Kelly Lamano

The women’s lacrosse team was awarded $500 to donate to their choice of philanthropy at the Be Bold Battle of the Bands event last month.

The team was awarded the money for being the organization with the highest attendance at the event. They have chosen to donate to Project Haiti.

Project Haiti is associated with the St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Two Catholic priests founded an orphanage and hospital in 1994, which inspired the project.

The orphanage and hospital provided a place for abandoned children dying from AIDS in Haiti.

The project was then conceptualized to provide medical supplies and education to those orphans and hospital patients.

This philanthropy was chosen by sophomore midfielder Grace Donovan. She has been passionate about it ever since her parents adopted three children, two of whom are from Haiti.

“After Battle of the Bands, they asked us, and I let the girls submit nominations for whom we should consider to donate to,” Head Coach Kara Reber said. “Grace submitted hers, and I thought that philanthropy was awesome.”

Originally from Boise, Idaho, Donovan played lacrosse, along with many other sports, and was one of three Idaho players selected for the Utah/Idaho National Team. She came to FSC to continue playing lacrosse and study Biology.

“I really loved lacrosse in high school,” Donovan said. “I figured that it would be a good way to meet people on a team and keep doing what I like to do.”

Donovan hopes to attend medical school once she graduates FSC. She is unsure of she will go, but she plans to go back home near Oregon, California or closer to family in Idaho.

“I can only go home during Christmas time, so I don’t get to see them over Thanksgiving or anything,” Donovan said. “It’s kind of sad, but I understand it’s difficult to go back across the country.”

Donovan is the oldest of five children. She has one biological brother, Peter, and three adopted siblings. Joseph was the first adopted sibling who is from Louisiana.

Once Donovan’s parents saw how well their children were getting along, they wanted to adopt more.

“They wanted to adopt again because they wanted a bigger family,” Donovan said.

They found out about Project Haiti through their church, and learned that a boy named Dominic was in need of adoptive parents. According to Donovan, adopting an international child was much more difficult for her family because of all of the paperwork.

Once the paperwork was cleared, the family adopted Dominic and, the final member of the family, Ava.

According to Donovan, Haiti was a difficult place for her parents to visit because of the poor living conditions.

“My mom and dad can’t even talk about it,” Donovan said. “My mom says she blocks it from her memory. [Haiti] was a hard place to be.”

Donovan says she plans to help people in third world countries, such as Haiti, once she completes medical school.

“I love that it helps kids who are in a really bad place,” Donovan said. “Knowing that we’re bringing some comfort to those people who are in so much distress is pretty neat.”

The team is also raising funds  by “flocking” professors. Flocking involves the women leaving decorated plastic flamingos in professors’ offices as a friendly invasion.

Coach Reber began her share of flocking in Lakeland through her church and her neighborhood.

She left flamingos at her pastor’s house, who then flocked his friend’s house to pass along the message.

If a person would like to have the flamingos removed, he or she must make a generous donation towards the fundraiser.

“[At FSC], we started it in someone’s office. What they have to do is donate for us to remove them, and then select another person to receive [the flamingos],” Reber said. “It moves as quickly as the person wants them out of his or her office.”

The fundraiser is scheduled to last until the end of October.