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New Orleans Saints and Loyola University New Orleans Community Partnership

Loyola press release - August 18, 2006

(New Orleans) -- In collaboration with the New Orleans Saints, 60 Loyola University students have formed the Saints Outreach Team, an outreach group formed to run camps and events that are being held at the Saints Airline Highway practice facilities.

The Saints have offered the use of their facilities during the month of August to numerous community groups for town hall meetings, youth camps, coaching clinics, and other events. The Saints have developed this exclusive partnership with Loyola University to help staff the community events. "This season with the team in Jackson, we wanted to get the most out of our facility for our community initiatives. August was packed with lots of fun events that we needed help to coordinate. Loyola's long history of community activism was a natural fit as we selected students with keen interest and character to work with the youth of our city”, stated Rita Benson LeBlanc, Owner/ Executive Vice President of Administration for the New Orleans Saints. Loyola students will serve as coaches, guides, and youth mentors. Some participating community and civic groups are HANO, Boys and Girls Club, and Jefferson Parish Schools.

The New Orleans Saints have hosted NFL Youth Football programs including Punt, Pass and Kick competitions, Junior Training Camps, Junior Player Development Jamborees, 7 on 7 High School Championships and several other youth programs for the past eight years. The Saints developed the New Orleans Saints Outreach Team as a pilot program with Loyola University to enhance and expand the role of the Saints in building the New Orleans community by providing additional opportunities for youth throughout the area. According to Loyola Athletic Director/Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dr. Michael Giorlando, “This program allows Loyola University to further our mission to educate and develop the whole person. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Saints organization, Rita Benson LeBlanc and their staff in this endeavor.”