Engineers Without Borders Hosts Spring Gala

WWU's chapter is raising funds for Honduras

By: Elaina Avery

Funds raised will go to make badly needed improvements to the school these kids attend every day.

The Walla Walla University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders will host the 2009 Hope for Honduras Spring Gala on April 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Whitman College Reid Campus Center, 345 Boyer Avenue in Walla Walla.

In 1998, the residents of the small town of Luis Garcia, Honduras were forced to relocate after Hurricane Mitch destroyed their homes. The Luis Garcians tried to rebuild, but they had limited resources. Today, Luis Garcia is still under construction.

In September 2008, two students and two sponsors from WWU’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-WWU) took an assessment trip to Luis Garcia. At a town meeting, the locals expressed the most concern about the conditions of their elementary school, Escuela Luis Garcia Bustamante.

"There is a lot that needs to be done. There were plenty of students, but not enough classrooms for them. There was food, but no kitchen. There were bathrooms, but they were padlocked shut because there was no running water,” says EWB-WWU President John Hawkins.

EWB-WWU plans to improve the school grounds of Escuela Luis Garcia Bustamante in three construction phases that will take place over three years. The combined cost of the three phases is $120,000. EWB-WWU plans to return to Luis Garcia in September to begin the first construction phase. To do so, they need to raise $40,000. So far, they have raised $19,000 from private donations.

The club has established a fund called “Hope for Honduras,” which will go toward improving the grounds of the school.  All proceeds from the Spring Gala will go into this fund.

 “Many students, faculty, staff, and community members have offered their time and other resources to make this project happen,” says Curtis Nelson, EWB-WWU sponsor. “It’s exciting to see so many people willing to help others.”

The 2009 Hope for Honduras Spring Gala is a formal black and white affair. It will feature fine food, music, and both a silent and live auction. The cost is $50 per plate.

Those who wish to attend must RSVP online at the EWB-WWU website, by April 16.  

In addition to the Spring Gala, the club also plans to host a poetry jam, a benefit concert, and several Mary Kay parties to benefit Hope for Honduras.

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