Yale Police Department Executive Assistant Roxanne Dalton stood worriedly by the main entrance to YPD offices on Thursday morning, staring at the surrounding neighborhood. Having spent days preparing for a fundraiser to help victims of Hurricane Maria, Dalton hoped that the light drizzle would not deter Yale students and security workers from donating money at the event, which she and Director of Yale Security Systems George Hines organized.

“We were just worried that the rain would prevent people from coming in,” Dalton said. “The weather looked nasty outside.”

Fortunately, Dalton’s apprehensions proved misguided: Scores of Yale students, police officers and security guards made their way down to the YPD offices on 57 Lock St. to donate money to Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria. With each donation, attendees were cheered on by the sound of a D.J. blasting Latin American pop music and invited to taste some Puerto Rican cuisine.

Thursday’s “The Taste of Puerto Rico” fundraiser, which ran from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., was the product of a discussion between Dalton and Security Systems Manager Lisette Delgado. Dalton and Delgado worked with Police Chief Ronnell Higgins to set up the event.

“We were in a parking garage about a month ago, and we asked ourselves what we could do to help our fellow citizens,” Delgado said. “At the end of that initial discussion, we decided that organizing this fundraiser could be our way of showing our love and support to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.”

While it remains unclear how much money the fundraiser brought in, the event coordinators said they were thrilled by the fundraiser’s results. All proceeds will go to the World Central Kitchen initiative, according to event staff.

Lisa Maloney, a University communications officer and volunteer at the fundraiser, described it as “a fantastic way to show how our community can come together to do the right thing.”

Attendees seemed to be united by a similar sense of duty and desire to support those in need.

Illyana Green LAW ’19, an attendee at the event and former publisher for the News, said she jumped at the opportunity to help the people of Puerto Rico.

“While I’m not specifically from Puerto Rico, I am from the Caribbean, which was largely affected by Hurricane Maria,” Green said. “I didn’t know about this fundraiser until today, but, when I found out about it, I really wanted to help out with this project in some capacity.”

Christopher Sung | christopher.sung@yale.edu