News

News
 

West Valley Arts Council Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Arts Education Program

Founded in 1969, the West Valley Arts Council exists to enrich the West Valley by growing a vibrant and connected arts & cultural community. West Valley Arts Council’s (WVAC) Arts Education Program (AEP) was recently awarded $8,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to support arts education in the West Valley. Specifically, funding will support professional development workshops for arts teachers and performing artist fees for Arts Advantage, a series of live performances for 4th grade students, especially from Title One elementary schools. The Arts Education Program is tailored for each individual district ensuring that their educational goals for students and teachers are met, and it ensures that the reach and impact of arts education is deepened during and after school. The goals of the Arts Education Program are to make quantitative changes in arts education and support teachers and districts in meeting their academic goals and achieving Arizona’s educational standards for the arts. Through the AEP, the Arts Council will strengthen relationships with area school districts, and build on the organization’s belief that the arts and arts education are fundamental to a healthy society; impact a child’s academic achievement throughout their school years and beyond; promote a higher quality of life; and […] More
 

In the Community – Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

Today’s check in is with Thunderbirds 2021 Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins and Marcia Mintz, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. Marcia discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, how Boys and Girls Club is responding to the pandemic and what immediate and essential needs they require to continue helping people in need throughout the Phoenix area. BGCAZ has been the largest and most trusted childcare provider in the Valley for decades. The organization started in 1963 with one club in Tempe and quickly branched into multiple clubs throughout Arizona, providing a safe, positive, and fun environment for their kids’ out-of-school time. Whether it is during a summer camp, after-school time, or in one of their other enrichment programs, BGCAZ offers unique experiences in the arts, physical fitness, character development, and leadership training. They also provide proven educational programs and academic support — along with plenty of healthy fun and recreation. Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – has been a long-time supporter of BGCAZ, providing monetary funds for operational and capital needs to serve thousands of at-risk children each year. “When COVID-19 hit […] More
 

Year Up Arizona Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Year Up enables motivated young adults ages 18-24 to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential. Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Continuing to expand its reach and provide even more young adults with access to economic opportunity, the nonprofit workforce development program Year Up Arizona announced today that it has received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The funding will enable Year Up Arizona’s Central City Campus at GateWay Community College to grow to serve more than 240 students in 2020, allowing Year Up Arizona to serve more than 320 young adults across both of its locations. “With the support of Thunderbirds Charities, Year up Arizona will be able to amplify its impact and provide more motivated, talented young adults with the skills and support they need to move from minimum […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Furnishing Dignity

Furnishing Dignity serves individuals and families moving out of homelessness and foster kids transitioning into their own apartments. The charity provides essential home furnishings, including beds, dressers, tables, sofas, and small kitchen appliances. The new and gently-used furnishings are free to the recipients, and volunteer moving teams set up the household. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Furnishing Dignity $25,000 to supply furnishings and home essentials to even more clients. “Everyone deserves a bed; every child needs a place do homework,” said Co-Founder, Joyce Petrowski. “These are things so many people take for granted, but these simple furnishings provide a major confidence boost to our recipients as they transform their lives.” “Because of Furnishing Dignity, these individuals and families can focus on other pressing issues, like finding and keeping jobs, focusing on health issues, and enrolling kids in school or daycare,” said board member, Anita Buckel. Furnishing Dignity This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.   More
 

In the Community – Andre House

The Thunderbirds are reaching out to its many incredible charity partners over the next few weeks to discuss their important work and highlight the new obstacles they are enduring as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. We hope that by sharing their messages to the local communities they serve it will help rally support and secure vital resources needed to continue. They are on the front lines doing everything in their power to brighten the lives of so many facing overwhelming obstacles during these trying times. To help as much as they can – and by continuing social distancing practices – The Thunderbirds will be connecting remotely with some of these Arizona charities over the next few weeks to identify their unique needs and where The Thunderbirds and the community can help. Today’s check in is with Thunderbirds Big Chief Chance Cozby and Ash Uss, Advocacy and Partnerships coordinator from Andre House. Ash discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Andre House’s immediate essential needs and how the community can rally together and offer support to Andre House and other local charities that are in dire need right now. Since its inception in 1984, Andre House of Arizona has […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Expansion of Youth Entrepreneurs in Metro Phoenix

Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) is a nonprofit organization that cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset through its experiential learning model which fosters self-actualization in educators and their students. Thunderbirds Charities has recently awarded the organization $25,000 towards Empower College Prep High School as well as other school Across Maricopa County. YE provides educators with resources at no cost to them or their schools to teach students entrepreneurial and economic concepts as well as key principles and character traits through its eight Foundational Values. The educators then tailor a curriculum around their students, providing them with fun, engaging and experiential learning throughout the semester or year. The activities are hands-on and character-building, providing students an opportunity to discover their innate gifts and talents and how to apply them beyond the classroom. “I am very appreciative to Thunderbirds Charities for the generous assistance in supporting our inaugural YE program at Empower College Prep,” Richardson said.  “Because of The Thunderbirds, our student’s lives will never be the same!” Empower College Prep This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Arizona Museum of Natural History Receives $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH) is thrilled to announce the award of $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities for inclusion modifications their Exploration Station. The Exploration Station is a hands-on space for the Museum’s youngest visitors and their caregivers. The room is designed to encourage play, inquiry, creativity and family interactions to better support learning for children 6 and under. Every learner is unique and AzMNH recognizes that many children visit the Museum with different abilities, learning styles, subject knowledge, interests, cultural values, etc. The funding provided by Thunderbirds Charities will support modifications in a multimedia format in order to increase accessibility for underserved populations, such as vision impaired, auditory impaired, and low English language proficiency readers. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the Museum and its efforts to serve a wider demographic, as it continues to provide innovative experiences to every visitor. Arizona Museum of Natural History This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Grant to Veterans Heritage Project

In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked Arizona #48 for K-12 education, #45 for high school graduation rate, and #48 for college readiness. Veterans Heritage Project addresses this issue by enhancing patriotism and civic education, to strengthen families and community relationships. Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) facilitates an after-school program that strives to develop character and civic responsibility in students by providing experiential learning programs that honor veterans and preserve their legacy. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $10,000 towards their Connect Students with VeteransTM program. The innovative program provides an enriching educational experience by connecting students with U.S. military veterans in a nationally renowned oral history and publication program.  Thousands of veterans’ stories have been archived in the Library of Congress, personal accounts of war and history that would have otherwise faded away.  The year-round program culminates each spring with a free community reception to honor veteran participants and celebrate student achievement. “In addition to honoring veterans and preserving their stories of service, the goals of our program are to enrich civic and history education and help students reach their potential through character development, leadership skill building, and academic skill strengthening,” said Michelle DiMuro, Executive Director.  “We are so thankful to […] More
 

Ronald McDonald House Charities Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Families from Maricopa County with children needing medical care who stay at one of the three Ronald McDonald Houses in the Valley have one less worry thanks to a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The grant provides funding for Ronald McDonald House® Charities of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHC-CNAZ) Help-A-Family program to ensure that no family is ever turned away if they cannot afford the $15 nightly fee that is requested. “Every year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona provides a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for families whose children are often undergoing life-saving medical care,” said Chance Cozby, Thunderbirds Charities President.  “Knowing that financial support from Thunderbirds Charities will, at the very least, ease some of the stress they must be feeling is incredibly important to our entire organization.” RMHC-CNAZ provides a home-away-from-home for more than 1,000 families a year.  Since opening the first House in 1985, families have made more than 53,000 visits. Families at Ronald McDonald Houses stay in private rooms, have access to laundry facilities, large community kitchens and pantries, dining rooms, family rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, on-site libraries and free Wi-Fi. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $25,000 to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona (Free Arts) a $25,000 grant to support free creative and therapeutic arts programs for children ages 3 to 21, who have faced neglect and homelessness.  The funds will be used to expand Free Arts core programs: the Weekly Mentor Program, the Professional Artist Series, Free Arts Days and the Camp Series.  It will also support program staff who will recruit and train volunteer mentors in order to serve partner agencies and the children under their care. “We’re so grateful for Thunderbirds Charities on-going support of our programs,” said Alicia Sutton Campbell, executive director for Free Arts.  “They have consistently supported our programs for children who have experienced the trauma of abuse, homelessness, and neglect over the years.  We currently serve approximately 8,000 children and hope to expand that number with the help of Thunderbirds Charities!” The Weekly Mentor Program matches volunteer mentors with groups of children living in social service agencies for one-hour weekly art sessions for up to 16 weeks. In the Professional Artist Series, groups of children work with an artist and volunteer mentors in a workshop series that culminates in a performance or exhibition. Free Arts Days offer […] More
 

