TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Actor Charlie Sheen quietly donated $25,000 to help tornado relief in Alabama, making good on a pledge to help survivors of the deadly twisters even though some had doubted his promises.
The head of Tuscaloosa’s tourism agency, Don Staley, said a representative of Sheen recently turned over money that came in through a fundraising website that the actor set up after tornadoes last spring killed about 250 people in Alabama, including 52 in the west Alabama city.
Sheen wrote a check for about $15,000 after the website generated just $10,000 in contributions.
“He said he wanted to raise $25,000, and he made good on that,” said Bob Maron, one of Sheen’s managers.
Sheen visited Tuscaloosa after the April 27 twisters in response to messages from then-University of Alabama student David Harris, who had sent tweets to celebrities asking them to help out. Sheen — who had been fired the previous month from the hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men” — talked about staging a relief show and celebrity ball game to raise $25,000.
Months passed and many of Sheen’s plans didn’t materialize, leading some to wonder whether he’d forgotten about the town of more than 80,000. But the actor donated the money without any public announcement around Dec. 1, said Donny Jones of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, which is helping manage the Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund, which received the donation.
Staley, who accompanied Sheen during his daylong visit to Alabama, said the actor just wanted to help.
“The man delivered,” Staley said Wednesday. “He’s a man of his word.”
Tornadoes that ravaged the South last April badly damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Alabama.
After touring the destruction and visiting with survivors and relief workers, Sheen posted a photo and message on Twitter that called the scene “beyond words.”
Sheen sent autographed photos and baseballs to Tuscaloosa along with DVD box sets of “Two and a Half Men” after his visit.
A website set up by Sheen to accept donations for Tuscaloosa through Paypal is no longer taking money, and Harris said he had assumed Sheen wouldn’t follow through after losing touch.
“I tried to contact him and never heard back, so I just thought nothing would happen,” Harris said. “I’m glad he helped out.”
Maron said the actor’s plans for a concert didn’t pan out when performers backed out after a tornado decimated Joplin, Mo., just weeks after the Alabama outbreak.
“They said, ‘Hey, we can’t just single them out for attention, and Charlie felt the same way,” Maron said Thursday.
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