Robert Katz, web editor
The Interact Club partnered with Lupus LA to cheer on runners while spreading awareness of the disease lupus at the LA Marathon on Sunday, March 17. The joint venture held a spot at Mile 17, on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Brighton Avenue, of the 26-mile stretch throughout Los Angeles.
Interact raised $300 through spectator donations, adding to the $500 earned by Interact over the past two weeks.
Interact club president Nicole Sayegh organized the students’ side of the project.
“This is a great way for Interact to show their support to Lupus LA along with the wonderful Rotary Club,” Sayegh said.
Beverly Hills Rotary Club president AJ Wilmer, as well as members Les Bronte and Alan Kaye, coordinated much of the event.
“Alan, AJ and Les were all responsible for putting [the cheering station] together and they have helped Interact thrive,” Sayegh said.
Special Events Coordinator for Lupus LA, Megan Hatch, found few issues with situating the booth within the heart of the race.
“We’re really lucky because we’re one of the premier charities for the LA Marathon, so they treat us really well,” Hatch said. “We’ve had this booth on Rodeo for the past three years so this is one of the best spots to be in and the Interact kids have been great with us, so it hasn’t been very difficult at all.”
The event earned enthusiasm from supportive Interact members.
“Everyone came out and was really supportive,” Interact member Jasmine Gass said. “I loved seeing everyone smile as we gave them support and high fives.”
The school club has benefited Lupus LA at previous events, such as by running the 5K at Dodger Stadium on March 16, as well as by promoting Lupus LA in a short KTLA segment.
Lupus LA began collaborating with Interact through the efforts of Lupus LA board member and Rotary Club member Alan Kaye, a plan that inspires confidence in both organizations.
“It’s been a great partnership,” Lupus LA Chairman Adam Selkowitz said. “It’s a great way to get kids interested in charity and teach them about lupus and what our cause is. [Interact] provided such amazing energy and manpower along the way that it’s been really inspirational to the Lupus team as well.”
Lupus LA and Interact plan to continue their partnership at a forthcoming event at the Orange Bowl.