The Tyson Family Foundation makes a
$2 million pledge to The Jones Center Endowment

May 20, 2014 | Press release

SPRINGDALE, Ark.  (Tuesday, May 20, 2014) – The Jones Trust is pleased to announce a $2 million pledge by the Tyson Family Foundation to The Jones Center Endowment Fund.  The announcement was made at a special presentation in The Jones Center’s main lobby this morning.  The ceremony included special remarks by John Tyson, Chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc., Ed Clifford, CEO/President of The Jones Center/Jones Trust and Susan Barrett, Chairwoman of the Jones Trust Board.

According to Ed Clifford, “Over the last two decades, the Tyson Family has honored their close personal friendship with Harvey and Bernice Jones by generously supporting operations of The Jones Center.  At our Big Night gala last November, we were pleased to announce Tyson’s most recent $1 million pledge to support the Center’s annual operations and programs.  This year, that support takes on a new meaning and a new level with a significant gift to our Endowment Campaign, initiated to bring The Jones Center to a position of sustainability for future generations.”

On behalf of the Tyson Family, John Tyson remarked, "The Tyson and Jones families were very close for decades.  They worked side by side in downtown Springdale for many years to make this community a great place to work and raise families.  Bernice Jones’ magnificent gift of The Jones Center plays a major role in continuing that tradition of strengthening our community.  Tyson Foods and the Tyson Family have been supportive of The Jones Center since its inception through annual operational gifts.  Now, we are delighted to make this Endowment gift because it will help insure that the important work and mission of The Jones Center will continue for decades to come.  When The Jones Center is vibrant and thriving, it empowers Springdale and all of Northwest Arkansas to continue growing and developing its citizens well into the 21st Century."

Following the check presentation, Jones Trust Board Chairwoman Susan Barrett commented, “The Tyson Family connection with the work of The Jones Center goes back to the beginning through a deep, personal friendship between the two families.  I'm sure that even as Bernice was first formulating her plans, she shared with Don and John what she had in mind, why she felt it was important, and how she hoped that ultimately the community would embrace it and help her in making it sustainable over the long haul. This very meaningful gift from the Tyson Family Foundation reaffirms this longtime friendship, by working together with the community to accomplish great good.”

For the past eighteen months, the Jones Trust board has been actively fundraising in order to reach the full Endowment Campaign goal amount of $30 million, and they fully expect to make additional gift announcements before the end of the year.  In addition, for sustainability purposes, the nine person board of regional leaders has approved a strict spending policy limiting the organization to a 3.5% draw from the endowment. 

Endowment Campaign 

In December 2012, The Jones Trust launched an endowment campaign with the announcement of $20 million in contributions from the Walton Family Foundation and Care Foundation, a fund of Endeavor Foundation.  These donations served as lead gifts in a $30 million campaign that will benefit the short-term and long-term financial goals to sustain the Jones Trust and The Jones Center.  

Care Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation have each pledged $10 million to the campaign.  Care Foundation contributed an outright gift of $10 million, while the Walton Family Foundation made available up to $10 million pending the realization of a 1:2 match requiring an additional $10 million to be raised from additional supporters.  All campaign gifts and pledges must be received by November 15th, 2014 in order to receive the full matching grant opportunity by the Walton Family Foundation.  Once the campaign is complete, $30 million will be added to the existing endowment bringing the total to $60 million.  On May 1st, a special check presentation was held to announce a $1 million endowment gift by the George Family.

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to be involved with son Don Tyson leading the company for many years and grandson John H. Tyson serving as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Tyson Foods produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. 

The company provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.  Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

About The Jones Center

Harvey and his wife, Bernice, spent their lives building a thriving transportation business known as Jones Truck Lines (JTL), the largest private trucking company in the United States at the time.  Known for their philanthropy, the two invested a great deal of their time and financial resources in a number of worthy causes in Northwest Arkansas and across the state.  Following Harvey’s death, in 1995 Bernice opened The Jones Center, a unique recreation and education center located in downtown Springdale, AR.  This premier destination is known for its high-quality, low-cost recreation services, innovative youth programming and affordable community meeting/conference space.  The facility includes two indoor swimming pools, an indoor ice rink, gymnasium, fitness center, conference center, auditorium/chapel and numerous classrooms.  

The Center continues to grow through its strong, collaborative program partnerships.  Onsite partners include the American Red Cross providing healthy living programs; the region’s premier youth camp, Camp War Eagle, providing after-school and summer day camp programs; the Northwest Arkansas Community College providing core credit classes; Ozark Education providing a pre-school; the Schmieding Foundation providing an after-school program; and the Springdale Public Schools which is introducing an Innovation School for the 2014-2015 school year.  

Tens of thousands of families visit The Jones Center each year.  A premier destination, the Center also provides the pool and ice to a variety of regional competitive leagues including the Razorback Aquatic Club, Springdale Public Schools and University of Arkansas Ice Hockey Club as well as for group events such as the Special Olympics.  In addition, the recreational amenities are also used to host a number of school and church field trips from Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  The Jones Center is also currently expanding its recreational & fitness programs, classes and sports leagues & camps.   

The Jones Center is a private organization with revenues from daily user fees, memberships, room rental fees, individual donations, corporate sponsorships and naming opportunities, grants and major gifts, and endowment distributions.  The facility and campus are owned and managed by the Jones Trust.  Other major funding partners include the Walton Family Foundation, the Care Foundation (a fund of the Endeavor Foundation), Walmart Foundation, Tyson Foods, the Walker Family Charitable Foundation, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the Foundation for the Mid South, and Cox.   Other corporate sponsors include Unilever, General Mills, Spectrum Brands, Kimberly Clark, Ocean Spray, Arvest Bank, Cargill, ConAgra, Harp’s Food Stores and Northwest Medical Systems. 


Media Contact:

Kelly Kemp-McLintock, CFRE                                 
Chief Advancement Officer 
The Jones Center/Jones Trust                        
(479) 756-8090, ext. 2119

Back Row:  Mike Luttrell, Susan Barrett, Archie Schaffer   Front Row:   Russell Tooley, Chery Tyson, Ed Clifford, Betsy Phillips, John Tyson

Back Row: Mike Luttrell, Susan Barrett, Archie Schaffer 
Front Row:  Russell Tooley, Chery Tyson, Ed Clifford, Betsy Phillips, John Tyson