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An open letter from the Orlando Predators

Wednesday June 15, 2016

 To Our Orlando Predators Family & the City of Orlando,

The unimaginable tragedy that struck our City this past week was designed to terrorize our community and damage our spirit. No community is ever prepared for senseless devastation, but the response of a community to tragedy defines it, not the tragedy itself. In the past few days this city has come together in a show of strength and solidarity that proves to the world that we are strong and far from broken. This past week brought out the best in our citizenry: from lines to donate blood to the millions of dollars that have been raised to help support the families affected by this violence. We are a city of hospitality and of entertainment – from our theme parks and world-class resorts, to our sports teams and vibrant nightlife, we will continue to live our lives as a sign that we will rise up from any fall.

The Orlando Predators would like to honor the victims of this tragedy and their families. In conjunction with the rest of the sports community of Orlando, there will be #OrlandoUnited merchandise available at our home games with the proceeds going toward helping the victims’ families.

At our game on Friday, June 24 against Tampa, the Orlando Predators will be giving out 5,000 #OrlandoUnited bracelets and we will be collecting donations at the game to provide financial assistance. The Westgate Resorts Foundation has agreed to match 100% of the donations collected at the game.

For the game on the night of June 24, we are also extending a complimentary invitation to all First Responders, EMTs, Policemen and Firemen in our community along with their families to come for a night of sports and celebration as we honor their service and sacrifice to our community in keeping us safe.

And finally, our Orlando Predators jerseys have been amended and the nameplates that typically signify the individuality of our players will now represent the unity of Orlando – each will bear the #OrlandoUnited hashtag as a sign of solidarity with our community. Our coaching staff as well as our entire game-day staff will be wearing special #OrlandoUnited shirts as well.

Our community will bend, but it will never break. Our heart goes out to all of those affected by this tragedy, including our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community.

We also want to remember Christina Grimmie, a talented young singer taken from us too young in another act of senseless violence. Our condolences to Ms. Grimmie’s family and all those who mourn her.

We are #OrlandoUnited.