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Ravens support Red Cross to help Oklahoma tornado victims

SportsFootballAmerican Red CrossCorey GrahamMichael HuffJosh BynesAsa Jackson

Ravens cornerback Corey Graham and his wife, Alison, were watching Jacoby Jones compete on "Dancing With the Stars" when they saw a troubling news alert flash across the bottom of their television screen.

A massive tornado ravaged the state of Oklahoma, killing and injuring people and causing extensive property damage.

So, they decided to get involved by partnering with the American Red Cross in Baltimore to benefit disaster victims in Oklahoma and elsewhere. Graham and several of his teammates signed autographs Thursday afternoon at the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Blood Services Region offices in Baltimore.

"We've been very fortunate the last year in Baltimore with a lot of things going our way," Corey Graham said. "We wanted to do anything we can to help in any possible way. It's important."

Besides Graham, wide receiver Torrey Smith, cornerback Lardarius Webb, inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Bryan Hall, free safety Michael Huff, cornerback Asa Jackson and running back Anthony Allen attended the event after an organized team activity practice.

"Tragedies happen all the time, and we thought the best thing we could do was give, but we didn't think giving was enough," Alison Graham said. "We got in touch with the Red Cross and we teamed up with them. We donated after Hurricane Katrina because we want to help people in need. It's very important. This could have happened to us and we would want the same help."

A long line of autograph seekers donated to American Red Cross, posing for photographs with the players.

"I think oftentimes it takes a national disaster for us to realize there's things going on outside of our city," Smith said. "Our city needs us a lot and we mean a lot to our city, but we have the ability to help out other places as well. They can definitely benefit from our efforts. It's not taking much for us to do this."

As soon as the tornado touched down in Oklahoma, Huff was checking on his relatives in Texas.

"As a Dallas native, it really hits home for me being so close," he said. "It's a tough situation, a tough tragedy."

Growing up in Florida, Bynes experienced the effects of Hurricane Katrina when he had no electricity or running water for weeks. And his fiancee and her family are from New Orleans, which suffered the most devastating effects of the storm.

"It's a sad story what happened in Oklahoma," Bynes said. "I'm glad we got the opportunity to provide support. It's a terrible feeling to have that happen anywhere."

awilson@baltsun.com
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SportsFootballAmerican Red CrossCorey GrahamMichael HuffJosh BynesAsa Jackson
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