The 9/11 First Annual : Fashion Institute of Technology :Walk; We Remember !

The FIT community was hit hard by the senseless terrorist attack on innocent New Yorkers and tourists from around the world, these senseless acts occurred on Tuesday, September 11, 2011. We banded together with a spirit of unity and compassion.

We were devastated to hear that we lost an alumni, Michael Noeth, in the Pentagon and were revitalized as a whole when we found out that another alumni was in the burn unit  recuperating from his wounds. He was in the tower about to enter his office when the plane hit. Luckily for him, he was late that day and felt a force as he attempted to open the front door of his office.

Once he felt the flames engulf his body, he immediately sort cover in the stairwell, as did hundreds of other people confused as to what was going on. Once they saw the extent and degree of his injuries, they moved to the side of the stairwell and allowed him to go down before them. Several hundred steps later, he reached the bottom floor. He remembered all of the people that enabled him to go before him and was horrified as he thought about the fireman and other first responders that were braving the elements and climbing the steps past him to be of service. As those thoughts flashed in his mind, he reached the front door and the building collapsed behind him, trapping those people and the memories of them ,in the rubble.

We accept the Challenge from the Corporation for National and Community Service. We are going to engage the campus, community and alumni of FIT in the First annual Walk to Ground Zero , in remembrance. We will begin our day with a gathering and silent reflection . We will encourage people to write their memories and hopes in the same books we provided for people on the first anniversary of the attacks. These activities will take place on Sept 11, 2011. There will be sign in books manned by volunteers from SVCS (Student Volunteer Community Services) under the auspices of the Coordinator of SVCS, Deborah Payton-Jones. These activities will be videotaped for accuracy of reporting names and numbers of participants. Each participant will fill out a volunteer form and liability form before being allowed to participate, thus being another way to accurately document attendees.  We will set up a website for this event, whereby people can get sponsors for their walking.

We will commemorate the losses of Sept 11, 2001, by having each of the names of the victims  on a board held by the walker. The walkers will get numbers that will be tied in to their volunteer form, for accuracy of reporting, we will endeavor to also have a list of those that passed away after 9/11 . To thank them for their service as well. We anticipate 1500 people will accept this challenge and will walk with us on that day. We propose to establish a scholarship named after our Grand Marshall for the event, Manu Dhingra.  He was the first person released from a burn unit . He is a walking memorial of the fight that we Americans have in us.

We will keep records of all individuals that we enlist to make the numbers and signs as well as those that will be utilized to collect all of the forms and liability sheets of the participants, leading up to and including the day of the event.

This Day of service will be sponsored by the Student Volunteer Community Service Coordinator of the Fashion Institute of Technology, in collaboration with The Office of Student Success and Enrollment Management, the Fashion Institute of Technology Student Association and the Office of Alumni and Faculty Relations. We are reaching out to additional community based organizations, such as Penn South Center for seniors and the Loving care pre-school. This event is being designed to mobilize the community, address a need and conquer a challenge. We will do a mass advertising campaign to the current student population, community and alumni groups in an effort to identify each and every person in our community that was affected. We will honor the service and sacrifices of those first responders, from near and far , that risked their lives and long-term health , to assist an American in need. We understand that this is a long term commitment, and we will not stop until each victim feels the love that we are pouring out to them to ease their pain. We also know that it may take years to accurately create an environment and tribute worthy of such an unprecedented action that took place on our shores.

We are planning to have over 1500 participants to make this event worthy of its name. Through this act of community service we hope to raise awareness, send love and hope to all of those affected  and to provide scholarships to students that mirror the wonderful years of matriculation at FIT as did our Grand Marshall, Manu Dhingra. During his years at FIT, Manu began as a commuter. Once he was woven into the fabric of Fit he became an elected member of the Student Association, serving on both the Executive and Programming boards. We want walkers to send out the word to all in their actual and virtual rolodex listings to send funds that will be earmarked for a new scholarship to be proposed to honor ,Manu Dhingra. We have also asked Manu whether he has aspirations to start a charitable fund of his own as a lasting positive memory and testimony of his ordeal on 9/11,


This day will be promoted via, websites, e-blasts, hard copy mailings, university periodicals ,alumni lists,group text messages and good old grass roots marketing of the more than 10,000 people that are associated with our Institute on any given day. We will also reach out to our SUNY (State University of New York ) 64 campus family,  for additional support.