PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey announced today that Turf Paradise Race Course owner Jerry Simms has personally donated $1 million to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, established to provide financial support to organizations providing essential aid to those affected by COVID-19. Turf Paradise also recently donated $25,000 worth of food to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
“Businesses throughout the state have done tremendous work to help ensure Arizona comes out on the other side of COVID-19 stronger than ever,” said Governor Ducey. “This generous contribution from Jerry Simms will help our medical professionals and vulnerable populations amid this health emergency. Thank you to Jerry and all our community partners who are stepping up to help others.”
“I recognize the importance of supporting the community, especially during this public health emergency,” said Jerry Simms, owner of Turf Paradise. “We understand a lot of Arizonans are going through tough times, and those who can help should help so Arizonans can bounce back from this crisis stronger than ever.”
The $1 million donation brings the fund total to more than $8 million, which will be used to support various efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The fund will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical personnel and organizations that care for Arizona’s vulnerable population, including food banks, homeless shelters and domestic violence facilities. Funding has also supported technology access for low-income students practicing distance learning.
Other contributions to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund include a $5 million gift from the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation; $1 million from Michael Bidwill, Chairman and President of the Arizona Cardinals; and contributions from Arizona Public Service (APS), Southwest Gas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Waymo, and VanTrust Real Estate.
The Governor established the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of the Arizona Together initiative, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. Arizona Together also highlights organizations, businesses and individuals stepping up to help one another and provide support wherever needed. Stories about Arizonans helping frontline workers, vulnerable populations and businesses in need of support can be found at ArizonaTogether.org/thearizonaway.
Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund can learn more about how to contribute at ArizonaTogether.org. Organizations in need of financial support for programs that are supporting Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak can also submit their initial requests on the website.