lincoln College Rotaract members (left to right) Monique Williams,
Marty Bolger, Emma Galt and Abbigale Pazik worked on cleaning up
Route 66 near the intersection of Woodlawn Road and Route 10.
Bolger said the work is not hard, but it needs to be done. "It
was a great experience," he said. "You get dirty, and I even ruined
a good pair of shoes, but I know what I'm doing helps other people
and the community as a whole."
Williams said the group from Lincoln College is planning more
community events in the future. "At the end of March, we plan to
join forces with Bradley University's group to help with the Rotary
Young Leadership Awards weekend," she said.
Williams also sees the potential to work on an international
project. "I see this as a fundraising effort to help those who are
less fortunate," she said. "Our efforts will be educational-based
and help buy books for children who don't have access or the
resources to get them. I think the idea of service above self is a
mission that makes us better individuals."
Rotaract is currently working on raising funds that will buy
trash cans to help with the campus beautification project at Lincoln
[Jean Ann Miller,