YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz.—A multitude of gifts both small and large have amounted to an extraordinary level of generosity in response to the Yarnell Hill Fire. More than $1.1 million has been contributed to the Arizona Community Foundation's Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund and Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment by individuals, donor funds of ACF and its affiliated Yavapai County Community Foundation, private foundations, and businesses.
Gifts to the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund currently total about $700,000. Consistent with the Community Foundation's focus on sustainable solutions, this fund will aid in the post-fire recovery and community rebuilding efforts. Major contributors to the Yarnell Hill Disaster Relief Fund include the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, Hickey Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cox Communications and BMO Harris Bank. 100% of the contributions will be used to serve needs in Yarnell.
"Helping put a community back together once the crisis is over—being in it for the proverbial 'long haul'—is a unique and critical role that Arizonans rely on the Community Foundation to fulfill, and is in keeping with our focus on enduring philanthropy," said Carol Chamberlain, who serves as ACF's North Central Regional Manager overseeing the Yavapai County Community Foundation.
Staff of YCCF have met with the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group Steering Committee to begin identifying local needs.
A grants committee chaired by ACF Board member Shelley Cohn along with fellow Board members Michael Kelly and Skull Valley resident Jodi Padgett, will oversee distributions from the disaster relief fund, with plans for grants to be made in late September. Other grants committee members include ACF and YCCF staff, County representatives and other community leaders from Yarnell, Prescott and Bagdad. Grants will be announced widely to the public, donors and the media.
A Community United
As news of the fire and devastating loss of firefighter lives made national headlines in early July, gifts to the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund surpassed the $150,000 dollar-for-dollar match within three
days. Contributions from YCCF donor advised funds established by the Kieckhefer Family to honor Bob and Dudie Kieckhefer were added to the match offered by ACF, initiating the groundswell of support. Matching funds were contributed by YCCF, ACF, and generous community partners including the Wellik Foundation and the Chauncey Foundation.
Early on, a second fund, the Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment, was established with a $100,000 lead gift from Helios Education Foundation and a $200,000 gift from Arizona Public Service. Gifts to this fund to date total about $400,000.
The scholarship endowment will provide college scholarships for the children of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and other fallen firefighters. Prescott True Value Hardware, Honeywell and the Fiesta Bowl are among the businesses that have added their financial support for the scholarship endowment, along with other organizations and individuals.
The Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment will support the post-secondary educational needs of the children, not just tuition, and scholarships will not be limited to public educational institutions located in Arizona.
Donors may give online with a credit card at www.azfoundation.org/yarnellfire or call to make a gift by phone: (602) 682-2042.
The Yavapai County Community Foundation is a 20-year-old permanent philanthropic endowment for the enduring benefit of our community. Its mission is to lead, serve and collaborate to mobilize enduring philanthropy for a better Yavapai County. An affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation, YCCF secures, manages and allocates donors' gifts for charitable purposes in the County while working to improve the quality of life for local residents. During the past decade, YCCF has awarded some $5.3 million to Yavapai County nonprofit organizations, schools and municipalities serving local needs. To learn more, visit www.yavapaifoundation.org.