- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - A group of students and alumni from the University of Notre Dame are leading an effort to raise $1.5 million for a hospital in Ecuador named after the school’s former president.

The goal of the fundraising campaign is to expand services at Hesburgh Hospital in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, so it’s fully operational and financially self-sustainable, Notre Dame graduate Sharon Bui Green told the South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/1QBJXPS). Santo Domingo is a poor community where many residents live on less than $4 per day, she said.

The 60-bed teaching hospital was named in honor of the university’s longtime president, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, who died last February at age 97. The fundraising effort is a way of continuing Hesburgh’s legacy, Green said.

The students and alumni are working with Hesburgh’s Heroes, a student club established in 2014 at Notre Dame, to raise money for the hospital. The funds will be provided to the nonprofit Andean Health & Development, which was founded by 1984 Notre Dame graduate Dr. David Gaus, with Hesburgh’s help and support.

Last fall, the student club raised about $15,000 by hosting a tailgating event and selling Hesburgh’s Heroes T-shirts, according to Notre Dame junior Nate McKeon, who helped found the club.

Hesburgh’s Heroes plans to hold a bubble soccer tournament, a game in which players are encased in giant inflatable balls, to raise additional funds for Andean Health & Development.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com

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