NCAA, Tulane Student-Athletes Help Habitat for Humanity

March 13, 2007

Michael Strecker
Phone: (504) 865-5210

In conjunction with the first- and second-round games of the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, student-athletes from Tulane University are joining volunteers from the NCAA and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to frame a house in partnership with a local New Orleans family.

The build will take place on Friday, March 16, on Girod Street between the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Arena. The home will be framed at the build site and then moved to a permanent location in New Orleans. Following the build, the home will remain on display on Girod Street through Sunday, March 18. More than 60 student-athletes and staff from Tulane University will participate as construction volunteers.

"This build is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to give back to the community that has embraced them," said Rick Dickson, director of athletics at Tulane University. "By participating in this event, our student-athletes are able to exemplify the supporting role that intercollegiate athletics plays in enhancing the sense of community and strengthening the identity of member institutions."

The NCAA is funding the entire cost of the house, estimated at $75,000. The New Orleans project is the latest in the NCAA Home Team partnership with Habitat for Humanity International, which began in 2005 after hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast. The NCAA has committed $2.5 million for the three-year partnership. Since the partnership began, more than 800 student-athletes and other volunteers have helped build nearly 20 homes in partnership with needy families.

"Through the NCAA Home Team partnership, the NCAA has committed to aid the rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast for over a year now. It is special that we can be here in New Orleans and experience the energy and enthusiasm of this reviving community," said Melody Lawrence, NCAA Home Team project coordinator.

"By working together, the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity give new meaning to team building," said Chris Clarke, senior vice president, Habitat for Humanity International. "The NCAA brings much needed funding and volunteers to address the needs of families displaced by the hurricanes. They also reach out to America's youth and encourage them to make a difference."

"The devastation that occurred 18 months ago was overwhelming, but we have been fortunate that so many organizations such as the NCAA have provided assistance with our rebuilding efforts," said Jim Pate, executive director, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. "By working together we can bring hope to those displaced by the hurricanes, as well as those in need of simple, decent, affordable and safe housing."

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000