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Food Bank, universities help Katrina victims

The Food Bank of Western New York says there is a desperate need for cleaning supplies, now that the homes of Katrina's victims are being opened.

"The need now is to help these people just to get into their homes filled with mud, dirt and grime," said Clem Eckert, president and CEO of the Food Bank. "We want to help them begin the process of getting their lives back."

Cleaning supplies may be dropped off at the Food Bank at 91 Holt St.; the office of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, 500 Essjay Road, Suite 260, Amherst; and Colvin Cleaners, 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.

The Food Bank is coordinating efforts with America's Second Harvest, the national network of 210 food pantries.

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The women of St. John's Lutheran Church in Orchard Park are assisting youngsters who lost clothing and other belongings in the storm by assembling "Kits for Katrina's Kids." The kits contain donated items from church members, family and friends.

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University at Buffalo officials also are organizing activities through which students and staff can help hurricane victims. Members of the UB community are being asked to donate blood, make a financial donation at Saturday's home football opener against Rutgers University or drop off non-perishable food at the Student Union information desk on the North Campus.

In an unusual effort, the university is asking students to "skip" a meal on their meal plan between Oct. 3 and Oct. 21, and Campus Dining and Shops will donate the cost of that food to the hurricane relief fund.

For more information, visit www.student-affairs.buffalo.-edu/wecare.

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St. Bonaventure University is hosting a golf tournament to raise money for Hurricane Katrina's victims at noon Sunday at the St. Bonaventure Golf Course.

The entry fee is $30 per person for the 18-hole scramble and is due by Thursday. It includes golf, a cart and dinner. Sign up by calling Spencer Peavey at 375-2051 or e-mail him at

The school is helping in other ways. Bona students teamed up with local firefighters and volunteers from Southern Tier Responds by holding a boot drive Sunday along major intersections in Olean.

And St. Bonaventure isn't alone. Niagara University athletes took up a collection last week at several points on the campus in Lewiston to raise money for hurricane relief efforts.

Their goal was to collect $10,000 and the drive was held in conjunction with the university's Campus Ministry.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com1

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