California State University, Fresno officials announced today that a Fresno family has anonymously donated a $500,000 gift to help fund construction of the Save Mart Center.

Fresno State officials said the family has supported the university in the past and it wants the university to accelerate its leadership role in bringing top-level sports, entertainment and cultural events to Central California.

The family also hoped that the gift would continue the momentum for similar gifts as the fundraising campaign nears its fundraising goal, said university spokesman Mark Aydelotte.

“We’re extremely pleased to see the ongoing strong private support for the Save Mart Center,” Aydelotte said. “Private giving is making all the difference in the completion of this landmark project for the San Joaquin Valley.”

The anonymous gift brings the total amount raised to date to $87 million. The Pepsi Bottling Group and Save Mart Supermarkets are the title sponsors of the center, contributing $40 million to the construction of the facility. Other major corporate sponsors of the center are Cal Fed, IBM and Kroeker, Inc.

Other major donors are The Leon S. Peters Foundation and Pete Peters of Fresno; The Lincy Foundation; the Fansler Foundation of Fresno; George and Ernie Beal, owners and operators of Johnny Quik Food Stores; Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Richburg; and several other anonymous donors.

Fresno State’s successful fundraising campaign for what will be the largest privately financed public venue in the state includes a thriving personal seat license drive now under way. As of today, 9,500 seats have been committed. Fresno State’s student body will also enjoy an enlarged and improved student seating section in the new arena. Officials say there are still plenty of good seats available throughout the arena.