Sunday, February 18, 2001

XU, UC pitch in for Crosstown Helpout

Volunteers spruce up schools

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The letter “X” mysteriously appeared on T-shirts and paintbrushes disappeared. But, all in all, Cincinnati's biggest rivals cooperated rather than competed Saturday in the XU/UC Crosstown Helpout.

        More than 500 friends, students and alumni from the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University sacrificed the day to paint, clean and generally spruce up 22 schools in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

        The volunteers mostly consisted of 20- and 30-somethings.

        “I had four hours of sleep and I'm pumped. I don't know how someone can regret this,” said Lucy Voegele, an XU sophomore from Batavia.

        She was a member of the largest Crosstown Helpout team, which was assigned to paint East End Community Heritage School's gym and auditorium.

        Good-hearted mischief abounded among Ken Kairuz and his friends.

        The UC students pilfered paintbrushes from their XU counterparts. One of them soon had an “X” painted across his back.

        Mr. Kairuz, a 22-year-old UC senior from Akron, at tended grade school in inner-city Chicago.

        East End students are bound to notice the difference come Monday, he said.

        “They'll notice the difference. I would have definitely been thankful,” he said.

        This was the second year that Amber Erickson, 23, of Colerain Township participated in the Crosstown Help- out.

        The UC alum was team captain of the East End project. Her 15-year-old brother, who has Tourette's Syndrome, attends the East End school.

        “It felt good to help a school that really needed help,” she said.


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