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Newz Forum: OTHER: The sports world makes donations to the tsunami relief effort.

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posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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I decided to make this thread a continuing report on what various sports groups are doing to donate for the releif effort. Please post anything here that I have missed. And donate yourself, if you possibly can.

Pacers among many organizations making contributions in Asia

With the devastating Asian tsunami hitting close for one of their own, the Indiana Pacers have pledged $57,400 to the relief effort.
 

Pacers center Scot Pollard, whose mother-in-law is from Thailand, spearheaded the fund-raising effort among the players, and it was matched by the team's front office. The check was presented to UNICEF volunteers after practice Wednesday.

"This is a devastating blow to Southeast Asia in terms of loss of life, destruction, potential health hazards and many other things," Pollard said. "This hits close to home personally and anything anyone can do carries great significance."

There have been nearly 150,000 confirmed deaths from the earthquake that rattled the ocean floor and sent massive waves crashing across beachfront communities from southern Asia to Africa.

Pollard's wife, Mindy, lived in India as a child, but her parents have since moved to Florida and were not in the area when the tsunami hit.

The Pollards regularly vacation in hard-hit Phuket, Thailand.

"I can't watch the news without crying," Mindy said. "When I look at the faces of the victims, it feels like I'm looking at my family and friends."

In addition to his share of the contribution Wednesday, the Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal also pledged $1,000 for every point he scores against San Antonio on Thursday night.

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tracy McGrady and Bob Sura of the Houston Rockets, Jalen Rose of the Toronto Raptors, and Pau Gasol and Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies also are taking part in the $1,000-per-point donations, which will be made to UNICEF.

In Foxboro, Mass., the New England Patriots are adding a little incentive in their drive to collect money for the victims.

Those who donate $1,000 or more through the team's Charitable Foundation will receive tickets to the playoff game Jan. 16 at Gillette Stadium. As many as 200 tickets are available for donors.

In Zurich, Switzerland, soccer's world governing body will donate $2 million to help soccer associations in tsunami-affected nations.

The Asian Football Confederation has promised an additional $1 million, FIFA said in a statement.

"FIFA and AFC will also call upon famous football personalities -- primarily former players -- to help with distribution efforts and solidarity movements in the affected region," the world body said in statement.

In Spain, the Madrid 2012 Olympic office said it would contribute $132,000. Madrid 2012 said the money would be given to UNICEF and a special bank account would be opened so the 103 companies collaborating with the Olympic project could make their own direct contributions.

"We have to show our support in this moment, our priority now must be the tragedy that is taking place in that zone of the world," said Madrid 2012 president Feliciano Mayoral. "And we also want to coordinate from our office the economic help of our collaborating companies."

Madrid is competing against Paris, London, New York and Moscow.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will be among those aboard "Global Peace One," Global Peace Initiative's Boeing 747 that arrives Thursday in Madras, India.

The group trip will visit local orphanages near the coast, hoping to find homes for children orphaned by the tsunami. The immediate goal is to rescue up to 2,000 orphans.

In Colombo, Sri Lanka's international cricketers pleaded with the public to help tsunami victims as the cricket board launched a disaster assistance project.

"Many who lost their lives were no doubt ardent lovers of cricket ... who cheered us and stood by us throughout the years," Sri Lanka's captain Marvan Atapattu said in a statement. "So please be generous in your contributions to our effort."

More than 30,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others made homeless in Sri Lanka.

The International Cricket Council is organizing two charity matches between a World and Asian teams.

source

CBS


I know this article is a bit of a repeat, but I thought it nicely brought together many of the donations that members of the sports community have made.

[Edited on 1/7/2005 by Gibbs Baby!!!]




posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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Baseball, union to donate $1M for tsunami; Yanks to add $1M

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball's 30 teams and the players association will combine to donate $1 million to tsunami relief efforts.

In addition, the New York Yankees will donate $1 million from the proceeds of their season opener against the Boston Red Sox on April 3.

"As a social institution, Major League Baseball has a responsibility to help those in our communities and, in this case, the global community," commissioner Bud Selig said. "The horrific tsunami that devastated large areas of South Asia took an enormous human toll that is incomprehensible to those of us who watched the aftermath from the comfort of our homes."

