The New Orleans Pelicans announced on Monday that they have set up a fund to help relief efforts in Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast after the area was struck by Hurricane Ida over the weekend. Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, who also owns the NFL‘s New Orleans Saints, will make an initial donation of $1 million.
We know there is much work to be done to restore power and other infrastructure. We have been in touch with government leaders at every level to offer any assistance we can, including the use of any of our facilities – all of which have sustained only superficial damage. FEMA has accepted that offer and will be using portions of our Ochsner Sports Performance Center to stage their assistance efforts.
Most important, we want to do everything within our power to assist those who have been impacted by the storm and have activated our Gulf Coast Renewal Fund, with Gayle Benson making an initial donation of $1 million to support our community throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Those wishing to donate can do so by going to Pelicans.com/hurricaneida. More details on the fund and other initiatives will be provided in the coming days.
The Pelicans noted that their team and staff are all safe. In addition, the Smoothie King Center, where the team plays, suffered only minor damage and will be ready to host games when the season begins in October. The Pelicans’ first regular-season home game will be against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 20.
“We greatly look forward to representing our city, state and region this season as we work together to restore our community,” the Pelicans’ statement continued. “We know how much winning games can unite and inspire people in our region and we can’t wait to take advantage of that responsibility and opportunity.”
The Category 4 hurricane hit on Sunday with 150 mph winds and has left more than a million people without power. Wind damage and flooding has destroyed countless homes and businesses, and so far the storm is responsible for at least one death. As the region begins the lengthy recovery process, it’s good to see the Pelicans stepping up to do their part as a community leader.