Arizona Burn Foundation Receives Award from Thunderbirds Charities

The Arizona Burn Foundation (ABF) exists to improve the quality of life of burn survivors and their families while promoting burn prevention advocacy and education in Arizona. Serving the Arizona community since 1967, ABF provides survivor support programs that help children and adults cope with the devastating psychological and physical effects of their injuries. They assist burn survivors and their families from crisis to recovery to a life of thriving, one day at a time. All ABF services are provided free of charge. ABF’s H.O.P.E. Services (Helping Others, Promoting Empowerment), encompasses all of the services and programs provided to burn survivors and their families. This includes: Crisis – lodging, transportation, meal vouchers, medical cost assistance, and emotional support Recovery – peer support group, limited financial assistance, camps, retreats, and physical, occupational, and psychological therapy support Thrive – leadership development, conferences, opportunities to give back to the community, and social gatherings “When we address the needs of burn survivors and their families before a financial and emotional crisis is amplified, we support recovery and resiliency. Each time we provide support, we assist the family with a plan for continued success beyond our services,” says Lori Janik, Director of Client Care Services […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Supports A Stepping Stone’s LEAF Program

A Stepping Stone Foundation’s mission is to provide stepping stones to create success through education for children and families who have limited opportunities. Their program, Literacy Elevates Arizona Families (LEAF), provides daily, evidence-based preschool with parental supports, including but not limited to adult education, parenting education, home visitations and inter-generational learning activities. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $30,000 towards the continuation to improve outcomes for at-rick children and their family through robust inter-generational literacy programming. The 9-month curriculum is presented in developmentally-appropriate learning centers. Children and families attend classes four days a week. Families take high school equivalency and/or ESL classes, attend parenting classes and participate in their children’s classrooms, all while children attend preschool. Free childcare is provided to younger siblings and teachers visit each home monthly to work individually with families. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the LEAF program and its efforts to provide quality education in the community. A Stepping Stone Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

The Thunderbirds to Provide $1 Million in Emergency Community Funding to Assist Arizona Charities

The Thunderbirds  – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – are providing $1 million in emergency funding to assist Arizona charities during this time of great uncertainty. This money is ready to be granted immediately, with funds being donated to Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, St. Mary’s Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul today. The Thunderbirds will continue to evaluate the situation and will hand out the remainder of the money over the next few weeks as other priority needs arise. “Thanks to the tremendous community support every year of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, The Thunderbirds are able to give to so many worthy charities. We are in unprecedented times. We felt, as an organization, it was imperative to act quickly and get much needed funds to help those in dire need right now.” – Chance Cozby, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds   Listen to the announcement on Instagram from Webb Simpson. More
 

Central Arizona Dental Society Receives $20,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

The Central Arizona Dental Society addresses barriers to dental care using Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy (AZMOM), a volunteer-driven dental healthcare delivery model that enables them to provide free dental care.  Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $20,000 towards AZMOM. AZMOM clinics serve low-income individuals who face barriers to receiving adequate dental care, largely due to a lack of dental insurance. Poor oral health can lead to elevated risks for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, difficulty finding/keeping employment, and use of costly acute care. Attendees clearly see this as a life-changing opportunity. One patient, Iris, has stated, “You are all so wonderful. Now I will be able to interview for work and let my words, rather than my bad teeth, speak for me.” The two-day AZMOM-Phoenix clinic is held annually, with services provided by volunteering dentists, other dental professionals, and volunteers who assist with patient intake, security, and food service. Comprehensive dental treatments available include cleanings, restorative work, oral surgery, and one-day dentures. Central Arizona Dental Society This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

$20,000 Thunderbirds Charities Donation to Support High-Quality Early Education in Arizona

Arizona currently faces a crisis in its early education workforce, ranking 32nd in the nation for funding allocated to preschool programs according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Many early educators enter the field directly, without attending formal degree programs. Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Jumpstart $20,000 towards their Arizona Workforce Development Program. This award has supported the development and preparation for early educators and children in Arizona. The Arizona Workforce Development Program engages early education teachers throughout the year, training educators utilizing a research-based model and providing pathways to furthering education through partnerships with local community colleges—contributing to the professionalization of the field. The result is a lasting impact on Arizona’s earliest learners. Jumpstart This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Wigged Out, Inc. Receives $5,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Wigged Out, Inc. provides financial assistance to women and children in the metropolitan Phoenix and surrounding areas who are in need of wigs and head coverings due to the effects of a diagnosed medical condition, such as cancer, alopecia, and blood or genetic disorders. By partnering with reputable wig boutiques across the Valley, Wigged Out is able to ensure that the women we help are able to receive new, high quality, and well fitting wigs that they are able to select themselves, empowering them to choose a wig that helps them feel more like themselves. Wigged Out serves a wide range of women, children, and the elderly across the Greater Phoenix area. Thanks to a $5,000 award from Thunderbirds Charities, the organization has expanded their program to provide additional wigs for women in need. Wigged Out has helped over 700 women and children across Arizona improve their self-image and quality of life through wigs and hairpieces. They are able to provide new wigs for women and children with medically related hair loss that does not restrict assistance based upon the diagnosis. Wigged Out This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

