Delaware Park Owner Rickman Gives $1 Million to Katrina Relief

A donation of $1 million to a newly created "Delaware Good Neighbor Fund," designed to provide relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, has been made by the Rickman family, the owners of Delaware Park.

Delaware Park was the first business to give money to the Fund, which was announced at a press conference by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Lt. Governor John C. Carney, Jr.

"It was the Rickman family who approached the Governor and helped jump start the 'Good Neighbor Fund,'" said William Fasy, chief operating officer of Delaware Park. "Mr. Rickman (Jr.) wanted to do this because he was a helicopter pilot in the Army, and he flew over the devastation caused by Hurricane Camille (in 1969). He saw first hand what can happen in a natural disaster, and wanted to help. He was recently out west, called me, and within five or six days we were in touch with the Governor and had the Fund put together.

"We're not a big, billion-dollar corporation by any means," said Fasy, "and if we can give $1 million, it makes you hope that other Delaware businesses could follow our example and also donate to this Fund."

"I cannot imagine what it must be like for the victims of this storm, and I believe it's important that we reach out to them with whatever help we can give," said Rickman in a press release.

"The devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina have touched our entire nation and so many Delawareans want to help," Gov. Minner said. "The donations collected through this fund will be sent to the organizations directly assisting in hurricane relief efforts and Lt. Gov. Carney and I would urge interested Delaware businesses to join with Delaware Park in offering whatever assistance they can to help those affected by last week's storm."

The horsemen at Delaware Park announced they will donate $250,000 of their purse money to National Thoroughbred Racing Association Charities, which has also set up a relief fund for the hurricane victims.