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Madonna vows $500G for Italy earthquake victims

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Madonna vows $500G for Italy earthquake victims

Post by Abbie on Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:55 pm

A member of a Spanish rescue team and a dog search through rubbles in L'Aquila.

Not-so-Material Girl Madonna pledged $500,000 for victims of Italy's terrible earthquake on Wednesday - 10 times what the U.S. government sent.

The mayor of Pacentro, the Abruzzi mountain village where Madonna Ciccone's paternal grandparents were born, reached out to the pop star, who is practically a holy icon in town, and begged for help.

Fernando Caparso, mayor of the medieval village of 1,300 souls about 60 miles from the epicenter of Monday's quake, said the singer quickly called with her generous offer.

"I am happy to lend a helping hand to the town that my ancestors are from," Madonna told People magazine.

Caparso called it "a beautiful thing" and a big help for the people of the devastated regional capital L'Aquila.

On Monday, the State Department announced it was sending $50,000 in emergency relief funds.

President Obama has told Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that the U.S. stands ready if called on for help.

Dozens of Italian-American communities are also gathering donations.

In L'Aquila, the death toll climbed to 272, 16 of them children. About 100 people remained critically injured, 30 were missing and 28,000 were left homeless.

Digging will continue until Sunday.

As hopes faded that anyone else would be found alive in the rubble, the funerals began.

Soccer player Giuseppe Chiavaroli, 24, was carried to his final rest by his teammates, his sky-blue jersey draped across the top of his coffin.

Friday has been declared a national day of mourning and a group funeral will be held.

The Vatican had to grant a dispensation for the funeral Mass: Good Friday, which marks the day Jesus was crucified, is the only day on which Mass is not usually celebrated.

The funeral will be held in a police barracks - all of L'Aquila's churches have either collapsed or are unsafe to enter.

Pope Benedict said he will visit "as soon as possible."

Berlusconi, visiting the survivors, touchingly comforted distraught seniors but then struck false notes by bragging about what he's been through.

"I've beaten a personal endurance record: 44 hours without sleep," said the 72-year-old premier.

He brushed off criticism of his comment that those left huddled in tent cities should think of it as a "camping weekend."

"Sometimes, even during a tragedy like this, you've got to smile because you can't get results without optimism," he said.

Madonna walks in London on Wednesday.

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Re: Madonna vows $500G for Italy earthquake victims

Post by MadonnaBrigita on Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:33 pm

that's so kind of her
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