Krach, Brees team up to rebuild houses in New Orleans

June 10, 2010

Drew Brees (left) and Keith Krach check out one of the homes that was built during the fourth annual Rebuilding Through Brotherhood event in New Orleans. (Photo by Carlos Pasos/Pasos Photo & Video)

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When a Super Bowl champion and a business leader join forces on the playing field, the result is a sure touchdown. And so it was in May, when Team Purdue -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and e-commerce entrepreneur Keith Krach -- partnered on a project to rebuild houses in New Orleans.

Brees (BS '01, industrial management), born the year that Krach received his undergraduate degree, and Krach (BS '79, industrial engineering) are both Purdue alumni and both members of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Brees is an internationally recognized leader in the world of sports. Krach founded a global software business and, as chairman of Purdue's Board of Trustees, is guiding one of the world's top universities. Both men have a deep commitment to community service. The New Orleans project brought the two generations together.

In May, the Brees Dream Foundation partnered with the Krach Family Foundation for the fourth annual Rebuilding Through Brotherhood event, in which students from Sigma Chi fraternities volunteer to rebuild houses in New Orleans. This year's event included 112 Sigma Chis, 52 of them from Purdue and the remainder from Ball State University, Butler University and Canada's Western Ontario University. The students, a few of whom have participated all four years, worked on three houses in the New Orleans East neighborhood.

For Krach, a former international president of Sigma Chi whose family foundation supports youth leadership programs, the project not only fills a dire need in a city still struggling to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina, but it also provides a valuable life lesson for participants.

"It was a real thrill to see the young men giving up their free time a week right after finals, some about to graduate, working there and giving back," said Krach after a trip to the job site. "Drew Brees is a great role model in terms of giving back, and for the young men to be able to see that and be a part of it is something I think will stay with them forever."

The Brees Dream Foundation, for its part, is extremely grateful for the support offered by Krach, giving him most valuable player mention for his effort to step in when the Sigma Chi Foundation declined to contribute to the event. Though students from the various Sigma Chi chapters provide the labor, the Krach Family Foundation and Brees Dream Foundation provide all of the funding.

"As the event continues to grow, the support of the Krach Family Foundation is enormous," said Drew Brees. "Keith has stepped up and is playing a big part in the continued growth and success of the event."