In two months, the Chattanooga Heroes Fund -- established by Peyton Manning and his family in partnership with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker -- has raised over $1 million, which is an endowment large enough to sustain the fund for the foreseeable future, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga (CFGC) announced Wednesday.
The fund was established to support the families of the servicemen who lost their lives or were wounded in the July 16 shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support shown to these families through contributions to the Chattanooga Heroes Fund," Manning said. "Now that contributions to the fund have topped $1 million, we decided to end the contribution phase on September 30 and focus on providing assistance to those in need.
"Thanks to the goodwill and generosity of so many donors, the fund is fully equipped to provide long-term financial support for the affected families as they face the challenge of rebuilding their lives – and their futures," Manning added. "We would like to express our sincerest appreciation to each and every person, family, and organization that made a donation in honor of the servicemen who sacrificed their lives, and the police officer who risked his life to protect the greater Chattanooga community on July 16."
Manning, who lives in Chattanooga for part of the year and went to school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, felt compelled to help one of the places he calls home in the aftermath of the tragedy.
"The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga would like to reiterate our gratitude to donors across the U.S. and beyond who have provided support for the Fund," said Pete Cooper, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. "We will continue working closely with Peyton Manning, Senator Corker, and key military and governmental officials to ensure proper protocols for funds disbursement are in place, and to provide appropriate support to the families based on their needs."
Though contributions to the Chattanooga Heroes Fund are closed, anyone who would still like to make a gift in support of the families affected on July 16 -- or in honor of military and government service personnel after Sept. 30 -- may still do so through the CFGC 7-16 Freedom Fund, which is dedicated to providing college scholarships for children and spouses of the fallen servicemen, Cooper said.
Donors can also contribute to the CFGC First Responders Fund, which is dedicated to providing financial support to families of Chattanooga area first responders killed or wounded in the line of duty.
The Chattanooga Heroes Fund is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Chattanooga's oldest community-based foundation, the CFCG has track record of managing funds dedicated to addressing areas of critical need in the Greater Chattanooga community for over 50 years. This includes the administration of more than 350 funds totaling more than $100 million in assets and more than $14 million in grants in 2014.
About Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is a community-based foundation dedicated to supporting programs and initiatives focused on addressing areas of critical need throughout the greater Chattanooga area. Through grant-making to local non-profits, fund management and resource support for community programs, and college scholarships for area students, Community Foundation helps individuals, businesses, organizations and private trusts leverage the power of their philanthropic contributions to help make Chattanooga greater. Visit CFGC.org for more information.