NEWPORT, R.I. – Tent City, a student-run overnight fundraiser to help rebuild a primary school in Haiti, will begin as scheduled this evening, rain or shine, according to junior Kelsey Fitzgibbons, who said $8,000 has already been raised.
Hundreds of students are expected to participate in the dusk to dawn event on the front lawn of the Wakehurst Student Center, corner of Lawrence and Leroy avenues. Organized by Hearts for Haiti, the Tent City event begins today (Friday, April 9) at 6 p.m. and will conclude tomorrow (Saturday, April 10) at 6 a.m.
The “stay awake all night” event will feature guest speakers, live bands, a make-shift tent city and other activities – all to raise money and awareness to help rebuild Haiti Marycare’s primary school in Port-Au-Prince, Cite Soleil, which was destroyed in January’s devastating earthquake.
The public is welcome to participate. Infinity Volunteers, a local non-profit organization focusing on service-based learning, is organizing local high school students to get involved.
Money is being raised by participants’ fundraising, the sale of T-shirts, bracelets and other materials, and straight-out donations from supporters.
Those interested in donating can make their checks payable to “Salve Hearts for Haiti” and mail them to the Salve Regina University Business Office, 100 Ochre Point Ave., Newport, R.I. 02840. Donations are tax-deductable.
Tent City is one of many fundraising events that have been organized by Salve’s Hearts for Haiti. A dozen performers are slated to take to the stage during Tent City, including a special appearance by Connecticut residents Tom and Mary Lou Larkin, founders of a Haiti Marycare (www.haitimarycare.org), who will address the crowd.
Haiti Marycare has worked in Haiti since 1994, running a school in Port-Au-Prince and a medical clinic on the northern coast of the island.
“Tent kits” that include tarps, sheets, twine and garden stakes will be distributed for participants to craft their own tents in a designated area of the Wakehurst lawn.
Several Salve Regina musical groups and local bands will perform on the main stage, including Dive Alarm, Rocco DeSimone, Jem, Pitches with Attitude, Gravy Train, Ryan Hurley, Botfly, and Sam Clarke. Other activities will include dance performances, a yoga presentation, food, games, raffles, the AIDS Quilt, films and pictures from Haiti.
The university’s Mercy Center for Spiritual Life will conduct a midnight vigil, and a 6 a.m. sunrise service. Tent City participants will be staying awake for the duration of the “dusk to dawn” event.