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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 1:29 PM
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Media Contact:
Ron Harris
Director of Communications
Howard University
WHUR Radiothon, Howard Students Raise $80,000 to Help Others During Spring Break

Howard University First Lady, Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, director of ASB, helps students collect donations Sunday on Georgia Avenue in front of the university. Washington-area residents, Omega Psi Phi and Howard alumni contributed $80,000 Sunday during the WHUR radiothon.

WASHINGTON -- Howard University students and WHUR FM 96.3 on Monday were trying to find the best words to thank the residents of the Washington area, Omega Psi Phi fraternity and Sun Trust Bank for their overwhelming support of the station’s radiothon for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), the student service program to help the underserved across America and in Haiti.

During the annual 12-hour radiothon Sunday, the station and students raised $80,000, more than double the amount collected last year.

“I think WHUR and the Howard University radio network has the best listeners on the planet,” said Jim Watkins, general manager for WHUR and its sister stations.  “When we put out a call that we need the community to step up, the community always steps up in a big way. 

“It’s an indication of the community understanding the tremendous work that these Howard University students do every year, whether its tackling gun violence in Chicago, tutoring elementary students in Atlanta or Washington, D.C., working on illiteracy in Detroit, feeding the needy or helping in Haiti.”

The largest single donor was Omega Psi Phi, which contributed $25,000.  District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon delivered the last of the donation on WHUR during the radiothon.

Prospective donors can still contribute at

On Sunday, scores of Howard University students took to the streets from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to raise money to fund their service missions to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington and Haiti, which is still reeling from the 2010 earthquake that has left thousands still homeless and in need of services. 

As they do every year, more than 300 Howard students will skip the beaches, other vacation hot spots and even a trip home to help others.  Sunday, they manned donation buckets and waived Helping Hands signs along Georgia Avenue at Bryant Street as they asked passersby for help in funding the trip.

Meanwhile, WHUR took to the airwaves with testimonies from around the nation from those the students aid each year as the station asked the community for help.

And help it did.

“As soon as we opened the phones, we had a call from Trinidad and Tobago with a donation,” said Muriel Garr, vice president for Community Affairs for Sun Trust Bank, which annually provides the accounting as well as online and call-in collection services for ASB.  “Right after that, we got a call from a family that donated $500.

“People were very generous in their giving, from $1 through our social media to $1,000.  Sun Trust is just happy to be here to help support Howard and the community in this effort.”

This is the 17th year of ASB at Howard University, which expanded dramatically in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. 

Despite chilly temperatures, students lined Georgia Avenue asking passersby to donate.

Lindsay Howard, 20, a junior biology major from Chicago, is going to New Orleans this year, her first ASB trip.  She was bundled against the cold as she held her Helping Hands sign and asked for donations.

“I really want to make a difference,” said Howard, who also tutors homeless children as part of Project Dream Big, a transitional housing program in Washington.

Micah Holmes, 19, of Jacksonville, Fla., is heading to Detroit, where he and dozens of other students will work on illiteracy and tutoring and mentoring elementary and high school students.

“There are so many people who are only concerned about themselves,” said Holmes, who is majoring in architecture.  “Unfortunately, not enough people take the time to do something extra.  That’s what we are doing, that something extra.  It improves others’ lives and our lives too.”

Angela Porter, a second-year law student, collects a donation from a passerby Sunday during the annual WHUR radiothon to support Howard University students' Alternative Spring Break.  More than 300 students will help the underserved in five U.S. cities and Haiti this month.

Natasha Graves, 21, one of two student directors of ASB, thanked the local and global community for making their mission possible.

“This allows us to make an impact in the lives of people who need our help,” said Graves, a senior majoring in community health.  “Without this help, we couldn’t help others.”
To see the work that Howard Students have done for ASB in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and other cities, visit the links below.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 24 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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