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Thursday, April 21, 2005
Donations to help poor kids, kidney patients

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Alonzo Mourning is donating his Miami Heat salary for this season to charities that serve the city's underprivileged youth and help poor kidney patients.

Alonzo Mourning

Mourning, a former Heat All-Star who rejoined the team in March as a backup center, will give about $300,000 to organizations that promote literacy and education for poor youths. That represents the Heat's share of his NBA veteran minimum salary of $1 million shared with his former team, the New Jersey Nets.

Other donations are earmarked for charities that provide food to poor kidney dialysis patients. Mourning, whose basketball career was interrupted by bouts of kidney disease, received a transplant in December 2003.

Mourning said Thursday that his main goal in donating his Heat salary is to publicize the work being done by a variety of organizations in South Florida.

"The impact of the money is important, but it's also to create awareness about the impact these organizations are having on people's lives," he said. "The more we are able to make people aware of that, the more likely we are to find solutions for these problems."

The donations will be made through Mourning's foundation, Alonzo Mourning Charities, which he founded in 1997 to assist a variety of charitable organizations in South Florida, New Jersey and the Hampton Roads, Va., area where he grew up.

The foundation has donated or raised more than $1.5 million for Miami's Children's Home Society over the past nine years.