The Miami Heat’s commitment to working and helping South Florida’s veterans continued Friday when legendary players Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice worked alongside members of the U.S. Armed Forces and others to help renovate the homes of two local veterans in Miami-Dade whose homes suffered damage from Hurricane Irma.
Heat president Pat Riley and his wife Chris donated $25,000 each to help former Marine rifleman Robert Jenkins and Reserves Medical Technician Archie Coats in funding the renovations for their homes including the installation of a new roof, flooring, toilets, light fixtures, interior/exterior painting, landscaping and new appliance installations. Lumber Liquidators donated laminate hardwood flooring and BrandsMart USA donated a new stove as well as a new washer and dryer.
“Hurricane Irma devastated our region and forever changed the lives of many residents,” Riley said in a statement released by the Heat. “But, through our most trying times, the true mettle of people shines through. Our South Florida community has rallied together to lift each other up in ways that speak to the compassion, love and resolve of our citizens. Chris and I want to do our part in extending a helping hand to our neighbors, particularly to Robert and Archie. These two men sacrificed for our country and we are forever grateful for their service.”
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Shortly after Hurricane Irma in September, Riley, 72, went grocery-shop for the families of local Hurricane Irma victims at a local Publix. His relief efforts then took him all the way down to the hardest-hit areas in the Florida Keys, where he and several Heat staffers spent the day working with first responders.
Riley said the Heat’s staff got into a large team van and followed a convoy of three semitractor-trailors and a police escort down to the Keys. The Heat made it down to the main distribution center on Sugarloaf Key.
Riley later donated $1 million from his own foundation for relief efforts – the same day owner Micky Arison pledged $10 million.