Our Program on March 7, 2023 was Angelina Amerigo accompanied by her “Momager” Melinda.  Angelina is the Communications and Marketing Director of the Rotaract eClub for the Environment: Focus on Pollution Reduction. She is also a talented dancer and the current Miss West Central with the Miss America organization and received $12,000 towards her college education and working towards being the next Miss Minnesota. Her journey started back in 2019-20 becoming Miss Heart of the Lakes (2nd place). Then in 2020-21 she became Miss Midwest (1st runner up), and now 2022-23 is Miss West Central. With being a local title holder she has the opportunity to speak on a platform of her choice. Her social impact initiative is to bring the topic of the over-usage of plastic alive! She believes it’s time to clean up our oceans, rivers, lakes and protect our precious marine life as plastic pollution is not only affecting the state of the earth we live in but is affecting a large list of precious marine life! This young woman was amazing, articulate, smart and beautiful to boot!                                                                  
The slogan of her advocacy is “One Bottle, One Straw and One Bag at a Time.”  She pointed out that there are 5 Ocean Garbage Patches that are part of the Gyre which is a swirling vortex of ocean current that consists of plastics and floating waste products. Our Mississippi River contributes 40% of plastic pollution in the Golf of Mexico today.  Angelina stresses that we can do something about this problem that is also affecting aquatic and marine life here and in the World.  She says, “ The answer is to Educate, Inform and Act!” She says that we can educate ourselves to understand what the problem is and then to inform our communities through social and printed media.  “And then we need to act by recycling one bottle, one straw and  bag at a time!” Angelina then listed some startling statistics and what to do to counteract these polluter. First, 100 Billion plastic bags are discarded each year and we can reduce this by using reusable bags. Second, 500 Million one-use straws are discared each year so use reusable straws. And then finally there are 481.6 Billion plastic bottles discarded yearly so let’s use reusable bottles!  She then held a contest on the number of items we personally recycle and use and Randy Schumacher was the grand prize winner with 16 nonpolluting practices.
She ended her presentation by saying, “It was Rotary that started me on this amazing journey” and to practice “One Bottle, One Straw and One Bag at a time” and urged our club members to support her in her bid to become Miss Minnesota.