Annual Rotary International Potluck open to community

There may be no such thing as a free lunch — but dinner will be for the annual Rotary International Potluck this coming today, Sept. 29 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center at 6 p.m. That’s when all three of Juneau’s Rotary clubs, along their younger counterparts Rotaract (ages 18-30) and Interact (high school students) celebrate New Generations Month at their annual international potluck. A dish to share is the only price for admission.

Be sure to bring along family and friends — especially anyone who may be interested in being a Rotary exchange student or hosting one at some point during the school year. On Sunday evening, there will be opportunities to meet Juneau’s current Inbounds (students studying here from other countries), talk to Rebounds (Juneau students who went abroad in years past), and enjoy great food.

Now in its sixth year, the first Tri-Club International Potluck was held on Sept. 15, 2008 as a way of creating greater awareness of the international student exchange program, since Rotary doesn’t advertise for participants. Each year, however, more than 8,000 high school aged students around the world learn about it, apply and are accepted, and gain exposure to new cultures and customs — a powerful way to promote global understanding and peace.

Outbound exchange students are generously taken care of by their host clubs and are generally only responsible for round-trip airfare, insurance, travel documents (such as passports and visas), and spending money for additional travel, tour fees and personal expenses. Juneau’s host families provide room and board, and share their lives with exchange students, involving them in family, community and cultural activities. Membership in Rotary is not a prerequisite for either.

For more information about the potluck, Rotary’s international youth exchange or any other Rotary program, google “Juneau Rotary” – or just plan to be at the JACC on Sunday at 6 p.m.

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