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Two parishes honor College of Law for tax assistance program

Loyola press release - April 5, 2010

The City of New Orleans presented a proclamation to Loyola University New Orleans College of Law’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and its partner, the Asset Building Coalition of Southeast Louisiana, recognizing them for their free tax assistance to people in need. ABC-SELA is a coalition of VITA sites of which Loyola is a founding member.

On February 4, Andrew Piacun, VITA director, accepted the award with representatives of coalition members, including Jermaine Smith, ASI Federal Credit Union; Vilma Lobo, Hispanic Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New Orleans; Regina Martin, Total Community Action; Odessa Adams-Payne, United Way; and Diane Puderer, IRS. The proclamation was awarded by New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow.

The proclamation stemmed from a meeting among Adams-Payne, Puderer and Page McCranie, Americans with Disabilities Act administrator for Mayor Ray Nagin’s office.

“McCranie was impressed with our efforts. She has worked diligently to get this proclamation in recognition of the hard work we are doing in offering free tax preparation services for the eligible citizens of the greater New Orleans area,” said Piacun.

The VITA group will also receive a proclamation from St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro during the parish council meeting on Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. In addition to regular tax preparation sessions held at Loyola, VITA has been offering assistance at the Community Center of St. Bernard Parish, which will also be honored at the council meeting, along with its executive director, Iray Nabatoff and development director, Sharon Ober.

The sessions, designed by the IRS, provide free tax preparation assistance for people with low to moderate incomes. Loyola’s VITA Program is holding sessions in New Orleans East and St. Bernard Parish through April 12.

For more information, please call 504-861-5668, visit the Web site, or e-mail Piacun at apiacun@loyno.edu. For pre-recorded directions, call 504-861-5665.

For more information on the College of Law, contact James Shields in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jshields@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5888.