As a member of the GVR Foundation Board, I feel it necessary to respond to the inaccuracies contained in Sunday’s newspaper. The Foundation was established in 2015, at the direction of the GVR Board, knowing that GVR lacked the needed resources to meet all the needs of members and other community needs, and a Foundation could help fill that void. Once established, the Foundation borrowed $15,000 from GVR and paid GVR back with interest prior to the due date.

The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)3, non-profit, all volunteer charitable organization that is financially and legally independent from GVR. Donations to the Foundation are tax-exempt. Green Valley Recreation Inc. is a 501(c)4 non-profit “social group” and a registered Arizona corporation. As such, it is governed by the Arizona Non-Profit Act, which prohibits the GVR Board from using any member dues to make monetary payments to members. Therefore, donations to GVR are not tax-exempt.

Why does GVR need a Foundation? The GVR Foundation provides financial support to GVR in several different ways. Because donations to the Foundation are tax deductible, routing member donations through the Foundation allows these contributions to be tax deductible by the individual making the donation. But the GVR Foundation is much more than just a “pass through.”

The Foundation is also experienced at writing grants that can only be applied for by a tax-exempt

501(c)3 organization from other organizations like the White Elephant and the Community Foundation of Greater Green Valley, as well as businesses and sponsors who support things like the Senior Games, that probably would not give cash or goods to other than a non-profit organization. The Foundation received a $50,000 grant from Freeport-McMoRan for the restrooms at the new GVR Pickleball Complex. Each year the Foundation has applied for and received money from the White Elephant for the GVR Member Assistance Program (MAP). We help GVR clubs raise funds for their extraordinary expenses.

The GVR Foundation provides an opportunity for all of us to help our fellow GVR members who are financially strapped, through tax-deductible donations via MAP. Over the years more than 800 qualified GVR members with limited financial resources have received financial aid. To fund this program, the GVR Foundation conducts an annual giving campaign – seeking donations for the MAP program, as well as having a spot on our website for MAP donations. For GVR members who donate small amounts, tax deductibility may not be important. But to the contributors who donate hundreds, even thousands of dollars, tax deductibility is important.

The annual Southern Arizona Senior Games, featuring more than 30 sporting events for seniors 50+, are held each spring. The GVR Foundation sponsors this event – we solicit sponsorships and grants, we pay all the expenses associated with this event, and therefore we benefit from any profits that result.

The assessed value of the former Canoa Hills clubhouse parking lot was determined to be $170,000. The proposed donation could be a win-win-win for GVR, GVR members and for the GVR Foundation.

Virtually all of the Foundation’s programs benefit the entire community. (GVR members account for roughly 85% of all Green Valley residents.) During the last 90 days, the GVR Foundation participated in an annual Adopt A Highway cleanup along I-19, and granted COVID Relief funds to the following local groups: Posada Life Community Services, Sahuarita Food Bank & Community Resource Center, GV Sheriff’s Auxiliary (SAV), Friends in Deed, Amado-Green Valley Food Bank, Greater Green Valley Community Emergency Response Team, Valley Assistance Services, Los Ninos del Valle Preschool & Childcare, Pima Council on Aging, The Salvation Army, Parkinson’s Support Group, Hands of a Friend Foundation, Optimist Club, Rotary Club, Animal League, Community Performing Arts Center, and the Friends of the Green Valley Library.

The GVR Foundation’s mission is the well-being of our community by enhancing the lives of residents through recreational and social programs, health and wellness initiatives, advocacy, and financial support. For further information, see our website at www.gvrecfoundation.org.

Carol Lambert is a director on the GVR Foundation Board.