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UFC donating $1M to Las Vegas shooting victims' families

Dana White said the UFC would donate $1 million to the families of the Las Vegas massacre victims.

 (Reuters)

The president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has pledged $1 million to families of those affected by Sunday’s shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas.

Dana White of the UFC told ESPN that the sports organization came together Monday to discuss how to help those following the massacre.

Retired accountant Stephen Paddock opened fire from his 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino, killing at least 59 people and injuring nearly 530 others. Paddock killed himself as authorities stormed his hotel room.

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The UFC is based in Las Vegas and its owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, also own casinos in the city, according to Forbes. Most of UFC’s fights were held in Las Vegas after the organization signed a deal with T-Mobile Arena.

“At the end of the day, this is our city — we love this place,” White told ESPN. “The first thing when we got up this morning, everybody, personally, got it together and made sure anybody they know or love was okay. Then we came in here and made sure all of our employees are okay.”

“Then you start thinking about this city, our hometown, and we felt we needed to do this. This is something we needed to do,” White said.

Besides the donation, White said Saturday’s UFC 216 event would be “dedicated to the entire city of Las Vegas.”

“I grew up here. All my friends and the people I’ve worked with in the UFC for the last 17 years live here,” White said. “I love this city. It’s good to go on vacation but when I land in Las Vegas and see those Strip lights, I’m always excited to be home.

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“This is a place people come to have fun, unwind and relax. Last night is just disgusting. It makes me sick.”

White said that people should not be afraid to visit the city following the attack.

“If anyone else out there wants to help Las Vegas right now, plan that next trip. Don’t be afraid to come here. This city is safe. Tragedies are happening all over the world right now and it’s horrible, but don’t let it make you afraid to live,” White said.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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