Athletes giving aid to Haiti

Montreal native Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers plans to present a $100,000 US cheque for Haiti earthquake relief, one of many aid initiatives by athletes.

Philadelphia 76ers centre Samuel Dalembert will present a $100,000 US cheque for Haiti earthquake relief during the team's next game, the club announced on its website.

Dalembert, 28, will also match fan donations dollar for dollar at Friday's game against Sacramento through his foundation.

Born in Haiti but a Montreal resident since he was a teen, he has undertaken missionary work in the past in a number of countries and hopes to establish an educational academy in Haiti in the future.

"At this point, my focus with the foundation is to help the people in need over there in terms of food and water and medical supplies," said Dalembert, whose foundation partners with UNICEF, Feed the Children and the American Red Cross.

Dalembert is among a number of athletes with ties to the country — devastated by Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake — trying to put their own good fortune in perspective.

While Dalembert was able to locate his father in the aftermath, Laval boxer Jean Pascal wasn't able to say the same as of late Wednesday.

The world light heavyweight champion was born in Haiti and raised in Canada.

Unbeaten welterweight boxer Andre Berto is in the midst of preparing for by far his biggest bout, a Jan. 30 fight with Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.

The winner will potentially be in line for even more lucrative bouts with either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.

Berto grew up in Florida, but after a squabble with USA Boxing as an amateur he went on to represent Haiti at the 2004 Olympics before turning pro.

"From what we have learned to this point, some of my family members are still missing and we have already been informed that members of my family have passed away in the earthquake," he said Wednesday in a statement.

Berto spent Thursday updating through Twitter, noting his older sister and niece had been located and that their house was destroyed.

U.S. international Jozy Altidore, whose parents moved to the U.S. from Haiti 35 years ago, has more than a dozen relatives unaccounted for.

The 20-year-old striker for Hull of the English Premier League was granted compassionate leave Thursday and will travel to Haiti immediately.

"We're just praying," Altidore said. "That is all we can do right now because communicating with Haiti is very difficult.

"There is not much [news], in terms of the status of my family. We have been constantly tracking the Red Cross website, but we still can't get through to anybody there — we know as much as everybody else.

"I want to go now if I'm able to make the trip over and help in any way. My mother and father are also looking into going, but I'm also concerned for their safety there."

'Something you've got to do'

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon said Thursday he finally made contact with some family members in Haiti.

His mother heard from a family member Wednesday night and he received calls Thursday morning, letting him know some of his relatives were safe.

Many of his family members still are unaccounted for, making it difficult for Garcon to focus on Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, but it's "something you've got to do."

Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Yvenson Bernard announced Wednesday the creation of a relief fund, with details on how to donate money on the Blue Bombers website.

"This tragedy hit very close to home and has affected my family directly," said Bernard, part of the sizable Haitian diaspora in Florida.

"I'm just trying to do anything I can to help all of the people in Haiti. They're going to need it."

Commissioner Bud Selig stated Thursday in a release that Major League Baseball is donating $1 million US on behalf of the league and its 30 teams.

MLB also encouraged fans to help in the relief efforts as part of its global outreach program, Going Beyond.

MLB Network will air public service announcements encouraging fans to make donations aiding Haitian relief efforts, and will prominently display links to UNICEF where fans can make contributions online.

With files from The Associated Press