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New Year's in New Orleans
Sami Craslneck '06 at work.
The holiday most people associate with New Orleans is Mardi Gras. But it was for New Year's that a group of 34 SCU alumni and friends headed south to help rebuild the Crescent City.
For the first immersion trip sponsored by the SCU Alumni Association (and the first alumni group from a Jesuit university), Santa Clara grads representing the Classes of 1958 through 2006 spent five days tearing down hurricane-ravaged houses. They wielded axes and crowbars, hammers and brooms, and they came paying their own way.
Alumni worked with local Catholic Charities officials and homeowners. And alumni who currently live in New Orleans hosted dinners for the immersion group.
Santa Clara's efforts were much appreciated by locals, notes Mary Modeste Smoker '81, assistant director of the Alumni for Others program. She organized the trip and participated in it as well.
“People stopped their cars and said, 'Thank you. Thank you for helping us rebuild our city,'” she says.