Baseball and the union have made joint charitable donations in the past.

"We hope that this contribution will be of help to those in need as they go about the difficult work of rebuilding their lives and communities," union head Donald Fehr said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:41 PM
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NFL teams, fans aid tsunami relief efforts

(Jan. 7, 2005) -- The recent tsunamis have left miles of devastation in Southeast Asia and East Africa and killed more than 150,000 people. For the survivors, the real struggle has just begun. Millions are faced with the daunting task of having to start over, many without food, shelter or family. People around the world have responded with donations, now reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.

To find out how you can donate, click here.

The NFL has contributed $1 million to relief efforts. Since the final weekend of regular season games, individual teams and their fans have contributed an additional $1 million.

As we head into the playoffs, teams are encouraging fans to "Join the Team" of millions of people across the globe in donating to relief efforts.

During the wild-card games this weekend, the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers will be hosting in-stadium collections to provide opportunities for fans to contribute to the relief efforts.

The Atlanta Falcons will be collecting money at their divisional playoff game on Jan. 15, 2005 to raise funds for CARE's Tsunami Relief Efforts. The collection at the Georgia Dome will begin when the gates open, two hours before the game.

The New England Patriots awarded divisional playoff game tickets to anyone who made an online donation for tsunami relief to the New England Charitable Foundation of a $1,000 or more, while supplies lasted. As a result, a total of 450 game tickets were donated and over $450,000 raised to support tsunami relief efforts.

On Jan. 2, 2005 the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and Seattle Seahawks held in-stadium collections that totaled approximately $300,000 and went to organizations such as the Red Cross and AmeriCares.

Teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, and San Diego Chargers have shown their support to relief efforts by filming public service announcements and making team and player donations.

To find out how you can help, visit the USA Freedom Corps. This site provides links to many aid agencies addressing relief needs such as the American Red Cross, CARE, United Nations World Food Program and UNICEF.

source

NFL.com



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:54 PM
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Tennis star donates $100 per ace to tsunani fund


Originally posted by TRD
German tennis star Nicolas Kiefer said overnight he will donate $100 for each ace he serves in three Australian tournaments to victims of the Asian tsunami.

"For every ace, starting now in Adelaide, then in Sydney, and finally in Melbourne, I will donate $100,

. "Against Sjeng Schalken, I served five aces, or $500," for the victims of the devastating tsunamie in the Indian Ocean area, said Kiefer on his website.

"I'd love to improve on that figure against my next opponent, Frenchman Cyril Saulnier – and of course progress in the tournament," he said.

Associated press


original thread

[Edited on 1/7/2005 by Gibbs Baby!!!]



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:57 PM
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Schumacher donates $13 million to tsunami victims


Originally posted by TRD
Seven-time world Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has donated $13m to the tsunami victims.

"The dawning of the New Year has not been as joyful for us this year because of the catastrophe in Asia. We sympathise with the victims in their grief," said Schumacher.

What a great gesture by a great champion!


original thread



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 08:59 PM
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Sharapova dominates Venus in Thai exhibition


Originally posted by TRD
Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova stamped her authority over Venus Williams on Sunday, two weeks before the start of the Australian Open, using her strong baseline strokes to overpower the former world No. 1 in straight sets in a Thai exhibition match.

Sharapova downed Williams 6-4, 6-3 in the TAT Tennis Invitational Exhibition at the 700th Anniversary Stadium in the northern city of Chiang Mai. The match began with a 30-second tribute to victims of the tsunami that killed more than 123,000 people from Asia to Africa, including nearly 5,000 confirmed dead in Thailand. It ended with the players auctioning off their rackets for $2,560 each to raise funds to help victims.

With her flat powerful deep ground strokes, the Russian world No. 4 did not allow Williams to build any momentum in the match, which lasted just 78 minutes in front of 4,000 fans. Williams' vaunted power game was eclipsed throughout the match, and she added to her problems with a string of unforced errors, mostly from her forehand.

