FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (8/28/05)
Contact: Lynn Stewart or Kelsey Johnson, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120
Watch Monday for photos of the Dillard students' arrival
on campus Sunday
Community Responds with
Donations for Hurricane Evacuees from Dillard University at Centenary
SHREVEPORT, LA -- Thanks to an outpouring of community support, Centenary
College officials say they have collected enough pillows, blankets, clothing
and toiletries to assist the hurricane evacuees from Dillard University
in New Orleans – at least for now. Officials will reassess needs
and issue an advisory on Monday for those who wish to help via monetary
or other physical contributions.
Representativies of local churches and individuals began arriving at Centenary
at noon Sunday after hearing reports that one of Dillard’s six chartered
buses suffered a fire on the trip from New Orleans, burning the belongings
and bedding items of some 37 evacuees. (None of the passengers on the
bus was injured but all lost their luggage and items in the bus’s
storage compartment.) Hundreds of local contributors brought pillows,
blankets, toiletries, food items, games, clothing and money for the evacuees'
Earlier in the day -- in the wee hours of the morning -- several members
of the Centenary staff worked with local businesses and organizations
(Wal-Mart-Bossier City, Willis Knighton, LSU Medical Center and the Caddo
Sheriff’s Dept.) to prepare for the students' arrival and to solicit
items for those aboard the burned bus. Some 200 Dillard students and staff
fled New Orleans in the path of Hurricane Katrina. After a 12-hour trip,
they arrived at Centenary at 5 a.m. Sunday and are being housed in the
Centenary Gold Dome and the Centenary Fitness Center, with dining services
available in Centenary’s north and south dining halls.
Centenary Chaplain Betsy Eaves is coordinating the donations on behalf
of the evacuees, assisted by students and representatives of the offices
of Student Life, Public Safety, Facilities Services, Church Relations,
Alumni Relations and Public Relations. Rev. Eaves announced to the Dillard
students that there will be a gathering in Brown Chapel at 7 p.m. Sunday
(Aug. 28) with students who wish to sing and pray. “Come join us
as we stand with the Dillard students and Centenary students who have
concerns for family, friends and property in harm’s way during these
anxious hours,” she said.
“The Shreveport community has been incredibly generous in support
of the Dillard students. It is heartwarming to see the immediate response
and the willingness to help that has been evident throughout the day,”
said Lynn Stewart, director of public relations, about the public’s
response to the call for help.
Said Nick Harris, vice president of business for Dillard, “The
city, the churches, friends, alumni have all done a beautiful job. We
will be forever grateful.”
For further information on Monday, contact the Chaplain’s Office
at 318-869-5156 or the Centenary Office of Public Relations at 869-5120
or see the Centenary web site at www.centenary.edu.
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