A regular column by Athletic Director Bill Husak.
LMU Athletics has enjoyed a wonderful year and is excited about 2005. But our excitement is tempered with the destruction and death that the December 26th tsunami caused on the opposite side of the globe from Los Angeles. It sometimes takes that kind of extreme event to make us appreciate the health, happiness and abundance that we enjoy.
One of my favorite movies is Oh God with George Burns. In that movie, Jerry asks God a question and the exchange goes like this:
Jerry: If You're God, how can You permit all the suffering that goes on in the world?
God: I don't permit the suffering - you do.
So on Sunday, January 9 LMU and its Athletics program is going to try and do something about the suffering that the tsunami has caused. We will be donating all of the walk-up ticket sales of our LMU-USD men's basketball game toward the relief fund in that pat of the world. So if you wish to come to the game and enjoy a great afternoon of basketball, please know that your ticket price will go toward this needy cause.
To further make you aware of the impact of that horrible event, I am including an email that Jamie Sanchez, our women's tennis coach received from a former player. As you read this letter, please know that Lions Athletics appreciates your commitment to the program and the lessons we are teaching to our young people. Go Lions!
How are you? Thanks for writing, very nice of you. Yes, I'm in Sri Lanka. You must have seen the news and the absolute devastation here in Sri Lanka and other countries affected by the tsunami. The pictures and the death toll don't really do justice (for the lack of a better word) to the severity of the situation here in SL. So far in Sri Lanka over 29,000 people have been confirmed dead and this number only keeps rising. Most of the beach cities don't exist anymore as how I new it. Whole communities have been wiped out. I know so many people who have been killed and more are still missing. Some of them I work with. We grieve when one family member passes away, but what do you do when five or seven of them do in the same family?
Just to give you an idea of the force of this wave, a 96 ton train was swept 1 mile inland from its tracks, taking everything in its path including the tracks and killing all 1200 passengers in it. Of course to add to it, now comes all the diseases.
The economical set back this has created is unprecedented and unfathomable. The fisheries industry doesn't exist anymore with the tourism industry the next worst affected. To build the bridges, railways, roads, power lines, water connections and the general infrastructure will take at least several years.
Sorry for sounding so pessimistic but you have to see it to believe it. I was on the beach the day before (Saturday) and we were thinking of extending our stay for one more day, lucky we didn't. The place we were staying doesn't exist anymore and nor is its staff and other guests.
I often go to the LMU website to follow how you guys are doing and very pleased to see that you're continuing to do an excellent job! Keep it up. I came to see you when I visited LA last year but you weren't there.
Again, thanks for writing. The best wishes to you and your family this New Year! Take care.