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Sports used to help victims of hurricane

Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2005

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will donate $500,000 to help cancer patients displaced by Hurricane Katrina get treatment.

Armstrong said Saturday he expects the money will be used to help transport cancer patients to hospitals and cancer centers for treatment. He said more money from his namesake cancer survivorship foundation could be donated in the future.

''If you've started treatment and you miss a week or two weeks, it's potentially fatal,'' Armstrong said. ''For me and the foundation, we just looked at that and asked not just what can we do, but how does it fit into our mission?''

Armstrong survived a bout with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain before he won the first of his record seven straight Tours titles. He retired from competitive racing in July after his final Tour victory.

At college football games across the country Saturday, fans contributed money to help victims of the hurricane.

Fans at Wisconsin's 56-42 season-opening win against Bowling Green filled American Red Cross collection canisters, and there was a moment of silence before the Michigan-Northern Illinois game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle encouraged Badgers fans to be generous in their support.

''If the 80,000 fans who attend Saturday's game all give just one dollar, we will raise $80,000 from Wisconsin to help them recover from this tragedy,'' Doyle said.

The Milwaukee Brewers planned a similar fund-raiser during their game against San Diego on Saturday night, just as they will for every remaining game at Miller Park this season.

Some Alabama fans stayed home Saturday night to give at least 300 refugees from the hurricane a chance to see a Crimson Tide football game.

For the past several days Alabama fans have been dropping off their tickets to Saturday night's Middle Tennessee-Alabama game at a Red Cross shelter at the university's recreation center, which has been home to about 500 refugees.

In other Katrina developments, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his brother Eli, of the New York Giants, who grew up in New Orleans, arrived in Baton Rouge, La., to help distribute 31,000 pounds of nonperishable items, including baby formula, diapers and water.

— NASCAR driver Carl Edwards dedicated his victory in the Busch Series Ameriquest 300 on Saturday night to the victims of the hurricane and said he planned to donate his winnings to one of the many relief funds.

— New Orleans Saints running backs Deuce McAllister and Fred McAfee signed autographs and spent time with victims of the hurricane at the American Red Cross Center at the Mississippi Coliseum.

— Oakland Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins will make a $1,000 donation to the American Red Cross for every touchdown pass he throws and every game the Raiders win this season.

— The Green Bay Packers scheduled an autograph session and blood drive at a shopping mall for Sunday, and the Milwaukee Mile race track in West Allis, Wis., established a relief drive to gather food, diapers, water and toiletries.

— Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman will join those donating part of their salaries to help hurricane victims. A Southern California native, Losman spent four years playing at New Orleans-based Tulane before being selected by Buffalo in the first round of the 2004 draft.

He supports efforts by Baltimore Ravens Deion Sanders, who called for each team in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, as well as other pro sports, to give at least $1,000 apiece through payroll deductions to help him reach a goal of $1.5 million to $3 million.

— For the first time since 1929, the prestigious Stanford University Golf Course will be open for public play on Monday, Sept. 19. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for the relief effort.

— Race tracks across the country have designated Oct. 8 as ''Racing to the Rescue Day.'' Jockeys, trainers, breeders and owners will be encouraged to contribute a percentage of their purse winnings on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park on Oct. 29 to help the horse racing community affected by the hurricane.

''The situation down there is one of total devastation, and help is desperately needed and valued,'' said hall of fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, a Louisiana native.

The NTRA's Charities Racing to the Rescue Fund will pass contributions on to existing charities established to aid in recovery efforts.



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