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Eastern to Host Help for Haiti Event

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement, the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and the student clubs M.A.L.E.S. (Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success) and People Helping People will present the second Help for Haiti Benefit Concert, "This Too Shall Pass," from 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 8. The event takes place in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free; however, a $5 donation is suggested.

The concert will feature music by Eastern students Jordan Lorrius and Desiree Battle; Key of She, Eastern's women's a capella group; and Heavenly Praise, a gospel choir from Providence, RI.  Juniors Steph Canada and Marcus O'Neal will read original poetry. A silent auction will also take place. Lorrius, who is of Haitian descent, will display Haitian art. Marilyn Lowney, executive director of the Haitian Health Foundation, will be the guest speaker.

An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake that struck on Jan. 12 of this year. The Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people died; 300,000 were injured; and 1,000,000 were left homeless.

Junior sociology major Robert Closs, vice president of M.A.L.E.S., helped coordinate the event. "After hearing all this news, I knew it was time to band together to support those people who are still suffering," said Closs, a native of East Hartford. "There is no greater gift than the gift of giving. They still need as much support and help as they can get today. This event is meant to open people's eyes to the catastrophe that happened and come together so we can help those in need."

Maiyah Gamble-Rivers, a junior art history major from Providence, RI, also helped organize "This Too Shall Pass," as well as the first Help for Haiti event earlier this year on Feb. 5. "Our first event was successful, but I knew that there was more work to be done," said Gamble-Rivers. "We are trying to raise money to help rebuild a country, but, more importantly, we are celebrating the strength of Haiti!"

For more information, contact the CCE at


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