Smith secures $10K for Haiti

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, March 27, 2010

By By Adam Prestridge
The American Red Cross is dubbing Atmore’s Tray Smith a “superhero” after he was able to secure a $10,000 donation this week for Haiti relief from one of today’s most popular rock bands.
Smith, a freshman at the University of Alabama, on behalf of the UA Community Service Center, presented Oscar Barnes, executive director of the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross, with the check earmarked for Haiti relief Tuesday afternoon in the Ferguson Center TV lounge. The donation was made through The Better Life Foundation; a nonprofit organization supported by the band 3 Doors Down and committed to helping young adults and children in need.
Smith said he was shocked by the amount of the donation received.
The donation is the largest by a single student from a Southeastern Conference school, according to Red Cross officials. Barnes said the donation was one that made him proud of today’s youth.
The generosity of the rock group is something Smith said he would never forget.
According to Smith, the university’s student body has raised more than $3,000 for the Haiti relief fund.
Originally, there were hopes of hosting a relief concert on the UA campus featuring 3 Doors Down Smith said, but the band was unable to due to prior commitments with an appearance during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and work on their new album.
However, the university is partnering with a local radio station to play 3 Doors Down music to promote the fundraiser over the next two weeks.
More than 230,000 people were killed Jan. 12 during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti and tremors that followed. An estimated 300,000 were injured, and an estimated 1,000,000 are homeless. The death toll is expected to rise. It is also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings have collapsed or were severely damaged.
In addition to the Haiti relief fund, Smith said there have been numerous special presentations regarding Haiti, which has become a huge interest to many UA students.
As for being nicknamed a superhero, Smith said there is no red cape or tights in his closet, he just felt it his duty to help aid his neighbors.

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