Singleton Moms was the Q4, 2016 recipient of our Ahwatukee donations. Alma Henriques, Care Team Specialist, brought a special guest with her to address our members and guests. Desiree, a single mom who batted late stage ovarian cancer, shared her journey with us and the impact this charity had on her family’s life. Get the tissues ready.
Meagan Kukowski, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Serving Maricopa County, was thrilled to announce they were launching their largest season to date with over 830 girls participating in their programs. Our Scottsdale members helped make that possible as a result of their Q4, 2016 donations! GOTR awarded 50 scholarships to girls in need as a result of our member’s generosity. Meagan brought another Meagan with her. Meagan #2 is a junior at Cactus Shadows High School and participated in GOTR’s programs six times in elementary school. Today, she leads her life based around community all because of the lessons she learned through GOTR.
JDRF – Desert Southwest Chapter was the Q1 recipient of our Ahwatukee donations. Paula Boca-Bommarito, Executive Director, brought along a special guest to address the group. Savannah was diagnosed with T1D as a teen and learned to save her own life every day. T1D is a journey and a 24/7 one. Savannah felt misunderstood and judged by her peers at school. She participated in the JDRF camp after being diagnosed. Camp helped her relate to kids just like her. She made new friends and came away feeling more comfortable with her T1D diagnosis. Our donations helped make camp possible this year for several local children diagnosed with T1D.
Spina Bifida Association of Arizona – Sharri Runnels, Executive Director, was excited to announce to our West Valley members that their donations were used to purchase medical alert bracelets for children within the spina bifida community. The bracelets are very reassuring to parents when their kids are away from them. Our donations were also used for their adult services and supported focus groups and coaching. Dave Martin, Chairman of the Board, shared his lifelong journey with spina bifida. Dave’s been in a wheelchair his whole life. He grew up with two brothers and always wanted to do everything his brothers did. Independence was the most important thing to him and he wanted to be self sufficient. He never let anything stop him. Dave joined the spina bifida board of directors to change the perspective parents are being told when their child is born with spina bifida. He wants to show a positive side of the birth defect. “It’s not the end of the world. You just have to be there for your child, push them and raise them into the person you want them to be.” There are so many medical advances now that help children born with spina bifida live a fulfilling life.
Phoenix Rescue Mission was the Q2 recipient of our Ahwatukee donations. Adele Dietrich, Legacy Giving Officer, introduced Michelle Radar and her son, Mason, to the group. Michelle shared her story of transformation. She went from homeless and living by a dumpster, addicted to drugs and alcohol AGAIN, and had lost her then six year old son who was placed in foster care. It was at rock bottom when she decided to go to detox and then seek help from the Changing Lives Center (CLC) run by the Phoenix Rescue Mission. The CLC has a vocational program where women learn the ins and outs of restaurant management. The goal is to graduate from this program and secure a full-time management job. These jobs will pay the women enough to move into their own homes and support their families. It is a life changing program. Michelle now runs the Mission Cookies and Catering business for the CLC.