LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Motocross rider Trey Canard is setting up a donation booth at this weekend's race to help with relief efforts for the deadly Oklahoma tornado.
A native of Shawnee, Okla., Canard is working with the Red Cross, Team Honda and MX Sports Pro Racing, which produces the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, to put up the booth in the pits at the Thunder Valley Motocross Park on Saturday.
"Growing up in Oklahoma I'm used to the dangers of tornados, but this was devastating," Canard said. "I can't imagine what all the victims of this tragedy are going through, but as someone who has had to deal with adversity myself, I want to do something to help and giving back to the community through the Red Cross is something that will also allow our supportive motocross fans to do as well. We are a very tight knit community and I think this effort will show that."
Canard returned to racing this season after breaking his back when fellow competitor Ryan Morais landed on him during a Supercross race at Dodger Stadium last year. Canard finished fourth in the season-opening Hangtown Classic outside of Sacramento, Calif., last weekend.
Canard's mother, Kari, has lived in Oklahoma since 1972 and said she had to duck into the cellar when the tornado came close to her home. She said massive tornado came within a mile and a half, but her home suffered only minor damage.
"The sickening feeling you feel as you see a tornado rip through a heavily populated area such as Moore is just indescribable," she said. "Having seen a similar storm in the same area in 1999, you have an idea what the aftermath is going to look like. Added to that, the news that young children were missing inside a school (the storm hit about the time school was letting out) was just devastating. Trying to imagine what those parents must have been going through, as well as wondering just how scared those little children must have been was about too much to take."
The tornado was classified by the National Weather Service as a top-of-the-scale EF5 that was on the ground for 40 minutes on Monday. It killed 25 people, including seven at one two schools that were directly in its path, and damaged about 12,000 homes.