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December 3, 2005

NTID students help storm victims

From: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester,NY,USA - Dec 3, 2005

'Whirlwind of Support' benefit performance hits stage tonight

Greg Livadas
Staff writer

Jennifer Fields was in school in Rochester, more than 1,200 miles from her Louisiana home that was damaged when Hurricane Katrina struck more than three months ago.

Now Fields, 21, and other students from Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf want the community to know what the tragedy meant to them and that help is still needed.

"It's never too late," Fields said. "There are people out there that need help right away."

Tonight, students will take to the stage for a benefit performance: Katrina: A Whirlwind of Support. Students and the NTID Student Life Team came up with the idea to have dance and theater groups as well as students whose families have been touched by the storm's devastation participate in the semiformal event.

Fields said her family, in Covington, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, had to replace their roof.

"My family is fine, but my grandma and aunt lost their homes in New Orleans, so they are living with my parents right now," she said.

Other relatives also lost their homes, which were flooded with 8 feet of water that lingered for two weeks.

"They were completely destroyed because of bacteria and molds," she said.

Fields will also talk about returning home after the storm "to a completely different environment."

Fields said she wanted to participate "because New Orleans is my home and I grew up there and my family lives there. I have always loved New Orleans because it has so much history and Cajun lovin' around. And it's such a sad thing to see my home being destroyed and might not come back. New Orleans needs some help."

"We are excited and looking forward to having members from all parts of the Rochester and RIT communities come together to share gratitude for our good fortune and celebrate our ability to help improve the lives of others," said Karey Pine, manager, NTID Student Life Team.

If you go
What: "Katrina: A Whirlwind of Support," dances and talks featuring deaf and hard-of-hearing students affected by Hurricane Katrina.
When: 6 to 8 tonight.
Where: RIT's Ingle Auditorium.
Tickets: $5, available at the door.
Accessible: to both deaf and hearing audience members.

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