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Haiti fundraiser set for July 10 on behalf of Arlington survivor Katie Zook

From left, Arlington residents Rachelle Warby and Katie Zook will be holding a Haiti fundraiser at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center on July 10. - Adam Rudnick
From left, Arlington residents Rachelle Warby and Katie Zook will be holding a Haiti fundraiser at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center on July 10.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — Haiti relief efforts may have fallen out of the headlines, but that hasn't stopped Katie Zook from telling her story.

"It's too bad," said Zook, and Arlington resident who was injured during the January earthquake that killed thousands. "The problems there have not been solved. They still need plenty of help."

Zook's experience of being trapped under tons of rubble and her eventual rescue spread throughout the community, and eventually reached one of her fellow graduates, Rachelle Warby, who was living in Arizona at the time.

After spending the past few months thinking of what she could do to help, Warby, now an Arlington resident, has organized a fundraiser for the Haitian Health Foundation on Zook's behalf.

The event, which will feature mostly local musicians and performances and an earthquake reenactment by Zook, is called "A Difference in Haiti." It will take place at 7 p.m. July 10 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center.

Attendees are being asked for a $25 suggested donation once the fundraiser concludes.

Organizers are hoping to collect $30,000 for the Connecticut-based organization.

Scheduled to perform is Arlington High School's Jazzmine group, and community members the Overman Family, Jesse Warby, Mia Hansen, Andrew Zook, the Arlington Free Methodist Children's Choir, the Couch sisters and other area artists.

"They're all people that we know," Warby said. "It's a blend of all sorts of stuff. I've gone through the music and it flows really well."

In addition to music, attendees will also shown slideshows from Haiti that demonstrate how the damage has affected families.

During the fundraiser, Zook will speak about her experiences doing missionary work in Port-au-Prince, and will recreate what she went through during the earthquake that leveled a four-story building she was living in at the time.

"It'll be a little theatrical," Zook said.

Warby said that the Haitian Health Foundation was chosen because it focuses primarily on health, women's issues and education — the country's greatest needs.

Because of injuries they have sustained from the earthquake, many Haitians are unable to do the necessary work needed to restore their homes and villages, Zook said.

"As somebody who has seen (Haiti) pre- and post-quake, I know that it will take another decade at least to rebuild," Zook said. "A lot of families can't work because of injuries. Medical care is what people really need."

For more information, visit www.adifferenceinhaiti.blogspot.com, or donate directly to www.haitianhealthfoundation.org.

Attendees will be provided with donation envelopes at the conclusion of the fundraiser.

The Byrnes Performing Arts Center is located at 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington.

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