An SRC contingent helped bring attendance to near capacity for an “International Night” fundraiser at the UAlbany School of Public Health on Thursday evening. The event was put together by the school’s Rotaract club that SRC sponsors and other grad students there.
After a tasty buffet dinner — think Thai noodle salad, empanadas, Jamaican meat pies, Swedish meatballs, plantains, mixed salad and more — attendees created teams for a trivia competition before moving to the school auditorium for a step dancing exhibition from a trio of youngsters studying at the local Boland School of Irish Dance, and, as the event keynote, a report from Save the Children, the international aid organization that was the recipient of the event’s proceeds.
Gary Shaye, an international aid specialist who just returned from Puerto Rico on Wednesday night and is headed back for several more weeks, spoke in general about Save the Children, a 99-year-old organization founded during the aftermath of World War I to assist children in peril in what then was Austria-Hungary before growing into a global force working in more than 120 countries.
Shaye described the logistical nightmare in Puerto Rico after a series of hurricanes pummeled the island, nothing that recovery efforts have been more difficult than in Haiti several years earlier, particularly because the entire communications grid was destroyed, and in Florida where the infrastructure and local organization were stronger.`
He explained that his organization’s relief approach is multi-pronged, ranging from resumption of basic education, teaching coping mechanisms, nutrition for infants and children, training teachers and social workers, and partnering with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to maximize resources.
Here are a few scenes from the evening:
Among SRC members in attendance were Roberto Martinez, April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Becky Raymond, Terry Brewer, Dick Drumm, John Justino, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Murray Forth, and Ray Hannan. John is the faculty adviser to the Rotaract club, and Becky and Debbie R. are our club liaisons with the young group.