ODTUG Community Service Day Renamed ‘Kathleen McCasland Community Service Day’
User group honors its founder and reflects on past 10 years of community service across nation
To honor its longest-serving executive director, the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG) has renamed its community service day the Kathleen McCasland Community Service Day. The day of service kicks off the annual ODTUG Kscope conference and draws volunteers from around the world.
The association’s first community service day was organized in 2008 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Almost three years after the devastating storm, New Orleans was still hurting, and the continuing news stories haunted McCasland as she and her company, Your Conference Connection, in Wilmington, North Carolina, planned for ODTUG’s upcoming conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. She seized the opportunity, contacted Jefferson Parish Public School System, identified a project, and the ODTUG Community Service Day was born.
On the morning of the first ODTUG Community Service Day, more than 100 ODTUG volunteers arrived, rolled up their sleeves and went to work painting classrooms, organizing the library, and performing general maintenance to get the abandoned school ready for students. “When we finished, the school looked beautiful,” McCasland said. Eleven years later, the user group is still giving back to the local host communities where ODTUG Kscope events are held by dedicating a day of service.
“Since that first project, we have helped several Boys and Girls Clubs, worked at soup kitchens, painted and landscaped several schools, and cleared the sand dunes around Monterey, California, of deadly weeds. Community Service Day is a great way to start off the week of ODTUG Kscope,” McCasland said.
Mike Riley, ODTUG’s vice president and ODTUG Kscope conference chair in 2008, said that in the years since the first ODTUG Community Service Day, the event has grown and thrived. “Volunteers from across the world come to the conference a day early to participate,” he explained. “Kathleen was executive director my entire time as president of ODTUG. She was really the heart and soul of ODTUG.”
The first official Kathleen McCasland Community Service Day will take place June 9 in Orlando, Florida, at UP Orlando, an organization that helps 180,000 people dealing with hunger in Orange County, Florida. “It is a privilege and honor to have worked with Kathleen throughout the years,” Riley added. “I’m thrilled that the ODTUG board recently voted to honor her by renaming the Community Service Day to the Kathleen McCasland Community Service Day. It is a fitting tribute to the tremendous person that Kathleen McCasland is.”