STEP College-Prep Program Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Student Expedition Program, a college access and leadership program for Arizona high school students, is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will support STEP’s Phoenix College-Prep Program. STEP equips low-income students with the knowledge, confidence, and leadership skills to successfully transition to college and attain a 4-year degree. Support from Thunderbirds Charities will help STEP serve over 200 low-income Arizona high-school students in 2020. STEP provides college-prep workshops over the span of each student’s tenure in the program, including workshops with college admissions directors, a module on mental health and mindfulness, a ropes course for team-building and leadership training, intensive ACT test prep, writing workshops, financial aid 101, step by step review of the Common Application, FAFSA and CSS profile assistance with financial aid directors, and mentoring by alumni. Several of these workshops include parents and are also offered in Spanish. Les Smith, STEP CEO stated, “This grant will be instrumental in helping STEP to further our outreach efforts as well as broaden our ability to provide our young scholars with the tools, training and guidance needed to successfully prepare for, transition to, and succeed in college. We’re proud to say that […] More
 

SOUNDS Academy Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities has granted support to SOUNDS Academy in the amount of $5,000, to support their tuition free After School programming. SOUNDS Academy’s mission is to teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities to underserved youth. The after school programs of SOUNDS Academy spread music education opportunities to children who are in schools that do not provide instrumental music education. “We are extremely grateful to be awarded this gift from Thunderbirds Charities,” said Kirk Johnson, SOUNDS Academy Executive Director. “These programs allow us to give students an instrument, music, and a structure where children can learn the fundamentals of music performance. We are able to do this work  with the help of foundations like Thunderbirds Charities.” SOUNDS Academy This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Helps The Miracle League of Arizona Hit a Home Run for Growth

The Miracle League of Arizona is a nonprofit organization that welcomes new athletes with special needs, starting at the age of four and with no prior baseball knowledge required. Their adaptive baseball programming provides a chance for an often isolated and at-risk youth to be able to participate in a fun and positive recreational experience. Athletes come to the league in search of an inclusive and adaptive environment where they can play baseball and have fun. Everyone gets the chance to be part of a team, be successful, and have some fun at the Miracle League. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $20,000 towards Miracle League’s growth. With their support, the Miracle League has added additional divisions, upgraded uniforms, and added key features to their facility. “Our goal is for everyone to have the chance to play baseball, regardless of physical or mental limitations,” said Cassandra Switalski; executive director of the Miracle League. “We want to thank The Thunderbirds for providing the generous funding for the special needs community, which gives our athletes a major league experience they could not have dreamed of before.” The Miracle League of Arizona This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all […] More
 

Phoenix Police Foundation Awarded $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Phoenix Police Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization that addresses unmet capital needs of the City of Phoenix Police Department (PPD), providing financial assistance in crisis situations and recognizing those who protect our communities. The foundation is grateful to have received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities that will allow the enhancement of youth-based programs sponsored by the PPD. These programs include the Phoenix Police Department Cadet Program, Police Activities League, Hoops for Hope, and Youth Experience. The Cadet Program provides young adults age 14 to 21 with leadership skills and law enforcement training with an emphasis on the importance of community relationships. The Police Activities League (PAL) brings together police officers and boys and girls through sports and school-related activities. PAL teaches youth the importance of integrity, respect, discipline, self-esteem, and teamwork.  Hoops for Hope is a year-round mentorship program for underserved young women.  The Youth Experience is a week-long camp held twice in the summer that exposes students entering 7th and 8th grade to what occurs in police work every day and provides the ability to build relationships with police officers. “This grant is an investment in our future. Today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s leaders. As officers and young […] More
 

