Florida Panthers

Dan Marino kicks off touchdown drive of Hurricane Irma relief to the Florida Keys

Dan Marino, center, joins members of the Florida Panthers, South Florida Ford and state Senator Anitere Flores outside BB&T Center in Sunrise on Tuesday morning.
Dan Marino, center, joins members of the Florida Panthers, South Florida Ford and state Senator Anitere Flores outside BB&T Center in Sunrise on Tuesday morning. Florida Panthers

Over the weekend, the Florida Panthers collected hurricane relief supplies for those hit hardest by Hurricane Irma.

On Tuesday morning, they were ready to deliver the goods — with the help of a football-playing local legend.

Dan Marino, the Hall of Fame quarterback from the Dolphins, joined a group at BB&T Center in Sunrise gathered to load up almost two dozen trucks which would soon head south toward the Florida Keys.

The Panthers collected over 80 palettes worth of supplies such as dry goods, bottled water and clothing by holding relief drives at their arena and training facility in Coral Springs.

More than 20 Ford trucks were part of the caravan into storm-stricken Monroe County.

“We’re just proud to be a part of this and this initiative to go to the Keys and do anything we can,” Marino said. “Just for me and being down here for over 30 years, to see the people and the great community we’ve had.

“I would just encourage everyone ... not over just the next few days but for the next year to help the people in the Keys and all over South Florida to the best you possibly can because there are a lot of people really in need of a lot of things.

“I’m glad to be a part of this and especially the fact we’re going to drive down there and have an impact on the community. To South Florida Ford and the Florida Panthers, I’m proud to be a part of all of this.”

The Panthers partnered with Ford not long after the storm to collect left over storm supplies from South Floridians looking to donate them to a worthy cause.

It’s just one of the initiatives from the NHL team in the recovery effort.

The team has also seen the large parking lots of its arena overrun by large emergency trucks as it became a staging area in the days before Irma hit South Florida.

The concourses of the arena have been filled with cots offering workers from around the country a place to sleep.

The Panthers and JetBlue teamed up for a free food truck event last week which handed out close to 20,000 meals with no strings attached.

On the day the storm hit, Florida players who were evacuated to Boston stood outside Fenway Park along with members of the rival Bruins as well as the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays to collect cash donations for hurricane relief.

The Panthers donated $1 million of the $2.7 million raised by the Tampa Bay Lighting, NHL and NHLPA.

“I’m proud to announce that we have 80 palettes of supplies that are in our garage,” Panthers president and CEO Matt Caldwell said Tuesday.

“That’s almost 30,000 pounds of water, clothes, toilet paper, paper towels, batteries, flashlights and we’re stacking about 20 or so trucks right now and get ready for this convoy. We’re super excited about it.”

George Richards: 305-376-4995, @GeorgeRichards

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments