SAN ANTONIO — Always big on community outreach, the Spurs have continued that work during the scourge of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
R.C. Buford, CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, has been among the volunteers helping at the San Antonio Food Bank and coach Gregg Popovich gave workers a pep talk last month.
On Tuesday, the Spurs announced the formation of the Spurs Give Together Fund to support first responders, “inspire local commerce and provide for families directly impacted by COVID-19 through local nonprofits,” according to a Spurs news release.
Spurs Give, the official nonprofit of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, has donated $500,000 to the fund. Frost Bank, the Charles Butt Foundation, NuStar Energy, the Greehey Family Foundation, Red McCombs Automotive, the CE Group and the 80/20 Foundation have pledged contributions.
The nonprofit is committed to helping raise more than $1 million for the Spurs Give Together Fund.
The fund will help with “critical needs for first responders, assist local businesses impacted by the pandemic, and aid families who do not have adequate resources to meet their basic needs,” according to the Spurs release.
“As we continue to face the deep impact of COVID-19, we are committed to assisting with the evolving needs across our community,” Buford said in the news release. “I’ve been profoundly touched by the resilience and generosity shown by our community during this time of need.
“We hope to continue to be a source of support as we get through this together. I encourage those who have the means to donate to the Spurs Give Together Fund in support of our unsung heroes, neighbors and local businesses," Buford said.
Buford was asked during a Zoom conference with the local media last week about his work with the Food Bank.
“This situation transcends sports,” Buford said, referring to the pandemic. “I don’t think there’s anything any of us could have done to understand the impact of COVID, nor the way it can bring communities together. We’ve seen that through the leaders in our community, and through the city and the county leadership in a way that people stepped up to provide in areas of need.”
Buford singled out Haven for Hope and Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank.
“Having been connected to those guys, I’m not sure if anybody has outperformed them in our community or around the world,” Buford said. “I know Eric hasn’t slept in weeks."
"Their commitment to doing the best that we can for the community in need has just been unmatched. The support that they’ve received from industries and individuals, I think, is what makes the San Antonio/Austin region really special," Buford said.
Buford’s son, Chase, who coaches the Milwaukee Bucks’ G League team, worked at the Food Bank with his father last month.
For more information on the Spurs Give Together Fund, visit spursgive.org/together, or text “SpursTogether” to 41444 to help Spurs Give achieve its goal of at least $1 million.