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Flint native Tom Gores pledges $10 million for Flint relief efforts

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Detroit Pistons owner pledges to head a private sector campaign to raise $10 million and organize short- and long-term solutions to home town city facing water crisis.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Gores, the owner of the Detroit Pistons and a Flint native, announced a private sector campaign that will raise $10 million and mobilize resources to help Flint during the city's lead contaminated water crisis. Gores, who is based in California, promised to rally business leaders across Michigan and throughout the United States.

Gores said his initiative would focus on both immediate relief as well as long-term efforts including economic development, nutrition and health care programs.

"The issues facing Flint won't be solved solely through government intervention and emergency support," Mr. Gores said in a statement announcing the initiative. "The private sector needs to play role here, and I am committed to helping drive that effort. I grew up in Flint, my family has strong roots there, and I believe in the people who live there."

There will be three core priorities in the initiative, according to information released by the Pistons:

  1. Immediate support for short-term relief efforts to ensure access to safe drinking water and infrastructure associated with volunteer programs, distribution of resources and other logistics.
  2. Funding for programs that help children, including healthy food and nutrition campaigns, as well as education and healthcare initiatives.
  3. Long-term support for economic development and revitalization initiatives in Flint and surrounding communities.

Gores promised personal contributions, benefits at Palace Sports & Entertainment venues, and long-term economic development programs including small business assistance, and entrepreneurship and access-to-capital programs for businesses in Flint.