Archive for Sunday, September 16, 2001

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September 16, 2001

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Saturday's rain dampened plans for a bikini-clad car wash by the "Women of KU" calendar girls. But they donned T-shirts and jeans instead and solicited donations for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund as they signed calendars inside Game X Change, 800 W. 23rd St.

The car wash likely will be rescheduled, said Bill Parker, vice president of University Calendar Productions. And, beginning today, people can make donations at the calendar company's Web site, www.ucalendars.com.

Across town, 9-year-old Kajsa Mullenix and her friends -- Kate Baringer, 9, and Jessie Waller, 9 -- braved the rain and stood on the curb with umbrellas and raincoats, waving down passing motorists to sell lemonade and coffee in exchange for donations.

When she started collecting donations Wednesday afternoon, Mullenix's goal was to make $100 by the end of the weekend. She's gone far beyond that goal, said her mother, Kristie Mullenix.

One child brought a bag of pennies, other children have donated their allowances, and some people have pulled up to the curb and handed $20 bills out their windows, she said.

"I feel that people have been giving us more money today because we're sitting out in the rain," Kajsa Mullenix said.

A man who stopped at the house Saturday wept in the driveway because he hadn't heard yet from his daughter who lives in Manhattan, Kristie Mullenix said.

Kajsa Mullenix, Baringer and Waller are Girl Scouts, and Waller's mother is working with a designer to create a special badge for the girls to honor their efforts.

Today, a Lawrence Cub Scout troop plans to go door-to-door, gathering donations for the American Red Cross.

Troop member David Nichols, 8, will be helping. He's been quite concerned about the rescue workers digging through the rubble at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"He's always wanted to be a fireman when he grows up," said Kathy Nichols, David's mother. "So he's really wanting to get into this to help out."

Countless other individuals across the community have contributed money to help with disaster relief, and businesses have chipped in as well.

Such support is appreciated by people like Kathy Duffer, whose nephew, Brian Harvey, has been actively involved in recovery efforts in Manhattan.

The 35-year-old firefighter from Long Island took himself off medical leave from an injury suffered in a fire several weeks ago to help with rescue efforts, Duffer said.

Harvey and three other workers were involved in a daring rescue Tuesday. They pulled themselves by their heels through a tiny, 300-foot-long tunnel in the debris to save a building superintendent with a broken leg who was trapped on an escalator, the New York Post reported.

Harvey loaded the wounded man onto his back and hauled him out of the rubble. Twenty minutes later, Building 7 crashed down onto the area where the rescue had taken place.

"Brian and so many others like him are the living manifestation of American hope," said Duffer, a sixth-grade teacher at The Lawrence Catholic School, St. John Campus. "Our future is secure with supermen like him."

-- Staff writer Mindie Paget can be reached at 832-7187.

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