Tampa charter plane heading to Puerto Rico to deliver relief efforts

A charter plane is leaving Tampa on Wednesday afternoon to help with relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

The Tampa Bay Rays, Moffitt Cancer Center, Ponce Health Sciences University, the University of South Florida, State Representative Janet Cruz, and Course of Action Puerto Rico all banded together to charter a plane to Ponce, Puerto Rico to help its Hurricane Maria victims.

According to a media release, the organizations are taking a one-day trip to deliver medical supplies and equipment, preserve cancer tissue samples from the Puerto Rico Biobank, and pick up cancer patients, caregivers, and nuns from a local church.

The passengers include Cruz, St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman and Rays left-handed pitcher and Puerto-Rican native Xavier Cedeño and his family. Xavier, his wife, Mariliz, and sister, Lizzette, will be returning to their home in Puerto Rico and remaining on the island, while Rays bench coach and Puero-Rican native Charlie Montoyo’s brother, Luis, and cousin, José, will be picking up Montoyo’s mother and father and bringing them back to Florida.

The charter plane is expected to depart from the Tampa International Airport after 5:30 p.m.