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Rowdies, Rays pledge $1M in Hurricane Ian relief

The teams are also hosting donation drives this week for fans to show their support for those hit hardest by the storm.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian is ongoing in parts of southwest Florida. 

Here in the immediate Tampa Bay area, the community continues to come together to assist those who are hurting most. 

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Rowdies are throwing in their support by pledging $1 million in support of relief efforts, the teams said in a joint release. In addition to the donation, the Rays and Rowdies say they will be hosting hurricane donation drives — the Rays during its postseason events this week and the Rowdies during their Oct. 8 home match. 

“While we celebrate our fourth consecutive postseason appearance, we cannot forget all those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Ian. I’m proud that we are organizing, supporting and donating to relief efforts across Tampa Bay and grateful to this wonderful community for coming together to support those in need,” Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement.

The first of the donation events will take place from 3-7 p.m. Thursday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and WestShore Plaza in Tampa. Fans going to both locations can donate items to help hurricane relief efforts and get "exclusive" postseason flags and yard signs. 

“That’s what is so great about our community – in times of need we all come together,” city of St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch said in a statement. “Thank you to our partners at the Rays for stepping up to lend their home base to collect supplies for our neighbors in Southwest Florida. While for many, recovery will not happen overnight, we stand committed to being an unwavering partner.”

The Rowdies are set to host a donation drive during their upcoming home match on Oct. 8 against Loudoun United FC. The team is collecting donation items starting at 4 p.m. outside the Al Lang Box Office.

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