Community Partners



UA football Coach Rich Rodriguez (center, pictured with Paulette and Joe Gootter) was honored with the Philanthropic Award from the Steven M. Gootter Foundation at its 10th anniversary gala in March. The Gootter family lauded Coach Rodriguez for his immediate involvement with the Gootter Foundation and embrace of the Tucson community.

Ten years ago, Steven M. Gootter died unexpectedly of sudden cardiac arrest at age 42. He went out for a morning run with the family dog and never made it home. Though the young athlete’s death remains a shock to friends and family, much good has come from the tragedy.

The Gootter Foundation was established within months. To date it has raised about $3.8 million for research in preventing and finding a cure for sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in the United States. The foundation has supported Sarver Heart Center research through an endowed chair that was established in Steven’s memory, plus support of investigator awards and resuscitation research. The foundation also donates automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to places of worship, schools and law enforcement agencies in Southern Arizona.

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