Miami Heat and Project Medishare hope attention stays on Haitian relief effort

By Tim Reynolds, AP
Saturday, June 5, 2010

Heat turn eyes back toward Haitian relief

MIAMI — Alonzo Mourning and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat were among those joining an envoy of relief workers headed to Haiti on Saturday.

Along with Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies, they will help in the earthquake-ravaged city of Port-au-Prince.

On the itinerary: Presenting a $25,000 check from the Heat to Project Medishare, a non-profit organization that has tended to the medical needs of Haitian residents. They’ll also distribute 20 large temporary tent homes and other essential equipment to families.

The Heat group also planned to visit a tent hospital.

“When it happened back in January, it was such a tragedy, immediately everybody in the organization wanted to do something,” Spoelstra said as the group was waiting to go through a security checkpoint at Miami International Airport. “When the season was over, we didn’t want to forget.”

Neither Spoelstra nor Gay had been to Haiti before Saturday.

The travel party met Saturday morning in Miami, with workers spending more than an hour loading huge boxes of water, diapers, sandals and other essentials earmarked for distribution onto a charter flight.

Some members of the group were making their 16th trip to Haiti since the earthquakes hit. Mourning has been several times already, and is planning more trips this summer.

Mourning and Dwyane Wade led an effort that raised more than $800,000 for relief in a span of about three days in mid-January, just after the quakes struck.

Calling their group the “Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti,” Mourning and Wade were asking other NBA players to donate to the cause.

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