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Grant competition in memory of alumna's son to benefit Katrina recovery

Loyola press release - January 10, 2011

A Loyola University New Orleans alumna is hoping to carry out her late son’s legacy of helping rebuild New Orleans one home at a time, by entering his nonprofit, Matt’s Trees in the Pepsi Refresh Project, an initiative designed to fund good ideas, big and small, that help refresh our world.

The online voting contest invites individuals and organizations to submit beneficial, achievable, constructive and "shovel-ready" ideas that would make a positive impact on communities. The project with the most online votes at the end of each month will be awarded a $50,000 grant to make the idea a reality.

Loyola music therapy alumna Judy Sloan ’68 and her husband Jerry, have entered Matt’s Trees, a nonprofit designed to provide landscaping services to families whose homes were rebuilt following Hurricane Katrina, but who could not afford to install landscaping. Matt’s Trees was formed in memory of Matt Sloan, Sloan’s son who died this past June. If Sloan’s entry wins, the grant will be used for the purchase of trees, landscaping equipment, website maintenance and the creation of one part-time job.

Voting can be done daily by visiting http://www.refresheverything.com/mattstrees, or texting “104659” to 73774 (Pepsi). The deadline for voting on Matt’s Tree’s is Jan. 31.

According to his mother, Matt believed that making New Orleans whole again would require not only renovation of damaged homes, but restoration of the total environment. It was his vision to establish a nonprofit dedicated to replanting trees and native landscaping that would positively impact the well-being of every returning resident.

For more information on Matt’s Trees or on how to vote, visit http://mattstrees.org/ or email mattstrees.judy@gmail.com.