Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson Donates $1 Million to Help Service Workers Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Gayle Benson
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The NBA has postponed their season and doesn’t expect to play again before mid-to-late June at the earliest.

However, that doesn’t mean league owners aren’t doing all they can to help those who are impacted by the virus in the meantime.

New Orleans Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson has donated $1 million to “create the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund, which will be administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.”

“We have been meeting and planning a response since the NBA’s announcement to suspend games. Our meaningful discussions have led to what we believe is the most impactful way to best serve the needs of our community as a whole,” Benson said according to WDSU news in New Orleans. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, an enormous impact on our community and businesses of all sizes. We want to do our part to assist those that have been impacted in our community. We are grateful to the Greater New Orleans Foundation for their efforts in helping us get these funds to those in our community facing hardship due to the residual impact of COVID-19.”

The money distributed by the fund is expected to go to non-profits that will support workers in the hospitality and service industries.

As WDSU reports:

In addition to the $1 million contribution, Benson also plans to establish an Arena Assistance Fund to those impacted by the NBA’s postponement of games. The policy and implementation of the fund will be done in coordination with the Louisiana Stadium Exposition District and ASM New Orleans because not all of the employees affected are part of the Pelicans organization.

Benson’s staff at Dixie Beer, which she owns, has also been directed to donated $1 of all case equivalents of sales for the next 30 days to the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s employee relief fund. Benson will use funds allocated to the Community Assistance Fund to match monies raised dollar-for-dollar toward the LRA’s fund.

Benson, in addition to owning the Pelicans, also owns the New Orleans Saints.


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