Genesis City Receives $75,000 Award Towards Trailblazer Program

Genesis City is honored to be awarded $75,000 from Thunderbirds Charities. This generous donation will allow Genesis City to continue the Trailblazer Program which serves disadvantaged youth, 14 to 21, who reside in low-income neighborhoods. Through this program, youth are shaped into true “Trailblazers” who overcome the multi-generational cycle of poverty by leading the way for others to access education and gainful employment. Over sixty-percent of the youth who participate in the program are the first in their families to earn diplomas and over ninety-percent will be the first in their families to attend college. Trailblazers blossom into impactful community leaders as they inspire other youth who experience the same barriers and are seeking similar opportunities. This rigorous program is the cornerstone of the Thunderbirds Charities Life Planning Center at Genesis City. “The Thunderbirds are proud to support Genesis City Trailblazer program,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Chance Cozby. “They’re teaching our youth essential life skills, and we are happy to help their efforts.” Genesis City This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship Receives $10,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship is delighted to announce the receipt of $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of their horsemanship program for children and adults with physical disabilities. “We are so grateful to be chosen as a grant recipient by Thunderbirds Charities,” said Mary Hadsall, Camelot’s executive director. “Camelot wouldn’t be possible without good people and generous gifts such as this one. We’re thankful to receive this funding so we can continue to provide our life-changing services to our students.” Camelot was founded in 1983 upon the principle that it is impossible to put a price on human dignity, so all students in the Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship program receive their lessons completely free of charge. Camelot offers one-on-one education, with instruction tailored to the individual needs of their students. Students learn riding, driving, grooming, training, vet care, and stable management. This award from Thunderbirds Charities will go directly to support these program services. Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Amanda Hope Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Every two minutes another child is diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones’ lives are changed forever. Families are overwhelmed by decisions regarding the care and well-being of their child, often spanning months and years. Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels offers support for the whole family through each step of their journey. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels a $25,000 grant to support the Comfort and Care Counseling Program. The program offers free counseling to families in Maricopa county that have a child that has, or is currently battling, childhood cancer or other life-threatening diseases. The team of licensed counselors and therapists serves patients, siblings, parents and caregivers through family counseling, individual counseling, play therapy and support groups. “We’re proud to support Amanda Hope,” said president of Thunderbirds Charities, Chance Cozby. “Through their work, the cancer patient and their family members find comfort.” Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 Grant in Support Arizona Autism United’s New East Valley Center in Mesa

Opening its doors to the public in March of 2020, Arizona Autism (AZA) United’s East Valley Center will provide much-needed therapies and services for families experiencing autism and other developmental disabilities right in the East Valley – where so many families live, work and go to school. They plan to serve at least 250 families in the center’s first year alone. Thunderbirds Charities’ $50,000 grant has been instrumental as AZA United has prepared to open the East Valley Center to the public early in 2020. Services at the East Valley Center will include speech and feeding therapy, behavioral therapy and social skills development programs, as well as family support programs for parents, caregivers and siblings of children with special needs. This center will serve as a model for replication at future AZA United centers in residential areas throughout Maricopa County in the coming years. This expansion has helped them fulfill their mission of helping as many families as possible with individualized supports. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to continue supporting organizations who improve the lives of individuals experiencing developmental disabilities. Arizona Autism United This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Best Buddies in Arizona Awarded $25,000 Grant for Arizona School Friendship Programs

Best Buddies in Arizona, a nonprofit organization creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), has received a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The funds will support the Elementary School Promoter Program, an engaging opportunity for students with and without IDD to participate in inclusive activities that promote friendship, acceptance, and interaction. Teachers of students with and without IDD bring together their classrooms for socializing, learning, and activities. Through engaged social activities and shared learning experiences, students develop mutually enriching friendships and create a culture of acceptance that promotes inclusion throughout their academic career, encouraging friendship and integration among all peers. The meetings are comprised of games and social emotional education exercises, implemented by the teachers using the Sanford Harmony curriculum, which is provided free of cost to all elementary school chapters. “Best Buddies AZ is so much more than simply a place for kids to interact,” said Chance Cozby, president of The Thunderbirds. “It provides a fun and lasting way to strength the bonds between friends. And most importantly, it teaches the value of accepting our differences.” Best Buddies in Arizona This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Valley Youth Theatre Receives $15,000 to Support Award-Winning Literacy and the Arts Program

