Garth Brooks' Concerts Set the Stage for Southern California Wildfire Rebuilding and Recovery Efforts

Thursday, September 4, 2008 General News
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CHICAGO, Sept. 3 The McCormick Foundation's Board ofDirectors approved more than $6 million in grants for the 2008 southernCalifornia Fire Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE) campaign, based upon therecommendations of an advisory board consisting of representatives from AEG,legendary performer Garth Brooks, American Express and professionalfirefighters from the affected areas. The money will be granted to agenciesproviding aid to victims and their families, and first responders of the LosAngeles and San Diego wildfires. The grants will also provide financialassistance to California firefighting departments and organizations in need ofadditional or replacement firefighting equipment. A complete record of grantsawarded is provided below.

In January 2008, AEG, Garth Brooks, Los Angeles Times and Ticketmasterreached out to the McCormick Foundation to facilitate the raising anddistribution of funds to benefit southern California wildfire victims, as wellas for the future of firefighting efforts in the state of California. GarthBrooks played five record-setting, sold-out concerts in two days at the LosAngeles STAPLES Center, with net proceeds donated directly to the 2008 FIRECampaign.

The McCormick Foundation 2008 FIRE campaign raised $4.9 million, whichincludes Garth Brooks' significant gift, American Express' $1 million donationand additional contributions from Ticketmaster and hundreds of generousdonors. 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 survivorsand the skills and resources needed to rebuild. Grants will also be used toreplace and upgrade fire equipment for fire stations.

"All of the credit for the millions of dollars raised for our heroicfirefighters goes to Garth Brooks and his unselfish fans who donated to thisincredible cause," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO, AEG. "We alsoowe a great deal of gratitude to our partners at American Express, The LosAngeles Times and Ticketmaster for stepping up when their assistance was trulyneeded and to David Grange and the McCormick Foundation whose efforts wereinvaluable in collecting and distributing the millions of dollars of donationsto the appropriate recipients."

"Because of the generosity of citizens across the country and the activeengagement of our partners in the community, the Foundation is helping tosolve critical challenges facing the victims of the California fires," saidDavid L. Grange, President and CEO, McCormick Foundation. "We believe thatthese grants will enable agencies to provide recovery services to at-riskfamilies and better prepare for future crises."

After a detailed review of the areas affected by the fires, the McCormickFoundation, AEG, Garth Brooks and American Express agreed to designate70 percent of funds to San Diego County, and 30 percent to communities withinSan Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. Funding will be directedexclusively towards low-income communities affected by the 2007 wildfires.

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

"We are delighted to have partnered with Garth Brooks to raise these muchneeded funds to help relief efforts and local fire departments in the affectedCalifornia communities," said Colin D. Temple, Vice President and GM ClientManagement Western Region, American Express.

The McCormick Foundation has conducted disaster rel

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