Tuesday July 19, 2016

Celebrating 50 Years in Appalachia

By Nick Cardilino

"There is no way they could get away with stuff like that now!" laughed Tom Liszkay '71, after sharing one of at least a half dozen stories of "bending the rules" back in the early 1970s. "The world is too lawsuit crazy today. Plus, we never told Fr. Cy about that!"  And laughter erupted once again from the group of alums who were involved in what was then called the Kennedy Appalachia Club. 

The alums who did the UD Community Action Group program in the 1980's were thrilled and excited to meet the children of the little kids they spent their summer with. Even the grads who participated four or five years ago were surprised at how the kids they got to know in the day camp were now grown up and attending the teen center program.  

On Saturday, July 16 in Ramey Park in Salyersville, KY, we celebrated of 50 years in Appalachia, reuniting and reminiscing with about 150 UDSAP alumni and our 2016 UDSAP students, Salyersville residents, as well as Brother Don Smith, Sister Nancy Bramlage and Brother Tom Pieper. Thank you to all who attended and made it such a great celebration!

For a little background: during the 1965-66 school year, a group of students started a "Give Your Heart to Appalachia Week" in response to a talk from a priest who was serving in Eastern Kentucky. They brought donated food and clothing down in early 1966, and that was the start of what is now, 50 years later, called the UD Summer Appalachia Program (UDSAP).

The program has certainly evolved over the last five decades, but the mission remains unchanged. Our students live in a faith community setting and they live and work in solidarity with the folks of Salyersville, Kentucky, creating partnerships and relationships that can last a lifetime.  

We are also happy to report that, thanks to the support of so many alumni and friends, we have raised nearly 70% of our endowment fundraising goal in celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Thank you!

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