These boots were made for walkin‘

By Beth Oltmanns

If you’re looking for a way to help those affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, here’s your chance.

The Residence Hall Association is sponsoring a walk of silence, to benefit the New York firefighters’ 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. The walk will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, at Central Park, will proceed past the residence halls and will conclude in the King Memorial Commons.

This is the first year the RHA has sponsored an event like this, said RHA president Alex Underwood. He added that the idea came from Lincoln Hall community adviser Philip Guske, one of the main organizers of the event.

“I was trying to think of a way to get the whole campus involved with the relief effort in New York,” the senior finance major said.

Registering for the walk is encouraged but not necessary, Guske said. People who aren’t registered still will be able to join the walk to show their support. Registered participants will receive an information packet that explains how to collect the money and a letter verifying the legitimacy of the benefit.

Guske has been working with other CAs and residence hall councils to get the word out about the walk.

Sophomore marketing major April Mayse, a CA in Grant Towers, is a coordinator for the event. She encourages students to get involved with this walk.

“It’s definitely a great cause,” she said.

Much of the advertising for the event is coming from fliers, CAs and word-of-mouth, Guske said. Guske also has been talking to a lot of organizations at NIU and in the community. He hopes to get DeKalb firefighters to come and lead the walk.

Underwood also emphasized local involvement in the walk.

“The whole NIU community is really invited,” he said.

The goal is to raise $50,000 by Nov. 16, which is the last day for collection, Guske said. Drop boxes are located in residence halls for students who wish to donate.

Guske hopes to announce the final amount raised and the prize winners from the walk at the final home football game on Nov. 17.

All participants who raise $50 or more will receive T-shirts, and the five walkers who bring in the most money will receive larger prizes. Guske also said he is buying a Playstation2 and a DVD player as prizes for the most money raised. Another possible prize is a gift certificate to a day spa.

Guske said everyone he has spoken with so far has been enthusiastic about the walk.

“It’s really cool to see how Americans can band together and help out,” he said.

Disaster Relief Fund

When: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

Where: The walk will begin at Central Park

Why: Proceeds will go to the New York firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund