Brooks LA concerts money disbursed to fire victims, agencies
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Brooks LA concerts money disbursed to fire victims, agencies

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 – Garth Brooks' concerts in January to raise money for wild fires in California led to the disbursal of $6 million to victims, firefighters, their families and others, it was announced Wednesday.

The McCormick Foundation's Board of Directors approved more than $6 million in grants for the 2008 southern California Fire Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE) campaign, based upon the recommendations of an advisory board consisting of Brooks, representatives from AEG, American Express and professional firefighters from the affected areas. The money will be granted to agencies providing aid to victims and their families, and first responders of the Los Angeles and San Diego wildfires. The grants will also provide financial assistance to California firefighting departments and organizations in need of additional or replacement firefighting equipment. A complete record of grants awarded is provided below.

In January 2008, AEG, Brooks, Los Angeles Times and Ticketmaster reached out to the McCormick Foundation to facilitate the raising and distribution of funds to benefit southern California wildfire victims, as well as for the future of firefighting efforts in the state of California.

Brooks played five record-setting, sold-out concerts in two days at the Los Angeles STAPLES Center, with net proceeds donated directly to the campaign.

The McCormick Foundation 2008 FIRE campaign raised $4.9 million, which includes Brooks' significant gift, American Express' $1 million donation and additional contributions from Ticketmaster and hundreds of generous donors. With matching dollars provided by the Foundation, approximately $6 million will be distributed to nonprofit agencies providing direct services (i.e., shelter, housing and healthcare needs) to the most vulnerable survivors and the skills and resources needed to rebuild. Grants will also be used to replace and upgrade fire equipment for fire stations.

"All of the credit for the millions of dollars raised for our heroic firefighters goes to Garth Brooks and his unselfish fans who donated to this incredible cause," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO, AEG. "We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our partners at American Express, The Los Angeles Times and Ticketmaster for stepping up when their assistance was truly needed and to David Grange and the McCormick Foundation whose efforts were invaluable in collecting and distributing the millions of dollars of donations to the appropriate recipients."

"Because of the generosity of citizens across the country and the active engagement of our partners in the community, the Foundation is helping to solve critical challenges facing the victims of the California fires," said David L. Grange, President and CEO, McCormick Foundation. "We believe that these grants will enable agencies to provide recovery services to at-risk families and better prepare for future crises."

After a detailed review of the areas affected by the fires, the McCormick Foundation, AEG, Brooks and American Express agreed to designate 70 percent of funds to San Diego County, and 30 percent to communities within San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. Funding will be directed exclusively towards low-income communities affected by the 2007 wildfires.

"Joining Garth Brooks, AEG, McCormick Foundation and American Express in bringing relief to our Southern California friends, neighbors and firefighting organizations has been an honor," said Jack D. Klunder, President, Los Angeles Times Newspaper. "The San Diego and Los Angeles communities truly came together to provide supportive donations which, along with our partners' generous efforts, will now aid in the massive recovery underway."

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