This week, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic launched a fundraiser to support relief efforts for a region of Croatia that was devastated by an earthquake last December, in addition to feeding first responders across Northeast Ohio.
Miocic teamed up with Todd Adkins, president of EZPOLE Flagpoles and an alumnus of Miocic’s high school, to produce a line of exclusive “Champion Bred” apparel. A portion of all sales will be donated to Our Croatia, a nonprofit organization coordinating efforts to rehabilitate the badly damaged Sisak Hospital.
In late December 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the county of Sisak-Moslavina, just 30 miles from the Croatian capital city of Zagreb. The only hospital in the county, which has a population of nearly 200 thousand people, was devastated by the natural disaster.
Currently, only three buildings can be used in a hospital which normally has more than 400 beds.
“It's great to be able to give back to both countries. It just means a lot that I can have that kind of influence on people,” Miocic said. "It's just great to know that people are willing for help me with that -- if it's a penny, a dollar, anything can help these people who are in such need."
In addition to aiding in Croatia’s relief efforts, the Northeast Ohio-based firefighter-paramedic will use a separate portion of all apparel sales to fund food trucks to feed first responders across Northeast Ohio.
The “Champion Bred” apparel can be purchased through EZPOLE’s website, and sports a design featuring the firefighter helmet and axe logo, the area code of Miocic’s hometown, the Croatian flag to represent Miocic’s heritage, and a first responders flag representing military, law enforcement, firefighters, dispatch, doctors, nurses, corrections officers, and EMS and rescue responders.
Hoodies, t-shirts, hats and flags will be for sale in a variety of sizes and colors and will remain on sale through December 31, 2021. Flags have also been distributed to firehouses across the Las Vegas Valley, with local fellow first responders showing their support for Miocic and his cause.
Adkins said that his company “has always stood proudly by our country’s heroic first responders, active-duty military and armed forces veterans.”
“Our partnership with Stipe to assist first responders and those affected by the Croatia earthquake is the latest demonstration of this commitment,” Adkins added. “Stipe represents everything that is great about the country we love.”
You can assist in supporting Miocic’s efforts by purchasing apparel or donating directly to the Our Croatia relief fund.