Showers of offers for Chile miners

/ Source: staff and news service reports

Chile's 33 newly rescued miners are being showered with gifts from iPods to European travel after gaining celebrity status following a more than two-month entrapment.

While underground, they received Oakley sunglasses and Elvis music. But more gifts are coming their way now.

And that's on top of possible book and film deals, insurance compensation and possible future awards from lawsuits. Victor Segovia kept a journal throughout the men's two-month ordeal, was expected to be the main target of international publishers, but his family told reporters the manuscript has not yet been sold.

Cash is king
Chilean Jewish mining executive Leonardo Farkas has written each of the 33 miners a $10,000 check. Farkas reportedly gave the checks in the miners' names to each of the families and set up a separate fund to collect donations, The Associated Press reported. Farkas is a well-known philanthropist in Chile who appears annually on a telethon run by the country's major television networks to raise funds to help children with developmental disabilities. In 2008 he donated about $1.5 million to the cause.

Farkas owns businesses in several industries, with mining comprising the most important of his holdings.

He was sued recently by his Australian partners and accused of inappropriately using company funds for personal charitable donations.

Going Greek
Employees of the Greek mining company Elmin are raising money to fund a trip for the Chilean miners and companions to the Greek island of their choice.

"We want them to relax on our beaches with the sun and our sea," wrote Liberis Polixronopulos, an executive at the firm.

Touched by Jobs
Apple boss Steve Jobs sent them all a new iPod Touch, the portable media player. Chilean officials withheld the iPods before the rescue, concerned that the men might use music to isolate themselves from their fellow miners, the Guardian newspaper of London reported.

In Elvis' building
Elvis Presley Enterprises extended an invitation to Edison Pena for an expense-paid visit to Graceland. Pena had requested Elvis music so the trapped workers could have sing-alongs and keep their spirits up. Elvis DVDs, CDs, and even souvenir Elvis sunglasses were sent down the shaft to Pena. Delta Airlines has offered to pay for Pena's flight.

"We look forward to welcoming Edison to Memphis, the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll and all things Elvis when he feels up to the trip," said Kern. "Elvis fans are everywhere, and we all now know who is the biggest fan in Chile."

Pena's wife said the couple was very happy with the invitation but had not yet decided when the trip would be.

Famed British soccer player Sir Bobby Charlton, who comes from a family of miners, has invited all of the miners to attend a Manchester United soccer game at Old Trafford as soon as they have "medical clearance," according to a spokesman.

Manchester United also invited them to watch them play in Europe.

Miner Franklin Lobos, the 27th rescued, was a professional soccer player before making his career underground. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera gave Lobos a soccer ball, which he clutched while he was wheeled into a medical facility.

A rescuer-miner game is being organized, with Lobos as the captain for the miners' team.

While the miners were underground, FC Barcelona sent down T-shirts autographed by players to cheer them up.

The Chilean football players' association has offered a trip to South Korea.

Land sakes

Bolivian miner, Carlos Mamani, was promised a strip of land by his country's president, Evo Morales. Mamani reportedly said he would build a home for his family and never not underground again.

Something fishy going on?
Sushi xx, a Santiago-based company, promised each of the rescued miners a year's worth of free sushi, the Guardian reported. However, the offer was heavily criticized as a crass publicity stunt, and the company's president apologized, the Guardian reported.