Luncheon held for Haiti

Lisa Beth Earle | The Daily Wildcat Lisa Beth Earle / Arizona Daily Wildcat Lisa Hopper, founder and executive director of World Care, speaks at a benefit luncheon for Haiti relief in the SUMC Grand Ballroom on Monday, Feb. 1. The event was hosted by the UA in conjunction with World Care, a non-profit organization which began in Tucson and is dedicated to providing emergency relief to local and international communities.

The UA hosted a luncheon and raffle to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti on Monday.

Approximately 144 students, faculty and Tucson business leaders attended the luncheon, which was held in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center.


The event was a collaborative effort between the president's office and World Care, an international relief effort based in Tucson.

""I hope this event shows everyone that Tucson is here for Haiti, World Care is here for Haiti and, most of all, the University of Arizona is here for Haiti,"" said Lisa Hopper, CEO and founder of World Care.

Two of the five Haiti-born students at the UA spoke at the event. 

""I know the media will portray Haiti as a god-forsaken country,"" said Wana Mathieu, a biochemistry and molecular biophysics sophomore, who emigrated from Haiti at the age of 5. ""But I disagree. Haiti is a beautiful country.""

Mathieu went on to say that Haitian people are strong and hard working, and ""they will do what they need to survive.""

Peguy Pierre-Louis, a Haitian exchange student pursuing his doctorate in systems and industrial engineering, agreed.

""The scale of need in Haiti is tremendous,"" he said. ""But I've been encouraged by the outpouring of love from all over the world, especially in Tucson.""

According to Hopper, almost $750,000 has been raised for Haiti relief in the Tucson area alone.

""There are times in our lives when we have to put aside the devastation in our own lives to help those next to us,"" Hopper said. ""This is one of those times.""

Niya Butts, the head coach of the UA women's basketball team, Provost Meredith Hay and ASUA President Chris Nagata also spoke at the event.

""So many times students are characterized as apathetic, but that couldn't be farther from the truth,"" Nagata said. ""As a student leader, I could not be more proud to be on a campus where the student community cares just as much as the community around them.""

According to Sheri Hill, an executive assistant for the president's office, the event raised a total of $3,154 for Haiti relief.

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