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March 26, 2013

Rutgers' relief efforts continue

Relief efforts continue for those affected by Hurricane Sandy and Rutgers continues to do its part in that cause. Thus far, in conjunction with Scarlet Fever, Rutgers Athletics have donated well over six figures to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Those efforts will keep moving forward with the Scarlet-White spring football game on Saturday, April 27. Rutgers' players will wear jerseys with the names of 90 towns in the Garden State affected by Hurricane Sandy.

"We have worked with Governor [Chris] Christie's wife, who has been at the forefront of hurricane relief efforts," said Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti. "Between the t-shirts last year to the collections our student-athletes did at games and the cooperation with Scarlet Fever, we wrote a check for $150,000 so far. I say so far because obviously this is going to be an on-going thing."

In addition to the jerseys, the Rutgers players will also wear red helmets decorated with its 'R Strong' logo.

Fans attending the spring game will be given the option to make a $5 donation to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund upon entering High Point Solutions Stadium.

"Most of the ideas came from football," Pernetti said. "As you know, they have a really diverse staff from coaches to administrative staff and all the way down the line. And most of them are our guys, like Darnell Stapleton and Will Gilkison. Whatever you think they do all day, I can assure you that they are thinking about ways to help others, especially [Gilkison] since he was hit by the storm at Union Beach. So these ideas came out of football and I am glad that they did because I think they are terrific."

During his spring press conference yesterday, head coach Kyle Flood cited two individuals for the efforts in this cause.

"The person I think deserves the credit will be Will Gilkison for sure. He grew up in an area directly affected by Hurricane Sandy and has a lot of friends and family who live down there in those areas. Also Mike Kuzniak, our equipment manager here, they have worked quite a bit and hopefully creates something that would generate fundraising value."

The special jerseys will be given to each of the respective towns bearing its name on the back.

"The helmet and the jersey, which will have some of the names of the towns that were affected by the hurricane, hopefully allows us the opportunity to give back," Flood said. "We have the opportunity to compete and play at a great university and now have the opportunity to help those in need. We are excited to do that."

The spring game will kickoff at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 27th and will be preceded by the third annual "Believe Bowl' which aims to raise awareness and support for Eric LeGrand and Rutgers Spinal Cord Research.


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