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NHL Donates $33,800 Toward Tsunami Relief
By ROB KENNEDY
Associated Press Writer
January 18, 2005, 12:53 PM EST
BANKGOK, Thailand -- The NHL donated $33,800 toward tsunami relief efforts in Thailand as part of a charity hockey game by Bangkok-based players.
A team of players from the United States, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Japan and Thailand defeated a Canadian squad 7-6. The NHL donated $2,600 for each goal.
"We've played a lot of hockey here for more than 10 years, but this is the team's proudest moment," Bangkok Flying Farangs defenseman Kevin Hall said.
Players from the Farangs (the Thai word for foreigners) and the Thai-World Hockey League scrambled to put together the event to aid the Red Cross Thailand's efforts to help thousands of survivors in the country's tsunami-devastated south.
A capacity crowd of 700 attended Sunday night's game at Bangkok's Central World Plaza rink, donating about $5,000 at the door. Family, friends and hockey fans in North America and Europe were asked to donate through an account set up by the Canadian Embassy.
Hall, who is from Nova Scotia, said that with all the contributions the team should surpass its goal of raising $50,000.
Also, Saudi Arabia's soccer association Tuesday pledged $250,000 to a tsunami solidarity fund set up by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. The pledge was announced as a Saudi delegation visited FIFA's headquarters in Switzerland.
Five of the Farangs did volunteer work after the Dec. 26 disaster, retrieving bodies, meeting grief-stricken relatives and aiding the identification process.
Goaltender Greg Jones, who was vacationing in the south, and left wing Jeff Lamantia, who lives there, barely escaped the tsunami. They sped away in vehicles as it roared to shore.
Thailand's Vanchalerm Rattapong, who scored three goals Sunday, had volunteered to carry corpses.
"I heard the NHL was going to donate cash for goals," he said. "And I knew what I had to do for my people."
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