First Katrina, now Rita.
As weather-beleaguered Gulf Coast residents continue to bear the onslaught of Hurricane Rita, West Virginia University, in turn, is maintaining its efforts to improve the quality of life for Katrina survivors evacuated earlier to the Mountain State.
WVU physicians and counselors remain in place at a medical clinic for Katrina evacuees at Camp Dawson in Preston County.Operation Safe Haven,as the overall operation is known, is also sheltering more than 200 evacuees, including whole families, swamped by the New Orleans storm three weeks ago.
The camp is now keeping its doors open for possible arrivals from Hurricane Rita, officials said.
Wallets and checkbooks were opened by WVU students and employees in the face of the devastating weather. Some $63,000 was raised in the campus-wideDollars for Disasterdrive, which wrapped up earlier this week. The American Red Cross is applying the money for its relief efforts in the Delta swath cut by Katrina.
Several displaced students from Gulf Coast colleges also enrolled at WVU .
With fundamental needs for the survivors being met, WVU s College of Creative Arts is offering up some cultural exchangeand just plain funfor the youngsters at the camp.
Art education professor Vickie Fergus and five art students will teach evacuees today (Friday, Sept. 23) how to create fold accordion books, using the art of origami. The accordion design is a respectful nod to the regions rich catalogue of Cajun music, and a journal of thoughts and impressions can be recorded in the book. Workshops will be at 3 p.m.
The CAC Puppet Mobile will be steered by Professor Joanne Spencer Siegrists Theater and Dance students to the camp on Wednesday, Sept. 28, for theYankee Doodle Poodle Paradeand workshop; and the WVU Steel Drum Band will present a concert and workshop at the camp Wednesday, Oct. 5. WVU is the home base of Elle Mannette, known internationally as thefatherof the steel drum.
WVU s Gordon Dunn will direct the Universitys African Ensemble in an 8 p.m. concertalso on Oct. 5.
Evacuees will be driven down to the CAC on Oct. 11 for a 7:30 p.m. Wind Symphony Concert, and theyll also be treated to a reception prior to the concert by CAC Dean Bernie Schultz.
The CAC s efforts are all what Schultz calls thehealing balm of the creative arts,he said.
The arts really are good for the soul,he said.When you engage creativity, you engage the body and the brain. You just feel better, all over. And we just feel good about being able to offer what we can. I dont have to tell you what New Orleans has given us in terms of music, from Dixieland to Zydeco. Its a way for the CAC to give something back.
Schultz said the College has been working with Preston County Schools educator Gwen Duckworth to arrange the performances.
A public forum led by University professors on lessons learned from the storm is also planned from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Mountainlair.
Heres a rundown of other Katrina efforts on campus and in the Morgantown community:
* Swim-a-Thon: The WVU Natatorium is the site of aSwim-a-Thonto benefit Katrina survivors at Camp Dawson. Groups and individuals are invited to dive in for a good cause. Info: email@example.com or call Melinda Eskidge at 304-293-3295, ext. 5207.
* Making music, making a difference: Sundays (Sept. 25) hurricane relief benefit concert promises great bands (rock, jazz, R&B, folk), food, raffles, games and prizes at the Riverfront. WVU student organizations are throwing the event from noon to 8 p.m. at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. Acts include Jr. Pezz, the Imperfects, Dave Longfellow Ensemble, Bowling League, Hello Cantaloupe, When Everything Goes Wrong, Tim Hill Jazz Quartet, Jim Truman and Legacy. bw-3, Garfields and Casa DAmici are just a few of the food vendors that will be on hand. This is an event geared for the whole family. Admission is a donation at the gate.
* Lessons from the storm: What role did race play in the preparations and response to Hurricane Katrina? How did the catastrophe shed light on the sociopolitics of New Orleans? And how did the media do in its coverage of the disaster? WVU will take up those questions in a public forum Thursday (Sept. 29) from 7-9 p.m. in the Mountainlairs Blue Ballroom. WVU professors on the panel are Phylissa Mitchell from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, John Ernest from the Department of English and Rachael Woldoff from the Division of Sociology and Anthropology. Prof. Donald Hall of the Department of English is the moderator of the event, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and Department of English.
* Journalists for Katrina : Student groups from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism are raffling off $2,000 in prizes plus a football signed by Coach Rich Rodriguez and the Mountaineer team. As of Sept. 21, journalism organizationsincluding the Society of Professional Journalists, Diversity in Media Association, Ad Club and Public Relations Student Society of Americahad raised $600 for the American Red Cross to help hurricane evacuees who have found shelter in the state. Students are selling tickets in the Mountainlair through Friday, Sept. 23.
* Katrina unites across campus: The WVU Procurement and Payment Services Project Planning Committee held a white elephant auction Sept. 21 at One Waterfront Place to raise money for the Red Cross. The Department of Emergency Medicine held a used book sale with books donated by their support staff members and faculty members Sept. 14 and 16. They collected $150 for the local Red Cross chapter. Facilities and Services employees at One Waterfront Place donated $1,020 toDollars for Disaster.Dining Services is collecting money for the Red Cross through Friday, Sept. 30.
* Offerings online: Thirteen free online classes from Ethics Counseling to Small Business Entrepreneurship will run from Oct. 10-Dec. 17 for college students displaced by Katrina.The courses exemplify the potential of higher education to serve students anywhere, no matter what, WVU Dean of Extended Learning Sue Day-Perroots said. Info: 304-293-2834 or 304-293-2675.
* Rockers with a cause: Local bands also plugged in at downtown Morgantowns
123 Pleasant St. club Sept. 13 and rocked out for the American Red Cross, which received 100 percent of the door profits. Campus radio station U-92 staged the benefit, along with Pronto Print, a Morgantown business.
* Dawsons birthdays :WVUs Office of Service Learning Programs and Alpha Phi Omega service organization threw a birthday party Sept. 15 for evacuees at Camp Dawson complete with cake and toys. WVU Dining Services generously donated five sheet cakes; Kroger donated a cake; APO provided volunteers, plates and utensils; and McDonalds donated toys.
* Cookies, with care: Many WVU faculty and staff donatedFlying WVcookie tins to Camp Dawson families.
* Volunteer spirit: Dr. Donald Morrison with the School of Dentistry took a four-hour training course at the Red Cross and served an eight-hour shift as a dormitory supervisor at Camp Dawson. Members of WVU s Alpha Phi Omega group are working a shift for the Red Cross at Camp Dawson Friday, Sept. 30. WVU campus minister Sandy Bigelow and his son Brian, a lawyer in southern West Virginia, delivered 4,000 pounds of ice and other supplies to Slidell, La.
* More fun: WVU student Carrie Beth George is organizing a scavenger hunt at Camp Dawson for Sunday, Sept. 25.
Campus groups interested in launching hurricane relief efforts are reminded to coordinate through the Office of Service Learning Programs . Contact Kim Colebank or Franchesca Nestor at 304-293-8761 ext. 4482.
Hurricane Katrina Relief Web Site : http://www.wvu.edu/katrina/