Fayette County

Vigil in Lexington to commemorate Haiti earthquake and help victims

A local non-profit group is planning a candlelight vigil Friday in remembrance of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti almost a year ago.

The "low-key" event will be at 7 p.m. inside Dunbar Community Center, 545 North Upper Street, said Marie Conger, a member of the Haitian Network of the Bluegrass.

At the same time, Conger said, the vigil will provide an opportunity for the Haitian Network to collect items that will be donated to Haitian children and their families.

Last week, the Haitian Network's director, Molly McFayden, and her family lost their belongings in a house fire. Among the items in the home were clothing, shoes and school supplies they had been planning to take to Haiti in April.

McFayden's husband, Steven McFayden, said the donations were worth at least $10,000, and the family had spent months collecting them.

As firefighters continued to work at the house on the night of the fire, Molly McFayden talked mostly of the donations that had been destroyed, even worrying about the candles for the vigil that had been inside.

So Conger said she will be collecting school supplies and new and gently used shoes and clothing for adults and children to replace the donations that were lost.

"I so feel for her to think that she's so concerned about that when they've lost everything," she said.

McFayden, a native of Haiti, started the Haitian Network to provide public education about the country's culture.

Conger, who coordinates the International Baccalaureate Middle Years program at Tates Creek Middle School, said McFayden's connections helped the school "adopt" a school in Haiti last summer.

She said a small group of Central Kentuckians, many of them originally from Haiti, participate in the Haitian Network. For more information about the organization, visit Haitiannetworkbg.com.