Citrix, a software company in downtown Raleigh, put their rooftop deck to good use on Monday with a solar eclipse viewing party that will also benefit the city’s homeless population.
The event, open to Citrix employees and their friends and family, was part of the company’s GIVEback Week. The company collected reusable shopping bags and water bottles, as well as cash, which will be donated to the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End Homelessness.
James Ferraro, a 23-year-old demand management representative for Citrix, said he was excited to see the eclipse – and to work at a place that let employees be part of it. “It’s not once-in-a-lifetime, but it feels that way – the excitement and energy surrounding it has been pumping me up.”
Andrew and Madeline Zarcone were there with dad Luke, who works at Citrix, and mom Nora. Andrew, 12, and Madeline, 10, made their own viewers from cereal boxes, but also used simple pieces of tin foil with holes punched in them to see the outline of the eclipsed sun on the pavement. “They showed us different videos online at school,” Madeline said about how they learned to make the viewers.
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When the event was over, Andrew and Madeline both said the eclipse lived up to their expectations – and they’re already planning for the next one, in 2024. “He wants to be in the path of totality next time,” said dad. “Hey, you can drive yourself to that one!”
Heather Lahr, the Citrix corporate citizenship manager, estimated about 400 people attended the viewing party. They collected $600 in donations, which Citrix will match for a total of $1200, as well as 82 water bottles and 175 bags.
“This is all part of Citrix’s belief that we are part of a community and we work to encourage our employees to give back to their communities in ways that are meaningful to them.”