It was a pleasure for the club to welcome our active Perry High School Interact club president Ana Sidner and District 5495 Interact ADG (and Perry HS student) Rylee Hanson to Gilbert Rotary.

Ana Sidner is the 2018-19 President of the Interact Club we sponsor at Perry H.S. She reports that the club is   growing  and strong with about 70 members. 30 of those members volunteered at a “Feed My Starving Children” event.  At the event the volunteers fed 48 children for a year.

She outlined  the activities planned for the 2018-19 School Year:

1st Quarter:

Feed My Starving Children

Purple Pinkie for Polio

Homecoming Carnival Raising $ for Crutches4Africa with a crutch relay race.

Ordering T shirts

2nd Quarter:

Feed My Starving Children

Canned food drive for Thanksgiving

Starting Crutches4Africa Events

Volunteering at Ironman Triathlon

3rd Quarter:                                                                                             

Feed My Starving Children                                                           

Starting Crutch and Assistive device donations                

Fill Shipping Container

Interact District Conference Event

4th Quarter

Feed My Starving Children

Dress a Girl Donations

Wapis (Plastic tube with wax to  determine when water is safe


Rylee Hanson is a Senior at Perry High School in Gilbert.  She has been a part of Student Government since elementary school and is currently the Student Body Publicity Manager.  She is a past president of the Interact club she helped start at Perry and is looking forward to serving her community. Some of her hobbies include cinematography, listening to music, makeup, experimenting with fashion, and pretty much anything art related.  She is very excited to be an Assistant Governor and can’t wait for a fantastic year!

Rylee Hanson started her Rotary career by a chance meeting with a girl named Loralli Johnson. Loralli challenged her to run for an Interact District Council in District 5510. She was appointed and continued in District 5495.and presented a seminar at the Interact District Conference. She has been a Vice President of Perry Interact, President , and last year, Assistant Governor to DG Loralli Johnson. Loralli and Rylee have been ardent supporters and “pushers” for District 5495 to espouse Crutches4Africa. Last year she applied to be an Interact Ambassador to Kenya to deliver last year’s assisted devices to the people there. She was chosen.
After a grueling 11 hour flight to Germany and when they finally landed in Nairobi and stepped off the plane, met David Talbot, and the culture shock started. Nairobi, she said, looked like Los Angeles, a big city and a far cry from the famed bush and zebras and other animals. The team got a bigger cultural perspective that day. They spend the night in Nairobi and continued to Naivasha where they met the Rotary Club and Interact Club there. While there, she remarked, they met the nicest people ever, so welcoming and loving to the visitors. They spent time with Rotarians, from a night in a 5-star resort to staying in Rotarian’s homes. The hospitality was great. They learned that individuality is really rare, its all about family and tribe and villagers are like a team.

They distributed pillowcase dresses to kids in the villages and the kids loved being with them and especially loved taking pictures with members and posing for selfies.

The team found the villages very welcoming and super helpful. She said it was very interesting that the crime rates are really low there, Villagers don’t want to do any harm—they see the good in people. Rylee mentioned to members that it is so beneficial and important to send teenagers overseas on service projects, The trip had such an impact on her life and the experienced solidified her future in Rotary forever, She WILL be a Rotarian and a leader for Interact. She wanted to thank club members who donated to her travel and said the trip and the experience was life-changing.
They filled a 40 foot shipping container and when there in Kenya, they picked the various supplies needed ad went to villages and to people’s homes. They gave a 102 year old woman who was walking with a stick a walker AND a cane. She could walk around in her village.
Whenever they approached a house with an assistive device, there were tears of gratitude. It forged a lifelong bond and they prayed with each participant afterwards, as it was appropriate to do there.
She was able to visit Rotary water wells there. For some time, the well was dry but for whatever reason, when Elizabeth Mahoney came to see the well….there was WATER!!
In Kenya as it is in everywhere, there will be shortages of food, water and shelter BUT…without mobility you have nothing. It is exciting for them to hear that recipients in the villages have now been seen with there assistive devices in markets and getting active within their communities.

Members asked “What can Gilbert Rotary do for Perry Interact? Rylee responded:
Monetary Support ($25,000-30,000 needed to ship devices to Kenya
Attend Interact District Conference in February
Help with quarterly projects, such as Feed My Starving Children
Donate to Crutches4Africa
Rylee ended with her thanks and that she wants Rotarians to have their back in all that they do. I don’t think they will have to worry with Gilbert Rotary.

Then….President Scott awarded President Ana with an Interact President’s pin.

And finally, he presented a tearful and surprised Rylee Hanson with one of the most coveted awards for a Rotarian….her own Paul Harris Fellowship. It was an incredible moment to honor Rylee who has made Interact her life for so long and gives so selflessly. We are proud of her and she is what Rotary is all about.

For more information on Crutches4Africa please visit