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Donations to help poor kids, kidney patients

MIAMI -- Alonzo Mourning is donating his Miami Heat salary
for this season to charities that serve the city's underprivileged
youth and help poor kidney patients.

Mourning, a former Heat All-Star who rejoined the team in March
as a backup center, will give about $300,000 to organizations that
promote literacy and education for poor youths. That represents the
Heat's share of his NBA veteran minimum salary of $1 million shared
with his former team, the New Jersey Nets.

Other donations are earmarked for charities that provide food to
poor kidney dialysis patients. Mourning, whose basketball career
was interrupted by bouts of kidney disease, received a transplant
in December 2003.

Mourning said Thursday that his main goal in donating his Heat
salary is to publicize the work being done by a variety of
organizations in South Florida.

"The impact of the money is important, but it's also to create
awareness about the impact these organizations are having on
people's lives," he said. "The more we are able to make people
aware of that, the more likely we are to find solutions for these
problems."

The donations will be made through Mourning's foundation, Alonzo
Mourning Charities, which he founded in 1997 to assist a variety of
charitable organizations in South Florida, New Jersey and the
Hampton Roads, Va., area where he grew up.

The foundation has donated or raised more than $1.5 million for
Miami's Children's Home Society over the past nine years.