After several deuces, the ninth-ranked Williams was broken in the first game and dropped to 0-2 before breaking back to draw level at 2-2. But 18-year-old Sharapova broke back immediately and produced a string of winners to lead 4-2 before Williams leveled again at 4-4. But Sharapova broke again to lead 5-4 and fought off several break points to finally win the first set by blasting two impressive forehands down the line.

The Russian star then reeled off five straight games to build a solid lead at 5-0 before her game fell apart and Williams won three straight games. However, Williams continued to be plagued by errors and finally served a double fault to lose the match. Williams and Sharapova next head to Hong Kong for another exhibition match.

Associated Press


original thread



posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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Players, union, league get into the act

Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal and four other NBA players represented by agent Arn Tellem have raised $208,000 to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami

The players promised to donate $1,000 for every point they score in games played this week.

The NBA players' union has decided to donate $500,000, and the NBA will match the gift, a league spokesman said Friday.

The donations are to be made to UNICEF, NBA spokesman Brian Flinn said.

McGrady scored 26 points and another contributor, teammate Bob Sura, had 20 in Friday night's 111-104 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles. Bryant finished with 27 points.

O'Neal scored 32 points Thursday in the Pacers' 111-98 loss at San Antonio, but said he would give $55,000 -- using the more generous measure of his season-high 55-point game Tuesday in Indiana's 116-99 home victory over the Bucks. That likely means his agent, Tellem, also will be contributing $55,000. He has said he'll match the highest donation of the players he represents.

Jalen Rose of the Toronto Raptors, and Pau Gasol and Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies also took part in the $1,000-per-point donations to UNICEF.

Rose, who scored 21 points in the Raptors' 107-105 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Toronto on Friday night, decided to donate $44,000, corresponding to his career-high point total achieved on March 16, 2002, as a member of the Chicago Bulls against the Rockets. Gasol had 20 and Miller 16 in the Memphis' 84-76 home victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday.

"I first talked about it with Jermaine and Tracy right before New Year's. We talked about different ideas, and that's how it started," Tellem said.

On Tuesday night, the Washington Wizards sold "Tsunami Relief Bands" for a minimum donation of $2, with all proceeds going to UNICEF. The Wizards wore the wristbands during their game against the New Jersey Nets.

Tellem said the program, called "Shoot-a-Thon," hopes to raise about $250,000.

The seven players who have pledged donations are all represented by Tellem's agency, SFX.

"I think when more players find out about it, they'll get involved," Rose said Tuesday. "Sometimes you hear a lot of horror stories about relief funds not getting to designated party, but in this case UNICEF will make certain that won't happen."

The support continued to flow. The Atlanta Hawks raised $64,000 for the relief effort Friday night as the team played host to the Sacramento Kings. Hawks forward Antoine Walker led the way with a $20,000 donation.

Also, the Harlem Globetrotters plan to donate at least $100,000 and match funds raised by the sale of game programs during their 2005 tour to over 200 cities in the United States and Canada. The money raised will also go to UNICEF.

"As concerned global citizens and ambassadors of goodwill, the Harlem Globetrotters feel strongly about doing something to help those who are suffering, especially the youth," Globetrotters owner and chairman Mannie Jackson said.

The New York Times reported on Friday night that the New York Knicks' Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Nazr Mohammed, Vin Baker and Moochie Norris said they would donate $1,000 for each point they score against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.

Jamal Crawford said he would do the same when he returns from the injured list, The Times reported. Other Knicks are making private contributions to the relief effort, the team said.

The Associated Press reported Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants President Bush to downsize his inaugural ball and send the savings to tsunami victims.

The billionaire is urging readers of his Web log to ask politicians to reset their priorities.

"Mr. President, it's time to show that leadership. It's time to set an example," Cuban wrote. "Cancel all but the most basic inauguration requirements."

Inaugural events -- paid for by private donations and not public funds -- include black-tie balls, a parade and star-powered events.

"Instead of shaking hands all night and being driven from party to party, send them a thank you card letting them know that the corporate and individual donations that had been earmarked for fun was now going to help more people than they could ever imagine," Cuban wrote.

