Indianapolis Colts step up to aid Kokomo tornado victims

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Chuck Pagano set the tone with his opening remarks to the media Thursday.

In the aftermath of the tornadoes that ripped through Kokomo and the surrounding area Wednesday, football was secondary.

“Real-life stuff going on out there,’’ the Indianapolis Colts coach said. “Want to give a shout out to everybody that (was) affected by yesterday’s storms. Obviously there was a ton of damage.

“I know as an organization, Mr. Irsay and everybody else... is going to do our part, do his part, lend a hand and try to help those people recover as much as we can.’’

Initially, the team dispatched several individuals – including its rookie class – to Kokomo following Thursday’s practice to visit victims at the city’s Red Cross shelter.

Actual relief is forthcoming from the organization as well as punter Pat McAfee.

McAfee has scheduled a Sept. 2 benefit comedy show at the Murat Theater. Tickets go on sale noon Monday and proceeds go to the United Way of Howard County tornado relief.

“Indiana is a state where ‘Hoosier Hospitality’ is a real thing,’’ McAfee said. “We’re a family. Whenever one of us is hurt, we’re all hurt.

“I have a really good platform. In the NFL, you’re automatically put in the spotlight and into a position of leadership. I have even more so here with everything I’ve been able to do on social media.

“This is really what it’s all about. Now is the time for us to step up and make a play.’’

The team, meanwhile, is directing financial support to the American Red Cross and United Way of Howard County. It will donate the proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Saturday night’s preseason game against Philadelphia to the American Red Cross and other service agencies.

Find out how you can help victims of the tornadoes here.

Also, Pagano and CBS4’s Chris Wright will be featured on public service announcements during the broadcast urging additional support.

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