EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

November 3, 2012

NYC Marathon off; sports community offers aid to victims

(Continued)

Meanwhile, from Florida to California and plenty of places in between, the storm has been in the minds of teams who weren’t even directly affected.

The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to generate $150,000 for the American Red Cross to assist Sandy’s victims. The team said yesterday it’s giving $50,000, and will match donations of up to another $50,000 from fans.

“Although the devastation caused by this hurricane was thousands of miles from Southern California, we consider the Lakers to be part of a much larger community,” said Janie Drexel, the Lakers’ director of charitable services.

Miami Hurricanes football coach Al Golden taped an appeal this week for fans to give to the United Way’s storm relief fund. Golden’s family has deep ties to the Jersey Shore — one of the hardest-hit areas in Sandy’s path — and his brother Shaun Golden is the sheriff of Monmouth County, N.J., which was heavily damaged.

“We know friends that have nothing left,” Golden said. “So it’s tough for everybody. ... You can’t even describe it.”

The Minnesota Vikings and owner Zygi Wilf’s family pledged $100,000 toward the recovery effort, and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is joining with his Hendrick Motorsports team and primary sponsor Lowe’s to donate to disaster relief for the communities affected by the storm.

Lowe’s has made a $1 million pledge, and also will match Johnson’s earnings in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway with a minimum donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross. Johnson, who is the polesitter for the race, and Hendrick will together donate an additional $48,000.

Johnson and his wife, Chandra, own an apartment in Manhattan, but neither of them was there during the storm. The Sprint Cup points leader said the building was evacuated after the bottom two floors were flooded and the main lobby was damaged.

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