Ravens increasing donations for Katrina victims

The Baltimore Ravens will match every dollar collected from fans attending Sunday night’s game against the Colts to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Originally, the Ravens were going to match the first $25,000 donated by the fans.

“We are seeing every day that the devastation in the Gulf Coast states is far more extensive than originally portrayed, and we’ve also been inspired by the generosity of our players,” Ravens president Dick Cass said.

After pleas from teammates Ed Reed, Alan Ricard, Jamal Lewis and Deion Sanders last week, Ravens players donated $165,000 to the hurricane relief fund (through the Red Cross). Since then, team owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife RenM Xe, through their foundation, have matched the players’ $165,000 gift.

Former Ravens owner Art Modell, and wife Pat, also matched that amount, as has the Ravens organization.

“Starting with the players’ $165,000, and then adding the donations from the Bisciotti and the Modell families, plus our current gift of $165,000, there is already $660,000 coming from the Ravens football family. Cheap Jerseys free shipping We think our fans will be generous Sunday, and we will also match whatever they donate,” Cass added.

There will be Ravens employees, spouses of staff, players and coaches, and members of the Red Cross collecting money outside the gates to M Bank Stadium. Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay donated $100,000 and bidders offered another $26,000 for jerseys, helmets and footballs autographed by Peyton Manning as part of a radio auction. Including the donation by Irsay, the Colts said the five hour auction on WFBQ drew more than 5,000 calls and raised $311,975.

The Miami Heat and NBA champion San Antonio Spurs will play Oct. 10 in an extra exhibition game to raise money for Katrina relief. The Heat will donate all proceeds from ticket sales, concessions, parking and retail sales to the American Red Cross.

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and the Los Angeles Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero will donate $50,000 each. The Dominicans hope other major leaguers will join them.

Red Sox fans have given nearly $185,000 to the Red Cross in six days.

The Boston Celtics will team up with Habitat for Humanity International to help rebuild homes.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will donate $50 to the Red Cross for every passing yard and $250 for each TD pass Sunday in the Steelers’ opener against Tennessee. The Steelers’ autograph party Tuesday at Heinz Field raised $113,000. All Pro Alan Faneca, a former LSU said, stayed for the entire four hour session.

The Tennessee Titans will host an eight hour blood drive in the club area of The Coliseum on Sept. 17. Fans are encouraged to bring cash or nonperishable food for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which is helping area shelters. Volunteers will collect money before the Titans’ home opener against Baltimore on Sept. 18.

The University of New Orleans baseball team, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, will be based at New Mexico State this fall. New Orleans’ men’s and women’s basketball teams will be based at the University of Texas at Tyler, the track teams at LSU in Baton Rouge and the men’s golf team at LSU at Shreveport.

The Oakland Athletics raised $103,153 for the American Red Cross during their recent six game homestand. The majority of funds were raised through fan donations, in addition to a contribution by the A’s Community Fund, a live postgame dugout auction and the sale of A’s autographed baseballs sold by the players’ wives.

The Westminster Kennel Club donated $20,000 to agencies in Louisiana and Texas to help recover and shelter lost pets.

The Houston Texans are asking fans who can’t make it to the home opener Sept. 18 against the Pittsburgh Steelers to donate their tickets to hurricane refugees.