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Students spread wings to help hawk take flight

Rotary youth Interact with Wildlife Rescue

A rehabilitated hawk spread its wings and found flight with the assistance of the Charles Hays Interact Club after a month in recovery at the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rescue, on Jan. 14

A crowd of students and club members gathered at the high school field to witness the untamed bird head skyward for the first time in over four weeks.

“It was a really cool experience. I’ve never released a hawk before,” Catherine Phuong, Interact Club president, said.

The male hawk was taken to the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter by a concerned citizen as it was unable to fly due to a “raging infection,” Nancy Golinia, shelter operator, said.

With medical attention, antibiotics and weeks of rest he was able to fight off the ailment to be released back into the world by the students, Golinia said.

The Rotary youth division has been collaborating with the wildlife shelter since September on various projects. Members visit the shelter to help Golinia sort bottle donations the public leaves for her. Proceeds from the returns sent to recycling are split evenly with half going back to the shelter and half into the students’ projects, Golinia said.

Students also help with some of the day-to-day tasks around the facilities which house all kinds of animals from birds to cats and even snakes.

The 18-member youth division has been servicing the community for three years and is mentored along by veteran Rotarians.

“Our role, as Rotarians, is to provide a little guidance, a little direction and let them do the legwork,” Bob Killbery, organizer of the youth section, said. “They have lots of ideas. Some of them are tangible and some of them are maybe outside of the scope we are able to achieve.”

The Rotary also sponsors the high school club.

“They need to provide a community project or school project every year [and] they need to do at least one international project every year. Those are the minimum requirements,” Killbery said.

However, the student-led club is autonomous from the Rotary, voting their own president, vice-president, treasurer and various committee heads. They pick their own projects and do their own fundraising all with the goal to provide service to the community.

READ MORE: Interact club sees fruition of fundraising efforts with arrival of seabins

READ MORE: Interact club sees fruition of fundraising efforts with arrival of seabins

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 Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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