Pistons players and executives have rallied behind owner Tom Gores’s efforts, pledging a total of $500,000 to the FlintNOW campaign.
On Jan. 28, Gores pledged to raise $10 million for relief efforts toward the water crisis in Flint, Mich. He later donated $1 million of his own money to the cause.
Flint has been in a national state of emergency since Jan. 16, following numerous cases of rashes, hair loss and lead poisoning since the city’s water supply switched from Detroit water to Flint River water in April 2014 in an effort to save money.
Flint did not return to Detroit water until last October after tests revealed high levels of lead in tap water.
“The issues facing Flint won’t be solved solely through government intervention and emergency support,” Gores said. “The private sector needs to play a role here, and I am committed to helping drive that effort.”
Gores, a native of Flint, feels close ties to the city and its current crisis.
“I grew up in Flint, my family has strong roots there, and I believe in the people who live there,” Gores said.
Gores, 51, has also appointed Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem and equity partner Mark Barnhill to rally other businesses and civic leaders to participate in the relief efforts.