Valley Youth Theatre’s Literacy and the Arts (LTA) program gives students from Title 1 schools a page-to-stage experience by effectively combining the power of in-school learning with the magic of experiencing live theatre. Books related to the production and accompanying study guides prepare children for a production that helps them learn. Last season, 3,308 Title 1 school students benefitted from this program. “We are thrilled to be recognized by Thunderbirds Charities for the work we are doing on behalf of the young people of Arizona,” says Bobb Cooper, Valley Youth Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director. “This grant will help ensure that this crucial program continues and moves us closer to our goal of reaching 3,600 at-risk youth, this year.” VYT created the LTA program in 1993 to supplement diminishing arts funding for K-8 students from two inner city school districts – Roosevelt and Phoenix Elementary. Every year since, 3,000 to 5,000 students have had the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this program, free of charge. Added Cooper, “LTA has been proven to increase students’ reading comprehension and literacy skills. In fact, all participating schools now integrate LTA into their regular curriculum as an essential arts-based learning experience and our feedback […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Detour Company Theatre in Season Expansion

Detour Company Theatre provides theater training and performance experiences for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, giving them authentic opportunities to develop artistry, demonstrate courage and collaboration, experience joy and participate in the sharing of musical theater with the entire community. In the past, Thunderbirds Charities has supported Detour Company Theatre in expanding their last season, with tremendous success. They have now been awarded $10,000 to continue expanding their programming by training new directors. This will ensure an authentic education experience for a new generation of directors and teachers. Detour is unique in being SOLELY an organization furthering arts experiences for those unable to experience success in traditional settings. They serve those who are deaf, blind and/or as cognitively challenged in the same performance group. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support an organization that continues to create opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Check out their website to attend upcoming shows! Admission is free while donations are gratefully accepted. Detour Company Theatre This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates More Than $4 Million to Valley Charities During Fall Funding Cycle

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – awarded more than $4 million in grants to 77 Valley charities during its 2019 fall funding cycle. Thunderbirds Charities awarded grants of $100,000 or more to 12 Valley Charities; including $750,000 to Phoenix Rescue Mission, $250,000 to Brighter Way Institute, $150,000 to New Pathways for Youth, $150,000 to Ryan House and $125,000 to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. “Without a doubt, giving back to our communities is the most rewarding thing about what we do as tournament hosts,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re thrilled and so proud to give these grants to deserving organizations around the Valley. It’s an honor to have such a positive impact for those in need in our community.” The $750,000 grant to Phoenix Rescue Mission will help build an $11 million, four story building on the NEC of 35th Avenue and West Durango Street, allowing Phoenix Rescue Mission to substantially expand their Transformations Program and services to the surrounding community. The $200,000 donation to Brighter Way Institute go towards expanding Brighter Way’s Downtown Dental Center, providing comprehensive oral health […] More
 

Phoenix Children’s Receives First-ever Medtronic Stealth Autoguide™ for Neurosurgery

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only children’s hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals with rankings in all ten specialties. Phoenix Children’s provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. Their Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) is the largest pediatric neuroscience center in the US. This facility heals children with neurological and mental health diseases and disorders so that they can have a happy and healthy quality of life by offering the most comprehensive inpatient and outpatient neurological care and services to infants, children and teens with neurological-related problems. Thunderbirds Charities awarded the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation $250,000 towards the first-ever Stealth Autoguide Platform, which has recently arrived to Phoenix Children’s main hospital facility. This is a robotic positioning and guidance system intended for the spatial positioning and orientation of instrument holders or tool guides used with neurosurgical instruments. BNI at Phoenix Children’s is eager to combine its deep bench of clinical talent with Medtronic’s cutting-edge innovation. “The Stealth Autoguide Platform is a tremendous addition to our neurosurgical team’s life-changing tools,” said P. David Adelson, Division Chief of Neurosurgery and Director of BNI at Phoenix Children’s. […] More
 

Thunderbirds Grants $200,000 to the Junior Golf Association of Arizona

The Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) has a mission to educate, motivate and inspire Arizona’s youth through golf and all of the valuable lessons and life skills inherent in the game. In addition to hosting competitive events, the JGAA develops programs for local schools, assists golf courses with their junior programs, and conducts college prep seminars and etiquette clinics. The JGAA’s strong belief in teamwork and cooperation has guided the organization for more than 30 years and is instilled in all of its members. The Thunderbirds awarded the JCAA $200,00 that will be used for several purposes, including the JGAA’s Financial Aid program to assist its members with participation fees – no juniors are turned away due to lack of resources. “We want to thank The Thunderbirds for their generous and unwavering support of the JGAA and the junior golfers it serves,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the JGAA. “No matter where the game takes them, our juniors leave equipped to become tomorrow’s leaders both on and off the golf course.” This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More