CCU Rotaract Club plants two trees on Prince Lawn during Earth Fair
The calling they feel upon their lives aligns with Rotary International, a network of 1.2 million people with a shared vision to unite people and take action to create lasting change. The incoming president of Rotary announced the theme for his presidency in 2017 with a challenge: make a difference by planting a tree before Earth Day 2018.
The members of CCU's Rotaract Club took the challenge to heart, and took it one step further. They planted TWO trees on Coastal's campus during the Earth Fair and Farmers Market on April 18.
"Planting these trees is our contribution to that goal," said Kathryn Leinhard, a marine science major and secretary of the Rotaract Club. "The Rotary Club of Carolina Forest-Sunrise is our sponsor club, so we wanted to help them out with the challenge."
Club members coordinated with John Brong, the greenhouse and nursery manager at CCU, to plant the trees, a sawtooth oak and a silver leaf maple, on Prince Lawn in front of the Prince and Smith buildings.
"He provided us the trees and gave us instructions on how to plant them," Leinhard said. "So after we plant them, he and his team will fertilize them and water them to maintain their growth on campus."
The Rotaract Club at CCU has more than 20 regularly attending members who participate in a variety of events, including beach cleanups every two weeks and packaging weekend meals for elementary school-age students in the area in conjunction with Conway Medical Center's Smart Snacks program. The club also participated in CCU's Relay for Life event in March and the Carolina Forest Sunrise Rotary Club's Putting for Pupils Golf Classic on April 14.
Porter Medley, a member of Rotary Club of Carolina Forest-Sunrise and the senior director of conference services at CCU, has been involved with the Rotaract Club for years, also serving a stint as club adviser.
"These students want to make a difference and an impact, and they do," he said. "The Rotary Club is happy to sponsor their efforts in the community and to support their endeavors."
Medley was on hand for the tree planting, along with several other members sporting "Service Above Self" T-shirts, including Cheyanne Rufener. Making a difference is exactly why she wanted to be a part of Rotaract.
"I saw how much good it was doing, and I wanted to be a part of it," she said simply.
"Rotaracters are awesome, and they make a great impact on our campus and on Conway," echoed Leinhard.