Young Rotarians Team Up In Support of Myrah Keating Smith Health Clinic


St. John students and Rotary will team up to repaint the helipad at Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.

As the start of hurricane season approaches, a group of St. John youth are doing their part to make sure Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center is ready for anything.

Students from Gifft Hill School, Guy Benjamin School and the Julius E. Sprauve School are part of the St. John Rotary Interact Club. Club President Joan Birmingham says the groups have been looking for a community service project they could join forces around.

“They’ve all been doing projects in their area of the community and they wanted to paint the clinic. The clinic doesn’t need painting inside or out but they needed painting on the helipad,” said Birmingham.

The MKSCHC helipad was first created around the time of Hurricane Marilyn, when badly injured residents were carried off island for medical treatment. Over the years, the markings that define the helipad, along with a large “H” in the center, have faded.

That would make it difficult for a helicopter pilot to safely land in the event of an emergency, added Birmingham. When students execute their painting project, they will be provided with a design that will instruct them where to paint and how large an area to cover.

“We’re in the process of organizing the studets to go up there and do that,” said the St. John Rotary Club President. “We’re not sure of the dates yet but I think it’s being done in May.”

About 48 students make up the Interact group. Birmingham explained having the youngsters getting involved in smaller community service projects through their individual schools has helped to foster a spirit of belonging.

The MKSCHC helipad painting project is the first opportunity all three groups have had to work as a team — providing “service over self.”