HOUSTON -- A charitable campaign set up by the Houston Texans to benefit victims of Hurricane Ike has raised $2.45 million.
The campaign was announced prior to the Texans' Sept. 21 game against Tennessee. Texans owner Bob McNair donated $500,000 and the NFL and its players' association matched McNair's contribution with a $500,000 donation to the league's disaster relief fund. Chevron Corp. added a $250,000 donation.
PricewaterhouseCooper donated $150,000 and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay donated $50,000. The Texans were playing the Colts on Sunday in the first game at Reliant Stadium since Ike made landfall along the Texas coast on Sept. 13.
"We appreciate very much the tremendous support we've had from the community," McNair said. "The Texans are pleased to give back to a community that's given so much to us."
McNair's son, Cal, also donated $50,000.
The money raised will be divided into two relief funds: the Houston Ike Relief Fund, established by Mayor Bill White for short-term relief for food, water and medicine; and the United Way fund for longer-term goals.
"We all know the tragedy that took place here and the great effort that's taken place to help rebuild and support this community in a difficult period of time," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "We at the NFL are glad to be here and I am personally glad to be here to represent our support for this community."
Goodell also announced that public-service announcements featuring former presidents Bush and Clinton will be played during the televised broadcasts of each of Sunday's early games. The elder Bush and Clinton announced a fundraising drive on Sept. 24 to help the hardest-hit cities and towns along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast to finance infrastructure projects.
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