RIT Students Host Date Auction to Benefit Haitian Hurricane Victims, Oct. 18

Event kicks off six-week drive to raise $15,000 for the devastated country

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Three consecutive storms ravaged Haiti recently, destroying parts of what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Eight hundred Haitians have died. Three hundred more are missing. Those who survived are in desperate need of help, and a group of Rochester Institute of Technology students are determined to give it to them.

RIT’s Caribbean Student Association has teamed with Grammy Award winning artist and Haiti native Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation, and aims to raise $15,000 in the next six weeks. Their efforts kick off with a ‘Date Auction’ that takes place from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in RIT’s Student Alumni Union cafeteria. Thirty-five students are scheduled to participate in the auction. The highest bidders will be escorted by their “date” to an on-campus dinner that evening. The event is open to RIT students only.

“The people of Haiti are in peril and they need our help,” says Krystle Jones, a member of the Caribbean Student Association and an organizer of the event. “They are so desperate for food that they’re mixing dirt, seasoning and water and eating it. They call it a dirt cookie.”

The Yele Haiti Foundation, which is also supported by celebrities Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon, has reached out to colleges and universities across the nation in search of support. Jean will provide a free concert to the school that raises the most money.

Those interested in donating to the relief fund should visit www.ritforhaiti.com.