Cuban, whose past Web log entries have included his desire to start a hedge fund for professional gamblers, also criticized Congress for frivolous expenditures and chastised everyone involved with elaborate events for the Jan. 20 inaugural.



posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 08:43 AM
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NBA Players, Teams Aid Tsunami Relief Effort

NBA players and teams are joining forces with various charitable organizations to raise funds for the victims of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.

• The Boston Celtics joined the American Red Cross to collect funds from fans at home games on December 31, January 3, 5 and 7. So far more than $20,000 has been raised. The Celtics will match the total funds collected and will then make an additional donation from the Shamrock Foundation. Paul Pierce and Gary Payton are also donating $1000 for every assist they make in games played on January 7 and 8.

• The Charlotte Bobcats collected donations from fans at three home games in support of the UNICEF relief efforts on December 31, January 3 and 5. The Bobcats will also make a separate contribution from the foundation.

• The Cleveland Cavaliers will provide fans with an opportunity to donate to UNICEF at a home game and will also make a donation from the team.

• The Denver Nuggets have teamed up with the American Red Cross to raise $15,000 including $5,000 donated by Kroenke Sports. Nuggets’ employees are also compiling a shipment of supplies to send to the affected regions in Southeast Asia.

• On January 5, Scot Pollard of the Indiana Pacers and his wife, Mindy, whose mother is from Thailand, presented a check for $57,000 to UNICEF on behalf of the team. On January 14 fans attending the Pacers game at Conseco Fieldhouse will be asked to donate to UNICEF’s relief efforts.

• The Los Angeles Lakers will match all proceeds from in-arena auctions at their home games on January 2, 7 and 13. The Lakers will also match Kobe Bryant’s donation of $1,000 for every basket he scores January 7.

• On January 6, the Milwaukee Bucks auctioned off Bucks and Green Bay Packers tickets. Donations were also collected by American Red Cross volunteers at home games on January 5, 6 and 8. Bucks memorabilia will also be auctioned off on January 8, including artwork by Desmond Mason and autographed pairs of Michael Redd and Toni Kukoc’s game shoes.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves are holding silent auctions at their home games on January 4, 7 and 10, and American Red Cross volunteers will be collecting donations from fans to help support the tsunami relief fund.

• The New Jersey Nets will donate a percentage of all tickets sold over the first two weeks in January to aid UNICEF’s relief efforts.

• Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Moochie Norris, Vin Baker and Nazr Mohammed of the New York Knicks will all donate $1,000 to UNICEF for each point that they individually score on January 8. When Jamal Crawford returns from the injured list he will also make the same donation. The rest of the Knicks players are making private donations to UNICEF to aid the victims of the Tsunami.

• Comcast Spectacor, the ownership group of the Philadelphia 76ers , is donating $50,000 to the United Way and $50,000 to the American Red Cross relief efforts. Fans will also be able to make donations to the American Red Cross at the 76ers’ home games on January 10 and 14.

• The Portland Trail Blazers have collected donations at home games for Mercy Corps. The Trail Blazers will match donations up to $25,000.

• The Maloofs and the You Foundation are teaming up with NEWS 10 and KHTK to help raise relief funds for survivors. At the Sacramento Kings game on January 11, fans can purchase a Kings Tsunami Relief Ribbon Car Magnet to support relief efforts in Southeast Asia. The Kings Tsunami Relief Ribbon Car Magnet will be available for $5 at both the Team Store and Kings.com. All proceeds will benefit UNICEF's international relief effort to provide lifesaving supplies to victims.

• The Seattle SuperSonics will collect donations from fans during games on January 9, 11 and 14. The Sonics and Storm TEAM Foundation will match the donations up to $50,000. The money will go to the relief efforts in Sri Lanka through CARE. Sonics Dance Team and the Storm mascot, Doppler, will be available for photographs in exchange for a donation during halftime of the three games. Fans can also make donations via a link on the Sonics and Storm websites.

• The Toronto Raptors are leading several initiatives to benefit the victims of the tsunami disaster. After their home game on January 7, game jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross. The Raptors will also co-host a telethon with Rogers SportsNet and have an in-arena collection that will be matched by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. A percentage of food and merchandise sales on the January 7 and 9 will also benefit the Canadian Red Cross.

