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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 14, 2014

8/18/2013 6:00:00 AM
Yarnell Hill fire fundraisers have raised $9M to date

More than $9 million has been raised by organizations helping families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in the Yarnell Hill fire and residents of that community whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

The American Red Cross Black Canyon Chapter has spent $200, 133 and taken in $146,000 in contributions. Its expenses have included opening shelters during the fire and other client services, according to Geri Wright, chief development officer.

To date, the 100 Club of Arizona has collected $3 million in donations and distributed $1.1 million. Expenditures include helping with costs of the memorial for the Hotshots at Tim's Toyota Center, funerals, family travel, and ongoing needs of the Hotshots' families. Members of the club will be in Prescott this Monday and Wednesday to meet again with families to determine their necessities, spokesperson Ciara Franklin said.

Prescott Fire Fighters Charities (PFC) has $2.2 million in donations, and United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association (UPFFA), $2.4 million. Disbursement to Hotshot families is being finalized, with consideration for any tax ramifications and identifying the appropriate recipients, according to David Leibowitz, spokesman for the Professional Firefighters of Arizona.

The Yavapai Community Foundation, which operates under the umbrella of the Arizona Community Foundation, reports receiving more than $1.1 million to its Yarnell Disaster Relief Fund and Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment.

Gifts to the disaster relief fund amount to approximately $700,000 to help Yarnell in post-fire rebuilding efforts. Major contributors to the fund include the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, Hickey Family Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cox Communications and BMO Harris Bank. Other contributors are the Kieckhefer Family, the Wellik Foundation and the Chauncey Foundation. One-hundred percent of the contributions will be used to serve needs in Yarnell, according to a news release from Tracey McConnell, grants and operations coordinator for the Yavapai Community Foundation.

A grants committee will oversee distributions from the disaster relief fund, with plans to make grants in late September.

The Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Endowment was established with a $100,000 lead gift from the Helios Education Foundation and a $200,000 donation from Arizona Public Service. Gifts to this fund now total about $400,000. The scholarship endowment will provide college scholarships for the children of the Hotshots' children and other fallen firefighters. Prescott True Value, Honeywell and the Fiesta Bowl are among the businesses that have added their financial support to the scholarship endowment, along with other organizations and individuals.

As of Aug. 12, United Way of Yavapai County had received a total of $409,923 in donations, with expectations of $25,000 from the Bank of America, UWYC executive director Melanie Jacobson said.

Of this amount, $130,545 is designated for Hotshot families; $4,800 has been distributed. The organization is working with Prescott Fire Fighters Charities to distribute this money after PFC and UPFFA have finalized their procedures for distribution.

Apart from the donations specifically designated to be divided equally among the 19 Hotshot families, UWYC will distribute the remaining amount equally among the survivors who don't qualify under the PFC/UPFFA procedures.

UWYC will focus the $104,223 designated for Yarnell residents who lost their homes on those who are uninsured or underinsured. This will be coordinated with the Yavapai Hill Recovery Group.

An amount totaling $173, 255 was designated generally to the UWYC Fire Fund. To date, $32,600 has been spent on lodging, meals, gas vouchers and incidentals for fire evacuees from July 1 to July 10 and reimbursement of these expenses for those who were evacuated to Wickenburg or didn't go to Red Cross shelters.

The organization also gave a $20,000 grant to the Prescott Noon Lions Club so it can continue its meals and groceries vouchers for Yarnell citizens. The Lions are coordinating their efforts through the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group.

The UWYC's Yarnell Fire Relief Center (warehouse) continues to accept furniture, appliances and other necessities. Volunteers make two to three trips a week transporting goods that the recovery group requests. Visit the UWYC website at www.unitedwayyavapai.org or call 237-9073 for an updated list of what is needed. The warehouse will remain open until December, then UWYC will have a sale of what is left and donate the proceeds to the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: Get It?

