The Victor-Farmington Rotary Club recently continued a 35-year tradition when it hosted Rotary youth exchange students from throughout the Rochester/Finger Lakes region for a Christmas party at Ravenwood Golf Club in Victor.
There were 22 foreign exchange students from Mexico, India, Sweden, Japan, Slovakia, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany and Chile. Joining them were 19 local students from the Rochester/Finger Lakes region who will leave this summer for their year in a foreign country under the Rotary program.
The event, now known as the Al Rosbrook Rotary Youth Exchange Christmas Brunch in memory of Rotarian Al Rosbrook, included a surprise visit from Santa Claus. Each student received a souvenir shirt commemorating their participation in the brunch.
The exchange students entertained Rotarians and guests by singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” as Santa entered the room. The international students gave individual holiday greetings to the assembled guests in their native language.
Anne Morrell, District 7120 chairman for youth exchange, introduced her committee and thanked the Victor-Farmington Rotary Club for hosting the event. Rotary District Gov. Tom Rogers from the Canandaigua Rotary Club was on hand to participate in the day’s events.
Youth Exchange Committee members left for a business meeting after the official ceremony, and the students took over the dance floor. Santa Claus joined in the dancing festivities.
Rotarian Bruce Chapman served as master of ceremonies for the event, and music was provided by a DJ from Neon Sign. Rotary club members President Jim Crane, Karen Parkhurst, Bonnie and Ross Cottone, Judy and Dave Luitweiler, Solitaire Murphy, Kim Yourch, Bruce and Vera Chapman, Nancy Zavaglia and Galen Powers served as hosts.
The Rotary club recently received an update Alina Urbanic, Rotary’s Global Scholarship recipient of Victor, who is working on her Master of Public Administration at the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy. Urbanic said that she has been busy with a heavy course load, but she has had time for a two day trip to the Alps in Switzerland with her classmates.
She also attended a meeting of her host Rotary club that included a cultural tour of the historic Santo Sepolcro church, which was built on the site of the ancient Roman Forum and redesigned and renamed after the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem after the Crusades. The crypt at the church was admired by Leonardo da Vinci, who subsequently created architectural drawings of the interior of the church.
The student body of Urbanic’s graduate program is made up of students from many different countries. She said that the American students are planning to prepare a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner for their fellow students in the near future.