Saints' Gayle Benson Donates $1M to Gulf Coast Renewal Fund After Hurricane Ida

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2021

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New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson donated $1 million toward the Gulf Coast Renewal Fund in an effort to help Louisiana recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The Saints announced the donation Monday and explained "we as an organization want to do everything within our power to assist those who have been impacted by the storm."

According to the statement, the team will remain in touch with government officials and offer the use of the team's facilities, "all of which have sustained only superficial damage," to those in need of assistance.

The Saints are scheduled to host the Green Bay Packers in their season opener on Sept. 12, and the team's announcement revealed that the "Caesars Superdome received only minor damage and will be prepared to host games as soon as the city's infrastructure will allow."

The team is scheduled to practice for three days at the home of the Dallas Cowboys after evacuating New Orleans.

It also canceled last Saturday's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals because of the hurricane.

The 2005 Saints played home games in three different cities and practiced at various locations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The team's return to New Orleans and successful 2006 season that saw it reach the NFC Championship Game was seen as a symbolic message of hope to the city still recovering from the storm.

As for Hurricane Ida, Jason Hanna and Madeline Holcombe of CNN reported it "left catastrophic damage across southeastern Louisiana, killing at least one person, leaving much of the New Orleans area without power, interrupting phone service and sending rescuers scrambling Monday to flooded homes where people were anxiously asking for help."

Ida has since been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to cause additional flooding as it makes its way north.


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