Taking advantage of a timely coincidence, the Central Maryland Red Cross and dozens of volunteers will be collecting money for hurricane disaster relief at tonight's exhibition football game at Memorial Stadium.
"It seemed appropriate with the teams that are playing -- New Orleans and Miami," said Red Cross spokeswoman Linda Klein. "It was so ironic that those are the teams playing."
The volunteers -- many of them from area businesses and civic groups -- will be wearing official Red Cross identification at the stadium, handing out donation envelopes and collecting contributions.
The Baltimore County Firefighters Association, which is sending about 50 members to the stadium, also is taking up a collection at its Cockeysville headquarters of non-perishable food, clothing, infant items such as formula and diapers, and personal items including soap and disposable razors.
Ted Moffitt, a county firefighter and association vice president, said groups throughout the metropolitan area also are taking up collections of goods to drop off at its headquarters, 52 Scott Adam Road, off York Road near the Texas landfill.
Mr. Moffitt said Pepsi-Cola is providing two 48-foot trailers and will deliver the donated goods to a church program's warehouse outside Miami.
The New Windsor Service Center in Carroll County has sent four volunteers to Florida and two to Louisiana to assess storm damage and determine whether others need to be sent to help with cleanup.
The Red Cross has sent three Central Maryland chapter representatives to Florida to assist in disaster services -- Marge Libertini, a Manchester volunteer who drove an emergency response vehicle to the Red Cross staging area in Orlando; and two organization employees who flew to Florida. Three other volunteers and a paid staffer leave today.
Donations may be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box Disaster Relief, Baltimore 21263. Checks should be made out to Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.
Information about the firefighters association effort may be obtained by calling (410) 683-1311.