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Van-Far students receive donation from Rotary Club

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 1:43 am

By Woodrow Polston

Two Van-Far High School students received sponsorship from the Vandalia Rotary Club last week. Dylan Preston received a $500 check to attend Boys State this summer. Reeve Woodall also received a $500 check to attend the Missouri Rotary Youth Leadership Academy. Woodall will stay four days and three nights for leadership activities in July.
“It will take place this summer in July on the campus of the University of Missouri,” said Woodall. I will be learning different leadership skills while I am there. I am excited to go and take part in the experience,” she added.
According to, The Missouri RYLA Academy is a four-day, three-night leadership academy for diverse incoming high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who exhibit a desire for community service. Developed by some of Missouri’s top professional educators and Rotarians from Districts 6040, 6060, and 6080, the curriculum is designed to identify and enhance the qualities of servant leadership for each participant, educate them on how to successfully implement a service project, and inspire them to live a lifetime of ‘service above self.’
Preston, will be staying eight days for the American Legion Boys State which will be held in June at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
“I am excited about the opportunity to attend Boys State,” said Preston. “I am looking forward to meeting new people and learning more about how the government operates. My interest is in flying though, and I would like to become a pilot in the future. If I decide not to pursue a pilot’s license, however, I may consider practicing law,” he added.
According to, candidates who are selected to attend include young men who exhibit the qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, and citizenship. Students excelling in civics, government, American history, and political science courses will be best suited for the curriculum offered at Missouri Boys State. However, potential leaders can come from all areas of study.
Nomination of students who are eligible for the sponsorship is conducted by teachers at Van-far. Gayle Jones, Van-Far guidance secretary, said that this program has been sponsored by the Rotary Club for years.
“The Rotary Club has been very generous to our students for years,” said Jones. They have given them the opportunity to go to these educational and fun leadership seminars every summer. These students get to meet and interact with students from all across the state, and learn from political and community leaders throughout Missouri.” she added.
While Rotary Club participates in various projects involving the use of grants, Darren Berry, club president, said that these programs were being paid for with general funds.
“We did not use a grant for these two donations,” said Berry. “They are being paid for with general funds of the club. Our treasurer, John Weiser presented the checks to the students at the school,” he added.