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Students Travel to Tent City on Gulf for Spring Break

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Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006

Spring break means beaches and parties for many college students, but for some Westminster College students spring break means rebuilding homes in hurricane-ravaged Pearlington, Miss.

 About 30 Westminster College students, faculty, and staff depart at 6:30 p.m. March 10 from the Chapel lot to embark on an 18-to-20-hour ride.  Once they arrive in Mississippi, the group will be housed in a tent village equipped with cots and portable showers.  In addition to helping clean up the area, the group will be expected to cook their own food in the dining tents.  The volunteers will return to Westminster Sunday, March 19.

 "Pearlington is very rural and has just recently received its first volunteers," said the Rev. James Mohr, chaplain of Westminster College.  "It's close to the Louisiana boarder, not far from the coast, and roughly 30 minutes from New Orleans."

 In addition to the Westminster students and the Rev. Mohr, several others will be helping in this effort.  They include Mohr's daughter, Katie; Zak Lantz, resident director at Westminster, Virginia Tomlinson, associate professor of sociology and director of the Drinko Center at Westminster; Mary James, director of alumni relations at Westminster; and Chuck Woratschek, a resident of Beaver.

 "Though the news coverage has returned to normal, the lives of those in Mississippi is still far from normal," Lantz said.  "This will be my first trip to an area of such severe need.  I am nervous about what we will encounter.  My prayer is that when we leave Mississippi, we will not only be changed by the experience, but also will have changed the lives of others for the better as well."

 Contact Mohr at (724) 946-7116 or e-mail for more information.