The fundraising is totally manic and out of control. Stop it. Prescott is over-doing it as usual.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

I question the actual figure but most of these charities keep a good portion of the donations they receive.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Cha Ching

There's probably never been this much in donations (to several foundations) for a disaster like this of any type in AZ history. It's a good problem to have. I hope the money is distributed fairly and favoring the 13 with no benefits (unless the Tobin Plan works out.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Ben There

Many car washes and bake sales were held, one bake sale on Cortez St. raised $25,000. Money was to go "directly" to the firefighters families. Has that been done and who would know whether an event is legitimate or not? Some fundraisers are "in memory of", is that a fundraiser for the charity only and none of the money goes to the families? The public needs more knowledge and information.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: J. Emery

Unfortunately, like so many charities, you need to monitor the donations.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: John Citizen

I personally give to the Cancer Society, this covers all in need. I think we've been overly generous with 9M and it's time to move on.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Jasmine Tea

Are these Unions that inept, or is it a combination of that and corruption? I would lay odds that the residents of Yarnell will receive very little if any money from the Unions.

These people are in need now, why do these groups say “in the works”? It is not rocket science to be a able to distribute the money fairly… if they intend to?

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

$9 million, that's awesome. Yeah anytime there's a large amount of money floating around the minions here get hissy, but overall that should go a long way to helping the families. And at least $800k to Yarnell should get the uninsured people their houses back. I don't guess the houses there are McMansions.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: robert schmidt

WOW What a surprise,MONEY the number one problem in AMERICA today. It does good and it destroys things as well .PEOPLE need to step up and be ACCOUNTIABLE for ALL MONEY collected .People have made a lot of DONATIONS to these family's and the hotshot benefit funds ,that's where it should be sent. It's sad that ALL the MONEY IS NOT GOING where it belongs .The HEARTS FOR HOTSHOTS ride raised over $10,000.00 after all was counted and there is still more coming .ALL this money went directly to the family fund that night as it was ment to be. No bs red tape we rode for them and gave it ALL to them .So come on people if your gonna step-up then do it 100%. What if they[HOTSHOTS] would have said THATS ENOUGH and not given there110%. Gonna take a lifetime to heal these familys ,just hope they get a lifetime of support.THANKS AGAIN to all who made our ride great .Ride Safe Ride Smart ''MAKE IT A GREAT DAY TODAY'' BOB THE BUILDER EAGLE RIDER

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Julie Powers

Thank you for collecting and publishing the amount and the intent of distribution by each organization. Transparency and clarity are appreciated, as are the efforts of the organizations and individuals who have generously donated to the cause of their choice.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: cnoego metoo

It appears the American Red Cross has paid out more then it received, yet I have heard several people in our community say not to donate to them, oh the overhead and salaries they pay out. The ARC is usually the first ones to a disaster around the world.
The fact so many others have not paid is shameful to say the least, get the families money to survive on, dispense full funds later.
As for the person talking to Rick about 18, yes it was 18 hotshots who perished, the other was not a hotshot, but darn let's nickpick here.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ I am Shocked

The Unions aren't keeping anything. Try reading the article again. A committee has been put together to help disburse these funds equally to the families!!

Courier, perhaps a more neutral stand on your reporting will douse these flames.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Elise Rondringham

Some of these charities seem to be keeping a lot of money for themselves.

Of course the accurate figures will not be available until next year when they file their figures with the feds.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: I'm shocked, shocked I tell you

So the Unions have collected close to $5M and still have it all. Wow, now there's a surprise. My guess, check with them in a year, and the unions will still have 75% of the money and a raft of excuses as to why.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Rick what's your deal?

There were 19 Hotshots who died, not 18! What is your deal with writing 18? Are you being mean, or are you really uninformed? If it's that you really don't know how many men died, then you might wait to comment until you do. There were 20 Hotshots, one lived. That equals 19. No matter what you write the number of the deceased Hotshots is 19.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Sparrow Hawk

Mr Allen, I can understand not giving any funds to the twentieth fire fighter's family because he survived. Why are we to deny the nineteenth deceased fire fighter's family? Are they liberals?

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: RICK ALLEN

When it comes to the City of Prescott I feel they should be paying out for Full time, and Part time employees as it should be, whatever that is. However, when it comes to the Groups and Charities that have collect millions, I feel that what they decide to give to the families of the 18 it should be equally paid out. No one Firefighters family should get more than another.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Really Let's See !

The "look at us memorial " at Tim's has already gone from $800,000 to $1.1 million. Come on Ashcroft, ask your brothers, " Show me the MONEY !!! Before its over there will be nothing left and all of them will claim losses !

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