Eastern Kentucky University will mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy with its annual stair climb and memorial ceremonies, as well as a blood drive.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, EKU students, faculty, staff and community members, many cloaked in full fire department or military attire, will be joined by first responders from surrounding counties at the climb, which will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Keene Hall and replicate the 110 flights that first responders endured 15 years ago.
Registration for the climb will be held at the EKU Center for the Arts from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with the ceremony beginning at 7:45 at the Center.
The featured speaker for the evening ceremony is Mark Mallick, a 1983 graduate of EKU (Fire Protection Engineering Technology) who assisted with rescue efforts in the wake of the terrorist attack. For the past 15 years, he has served as deputy chief in the inspection investigation branch of the Division of Homeland Security with the New York (State) Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
The stair climb and evening ceremony are sponsored by the College of Justice and Safety, EKU Housing and the EKU Center for the Arts.
Also on Sunday, a 9/11 memorial service will be held at 8:30 a.m. in Memorial Plaza adjacent to the Powell Building. The morning event, sponsored by EKU ROTC, will feature remembrances by EKU President Michael Benson, Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes, State Rep. Rita Smart and other local leaders.
All events are free and open to the public.
Also, the University will host a Kentucky Blood Center blood drive on Friday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 11. The drive, sponsored by the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs and part of the One Day Blood Drive Project, will be held in the Kennamer Room of the Powell Building from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
EKU is the only One Day Blood Drive Project site in Kentucky. Last year, the University community contributed more than 100 units of blood, and the goal this year is 110 units – again to correspond with the number of flights of stairs in the Twin Towers.
To sign up in advance for the Friday portion of the blood drive, visit https://www.membersforlife.org/ckbc/RecruitTrak/Donor/scheduling/drive/schedule?id=57217&procedure=14. To sign up to give blood Sunday, visit https://www.membersforlife.org/ckbc/RecruitTrak/Donor/scheduling/drive/schedule?id=57218&procedure=14.
Those unable to participate in the Keene Hall event may opt to climb in spirit by utilizing the stair steppers at EKU’s Fitness & Wellness Center Friday-Sunday. Faculty and staff who will be credited with the University’s HealthyYou at EKU program.
EKU community members will also mark the occasion by volunteering for Kids Fest with Richmond Parks and Recreation, and volunteering in eastern Kentucky for water sampling projects.
Also, throughout Friday and Sunday, EKU Student Life and First Year Experience will set up outside the Powell Building and at the Memorial Stair Climb to assist in the creation of “Holiday Cards for Heroes” for Military Missions in Lexington. The holiday messages will be sent to active military, veterans and those in military hospitals, and their families.