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Update

Senate has announced that they are donating $1,147, all of the proceeds made at the Walk-a-Thon for Haitian Relief to American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development. Additional donations were made by community members, parents, and students after the event.

Senate previously announced that they would be donating to the organization “aHomeInHaiti.”

The following is the original article.

On Saturday, may 15, 2010, Blind Brook hosted its first Senate-run, community-wide fundraiser ever, a 5k Walk-a-Thon for Haitian Relief from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. the driving force behind the operatio was Sophomore Senate representative Rachel Friedlander.

The fundraiser was held to support the nation of Haiti, a Caribbean nation that was hit by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. the Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured, and 1,000,000 were made homeless. many countries, including the United States, pledged funds and dispatched rescue and medical teams to Haiti. However, even with the existence of such aid, Haiti has not yet fully recovered from the catastrophe.

Soon after the earthquake took place, Friedlander proposed the idea to Senate’s exeuctive board. she envisioned a fundraising walk around the Blind Brook track that would be open to the entire community.

“It was really something that came from the inner good of Senate. Usually we plan spirit days and whatnot, but my family and I decided to utilize my being on Senate. my step-dad and I came up with the idea of a walk for Haiti, and it was really just to do something good for Haitian relief and awareness and to bring the community together,” Friedlander said.

Once Superintendent William Stark and Assistant Principal Jane Wermuth gave their approvals, the planning began. Senate formed a committee dedicated to the task of organizing this new event, chaired by Friedlander.

“The planning that went into it was pretty stressful. It was a lot of time, a lot of committee meetings, but it was all around a lot of fun. we were pretty much playing it by ear, but now that we’ve got an anchor for the event we can move forward with the event for next year,” said Friedlander.

Senate appealed to local businesses to act as sponsors for the event, gaining the support of stores such as Yogo Joy, Landsberg Jewelers, Olivier New York, and Dusty Rose, along with others, the names of which were listed on the backs of the t-shirts made for the event. the first 100 people to arrive at the event were promised these t-shirts for free. Fliers and signs were put up all over Blind Brook as well as in Rye Ridge Shopping Center. Senate raised $945 in sponsorship money, all of which was put towards funding the event.

The Walk-a-Thon required a minimum $10 donation from all participants. Food was sold, free water bottles were given to all participants, and facts about the destructive earthquake were posted around the track. for every mile that was completed, participants would receive a sticker, the biggest of which was given at the end of the 13th lap.

Freshman member of the Senate Walk-a-thon committee member Lara Cohen said, “Senate really poured their hearts in this event. every detail was discussed, from sponsors’ logos on the back of our tee shirts, to what facts we would expose to the community. the committee chair, Rachel Friedlander, really deserves recognition for her devotion and hard work on this project. the event was successful, but we had hoped for a higher attendance. the event was really fun and I think if more people had decided to come, they would feel the same!”

Fellow freshman committee member Jason Adler added, “I think it was a first for Senate that can be used as a model for future years. Looking back, we could have made some improvements, but overall it set the bar pretty high and was a feat for the community, who never before had seen such an event.”

The event raised about $1,000, which Friedlander decided should be sent to a Home in Haiti, an organization that donates tents to act as temporary homes for Haitians enduring poverty. Senate agreed with this idea, feeling that this aid was appropriate and necessary due to the approaching “wet season.”

Sophomore Steph Blumenthal, who took part in the event, said, “It was a great idea to raise money and awareness for what happened in Haiti, and walking is always great exercise!”

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