Xavier University students shed most of their clothes, despite the chill, to take part in the Nearly Naked Mile on Thursday evening, Nov. 18. Participants raced one mile through the Xavier campus to raise money to send 13 pre-professional health students to do service in Haiti over the winter break.
The race began at Bellarmine Circle. Runners raced down the residential mall, touched a gate by the intramural fields, came back past Husman residence hall and finished back at Bellarmine Circle. Prizes were awarded for the best costume and for the fastest male and female runners.The $15 entry fee and $10 cost of T-shirts will be used to defray the expenses of the Haiti service trip.
The trip to Haiti takes place Jan. 2-9, 2011, almost a year to the day on Jan. 12, 2010, that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed approximately 230,000 people in Haiti and left millions homeless. The pre-med students are traveling with staff members of Xavier’s Office of Interfaith Community Engagement and four medical professionals. They are working with Heart to Heart International, a faith-based initiative which has had teams in Haiti since the earthquake.
The Xavier group is staying outside Port-au-Prince and working in Heart to Heart’s primary care facility in the city. They will also venture into more remote areas beyond the city during the week. Among the travelers in January is Dr. Lauri Pramuk, a pediatrician who with her husband, Xavier assistant theology professor Chris Pramuk, adopted two Haitian children after the earthquake.
Rabbi Abie Ingber, founding director of the Office for Interfaith Community Engagement, headed up a similar trip last January to Jamaica with pre-med students who helped treat people needing medical care. Ingber estimates this year the group needs to raise $50,000 to pay for the 19-member group’s airfare, meals and housing for the week. In addition to the Nearly Naked Mile fundraiser, the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement is continuing to accept donations.
“I am so very proud of how this annual mega-silliness brings so much good to people in need through the work of our interfaith medical community intent on healing the world,” Ingber said.
For more information about the trip and how to help, please call 513-745-3569.