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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Rotary Club sponsors free Family Day skate

by Sylene Argent

For the third year in a row, members of the Rotary Club of Essex hosted a free skate on Family Day at the Essex Centre Sports Complex to provide community members an opportunity to lace up and take to the ice with their loved ones.

  Essex Rotarian, Stephanie Winger, said the free skate welcomed around 100 participants, who were treated to hot chocolate and sweet treats as well, also compliments of the local Rotary Club.

  The event offered an opportunity for community members to get in some exercise over the long weekend, even while the temperature outdoors continued to be cool. Rotarians were also able to use the event to meet visitors to the arena to promote Rotary programs and perhaps attract a few new residents into joining the local service club.

  One international program the Essex Rotary Club supports is the Rotary’s student exchange program.

  Tea Pernar, a high school student from Croatia, is currently in Essex, attending the local high school, as part of the program. She has been in Canada since October and has enjoyed her experience to date.

  “It has been amazing” Pernar said of her student exchange experience in Canada. “It has been really good. There hasn’t been much culture shock.”

  So far, Pernar has been able to visit Toronto, Niagara Falls, Cedar Point, and enjoyed the Detroit Auto Show.

  Though Pernar is from a large city of around 1million people in Croatia, she vacationed in a small town like Essex. She noticed in a small town, everyone knows each other.

  High school has been different, Pernar said. In Croatia, she takes the required courses, while in Canada, students can pick some of their subjects. Another major difference is that in Croatia, one week her classes go from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then the following week, they take place from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  Coming to Canada, Pernar said, is something she will look back on as a great experience, one she will not regret doing.

  The District the Cottam Rotary Club is a part of had a total of seven exchange students. Pernar has met them and plans to keep in contact with them when they return home. Some of the other exchange students are from other European countries, that are not too far from her home country.

  Pernar said she would highly recommend other high school students consider getting involved with Rotary’s student exchange as it creates a lot of opportunities and experiences.


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