IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Kentucky Wildcats may be opponents in the Citrus Bowl, but both fan bases are coming together to support tornado victims in the Midwest and South.
In a statement shared Monday evening, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz called on Hawkeye fans to donate to the American Red Cross to help people impacted by the tornadoes that ravaged several states over the weekend. Ferentz shared a link to a Red Cross fundraiser online.
Ferentz said he spoke with Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, who played defensive back at Iowa, and asked what the Hawkeyes could do to support those in need. Kentucky’s athletics department is raising money for victims through a telethon and the online fundraiser.
“We are preparing to play Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl – but game planning for a bowl is nothing compared to the challenge the victims of this weekend’s severe weather outbreak are facing now and long into the future,” Ferentz said. “Hawk fans are a passionate fan base. Let’s show them how compassionate we can be.”
The online fundraiser has received more than 900 donations, totaling more than $85,000 and counting.
Kentucky suffered catastrophic damage from the tornadoes and severe storms. Thousands of Kentucky residents in areas hit by the tornadoes could be without heat, water or electricity for weeks, the Associated Press reported. At least 88 people — including 74 in Kentucky — were killed by the tornado outbreak. Many people are still missing as search efforts continue.