JOHNELLE HUNT: The founder, with her late husband, of J.B. Hunt Transport Services is making a gift of $1 million to the construction of Arkansas Children's Hospital Northwest.

The generosity of Arkansans has put the state at No. 10 on the World Giving Index, the Charities Aid Foundation reported in November. The rating took into account all sorts of altruistic factors, such as the volunteer rate, percentage of income donated and the percentage of sheltered homeless. Arkansas’s volunteering rank was 32nd, but its charitable giving rank was second only to No. 1 Utah, home of the Mormon Church, whose members are serious about tithing.

Arkansas’s charitable giving rank is good news for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which announced in June a $70 million capital campaign to build Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest in Springdale. Since then, individual gifts of $1 million have been rolling in, and Tyson Foods and the Tyson Family Foundation joined to donate $15 million to the hospital, scheduled to open in 2018. ACH Northwest will house 24 in-patient beds, a 24-hour emergency room, a surgery center, an outpatient clinic and other services in a 233,613-square-foot facility. The hospital estimates construction and equipment costs at $167 million and total costs, including operations, at $427.7 million over the next five years.

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The families of Robin and Gary George and Cathy and David Evans donated the 37 acres on Interstate 49 between Don Tyson Parkway and U.S. Hwy. 412 that the hospital will be built on. The land value was estimated at $7.5 million.

Besides the Tyson family, other announced benefactors to Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest include:


Fadil Bayyari of Springdale and his children, Sara Boelkins, Sophia Bayyari and Joseph Bayyari, who have pledged $1 million.

Kirk and Cynthia Dupps of Northwest Arkansas, who donated $1 million. Their grandson, Jimi, was diagnosed in 2014 with acute myeloid leukemia and received 100 days of treatment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He is now in remission.


Karen and Darren Horton of Northwest Arkansas, whose grandson was treated for a life-threatening heart condition when he was only a few days old, are giving $1 million.

The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt family, which is giving $1 million. The dining area will bear their name.

Robin and Gary George of Springdale, who made a gift of $1 million to the hospital for the Robin George Chapel.

Gifts from businesses to the hospital include $8 million from Wal-Mart Inc. and the Walmart Foundation, $5 million from J.B. Hunt Transportation, $5 million over five years from the Will Golf 4 Kids and Color of Hope fundraisers and $1 million from Premier Concepts LLC.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The Schmieding Foundation Inc. announced just as the Times’ philanthropy issue was going to press a $1 million gift to Arkansas Children’s Northwest. The hospital also announced a $3 million gift from the Walton Foundation for the Children’s Northwest.

Colleges, universities and hospitals have also announced the following gifts since January 2016:

The Clark Family Foundation of Florida made a gift of $2.5 million to Arkansas Children’s Hospital to establish the David M. Clark Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Battery and 12th streets.

Bunny and Carol Adcock have established a $1 million endowment to help students at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway study abroad.

Charles and Kay Luter made a gift of $1 million to the College of Business at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, which both attended.

Rush and Linda Harding of Little Rock have pledged $500,000 to the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway.

Nabholz Contruction Co. made a $500,000 gift to the University of Central Arkansas at Conway to establish a simulation center in the Doyne Health Sciences Center.

Former Acxiom CEO Charles D. Morgan has made a gift of $300,000 to the University of Central Arkansas for the Charles D. Morgan Endowed Chair of Computer Science Fund.

The family of the late William E. “Bill” Clark gave $300,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to establish a distinguished endowed chair in honor of J. Thomas May. The gift adds to a previous $1 million to endow the chair.


Joe Whisenhunt Sr., Joe Whisenhunt Jr., Kari Whisenhunt and family gave $250,000 to the University of Central Arkansas to provide equipment purchase for a practice room in the department of music, including a grand piano and other instruments.

Charles F. “Micky” Mayfield Jr. and his wife, Marybeth, are contributing $212,000 toward the creation of scholarships for undergraduates in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

John and Jane Alford of Fort Smith gave $100,000 to the University of Arkansas School of Law to endow scholarships for members of federally recognized Native American tribes.

Jim McClelland and his wife, Pat, of Little Rock have pledged $100,000 to the planned Civil Engineering Research and Education Center at the University of Arkansas.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A Walmart Foundation gift of $750,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to fund the Northwest Internal Medicine Residency was inadvertently omitted from the print version of this story.