North Central News

Local youth organize 5K walk for refugees

By Catherine Fusillo
Thunderbird High School senior Mark Morrissey spent three weeks in Catania, Italy this past summer as a Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassador. There the North Central Phoenix teen learned about the city’s colorful culture and its people. Then, his host “brother” traveled from Catania to spend three weeks in Phoenix to learn about our culture.

The Red Cross of Italy is hoping to raise enough donations to purchase this emergency vehicle to bring supplies and other needed items to refugees streaming in to Catania from Syria and other parts of Africa. Some Phoenix students have organized a walk on March 6 to help raise the needed funds (submitted photo).

The Red Cross of Italy is hoping to raise enough donations to purchase this emergency vehicle to bring supplies and other needed items to refugees streaming in to Catania from Syria and other parts of Africa. Some Phoenix students have organized a walk on March 6 to help raise the needed funds (submitted photo).

A few months after the summer exchange, Mark read an article in Time magazine that described how Catania is a major port for immigrants from Syria and Africa seeking refuge in Europe (second only to Greece), and how the government has a hard time providing basic aid for all of them, especially the teens. Mark, along with all the other Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors, wanted to do something to help these kids who have not been as fortunate they have.

By contacting the Red Cross of Italy, Mark learned what the Catania branch needs most: blankets, clothes, basic medical supplies, and a rescue vehicle that can travel on land or in water. That way, rescue workers can reach people in the ocean and help pull them safely to shore.

To raise money for this important cause, Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors have teamed up with the Thunderbird National Honor Society and Mountain Sky Junior High’s Wake Up Club to organize the “March in March 5k Walk” on March 6, on the Thunderbird High School running track, 1750 W. Thunderbird Road. The walk sets off at 10 a.m.

There will be a DJ and food to make this an event that the whole family will enjoy. If you can’t walk, donations are also welcome.

To register for the walk ($10 for students and $20 for adults) or donate online, go to https://march-in-march-walkathon.eventbrite.com. Those who want to register or donate onsite the day of the event are advised to arrive by 9 a.m. Wear proper walking shoes and comfortable clothes.

For more information, e-mail Charlotte Morrissey at morrissey3@cox.net.

Editor’s note: Catherine Fusillo, a student at Veritas Prep Academy, is a Phoenix Sister Cities Youth Ambassador alumna.

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