Women's Sport: Rose LeVelle, Simone Biles join other global sports stars for coronavirus relief


Over 115 global sports stars and executives from 13 countries have come together to fundraise for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes Stephen Curry, Simone Biles, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Hawk, Rose LaVelle, Jack Nicklaus, Mark Cuban, Michael Phelps, and David Ortiz just to name a few, who have donated items that will be raffled off to donors who make a minimum $25 donation.

"Athletes for relief" is the brainchild of David Schwab, the Executive Vice President for the sports agency Octagon. After the postponement of the NBA and NHL seasons and the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament March 12, David encouraged athletes to come together to do something to help. The program, which runs until May 1, has already raised more than $63,000.

"Right away, so many athletes were asking how they could help. What could they do?" Schwab said to ESPN Wayne Drehs. "This was a way for them to do something together. Our goal is simple: to provide as much relief as we can for COVID-19. Every day we all wake up thinking about the people who are sick and the spread of this disease. And this will help those people."

People who would like to donate can visit https://athletesrelief.org/, where they can give a minimum $25 under the name of the athlete of their choice. This will automatically enter them to win anything from a pair of signed race-worn shoes from Jimmie Johnson to an autographed Masters flag from Nick Faldo to a signed snowboard from Shawn White. Winners will be selected after the fundraiser May 1. 

All of the proceeds raised will go to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund, where it will be pooled with other donations to help outreach organizations.

"Usually our work is mostly in recovery and resiliency, but with this disaster, you can't wait for the recovery," said CDP President and CEO Patty McIlreavy. "This is everyone in right now. Get off the bench and get in there. We need all hands."

"This is bigger than one agency or athlete or country," Schwab said. "This is global."

McIllreavy is optimistic about the positive impact the athlete's improvement will have on this fundraiser and also the wider society going forward.

"People are scared, so scared. It's just a complicated time," she said. "To have so many athletes put their name to this sort of program and use their platform to be part of a collective campaign to bring attention to this really important cause, it's just incredibly valuable."

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