JULY 10, 2013

Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment Established to support Fallen Firefighters’ Children

Helios Education Foundation Provides $100,000 Lead Gift
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arizona community foundationPHOENIX – The Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment has been established at the Arizona Community Foundation to endow scholarships for the children of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and other fallen firefighters. The goal is to build the fund to at least $1 million, which will continue to grow – thanks to the power of endowment – over the next 12-16 years, until the children are of age to apply for college scholarships.

helios education foundationThe scholarship fund is made possible thanks to a $100,000 leadership gift from Helios Education Foundation. ACF and its affiliated Yavapai County Community Foundation are contributing at least $50,000. Arizonans are invited to make gifts to help grow this endowment.

“Like all Arizonans, the board and staff of Helios Education Foundation are mourning the brave firefighters who lost their lives in the Yarnell fire,” said Vince Roig, Founding Chairman, Helios Education Foundation. “While we know there are many immediate needs for the families and communities directly impacted by the fire, we want to honor the sacrifice of the fallen firefighters through the establishment of this scholarship endowment. The fund will support the educational future of their children and, we hope, provide some comfort and security for each of the families.”

ACF and Helios collaborate on a number of education-related partnerships each year. This new partnership allows both organizations to put their resources and strengths to best use for the firefighters’ families.

Disaster Relief Fund Meets $150,000 Match
In just three days, gifts to the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund surpassed ACF’s $150,000 match, and continue to pour in. Including the matching funds, about $450,000 has been contributed to date by individuals, ACF donor funds, private foundations and businesses such as JPMorgan Chase, Cox Communications and BMO Harris Bank. Matching funds increased steadily thanks to generous community partners, including the Wellik Foundation and the Chauncey Foundation. The first $150,000 in gifts were matched dollar-for-dollar.

Consistent with the Community Foundation’s focus on sustainable solutions, the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund will aid in the post-fire recovery and community rebuilding efforts. Distributions will be overseen by a committee of expert staff and community leaders.

“These two funds together will address a range of critically important needs in the Yarnell community – both in terms of putting that community back together in the wake of the devastation and planning for the future of these local heroes’ young families,” said Jacky, Chief Philanthropic Services Officer for ACF. “We and our regional staff and leadership of the Yavapai County Community Foundation are proud to play this critical role in such a dire time.”

Donors may give securely online with a credit card to the Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund and/or the Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment at www.azfoundation.org/yarnellfire or call to make a gift by phone: (602) 682-2042.

The Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization with four regional offices throughout Arizona. Established in 1978 and certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, ACF is among the top 30 community foundations in the nation with more than $550 million in trust and endowment assets. Last year, ACF and its affiliates awarded $41 million in grants and scholarships to some 2,500 nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies. More information is available at www.azfoundation.org.

Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida. The Foundation focuses its investments across the education continuum in three key impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years and Postsecondary Success. As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the Foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to better prepare students for college and career and to compete successfully in a globally-competitive economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested over $125 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.helios.org.

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