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Wizards, Fans Raise $30,000 With Tsunami Relief Bands

Tuesday, January 11, 2005; Page D02

As of yesterday afternoon, the Washington Wizards had raised more than $30,000 for the tsunami relief effort in South Asia with "Tsunami Relief Bands." The Wizards teamed up with the U.S. fund for UNICEF and began selling the black wrist bands at MCI Center on Jan. 4. Several players wore the bands during the Wizards' 112-88 win against the New Jersey Nets.

The bands, which are also being sold on the team's Web site, can be purchased for a minimum donation of $2. A team official said yesterday that the Wizards have received donations of as much as $500.

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The bands will be available at home games against the Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow and against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. Donation tables are located at Section 119.

"I am extremely proud of our fans for their generous contributions. I knew the Washington, D.C., community would rally for this worthy cause," said Abe Pollin, chairman of Washington Sports and Entertainment. "While our promotion has truly been a success, I want to encourage our fans to continue giving and looking for ways to contribute to the victims of this devastating tragedy."

Wizards players Gilbert Arenas, Jarvis Hayes, Brendan Haywood, Larry Hughes, Antawn Jamison, Michael Ruffin, Etan Thomas and Samaki Walker have filmed public service announcements, which were shown on the jumbo screen during the Wizards' game against the Timberwolves on Saturday.

-- Michael Lee

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