"Wyoming in Haiti" Trip to Benefit Children of Haiti

March 30, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is organizing a "Wyoming in Haiti" trip to take place May 7-13, 2012. A group of 25 University of Wyoming football, volleyball and soccer student-athletes and coaches will be traveling to Haiti to help Haitian youth. The Cowboys and Cowgirls will be conducting sports camps throughout the week of May 7-13 in Haiti, and will be assisting the local church of Lyonel Narcisse, the father of former Cowboy football player Ruben Narcisse, who was killed in a car accident in the fall of 2010.

"Our connection to Haiti is Lyonel Narcisse," said Aaron Frude, FCA Representative for Southeast Wyoming and the University of Wyoming. "We will be partnering with his church, called Haiti Premiere Eglise de Christien, to provide a sports experience for the children in Haiti in honor of Ruben, who had a special place in his heart for the kids of Haiti.

"This ministry is concerned not only for the physical, but emotional and spiritual development of these children and having a sport experience with collegiate athletics will be of great encouragement to them. It will also allow them to get connected with the local ministry which can offer support to them for years to come.

"We are excited about this opportunity because sports have played such a huge role in our lives, and we believe this is a tremendous opportunity to use some of our gifts and talents for the benefit of others."

"We constantly emphasize to our team the concept of giving back and community service," UW head football coach Dave Christensen said. "This is an opportunity to go abroad and have our players experience something from a public service standpoint that a lot of kids don't have the opportunity to do.

"I think it will be a great learning experience for all of us, who are going, to give back to the people of Haiti. I try to remind members of our team how lucky we are, and this will be a chance for them to work with some people who are going through difficult times and are not as fortunate.

"We put this trip together with Ruben Narcisse's dad, Lyonel, to keep Ruben's dream alive of helping the people of Haiti and to honor Ruben."

As a result of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, more than 200,000 people died and 1.6 million were left homeless.

When the UW group travels to Haiti, they will be taking with them hundreds of pairs of children's shoes and a variety of sporting equipment that has been donated for the children of Haiti.

The Wyoming Chapter of FCA is actively fundraising the needed $40,000 to help pay for the costs of the trip. To date, approximately 45 percent of the $40,000 has been raised.

One of the FCA's main fundraising events will be on Saturday, April 21 prior to the Annual Wyoming Spring Football Game when the UW Football team will conduct a "Football Fun Day" from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

The "Football Fun Day" is free of charge and open to all youth 8th grade and younger, and will include the entire UW Football team who will run drills with the children participating, as well as sign autographs. Attendees are encouraged to purchase special "Wyoming in Haiti" t-shirts that will be available for purchase for $15, with $10 of the purchase price going directly to the FCA fundraising effort.

Parents will need to register their children in the stadium the morning of the event. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Indoor Practice Facility adjacent to the stadium.

Donations will also be accepted at the "Football Fun Day" and at the Spring Game later that afternoon. Wyoming's 2012 Spring Game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.

"Wyoming in Haiti" t-shirts will also go on sale at the Brown and Gold Outlet on Monday, April 2 for $15, with $10 of each purchase going directly to the "Wyoming in Haiti" trip.

For more information on the "Wyoming in Haiti" project or to donate, please contact Aaron Frude with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at 307-760-1391 or at afrude@fca.org. Donations may also be mailed to:
Wyoming Chapter of the FCA
c/o Aaron Frude
P.O. Box 2256
Laramie, WY 82073