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Raising dollars to save lives

A group of campus organizations hopes to collect at least $1 from every person in the Lehigh community this week to aid Tsunami victims.

The “Tsunami Dollar” event kicks off a semester-long Crisis Crusade campaign by the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) service fraternity, partnering with the India Club, IBE Council, Community Service Office, and the Gryphon Society.

Each day this week, through Friday, Feb. 4, donation tables manned by volunteers will be set up in the University Center, Ulrich Student Center and Rathbone from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the “Tsunami Dollar” event. Cash donations will be accepted.

“This campaign was inspired by my winter break experience in India,” says Ashwath Muralidharan, a sophomore computer science major and vice president of APO. “I was in Madras City, which lost 3,000 people, when the Tsunami hit. I saw some of the devastation and decided I had to involve the Lehigh community to help those affected back home and in neighboring countries.”

APO hopes to raise $5,000 to $10,000 with their efforts throughout the semester.

“I know that the Lehigh community has been greatly saddened by the natural disaster that left so much devastation and destruction,” says Gregory Farrington, president of Lehigh University. “The Tsunami Dollar event, along with the numerous other events planned for the Crisis Crusade, is a wonderful way for Lehigh to give to those who have lost so much. I encourage everyone to stop by and support these efforts this week and beyond.”

Donations will go to UNICEF, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.

A “Tsunami Raffle,” a benefit cultural show that will display artistic routines from people representing the various ethnic groups from affected countries and a Bethlehem Marathon/Walkathon will round out the Crisis Crusade campaign.

“Members of the Lehigh community are extremely fortunate to be able to experience all the comforts of a university like this,” says Muralidharan. “The majority of those who suffered in the calamity were destitute to begin with. We know that Lehigh folks have so much compassion and will support our efforts.”

--Sarah Suh-Cooke

Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005

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