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Lyons Sponsors Campout on the Quad

Amanda Gray | Friday, September 17, 2010

Lyons Hall will host Campout on the Quad from 8 p.m. tonight until 8 a.m. Saturday, giving students the opportunity to spent a night under the stars for a good cause.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that will use the money to supply mosquito netting to nations where malaria is a leading cause of death.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how people react,” Lyons president Catherine Gillespie said. “This is different than anything I’ve seen on campus.”

Gillespie, a sophomore, said the event will feature speakers including Aanuoluwa Adelani, a biology graduate student, who will tell her story of how malaria personally affected her life. Souvik Bhattacharjee, a research assistant professor in biology, will discuss malaria science and research, while Sam Rund, a graduate student in biology, will talk about World Vision and how the proceeds from the event will be used.

“The suggested donation of $6 covers the cost of one of the malaria tents given out by World Vision,” Gillespie said.

Sophomore Laurel Fischer of Lyons suggested the idea for the event to Lyons Hall Council in April. Fischer said she heard about a similar event at another school and wanted to do something similar at Notre Dame.

“We got a lot of positive feedback, so we decided to try to make it a reality,” Gillespie said.

World Vision is composed of different sectors, and the money raised from the event will go directly to the End Malaria campaign, which distributes mosquito netting and funds research for testing.

“Malaria is one of the leading causes of death for children under five in the developing world, responsible for nearly 2,000 child deaths a day, or one every 40 seconds,” the organization’s website said. “Transmitted by a mosquito, this disease kills an estimated 860,000 people each year. An estimated 85 are children.”

Gillespie said World Vision pays for the netting up front, instead of waiting for donations to come through before acting. The donations help pay for charity already underway.

Gillespie said the charity was selected because of its Christian humanitarian message.

“The event is something anyone can come to — so come by and donate,” Fischer said. “You don’t have to stay overnight if you don’t want to.”

There will be events for participants, including a showing of the film “Heavyweights” at midnight, as well as the sale of glow-in-the-dark T-shirts.   

“It’s going to a good cause, but you don’t have to feel like you’re getting weighed down by the seriousness of the issue,” Gillespie said. “Come out and have fun.”

Fischer said that overall, coordinators of the event want students to come and support the cause in any capacity they can.

 “Feel free to come and go as you please,” Fischer said. “It’s very flexible. We just would be happy for people to stop by. We want everyone on campus to stop by.”