In 1971, nine Arizona leaders approached the NCAA about bringing a Bowl game to Arizona, calling it ‘the state’s largest and most important community effort in history.’ Fifty years later, the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl, and the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe are the core programs that support Fiesta Bowl Charities.
The Fiesta Bowl (FiestaBowl.org) has built a track record of creating innovative experiences and championing charitable causes.
Brad Smidt, named Fiesta Bowl Chair of the Year after helming the organization’s 2020 PNC Fiesta Bowl Par 3 Challenge, notes that the committee dons yellow jackets. “Those of us lucky enough to lend our time to these events are called Yellow Jackets.”
Smidt, a Yellow Jacket since 2015, says his favorite aspect of volunteering is the people he meets. His favorite annual event is Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers.
“Through this program, Fiesta Bowl donated $3.7 million total to 850 teachers over five years to fulfill classroom needs,” says Smidt.
Over the past year, Fiesta Bowl has:
· Donated 50,000-plus pieces of personal protective equipment
· Presented over $1 million to Arizona teachers via Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers
· Provided nearly 3.75 million meals to those in need
· Supported more than 688,000 youth through grant programs