Archive for July, 2012

McKinney Sunrise Rotary Youth Exchange Student Going to France

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012


A Bon Voyage party for Abigail Gibney, outbound Rotary Youth Exchange student from District 5810, was held at Stonebridge United Methodist Church on July 19 with the New Generations Committee of McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club as hosts. Abby is the daughter of Denis and Sharon Gibney, who attended the dinner along with her sisters’ Emma and Clare. Her sister Grace, who is now in college, is a former Rotary Youth Leaderships Awards participant.

Abby is a graduate of McKinney North High School where she served as the President of the Student Council and Historian of the Interact Club. No stranger to Rotary International projects, Abby’s leadership at her school raised thousands of dollars for Mary’s Meals and a kitchen in Malawi this past year. She will be a Rotary Youth Exchange student to France this coming school year.

Abby is the second outbound Rotary Youth Exchange student sponsored by the McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club. The club will also sponsor their first incoming Rotary Youth Exchange student from Germany who will attend McKinney High School this fall. Julian Wallmueller, from Kirchhellen, Germany, will be living with Bill and Jenna Bilyeu.

Jean-Daniel and Barbara Grimm, District 5810 GSE Team; Sam Zarro, Director of District 5810 Rotary Youth Exchange Program, and wife Peggy; Assistant Governor Peter McLellan; and District 5810 Governor Sandy Forster were introduced by Gary Taylor, President of McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club.

Jean-Daniel and Barbara Grimm gave a short talk on what to expect living in France. Sam Zarro provided background information about the Rotary Youth Exchange program. District 5810 will have 8 outbound students and 8 inbound students this coming school year. Rotary International has over 8,000 students from 170 countries who participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program each year. The purpose of the program is cultural enrichment to promote peace and understanding among our brightest high school age students before they go to college. McKinney Sunrise Rotary presented Abby with club flags, pins and gifts to exchange for her year abroad.

Sandi Froese is the Director of New Generations Avenue of Service and Mark Lowe is the Chair of Rotary Youth Exchange program. Also assisting were Tom Parker, Director of Community Service, and Lyle Froese, past Assistant Governor, both of whom who will co-chair Interact and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards programs this coming year.