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Sept. 30, 2005

ULM Alumnus will make 30-hour drive

ULM Alumnus will make 30-hour drive in order to donate a trailer and goods to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Who: ULM Association and ULM Alumnus, Patsy (Pat) Cicala
What: Cicala organized a donation campaign in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he gathered a travel trailer and other items to be donated to those affected by the Hurricane currently in NELA. He and his brother-in-law are driving the trailer to NELA right now.
When: 11 a.m., Sat., Oct. 1.
Where: Parking lot of ULM Alumni Association, located on Bon Aire Drive.
Contact: Patsy Cicala cell 302-245-5606


ULM Alumnus to Bring Travel Trailer loaded With Supplies to Help Hurricane Evacuees in Northeast Louisiana

It started with an email that read, "My brother-in-law has a 22ft. travel trailer that sleeps 4-6 with air conditioning and a new refrigerator on a tandem wheel that he and I plan on trailering down to Monroe as soon a we procure a vehicle for towing."

The message was from Patsy Cicala, an employee of Poughkeepsie High School in New York, and an alumnus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Cicala was writing to Assistant Director of the ULM Alumni Association, Tommy Walpole, and planning his forthcoming journey to Monroe.

Ciciala announced at a parents/teachers conference last week, his hope of getting aid to those affected by Hurricane Katrina who are in need and currently living in Northeast Louisiana. He wanted to involve helpers from Poughkeepsie High School in Poughkeepsie, NY. His dream quickly became a reality.

Walpole said, "This is such a grand gesture. We keep in touch with our alumni and they knew our area was still in need of assistance. It means a lot to us to see that one of our own is willing to make sacrifices in order to help a fellow American and to do so through the ULM Alumni Association."

Hyde Park Police Officer and resident of Poughkeepsie Paul Caccia donated the trailer. Miracle Ford is providing the vehicle that Cicala and Caccia will use to tow the trailer down to Louisiana as part of a Hurricane Relief effort. Those helping from Poughkeepsie include the Sister-to-Sister organization, the Football Team and Staff and Teachers. The community helped, too.

The Poughkeepsie Teachers Association has pledged monies for gas, while students and parents from Poughkeepsie High packed donated clothing into the trailer Thursday for the 1600-mile trip.
"The estimated cost of gas for the trip is $1,600 total. The good thing is that Tony Bruce from the Ford dealership gave us a 2005 club cab for the trip. It has lettering on the side that says 'Hurricane Relief.' It blew me away," said Cicala.

The trailer and its contents left the Empire State this morning at about 5 a.m. The aim is to arrive on the ULM campus before 12 noon this Saturday, October 1. The 30-hour drive will conclude with the New Yorkers turning over the donated goods and trailer to the alumni association for dissemination.

One of the many families displaced by the hurricane from New Orleans in need of housing will be the benefactor of the trailer. The Rev. Polly Anderson of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in West Monroe identified the family.

Other items donated from Poughkeepsie on this trip, including clothing and book bags full of supplies, will be given to the church to distribute.

The ULM Alumni Association is providing a hotel room for Cicala and Caccia as well as tickets to the ULM football game and Shrimp boil. Both events will be held Saturday.

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