Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Winding Down, Will Close in 2017

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jun. 16, 2014 12:00 am  

“We wish [the foundation] wouldn’t come to an end,” Wei said. “But on the other hand, we just couldn’t be more grateful for the transformative gifts that they have given to UAMS.”

Donald W. Reynolds

Born in 1906 and raised in Oklahoma City, Donald Reynolds was a driven businessman who created a media empire that included newspapers, radio and television stations, cable television systems and outdoor adverting companies.

After Reynolds’ death in 1993, his Donrey Media Group was sold to Little Rock’s Stephens family, and the company was eventually renamed Stephens Media. It is jointly owned by Warren Stephens and his cousins, siblings Witt Stephens Jr. and Elizabeth Stephens Campbell.

The proceeds were used to form the Reynolds Foundation. The foundation started with about $850 million, Anderson said.

The foundation focused its grants on organizations in three states where Reynolds had his greatest interests: Oklahoma, Nevada and Arkansas, which has received $454.3 million in foundation awards.

The foundation supports human services, cultural and humanitarian, health, arts and education organizations.

The foundation also founded and funded a national program, the Aging & Quality of Life Program, which focuses on training doctors, nurses and caregivers in geriatrics to care for the elderly. It was started in 1996.

Arkansas Programs

In 2008, the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter in Bentonville was awarded a $13.5 million grant to build a shelter, said Greg Russell, a spokesman for the shelter.

But before the money was awarded, the shelter had to raise $5 million to show that it had community support, he said. It ended up raising $7 million for the project.

The $13.5 million grant “was a huge, huge advantage to the shelter,” Russell said. He said the shelter didn’t have much money in its approximately $3.5 million operating budget to set aside for a new shelter.



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