Basketball player raises $170,000 for hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky after deadly tornadoes

‘There’s a great sense of community here. Everyone has each other’s back,’ said Chris Vogt

Gino Spocchia
Sunday 19 December 2021 14:44
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Cleanup after catastrophic tornadoes

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Wisconsin basketball player Chris Vogt has raised over $170,000 (£128,000) for his Kentucky hometown after it was hit by an outbreak of deadly tornadoes last week.

Vogt, who was born in Mayfield, said he launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe for victims of the tornado immediately after his hometown was hit.

The town, about about 100 miles northwest of Nashville, was among the worst affected, and many buildings were destroyed or badly damaged.

Some 13 people had died in the area, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said last week. At least 76 deaths were reported across Kentucky.

“I was just stunned,” Vogt told CNN Sports. “It’s tough. I mean, this is my childhood. This is where I grew up...No one ever expects something like this to happen to their hometown.”

The Wisconsin Badgers player said many of his lifelong friends still live in the town, which has a population of about 10,000. Many friends had texted him asking if his parents were safe.

Vogt told the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal that his relatives were able to flee Mayfield the night before the storms hit.

The basketball player said he was inspired by JJ Watt, a football player from Wisconsin who raised funds for the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 during his time at NFL side, the Houston Texans.

“Obviously, I don’t have the same platform as him, but if I can do anything on a fraction of the scale of what he did, that’d be awesome,” Vogt explained.

The money raised will be donated to the Red Cross and emergency resource offices in Graves County and Mayfield High School, reported CNN.

Vogt has also visited Mayfield to help with clean-up effort.

“It’s one thing to raise money and try to help that way, but to actually be down here and be boots on the ground, shake people’s hands, see people I haven’t seen in a long time, it just feels like I’m able to help a little bit more,” he told CNN.

“There’s a great sense of community here. Everyone has each other’s back.”

Wisconsin Badgers competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s Division I level for the University of Wisconsin.

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