NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 29, the Southern University Marching Band will perform in its first performance of the 2014 school year in front of hundreds of volunteers at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center at a coastal restoration event sponsored by CITGO Petroleum Corporation, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) and Audubon Nature Institute. The award-winning and nationally-renowned band will help inspire the volunteers as they work to restore the Center's wetlands, which were devastated during Hurricane Katrina nine years ago.

"We are so proud to be involved in an event that not only recognizes the ongoing impact of Hurricane Katrina, but also focuses on rebuilding our communities," said Nathan Haymer, Director of Bands at Southern University. "We have all been deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina and we thank CITGO, CRCL and the Audubon Nature Institute for inviting us to play in New Orleans on this day. When we put an emphasis on strengthening and growing our communities, good things happen."

The Southern University Marching Band, known as the "Human Jukebox," is recognized as one of the premier collegiate bands in the nation and was ranked by the NCAA as the number two college marching band in the U.S. The band played possibly its most significant and emotional performance in 2006 at the Louisiana Superdome, when the New Orleans Saints returned for their first home game in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The band has also performed at United States presidential inaugurations, has been featured on national television, including ABC's Nightline and an award-winning NFL Films documentary, and has performed at countless, high-profile collegiate and professional sporting events around the country.

The band will play at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, where more than 150 CITGO employees and friends, along with hundreds of volunteers from the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and CRCL, are expected to donate 600 hours of labor to plant native tree species. These trees will help spur regrowth of the natural habitat and restore the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center as a beacon of education and recreation.

"Today is a special day for all of us and we are so thankful that the Southern University Marching Band could join us to perform on this day of remembrance and restoration," said Rafael Gomez, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at CITGO Petroleum Corporation. "We all have a deep connection to the coastal region and today's volunteer effort is a great example of how we should care for our environment and our communities. CITGO has a longstanding commitment to our environment and we look forward to helping to rebuild coastal communities."

The event at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center will launch CITGO Caring for Our Coast, a yearlong environmental conservation and restoration campaign in the coastal regions by CITGO. The campaign celebrates the resilience and recovery in the area that was devastated nearly a decade ago by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita while enforcing the long-held commitment by CITGO to environmental stewardship and to serving the communities in which it operates. For more information about the event, visit

About Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge
Southern University is a comprehensive institution providing four-year baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The campus is part of the only historically black land-grant university system in the United States. The University offers 57 bachelors, 26 masters, two post masters certificates, and six doctorates. Year-to-year, an average 8,000 students are enrolled at Southern University, Baton Rouge. More African-American graduates, together, in engineering, technology, computer science, and mathematics have earned their degrees from Southern University than from any other university in America.

About CITGO Petroleum Corporation              
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit