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Arizona athletes’ autographs up for raffle to benefit coronavirus relief

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If there’s a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that it has rallied communities to step up for one another. The sports world hasn’t been an exception to that.

The latest example comes in the form of AthletesRelief.org, where fans can bid on signed memorabilia and proceeds go to relief efforts for the COVID-19 outbreak. Local athletes like Suns star Devin Booker, Coyotes goalie Darcy Kueper and ASU head coach Herm Edwards are among those whose memorabilia are part of the fundraiser.

All you have to do is donate $25, and you’re entered to win the autographed item from whichever athlete, coach or legend you select. The money goes to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund’s website says it supports medical workers, quarantined individuals and promoting hygiene, among other things.

Booker’s signed jersey, Kuemper’s signed stick and an Edwards-signed football were the local items up for grabs.

“I think we all have to lend a hand,” Edwards told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Tuesday. “We’re all on the same team, obviously. To be asked to participate in something like this I think is very important.”

Edwards said his staff has reached out to all of the players in recent days, and the medical staff met with the team before they broke apart amid social distancing guidelines.

“There’s a lot of noise out there and I wanted our players to leave here knowing exactly what this virus looked like, the symptoms of it,” he said. “You get a lot of false information.”

Despite the fact that many businesses have closed doors and much of the nation has started working from home, not all have that luxury. Doctors and nurses are on the front lines of the pandemic, but even workers who maintain essential services don’t get to stay home.

“Can you imagine the stress that folks are under right now, going to work and knowing the hours they’re putting in,” Edwards said. “We can’t applaud those folks enough. Those are the true heroes.

“I told my wife … we live in a noisy world. Our world is noisy. It’s not noisy [now]. It’s quiet. People are struggling with that. Now with this quiet time we have … I can see the freeway and I can see Rio Salado Drive [from my office], there’s no cars. It’s like a Sunday morning. Every day’s a Sunday. It’s like there’s no noise. It’s quiet.”


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