After the horrific tornadoes, a Wisconsin basketball player donates more than $150,000 for his community. “I was really startled,” Vogt said of seeing the enormous destruction wrought by storms that hit his home state late Friday.
Mayfield, a hamlet of around 10,000 people, was ravaged by the twister, a storm that crushed houses and killed at least 80 people in Kentucky.
“It’s difficult. This is my childhood, after all. This is the town where I grew up. Many of my friends still reside in this town. I still consider this location to be my home “He went on.
Following his team’s game, the 7-foot tall senior centre went above and beyond for his neighbourhood. Hundreds of miles away from Mayfield, Vogt instantly set up a GoFundMe page to help people in need.
He claims he was inspired by former Wisconsin football player and Texans star J.J. Watt and his foundation’s Hurricane Harvey relief fund, which is still helping to repair houses in the Houston region.
“Obviously, I don’t have the same platform as him,” Vogt noted, “but if I can achieve anything on a quarter of the size of what he did, that’d be fantastic.”
By Friday morning, the Kentucky native had earned more than $155,000, thanks to donations from over 2,300 people around the country.
The funds earned will be donated to the Red Cross, as well as the emergency resource offices at Graves County and Mayfield High School, in the near future.
Vogt flew to Mayfield on Thursday to assist with the city’s hurricane cleaning and recovery operations.
“It’s one thing to raise money and try to assist that way, but to come down here and be boots on the ground, shake people’s hands, meet folks I haven’t seen in a long time, it just seems like I’m able to help a little bit more,” Vogt said of his return to Kentucky.
“There’s a strong sense of belonging here. Everyone looks out for one another “He said.
“We all love and support each other, so being able to give back to the community that has done so much for me and supported me throughout my basketball career — it just feels fantastic to see things come full circle.”