• The Utah Jazz will host American Red Cross volunteers at their home games on January 10, 12 and 15 to collect donations from fans. The Larry H. Miller Charities are also making a donation of $1.00 for every full-time and part-time employee in the Larry H. Miller Group, the ownership group of the Jazz.

• Starting January 4, the Washington Wizards sold black wristbands for $2.00 at the MCI Center and online. Proceeds will go to tsunami victims.

• Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol and Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies, Tracy McGrady and Bobby Sura of the Houston Rockets, Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers and Jalen Rose of the Toronto Raptors joined together for an SFX Basketball Shoot-a-Thon to benefit UNICEF. Each player pledged to donate $1,000 for every point they scored in a game the week of January 9.

NBA.com



posted on Jan, 9 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Players eager to help

9 January 2005

The goodwill from all players participating in Monday's charity cricket match was both clearly evident and overwhelming.

At a media conference in Melbourne on Sunday, many spoke of their desire to help and genuine concern at the circumstances hundreds of thousands of people find themselves in as a result of the tsunami that swept across South Asia on Boxing Day.

Asian Cricket Council XI coach Bob Woolmer described it as a 'humbling experience', while International Cricket Council XI captain Ricky Ponting called the match a 'huge afternoon'.

For two players however, Sri Lankan stars Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan, the MCG event has a more personal touch.

While Jayasuriya provided the media with the good news that his mother, who was badly injured when the waves struck, had been discharged from hospital on Saturday, Muralitharan gave a more sobering assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka.

"People need help because our countries are not rich countries so I think international aid should help us," Muralitharan said. "This match is going to bring a lot of money into our country and other places as well and less fortunate people will get help from this."

"It has been devastating, not only in Galle but all across the coastline of Sri Lanka and India as well and even other countries."

All Sri Lankan players have undertaken tours of the affected areas, something Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne is keen to do at the earliest opportunity.

Having already had preliminary discussions with Muralitharan and keen to initiate talks with World Vision chief Tim Costello, Warne indicated he had a special affinity with the country, having taken his 500th Test wicket at Galle.

"For me personally, to see those pictures of Galle, I've spoken to Murali already, I'm hopefully going to go back to Sri Lanka at some stage there and try and help out where I can," Warne said.

"You want to try and do what you can and sometimes you can't do enough but if you can go over there and try and put some smiles on children's faces and just be there to lend a hand and try to help out, then I'm going to do that."

"When you see the footage and the vision, it really is devastating and it has touched everybody, not just us as cricketers. I want to go over there, it's just a matter of trying to work out in between games and things like that."

That picturesque cricket-ground-by-the-coast in Galle where Warne reached the milestone now lies in ruins, with debris covering the outfield and the centre square used as a helipad.

Indian batting genius Sachin Tendulkar, who is in Melbourne but will only field due to injury, believes cricket has a major role to play in helping the devastated re-build their lives.

"Everyone understands how serious this cause is. It is our responsibility to get together and through cricket, we can help the needy ones," Tendulkar said. "To all those who've lost their dear ones and loved ones, our thoughts are with them."

Jayasuriya added that the importance of Monday's fixture, to be broadcast into 122 nations, cannot be understated.

"We know that Sri Lanka got hit very badly and we need to rebuild our nation. (The game) is going to be something for Sri Lanka, that's why we are all part of this game," he said.

source

Inside Sport



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund announced

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The major U.S. golf organizations Monday announced the creation of the U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts following the catastrophic tsunami that ravaged 11 Pacific-rim nations last month.

"It has been a sobering experience to witness the devastation and destruction following the tsunami of December 26," said Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR Commissioner. "Golf is a global sport, and now, we, in the United States, must provide assistance on the global stage. Through the U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund, our players, tournaments, many of the major golf organizations in the United States and the Tournament Players Clubs (TPCs) are uniting to help the shattered region begin its recovery process."
Feature content
Information
Click here to make a donation

"We are pleased to provide support in relief of this great human tragedy," said Hootie Johnson, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. "The lives of countless individuals have been affected and we are glad that we are able to help."

