Rivalry T-shirts raise money for hurricane relief

“BYU may suck, but hurricanes definitely blow,” said the student volunteers of the New Orleans and Louisiana Hurricane Fund (NOLA).

The group will be selling T-shirts sporting the catch-phrase at home games and, starting today, in the Union building to raise money to help rebuild the city of New Orleans.

Stephen Richer, a Utah native and co-founder of NOLA, says he and three other Tulane students formed NOLA because they are concerned about the long-term reconstruction of New Orleans. NOLA has already raised $70,000 from colleges around the country.

Richer now plans to use the U as a starting place to raise money in Utah. He thinks that the edgy catch-phrase will only help their cause.

“We’re banking on the rivalry between Utah and BYU as a way to spark student awareness and raise money for our group,” said Richer.

Ryan Judd, a U freshman and social science education major involved with the group, said he thinks U students are going to love the shirts.

“U students love to hate BYU,” he said.

In addition to selling the T-shirts, the group will be working to get U students involved in the organization.

They plan to get students to volunteer for the organization through local events and alternative winter/spring break trips to help rebuild homes in New Orleans.

Judd says that the group is a good alternative for Utahns to get involved in hurricane relief efforts compared with just donating to the Red Cross, which Richer says is only in New Orleans for the short term.

“It’s the golden rule-if we want people to help Utahns when there is a big earthquake, then we should help others who are in need,” Judd said.

Richer says that he and other Tulane students have developed a respect and love for New Orleans and have a vested interest in its future.

He says that because of the hurricane, the people of New Orleans can now address underlying problems with poverty and education. NOLA plans to build a tutoring center in New Orleans to help people complete high school.

“In the long-term, we hope to see New Orleans built back better than before,” he said.

The T-shirts cost $10 and will be on sale Friday in the Union building and at tailgating parties during the next two home games.

To learn more about NOLA or get involved, visit www.nolahurricanefund.org or call Stephen Richer at 550-1099.

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