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Hope for Haiti

Laura and Philippa

You could just feel the love – and lots of it – at the Hope for Haiti benefit Feb. 15 in Warren Wilson’s DeVries Gym.

On the eve of Fat Tuesday, the WWC Department of Athletics and Adventure Sports organized an action-packed evening featuring basketball and various other activities including a silent auction, campus clowns and halftime step show. Not even a game-day cancellation by the team scheduled to play the WWC men’s basketball team could put a damper on the fun-filled night, which raised a whopping $3,340 for Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

As it was, there was still plenty of basketball as the women’s team took on a (mostly) WWC alumnae squad that fell a bit short, 52-47, despite a late comeback bid. Later, senior sharpshooter Laura Dison took out psychology professor Bob Swoap to win a closely contested three-point shooting competition.

Lou Sings the Anthem

Easily one of the evening’s highlights was the culmination of the weeklong National Anthem contest. Members of the campus community cast their vote for one of six singing candidates by dropping cash or checks into designated buckets, and ended up kicking in a total of $1,636. A mysterious contribution surge just before the pregame singing put biology professor Louise Weber over the top and onstage. Thanks to some impressive octave management, “Sweet Lou” did an admirable job of belting out our National Anthem as an appreciative crowd joined in.

“The wonderful thing I learned is that the national anthem is not a solo, it's a sing-along,” she later observed. “I was heartened by the swell of voices that joined in, starting with the first line.”

Tom Loses His Moustache

The night also featured some losses – hair losses. As part of the proceedings, Athletics Director Stacey Enos got a haircut and Landscaping Supervisor Tom LaMuraglia parted with his 37-year-old mustache.

But the big winner, of course, was the hard-hit country of Haiti as proceeds from the evening surpassed all expectations. Because of the night’s success, there’s now just a bit more hope for Haiti.