"The tragic events of December 26th are not easily overlooked by any who have seen the images and heard the stories from Southeast Asia," said Fred S. Ridley, President, United States Golf Association. "We have been saddened by the tragic loss of life and horrendous destruction, and are compelled to reach out, together with our members and volunteers, as part of the global effort to support the families of the victims of this tragedy and those who survived."

"While we are half a world away, the devastating images in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster have touched all of us," said Roger Warren, President of the PGA of America. "It is heartening to see the U.S. golf community come together in order to assist the massive rebuilding effort that lies ahead for the nations affected by the natural disaster. On behalf of The PGA of America's 28,000 men and women professionals, we are pleased to support this industry-wide contribution to relief efforts."

"With so much destruction, so many lives lost, our players were quick to ask the question posed by countless others across the globe: What can we do to help?" said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. "The creation of the U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund gives a direction for the efforts of our players, the LPGA Tour and the golf community as a whole. While it will take an incredible worldwide effort to restore any semblance of normal life to the ravaged countries, we are hopeful that our contributions will make a difference in this massive recovery and rebuilding effort."

The U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund will work with the office of former President George Bush on the specific details concerning the disbursement of funds. Last week, President George W. Bush appointed his father, former President George Bush, and his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton, to lead a nationwide charity fundraising drive.

Through the combined efforts of all involved, the U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund hopes to generate $2 million for the cause.

The U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund also recognizes the efforts of the International Relief Golf Fund that was recently launched by the European Tour. Sir Michael Bonallack, the former Secretary of the Royal and Ancient, will be the Chairman of the International Relief Golf Fund.

Click here to make a secure credit card donation online.

OR

Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to:

The U.S. Golf Tsunami Relief Fund
c/o PGA TOUR Charities, Inc.
P.O. Box 2904
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl 32004-2904

A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free (800) 435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state of Florida.

The organization's registration number issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Consumer Services under Chapter 496 of the Florida Statutes is CH-3169. The percentage of each contribution retained by any professional solicitor that has contracted with the organization is zero percent. The percentage of each contribution that is received by the organization is 100 percent.

Source -

PGAtour.com



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 07:11 PM
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Warner, Toomer bring help to tsunami victims

LAMNO, Indonesia (Feb. 12, 2005) -- The children in the remote coastal town of Lamno had never heard of American football or New York Giants quarterback Kurt Warner -- until now.

Warner and teammate Amani Toomer visited here to help raise money for the long-term aid needs of tsunami victims in Aceh province, where the Dec. 26 disaster left more than 200,000 people dead or missing, and many more homeless.

The kids seemed to enjoy their time with the NFL stars, chasing Warner and Toomer around a soccer field.

"I don't know who they are, but they are really nice," said Saledulah, a grinning 9-year-old in tattered shorts and a T-shirt who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name.

Amani Toomer and Kurt Warner unload food aid from a truck at the military airbase in Banda Aceh.
Amani Toomer and Kurt Warner unload food aid from a truck at the military airbase in Banda Aceh.

Warner and Toomer, along with their wives, were flown in on a helicopter by the United Nation's World Food Program. Warner, a two-time Most Valuable Player who led the St. Louis Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV, said the devastation was simply impossible to imagine.

"To actually think of lives and homes and the community as a whole and then to see all this -- unbelievable," Warner said. "People think that when the media leaves, things go back to normal but that is not the case."

The four helped unload a helicopter full of rice, bottled water and cooking oil destined for camps and feeding centers elsewhere on the island's west coast. They also visited the USNS Mercy, a U.S. Navy hospital ship treating tsunami victims off Sumatra Island.

The disaster has prompted a massive global outpouring of aid, from governments and individuals. More than $4 million has been raised by the NFL, its teams, owners, players and fans to support the tsunami relief efforts, but Toomer said it's still not enough.

"People are going to need a lot more help in the future," he said.

President Bush plans to ask Congress for $950 million for tsunami relief efforts -- up from $350 million committed so far. The pledge would put the United States at the top of the donor list.

But despite the incredible loss and devastation in the area, the children of Lamno proved they still know how to have fun. Warner's wife, Brenda, taught them to chant a few phrases in English while her husband looked on grinning.

"Football is silly!" they cried, and "Kurt Warner is old and fat!"

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

NFL.com




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