Scranton’s First Annual Race To Heal Haiti was a great success. Over 200 participants ran and walked the 5K route through Nay Aug Park on May 17, enabling education for sponsored student nurses in Haiti.
Valarie Lucas, a nursing student at the University of Scranton, created and organized the event. She was moved to action following two trips to Haiti last summer. Lucas stated in an interview with the Independent Gazette that the faith and community she experienced there were described elegantly by Mother Teresa when she said: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Upon learning that tuition for nursing school in Haiti is $360 a year, but that many Haitians still cannot afford to attend, Lucas became determined to help these students achieve their goals. The impact, Lucas assures her supporters, will be ongoing. “One person has the ability to change things. You just have to follow your heart.”
The race was an exciting event, filled with camaraderie, good will, and excitement. Several local organizations attended, offering their services to enhance the day. The local band Forest Quarry played music during registration and to kick off the event. You can find them on Facebook© here: www.facebook.com/pages/Forest-Quarry/229790693895614. Courtney’s Cupcakes, a local bakery, set up a miniature cupcake shop near the finish line. They’re on Facebook© too, at www.facebook.com/cstonecupcakes. A total of $5,380 was raised, enough money to pay for 15 years of nursing school.