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'Kentucky Cares' campaign plans tornado relief effort for Friday

It's a combination that proves "Kentucky Cares."

On Friday -- the day Kentucky Wildcats make their 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament debut in New Orleans -- the American Red Cross is joining forces with WKYT, The Lexington-Herald Leader, Clear Channel Radio, UK IMG Sports Marketing and Central Bank in the "Kentucky Cares" campaign to make sure the victims of last week's tornado outbreak remain in everyone's thoughts.

From 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be answering phones taking donations at WKYT.

"Big Blue Nation, let us not forget the devastation and heartbreak some of our state's people are going through this week," said University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari. "Although the outpouring of support has been tremendous with the help of you and the American Red Cross, the road to recovery for some is going to take time. Let's continue to show our support for those affected by last week's storms by doing everything in our power."

The first five callers on Friday to match John and Ellen Calipari's donation of $10,000 will be invited to lunch and a personal tour of the new Wildcat Coal Lodge along with a guest.

In addition, viewers can expect to see UK Coach Matthew Mitchell and members of the UK Hoops team, Coach Donnie Tyndall and members of the Morehead State University men's basketball team, Coach Brian Lane and members of the Transylvania University men's basketball team, and Coach Greg Todd and members of the Transylvania women's team answering phones during various times Friday.

The University of Kentucky will play the winner of Thursday's Louisiana State-Arkansas matchup at 1 p.m. Friday. The game will air live on WKYT.

The National Weather Service called the March 2 outbreak of tornadoes the worst Kentucky has experienced in 24 years.

The storms caused 22 fatalities and left more than 300 others injured, according to state officials. Damage was reported in 48 Kentucky counties.

In addition to Friday's telethon, those wanting to donate to the "Kentucky Cares" campaign can do so by automatically donating $10 by texting Redcross to 90999; visiting redcross.org and giving to the Disaster Relief Fund; donating at any Central Bank location; or mailing a check to 1450 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40511 with "Kentucky Cares" in the memo line.


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