What do fencing and possibly saving a life or two have in common? Members of 100 Black Men of Syracuse tied the two seemingly unrelated experiences together by their support and personal participation in two recent events. One served to pique the academic interests of dozens of local youth. The other provided an opportunity for the 100 to help replenish the Syracuse community’s blood supplies. On May 3, the 100 co-sponsored and served as chaperones for dozens of local teens during a trip May 3 to the Imagine RIT festival. Then, they rolled up their sleeves and extended their arms in donating life-saving blood May 10 during a 5-hour drive the organization co-sponsored with the American Red Cross of Central New York.
Imagine RIT Festival Trip
The 100, in a collaboration with Junior Frontiers of the Mohawk Valley and Onondaga Community College, accompanied an enthusiastic group of young men and women to the Rochester Institute of Technology’s annual innovation and creativity festival. The daylong festival offers youth the chance to dialogue with college students, visit science and technology demonstration projects set up throughout the RIT campus, and, yes, even receive some instruction in fencing. Check out our photo gallery featuring images from the trip.
The American Red Cross estimates 5 percent of the total eligible of U.S. population gives blood, and while black people represent 12 percent to 14 percent of the total U.S. population, only around 1 percent of the black community nationally donates blood. That’s important to consider and why the 100 wanted to serve as a role models by participating in the drive, said Charles Anderson, the 100’s health and wellness committee chair. The pre-screening and blood collection took place May 10 at the South Side Innovation Center. See a few images from the drive in our photo gallery.