Wake Forest interfaith vigil launches hurricane-inspired events, activities

By Kevin Cox
Sept. 7, 2005

Wake Forest University will hold an interfaith vigil Sept. 11 that will be the first of many events and activities being organized to encourage assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Students gather for the Sept. 11th vigil.

The vigil will take place at 9 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Free and open to the public, the vigil is also being held in honor of the victims of the 9/11 terrorism attacks on the United States. It is called "Remembering, Enduring and Hoping: A Service to Acknowledge Those Touched by September 11th and Hurricane Katrina."

Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch is among those scheduled to participate. Hatch has led Wake Forest efforts recently to accept a limited number of students for late admission to the university when their own Gulf Coast schools were closed after the hurricane. Those students arrived this week.

The event is part of an extensive effort by Wake Forest to address the hardships suffered by the hurricane victims. The university has organized a group called the Hurricane Katrina Relief Committee to coordinate the university's ongoing response and relief efforts.

Students and members of the university's administrative staff are serving on the committee led by Tim Auman, university chaplain, and Andrea Ellis, assistant director of student development.

"As a committee, our goal is to help people throughout the university develop, schedule and carry out their ideas for helping those who are suffering from the effects of the hurricane," Ellis said. "We welcome their ideas and participation in an effort that is growing larger day by day."

The committee is encouraging members of the university community to send their ideas and offers of help to a newly-created e-mail address at katrinahelp@wfu.edu. A Web site for the committee's efforts is also being created. The site's address will be announced soon.

Immediately following the vigil on Sept. 11, there will be an opportunity to support the Red Cross through a fundraiser called "Candles on the Quad." Students will be selling votive candles for $1 that will be used to line Hearn Plaza (the Quad). The candles will honor the Red Cross' efforts following the 9/11 attacks and hurricane.

Another event scheduled is a music concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in Wait Chapel. A variety of Wake Forest musical groups will participate. Final details are being settled, but proceeds will go to hurricane relief.

Other events and activities being planned include a white ribbon campaign in which ribbons will be sold in Benson University Center, a blood drive in Benson University Center from 1-5 p.m. Sept. 27, and community service trips to the Gulf Coast region later in the 2005-2006 academic year. Dates for the ribbon campaign and the service trips have not been set.

A bake sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 14 on Hearn Plaza. Organizers are requesting donated baked goods for the event. Anyone wanting to contribute items to the sale should e-mail organizers at katrinahelp@wfu.edu.

More events will be scheduled.

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