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Skidmore clubs unite to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Fundraising groups include the Red Cross club, the Honors Forum and several religious organizations.

By Tara Lerman
On November 11, 2012

Last week, numerous towns and cities on the east coast were left in devastation after Hurricane Sandy hit. While the greater Saratoga Springs area was not affected, many students' hometowns were, including parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York City, Westchester and Long Island. As a result, on-campus clubs joined together to raise money for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

The Skidmore Red Cross Club is planning a Dodgeball Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 14, to benefit relief efforts with the entirety of its proceeds.

"We will also be using previous funds from a raffle we did during Celebration Weekend and the money we raised from last year's Dodgeball Tournament to help fund the relief efforts," Melvin Alvarez '15, chairman of the Fundraising Committee for the Red Cross Club, said.
 On Friday, Nov. 2, campus religious groups Hillel, Christian Fellowship and Newman Club stood outside the atrium of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall collecting donations for the relief efforts.
 The Honors Forum is also organizing an event to help those who were affected by Sandy.

"Typically, the members take a field trip each fall in September to see a Broadway play and attend a museum. With the hurricane, my first impulse was to cancel the trip," Director of the Honors Forum and Professor of English Dr. Catherine Golden said.  "It seemed too indulgent for us to come to New York for culture and fun while people are without heat and electricity and basic necessities."

When Golden learned that they could not be refunded for the bus or the show tickets, Idalia Sepulveda, academic web coordinator, approached her to ask if they could use the storage area of the bus to bring supplies to victims in the city. Idalia is also a member of the Legacy Center, a multi-service Community Development Center serving communities in Queens and Brooklyn. The Legacy Center will pick up the donations at Bryant Park on Sunday, Nov. 11.

"The bus company agreed to transport the donations, we arranged for a room for drop-offs by coordinating our efforts with Michelle Hubbs [director of Community Service Programs], and we publicized this to the community--not only the Skidmore community but the Saratoga Springs community," Dr. Golden said, adding that many student members of the Honors Forum supported this initiative. "Many HF students have family who lost power and belongings in the hurricane, so our efforts also touch close to home."

Many areas not far from Saratoga Springs also are in need of aid. Schools in parts of Westchester County and Southern Connecticut have just re-opened after a week of shutting down due to the loss of power and flooded roads.

"There was no electricity for two weeks at my house but my mom was pretty prepared with lights and lanterns. The heat was off for a while so the nights were tough, but once her office reopened three days after the storm she was fine," Heather Zhang '15 of Cresskill, New Jersey said.

In other New Jersey areas such as Summit and Chester Township, the power is still out and transportation is still down. Students who wish to donate or get involved with these relief efforts may contact Hubbs at mhubbs@skidmore.edu.        


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