Los Angeles may be 2,500 miles away from Lahaina, Maui, but the City of Angels is still doing their part to help the victims of the deadliest wildfire in the United States in over a century.
All 12 professional sports teams in Los Angeles joined together on Thursday to donate a combined $450,000 to the American Red Cross relief efforts for those affected by the Lahaina wildfire.
The 12 professional sports teams involved are the Rams, Chargers, Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Dodgers, Angels, Kings, Ducks, LA Galaxy, LAFC, and Angel City FC. Many of these teams have players from Hawaii on their roster, including Chargers’ safety Alohi Gilman.
“Maui isn’t just a place on the map; it’s a part of my homeland, my connection to Hawaii,” read a statement by Gilman on the Chargers website. “My heart resonates with the resilience of the people who lost their homes while also stepping up for their neighbors in need.”
In addition to their proximity to Southern California, there is a very robust Hawaiian community living in Los Angeles. Most of the local LA sports teams are broadcast on both radio and television in Hawaii, and some teams have even held their training camp or played preseason games on the islands. The Lakers held training camp in Hawaii for over 25 years and recently held a televised reunion of the Showtime era teams on Maui last year.
The Rams played a preseason game in Hawaii in 2019, and the Chargers have played multiple games in Hawaii including in 1961 and 1976. The Angels even had a Triple-A team in Honolulu for several seasons between 1962 and 1970.
In addition to the donation, the Rams will use their second preseason game this coming Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders to help raise even more money for those affected by the Lahaina wildfire. Both the sale and auction of custom-made “Mālama Maui” shirts, and the proceeds of the in-game 50/50 raffle will all go to the American Red Cross.
“Our thoughts are with those in need after the devastating wildfires swept through Hawaii,” said Anne McKeough, chief development officer at the American Red Cross in a statement sent out by the Rams. “We are so grateful for partners like the Los Angeles Rams as we work together to provide comfort and hope for communities in the wake of these catastrophic wildfires.”
The shirts were designed by Maui based artist Saedene Ota and will be worn by Rams players, coaches, and staff during warm-ups. The blue and yellow shirts will incorporate the Rams “LA” logo into the word “Mālama,” which is Hawaiian for “to care for and protect.” The shirts will then be auctioned off during the game at the Rams Foundation silent auction tables located on the 6th floor, section N concourse, as well as in the Lower American Airlines Plaza.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with people that are affected with those Maui fires,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay in his daily press conference with the media on Thursday. “It’s a terrible thing, but we’ll be wearing shirts on Saturday’s game to benefit and support those who have been affected and all the proceeds will go to them and we’re keeping them in our thoughts and prayers and want to be able to do our part.”
The “Mālama Maui” shirts will also be available to the public at www.RamsFanShop.com starting Thursday, as well as on sale at The Equipment Room at SoFi Stadium on Saturday. All profits from the sale of the shirts will also go to the Red Cross relief efforts. The shirts will be sold for $40.00.
In addition to the t-shirts, any person who purchases a 50/50 raffle ticket at the game on Saturday will receive a special “Mālama Maui” pin (while supplies last).
“As we are heartbroken for all impacted by the devastating wildfires in Hawaii, various departments within our organization embodying ‘We Not Me’ came together to formulate a plan to support the critical work being done by American Red Cross,” said Molly Higgins, Los Angeles Rams executive vice president of community impact and engagement. “Hawaii welcomed us as part of their community in 2019 and our special connection continues today. We hope that these efforts and funds are able to help the recovery efforts and provide some relief to those in need.”
Anybody looking to join the 12 Los Angeles professional sports teams in supporting the Red Cross wildfire relief efforts can donate directly to redcross.org.
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Source: NBC Los Angeles