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Feb. 2, 2012

DWU plans mission trip to New Orleans

MITCHELL – More than six years later, there are still families displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. This spring break, Dakota Wesleyan students plan to help give a few of those families a home.

DWU students and staff will set off for a spring break road trip to New Orleans this March, but instead of traipsing around Bourbon Street, the 33-person crew will be rebuilding homes – and lives – for people displaced due to the hurricane that took the lives of at least 1,833 people in 2005 – making it one of the five deadliest hurricanes to hit the United States.

DWU will work with the Epworth Project out of Slidell, La., which continues to repair and rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

“The need is still great in New Orleans and United Methodists are known for committing to a disaster area until it has been restored,” said Brandon Vetter, campus pastor. “We are hoping our students will learn that deep commitment to service as well as follow in the footsteps of Jesus to serve those without the most basic necessities.”

The DWU mission team will continue fundraising up until the time they depart, visiting churches in and around Mitchell. About 23 members will also travel to Bismarck, N.D., during Super Bowl weekend to fundraise at the Legacy United Methodist Church and Calvary United Methodist Church.

Four staff members will accompany the 29 students to New Orleans: Vetter; Diana Goldammer, director of student life; Leah Rado, sports information director; and Mari Olson, university relations.

Students attending the trip are: Matt Britt, Rapid City; Breanna Clark, Loveland, Colo.; Amanda Dixon, Mitchell; Kari Durham, Cape Coral, Fla.; Skyler Eriksen, Presho; Sara Fathke, Parkston; Sara Fouberg, Woonsocket; Mackenzie Grimme, Fairmont, Minn.; Colleen Hannum, Bakersfield, Calif.; Mara Herman, Presho; Valerie Hummel, Utica;

Hannah Kalb, Mitchell; Autumn Krueger, Harrisburg; Alex Kuehler, Sturgis; Ross Leonhardt, Sioux Falls; Kim Maas, Corsica; Alicia McKnight, Flandreau; Christen Mitchell, Platte; Justin Mitchell, Copperas Cove, Texas; Analisa Morel, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Emily Olsen, Platte; Samantha Sandau, Tripp; Jedd Schlicht, Woonsocket; Kayla Summerville, Platte; Carrie Swanson, Spearfish; Kelli Swenson, Chamberlain; Josh Thompson, Lead; Tara Van Hofwegen, Humboldt; and Jasmin Vant, Canton.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, visit www.dwu.edu.

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Last updated: 2/3/12