West Bay Rotary Club president Jane Lafleur presents a check to students and staff at Camden-Rockport Middle School to support their fundraising efforts for the Japanese Exchange trip.

Middle School students are fundraising for the annual 10 day cultural exchange program with Japan. For more than 15 years, Camden-Rockport Middle School has sponsored a unique exchange program with the school board of Hirakawa in Aomori Prefecture, Japan.

Ten students and two staff members will visit the district of Hirakawa, Japan, in Aomori Prefecture. They will be staying with Japanese families. Some of those families sent students to Maine and they enjoyed a week in Camden-Rockport in January at CRMS. CRMS eighth-grade students participating in the exchange spend a great deal of the year preparing for the trip by raising funds and learning the Japanese language and about Japanese culture. Their trip will include two days in Tokyo before they travel on the "Bullet Train" for their homestay.

Each month West Bay Rotary President Lafleur designates a different charity or cause to donate Rotarian’s loose change that is placed in buckets on the breakfast table at Rotary meetings. Former recipients include the Hospitality House, Lac Megantic Relief Efforts, The Rig, Meals on Wheels, the Animal Shelter, Camden Area Food Pantry, LiHeap, and New Hope for Women. The April recipient will be Midcoast Literacy Volunteers.

For more information about West Bay Rotary visit westbayrotaryofmaine.org.