Article by David Hall
Community members will join students from Roanoke College and Hollins University to participate in a 5K this Saturday to benefit victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Red Cross, who says they’re working actively to provide aid to those affected by the multitude of storms.
Megan Rioux, a Hollins University senior and organizer of the race, said she had the idea for it after watching the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. “I figured this was something good for student government to do and a great way to partner with Hollins (Roanoke?) because it’s their 175th anniversary, too,” she said. “It’s good to give back to those in dire straits right now. We have students from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”
The students chose Roanoke College as the venue because of its size and access to facilities. The race will take place at 10 a.m. at the Roanoke College Alumni Track. In addition to the cost of entry, organizers are also looking for participants to donate items, such as diapers, baby food, batteries, first-aid supplies, and feminine hygiene products to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.
According to the fund’s website, the Red Cross is working to provide the islands with relief in the form of personal items, such as water, rice, beans, ready-to-eat meals, clean-up kits as well as satellite phones due to continued power outages and emergency centers on islands that saw horrific amounts of property damage.
Multiple hurricanes have ravaged the United States in the past few months causing an unprecedented level of damage. Much of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, remains without electricity.