Tyson Foundation Pledges $2 Million to Jones Center

The Tyson Family Foundation earlier today pledged $2 million to The Jones Center Endowment Fund during a special ceremony at The Jones Center in Springdale.

The $2 million goes toward helping The Jones Trust reach a goal of raising $30 million that’s being pursued in the endowment campaign. The campaign was launched in December 2012.

The Jones Center, which opened in 1995, is a recreation and education center on the eastern edge of downtown Springdale. Harvey and and Bernice Jones operated Springdale-based Jones Truck Lines, once one of the largest private trucking companies in the U.S. The center was established by Bernice Jones soon after her husband died.

“The Tyson and Jones families were very close for decades,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc. “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.”

Ed Clifford, the president and CEO of The Jones Center and The Jones Trust, said the Tyson family has generously supported the operations of The Jones Center for years.

Today’s gift was the second major gift received this month to support the endowment campaign. The George family on May 1 gave a $1 million gift.

Previous major contributors to The Jones Center Endowment Fund include the Care Foundation, which gave $10 million to the effort, and the Walton Family Foundation, which provided a $10 million grant that must be matched by other funding.

If all $30 million can be raised, the Jones endowment will grow to $60 million.