The Selkirk College nursing students held a Neon Glow Party on Friday night to raise money for their upcoming trip to Guatemala.
Third-year nursing students will be completing a six-week practicum with four weeks of hands-on work in Guatemala. The event was to help raise money for expenses and was held at the Element Club where those who attended got their glow on with black lights and glow sticks.
This is the tenth year the nursing students will be going down to Guatemala, but this year has presented a bit of an extra challenge for the students as troubles with the Canadian dollar have added to expenses.
“With the trouble with the dollar we’ve had to do some shifting with the budget, but we’re confident that we’re going to make it happen and even [if we have] to take some money out of our pockets, we’re going,” said Madison Samarodin, one of the nursing students going on the trip.
Samarodin and her fellow students are looking forward to their experience in Guatemala.
“For myself, I’ve never had any international travel experience, like I’ve been to Spokane and that’s about it. So all I know of health is pretty much Trail or Nelson,” said Sierra Gibson, who’s also going on the trip. “I think it will be a really beneficial experience, because I’m young and because I’ve never been anywhere, to kind of understand health from a global perspective.”
Guatemala is still recovering from a long civil war that ended in 1996, and much of the population lives in poverty, with infant mortality and literacy rates among the worst in the hemisphere.
Money raised through party ticket sales and $5 midnight burritos — which the nursing students made themselves — will help them cover some of the costs of the trip. The event was held on the last day of classes at Selkirk, so the nursing students were hoping everyone would be in a celebratory mood and Gibson’s boyfriend, DJ Architect, generously donated his services for the night and got everyone up on the dance floor. The Element also donated the use of the club and staff time to the event, and the nursing students wanted to thank owner Sandra Venn for her time and help in organizing the party.
“She’s so keen on getting everyone out and having a good time, but also supporting us,” said Gibson.
The nursing students also wanted to thank the communities for supporting them.
“We couldn’t do it without all four communities — Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Rossland. Lots of project partners outside sending donations in. It’s awesome,” said Samarodin.
“Our group couldn’t go down there financially without the support of the community. Every single fundraising event we met our goal, but also exceeded our goal,” said Gibson.