MLSE, along with the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Air Canada Centre, Raptors NBA TV and Leafs TV, held several major initiatives that led to one of the largest fundraisers in the organization's history including:
* Raptors NBA TV and Rogers Sportsnet Ontario telethon that raised $27,000;
* On-line Raptors player jersey auction that raised $19,000;
* In-arena donations by Raptors fans attending Friday and Sunday's home games that raised $67,000; and
* MLSE's dollar-for-dollar match contribution of all in-arena donations of $67,000.
Raptors players and coaches, Leafs management and MLSE employees also made personal contributions to The Canadian Red Cross. In addition to the $180,000, the Raptors' Jalen Rose donated $44,000 U.S. to UNICEF to support its relief efforts in South Asia.
"The tragedy in South Asia has had a devastating impact on all of us and MLSE and its employees wanted to help make a difference," said Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE. "We've always known that our sports teams have the best fans in the world and that has been clearly demonstrated through their kindness and generosity during this campaign. We're proud to be presenting a cheque for $180,000 to the Canadian Red Cross. We know this will help thousands of people during this desperate time of need."
With this donation, the Raptors lead all NBA teams in contributions to the earthquake and tsunamis relief efforts in South Asia. An on-court cheque presentation to The Canadian Red Cross Society will be made at Air Canada Centre prior to Wednesday's Raptors game versus the Boston Celtics. Game time is 7 p.m.
"The Canadian Red Cross is overwhelmed with the generosity of Raptors fans and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for their generous contribution of $180,000 which will go towards providing clean drinking water, nutritious food, shelter and medical supplies in tsunami affected regions," said Gord Moore, general manager of Canadian Red Cross, Ontario Zone. "To put this into perspective, $70 provides a family of six with cooking supplies, a lantern, blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans, mosquito netting, as well as safe drinking water, food, and medical supplies. The Canadian Red Cross sincerely thanks Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto Raptors fans."
In times of disaster both in Canada and overseas, the Canadian Red Cross' mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity and providing urgently needed humanitarian assistance.