Feb 13, 2006

Rex Announces Operation "Pro Bono Publico"

Since it's founding in 1872, the REX Organization has always defined its role in New Orleans Carnival under a philosophical mantra that has defined its mission and purpose. "Pro Bono Publico," a Latin expression meaning "for the good of the public," is more than the REX motto — it reflects the organization's conscience and values, as well.

Today, "Pro Bono Publico" has significantly new definition for the organization. It is now also the name of a new program sponsored by the organization to provide a variety of community services in post Katrina New Orleans, tapping the resources and community spirit of REX's members to voluntarily assist the public in meaningful ways.

REX has announced three new "Pro Bono Publico" initiatives, named for the REX colors: Green, Gold and Purple. REX 2005, Michael Rapier, is leading the organization's efforts.

"Project Green" will provide REX members, families and friends with a "hands on" opportunity to help clean up the city after Mardi Gras, February 28th. Specifically, the plan includes cleaning up the St. Charles Avenue parade route from uptown to downtown on Saturday, March 4th. Already, other krewes are indicating they will help in this initiative as well.

"Project Gold" will raise money to contribute to the rebuilding of New Orleans. The organization has ordered 50,000 tri-colored REX wristbands to be used as throws during the parade on Mardi Gras. Proceeds from the sale of the wristbands to members will be donated to recovery programs aimed at assisting New Orleans Police officers and other hurricane relief "first responders" through the Renew New Orleans Foundation and the New Orleans Police Foundation.

"Project Purple" will offer direct support to New Orleans public schools, especially the emerging charter schools. The goal of the program is to match business assistance needs of the schools in such areas as accounting, human resources, information technology and the like with individual volunteer REX members with such expertise to offer. This initiative expands the innovative "REX in the Classroom" project the organization began several years ago, which has reached dozens of public, private, and parochial schools.

"We hope that other organizations in and outside of Carnival will emulate this project for the betterment of the community recovering from Katrina," commented Rapier. "The terrific response by REX members to our own program is clearly a testament to how much people want to help others in the face of this catastrophe."