Auburn University has announced its athletic department will assist relief efforts in the wake of Sunday's tornado that produced 170-mile-per-hour winds and left at least 23 dead in Lee County, a mere 10 miles from the Auburn campus, as reported by The Auburn Plainsman.
Donations will be accepted for three hours Friday afternoon at Gate 14 of the Tigers' Jordan-Hare Stadium, and for five hours beginning the following morning in a campus parking lot.
This past Monday, Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn and numerous Auburn football players assisted relief efforts at the Providence Baptist Church in Opelika.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the devastation in Lee County," director of athletics Allen Greene said in the release. "Auburn Athletics will collaborate with Auburn University leadership and local authorities to ensure that our relief and recovery efforts have maximum impact on those directly affected."
In addition, fans attending sporting events on campus Friday and Saturday are encouraged to donate the following items: bottled water, diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, trash bags, packaged foods, hygiene products and work gloves.
The university immediately sought the best ways to help and has a page devoted to relief on its website currently.
Meanwhile, high school rivals Lee-Scott Academy and Glenwood School accepted donations for tornado victims in exchange for admission to their athletic events. According to the Opelika-Auburn News, Lee-Scott received various items from people who arrived to watch varsity baseball, junior varsity and varsity softball, and varsity boys' and girls' soccer. At Glenwood, fans donated prior to the junior varsity and middle school baseball games. Lee-Scott fourth grader Taylor Thornton was among the 23 people who died in the storm, and assistant athletic director Corye Ivatt said about 80 families who attend Lee-Scott live in Beauregard, which was devastated by the tornado’s effects.