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Western heads up Haitian relief efforts

When the WCSU community members learned of the earthquake that devastated a large area of Haiti, they rallied together to provide financial aid through a series of fundraising events. “WCSU Hearts Haiti” raised $10,000 to donate to Yéle Haiti, a foundation started by multi-platinum recording artist and Haitian native Wyclef Jean, who was this year’s undergraduate commencement speaker.

A variety of creative awareness-raising and fundraising events contributed to the cause. The first step was the creation of a Facebook page in late January. More than 560 members of the Western community became fans. In February, bracelets displaying Haiti’s national colors were sold for a suggested donation of $1 in various locations on campus. In March, WestConn faculty and staff members each donated $5 to wear jeans to work. Other events included a bake sale held by the campus ministry, the Newman Club and a Zumba exercise class.

“WCSU Hearts Haiti” hosted a March 31 luncheon featuring Haitian delicacies in Alumni Hall. More than $6 of the $15 that was charged per person was contributed to the campaign. On April 21, the Manhattan String Quartet performed a benefit concert in Alumni Hall. The suggested contribution of $20 was donated towards “WCSU Hearts Haiti.”

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Clockwise from top:
Professor of Music Eric Lewis writes a check to show his support for WCSU Hearts Haiti; Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Walter Bernstein, Director of Multicultural Affairs Carolyn Lanier and President James W. Schmotter each donated $5 to the cause on Wear Your Jeans to Work Day; Western sold bracelets to raise funds for Haiti..