by Larry Austin
Members of the Grand Island High School Interact Club had the heart to spend some of their Valentine's Day giving back to those less fortunate.
The club, under the auspices of the Grand Island Rotary Club, gathered Tuesday in a GIHS home economics classroom and made pots of soup for Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission on Ferry Avenue in Niagara Falls.
Interact advisor Laura Briganti said the club has cooked soup for the mission for three or four years as a service to the needy the students have embraced.
"It's always something that goes over really well," Briganti said of the event. "It's something very direct that they can all participate in. We have talked about now being able to go serve someplace as well just to see the other end of it."
"We try to get involved in the community and in our school," GIHS senior Megan Karpie, president of Interact, said, noting that some of the other Interact endeavors include helping the Rotary with the annual Lobsterfest fundraiser in June, bell-ringing at Tops Market for the Salvation Army at Christmastime, volunteering for the Neighbors Foundation's annual food drive, and a pie-in-the-face fundraiser for Haiti.
"We have a good time," Karpie said. "If you bring your friends, you'll have a fun time, but you're also giving back to others."
Rotarians on hand for the work Tuesday were Angelo Grande, the Rotary liaison to Interact, and Jerry Barlow. Grande said the students made pots of chicken vegetable and beef vegetable soup. Seventeen students, most of the club, stopped by the home economics room at some point after school to assist in the cooking.