Sebrango driving Cuba relief effort - The Province

Striker hopes fans will donate to hurricane victims, Sunday Marc Weber Eduardo Sebrango is hoping Vancouver Whitecaps fans will assist on his next goal. The star striker hopes to do his part for his native Cuba by raising money for hurricane victims when the Caps host the Montreal Impact on Sunday at Swangard Stadium. Donations can be made to the Red Cross at the game, and Flight Centre has donated prizes for a halftime contest that will also raise money for the Red Cross. "It's been difficult the last couple of weeks there in Cuba," said Sebrango, born in Sanctus Spiritus. "I just thought maybe I could do something and the team could do something. Nathan [Vanstone, Caps PR guy] came to me with the Red Cross idea and it's wonderful. Hopefully we can raise some funds and help the people down in Cuba." Sebrango's family members in Holguin province are among those evacuated since Ike made landfall on the eastern coast of the island as a Category 3 hurricane. Ike followed on the heels of Hurricane Gustav, which struck Aug. 30. The Associated Press reported that 1.2 million people of Cuba's 11-million population have been displaced, while some reports have the number as high as two million. Four people reportedly died. "My whole family is there," Sebrango said. "My mom, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles, everybody. My mom's family is from the east part of the country [Holguin], and they live in the countryside where the houses aren't strong. I'm sure my mom's childhood home [where relatives were living] is completely gone. We would go there on holiday." Sebrango hasn't been able to reach his mom for a few days, but heard through a family friend that his immediate family had moved to a safe place. Once the soccer season is over, he plans to head to Cuba to help rebuild the house in Holguin. © The Vancouver Province 2008