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NBC, American Century make generous donations to fire victims

Jeff Munson and Gail Powell-Acosta

STATELINE — NBC Sports, American Century Investments and Raley’s supermarkets made a $100,000 donation to an Angora fire victims fund on Wednesday, during the first of a handful of fundraisers planned around the 18th annual golf tournament.

“Someone told me and I agree that mountain people stick and pull together. This is evidenced in the community’s commitment to each other,” said Jon Miller, executive vice president of NBC Sports. “Lake Tahoe has always been very welcoming for us and is a second home to a lot of people. We love this area and want to act as a conduit with the community.”

Earlier, organizers of the American Century Championship announced tournament fundraising efforts in 2007 will focus on fire relief in the wake of the Angora fire, which destroyed 254 homes, burned 3,100 acres and displaced 3,500 people.

The tournament has already donated $25,000 to the special Raley’s Supermarket fund to benefit the American Red Cross — Sierra Nevada Chapter. Raley’s agreed to match up to $100,000 in donations – which has been achieved.

Other tournament initiatives include a fundraising effort during the broadcast encouraging viewers to contribute to the fire relief fund for those 254 families who lost their homes. A toll free number, (800) 732-3100 and Web site, http://www.helptahoe.com, are available for those wishing to contribute beginning this Friday.

NBC Sports will air a piece with reporter Jimmy Roberts and a few of the tournament’s celebrities with interviews of people who lost their homes. The telecast will include an intermittent crawl at the bottom of the screen with the phone and Web site information.

The celebrities claiming amateur status for the tournament will donate any winnings from the three-day event to the fire fund.

Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course will also be donating all greens fees from Labor Day play on Monday, Sept. 3.

Annually, the 54-hole, nationally-televised tournament features big-name sports and entertainment celebrities, including Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, LaDainian Tomlinson, Emmitt Smith, John Elway, Mario Lemieux, Ray Romano, Don Cheadle and many other sports and entertainment stars.

American Century Championship week will be nationally televised by NBC Sports on Saturday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. ESPN2 will televise the event on Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event is sponsored by American Century Investments, an investment manager serving investment professionals, institutions, corporations and individual investors.


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