May 25, 2011

FCSports Challenges Community to Support Alabama

Florida Citrus Sports is launching an initiative to help those so affected by the late-April tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast, devastating portions of Alabama. The organization has partnered with local ABC affiliate and official media partners WFTV Channel 9 to match a $100,000 contribution toward those efforts, specifically focusing on providing aid in Tuscaloosa.

“There are very few times in our lives that we have the opportunity to give back to others,” said FCSports President Larry Ruffin. “With the support of Florida Citrus Sports members, I was able to lead an effort on the heels of the disaster that immediately helped deliver truckloads of supplies to areas devastated by tornadoes.

“Now, Florida Citrus Sports is challenging the Central Florida community that hosted thousands of Alabama fans in its attractions, hotels and restaurants, to match a $100,000 contribution to help them recover from this tragedy and rebuild their lives.”

After contributing to an initial supply drive spearheaded by Ruffin, Florida Citrus Sports and the Capital One Bowl are now donating $100,000 in financial aid to the cause, and calling on Orlando residents and businesses to help match that dollar amount. FCSports will allocate the final tally to several charitable organizations, such as the University of Alabama Acts of Kindness Fund and, in an effort to support those directly impacted by the storms, many of whom just recently visited the Central Florida area this past January. Over 16,000 fas traveled from Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas to watch the Crimson Tide take on Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.

“When you are fortunate enough to work closely with the staffs, families and fans of the SEC and its member institutions, you feel a lot more like family than a business partner,” said FCSports CEO Steve Hogan. “One of the members of our extended family has been hurt and we want to do all we can to support them and inspire support as they recover from this tragedy.”

This isn’t the first time FCSports and the Capital One Bowl have reached out to a partner in need. In 2008, the organization contributed to the University of Iowa Flood Relief Fund as part of a matching funds agreement with the Big Ten Network.

For information on how to donate to the cause, please visit Donations may be made online via PayPal or sent to Florida Citrus Sports Association (One Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando 32805) and should be made out to “Florida Citrus Sports/Alabama Relief.”



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