Patriots pitch in to help Mass. tornado victims

Posted: 06/22/11 at 9:50 am EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are doing their part to help the victims of the Massachusetts tornadoes.

The team's charitable arm, represented by current player Ron Brace and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, announced Tuesday that it would match tornado relief donations made to the United Way up to a maximum of $100,000.

Brace, a defensive lineman, is a native of Springfield, one of the communities hardest hit by the June 1 tornadoes that claimed three lives and destroyed hundreds of homes in a swath across Hampden and Worcester counties.

Brace was moved to tears when he talked of the destruction. He says his childhood home was damaged but everyone in his family was safe.

Funds raised will be assigned to the Massachusetts Statewide Disaster Relief Fund.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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