The 76ers’ managing partners are among the latest prominent figures in Philadelphia professional sports to support The Philly Pledge.
Managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer, through the team and the Sixers Youth Foundation, made an undisclosed six-figure donation to Philabundance, the local nonprofit organization announced Monday.
The Philly Pledge. launched by Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons, encourages locals to donate to the PHL COVID-19 Fund and Philabundance online amid the coronavirus pandemic. The PHL COVID-19 Fund is for coronavirus relief; Philabundance is a hunger-relief organization.
The Sixers’ donation will be used to provide 20,000 boxes of food that will feed 160,000 people in the Philadelphia area.
“This amazing show of support from the 76ers and its leadership will go a long way to helping us continue to purchase food and distribute it to our network of partners to help feed those in need,” Philabundance executive director Glenn Bergman said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Sixers Youth Foundation, Josh Harris and David Blitzer and thank them for being leaders in our community when we need them most.”
This is one of the donations the owners made or will make in the Philadelphia area and in Newark, N.J., where their NHL team, the New Jersey Devils, are based.
A second donation announced Monday was a seven-figure commitment to purchase 10,000 Chromebook laptops for students in the Philadelphia School District. The computers will help the students receive an education at home.
“We are ecstatic to learn that the Sixers are helping our students get computers in their homes so they can continue to learn during what is an unprecedented time for all of us,” superintendent William R. Hite said in a statement. “Our hometown team has come through in such an amazing way, proving that they are the true MVPs. I know I speak for our students, families, and staff when I thank them for their generosity.”
Since Thursday’s launch of The Philly Pledge, Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Sixers forward Tobias Harris, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, catcher Andrew Knapp, and infielder Scott Kingery, mixed martial art fighter Eddie Alvarez, Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills and tight end Zach Ertz and his wife, Julie, a member of U.S. women’s soccer team, and Sixers limited partner Michael Rubin also have been among the growing list of supporters.
Monday’s announcement comes six days after Harris noted that the Sixers’ and Devils’ at-will workers will keep their current salaries. After a lot of bad publicity, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the teams, decided not to recoup some of its lost revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty of the NBA and NHL’s suspended seasons. That came one day after the Sixers’ and Devils’ at-will employees making more than $50,000 were informed of temporary salary reductions of up to 20%. The reductions were to start on April 15 and run through June 30.