Brigitte Dunne Captures the 2016 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship in Sudden Death Playoff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The final round of the 46th Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle came down to the wire with Brigitte Dunne, 19, of Camarillo Calif., and Haley Moore, 18, of Escondido, Calif. finishing with an exciting sudden death playoff. Dunne birdied the first hole to clinch the championship with a final score of 210 (-6) for the three-day championship to win the Kachina award. Brigitte follows in the footsteps of fellow SMU teammate, Kenzie Wright, who claimed the Championship in 2015. “I played solid all day even with an unplayable lie and hitting into the water. I just kept telling myself to come back fighting. I was able to make 6 birdies so I was putting really well,” said Dunne. Dunne, in her fourth Silver Belle appearance, said she keeps coming back to the Silver Belle because the tournament is at a perfect time between seasons and is an excellent way to say see the results of her practice and she promises to be back again in 2017 when the Silver Belle will be held at Talking Stick again. “The best part of the match was the playoff. Haley was playing such great golf – we both were. To […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $25,000 to Miracle League of Arizona

  The Miracle League of Arizona has a mission to provide a fun, safe and successful baseball experience for individuals with special needs. Although the fully accessible stadium has just one location (North Scottsdale), families travel from all across Maricopa county to enjoy a day of fun at the baseball park. Volunteers pair up with athletes and provide friendship and support during the games as an enjoyable and rewarding volunteer service activity. Opening their gates in 2011 with just two teams and a handful of participants, MLAZ now has 18 teams and plays four days a week to accommodate its 250-plus athletes. They recently added a youth competitive league for children between the ages of 5 and 13 that are ready to practice at an improved skill and knowledge level of the game with outs and strikes.  MLAZ takes pride in offering this opportunity free of charge to the families of these special need athletes who have to cover numbers of therapy and medical costs.  Thunderbirds Charities has been supporting MLAZ from the beginning and is honored to donate $25,000 towards the ever expanding program. More

Raising the Roof at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Several Thunderbirds were on hand to help celebrate Phoenix Children’s new emergency department’s “Topping Out” ceremony, a tradition held when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its construction. This was the final steel beam to be hoisted to the top of Arizona’s new Emergency Department, only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders – a much needed expansion project that was helped by a $500,000 donation from Thunderbirds Charities in June of 2015. Construction workers, hospital staff members and partners within the community gathered as the clinking of iron stopped and the ceremony began. Signatures and well wishes covered the beam as some very official patients joined the construction team and helped guide the very last beam in place. An evergreen tree topped the steel frame, a tradition symbolizing good luck for future occupants and continued growth. The tradition of a Topping Out commemorates not only the completion of a project, but celebrates the process of building. While the grand opening festivities at the end of a building’s construction are meant to introduce the structure to the public, the topping out ceremony honors the accomplishment of the construction crews. Phoenix Children’s […] More

The Thunderbirds visit Mentor Kids

Carlos Sugich and Omar Alvarez take a trip to Mentor Kids in South Phoenix. The Thunderbirds tour the facilities and spend some time reading with the children before heading to God’s Garden Park with Mentor Kids Executive Director, Aaron Parrott. More

Blessings in a Backpack

The Thunderbirds, Kids Need to Read, PGA Tour Wives’ Angie Oberholser & her husband, PGA Tour Veteran, Aaron Oberholser all help Blessings in a Backpack deliver nourishment and knowledge. More

Blessings in a Backpack


St. Joseph the Worker III


Fall 2016


2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open And The Thunderbirds Raise Record-Breaking $9,369,873 For Local Charities

The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, raised a record $9,369,873 for local charities through proceeds raised from the 2016 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Dan Mahoney announced today. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s total of $9,060,731, and marks the second consecutive year that The Thunderbirds have eclipsed $9 million in charitable dollars raised in a single year. The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open have raised more than $45 million ($45,742,241) for charities since 2010 when Waste Management became title sponsor. In its history, dating back to 1932, the Phoenix Open has raised more than $111 million ($111,788,807) for charities in Arizona. “We are proud of our history of giving back to the community and excited that once again we were able to break the single-year record for charitable dollars earned through the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community,” Mahoney said. “Each year we receive outstanding support from Waste Management, as well as from corporate sponsors, volunteers and of course the fans, and we can’t do this without them.” The 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open was another record-setting event, as […] More

Thunderbirds Giving 2016


SWHD Program VI


Circle The City


Thunderbirds Charities 2016 Fall Funding Cycle Now Open

Thunderbirds Charities – the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds, hosts of The Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community, announced that its 2016 Fall funding cycle is now open. The deadline to apply is September 1, 2016, at 5 p.m. MST. Only proposals submitted through its website,, will be accepted. To submit a proposal, charity organizations will need a valid email address and IRS tax ID number. All required documents must be stored electronically and uploaded to the website during the online proposal process. Proposals will be accepted on or before the due date. Due to the amount of proposals submitted, Thunderbirds Charities appreciates those organizations that submit prior to the deadline. Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of […] More

Circle The City Celebrates New Transportation Van Funded By Thunderbirds Charities

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from Thunderbird Charities, Circle the City has a new van to transport patients experiencing homelessness between its two facilities — the Medical Respite Center and The Parsons Family Health Center — as well as to off-site appointments and to and from Circle the City’s mobile medical clinic. The van is wheelchair-accessible and has seating for up to six patients, including two wheelchairs. Circle the City works to improve healthcare accessibility for people experiencing homelessness and decrease their reliance on emergency services including 911 calls. Furnishing transportation to this under-served population will assist in establishing integrated primary care, case management, behavioral health, and substance abuse treatment services. The Ford Transit van is the latest addition to the organization’s transportation program. Circle the City celebrated the new van with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives from The Thunderbirds, followed by a “Blue Velvet Tunic” inaugural ride-along with a patient utilizing the wheelchair lift. Circle the City is a rapidly growing 501(c)(3) non-profit community health organization dedicated to providing high quality, holistic healthcare to men, women, and children facing homelessness in Maricopa County. The organization’s homeless continuum of care is one-of-a-kind in the state of Arizona and one of […] More

Dedication Ceremony at The Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center

Recently, Thunderbirds Charities donated $163,491 to Jewish Family & Children’s Services, in honor of Thunderbird Jerry Lewkowitz. The funding was in support of the medical wing expansion at the recently opened integrated medical and behavioral health center in the underserved Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix. Over its 17 years of operation, the former clinic in Maryvale had reached a crisis due to overcrowding and inadequate space. The new Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center, named in honor JFCS CEO who passed away earlier this year, will be able to serve a growing number of children and families with complex physical, mental health and substance abuse issues. “We are happy to support Jewish Family & Children’s Service in their effort to expand the medical wing at the Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center, making way for more families in the Maryvale area to be served by this state-of-the-art facility.” — Danny Calihan, President, Thunderbirds Charities More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $100,000 To Mission Of Mercy

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – recently donated $100,000 to Mission of MERCY (MOM) to bring health care for the indigent to the East Valley. Over the next three years, MOM will be expanding services into new East Valley communities that are high on the health care needs index. MOM’s anchor location will be in Gilbert at a new multi-service Wellness and Resource Center slated to open in late Fall of 2017. The Thunderbirds Charities $100,000 grant will support MOM’s expansion into the East Valley with the purchase of a third fully-equipped mobile medical unit. “We are beyond grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for all they do in our community, including their commitment to ensuring that our medically indigent brothers and sisters receive the medical care they need,” said Executive Director Catherine Amiot. “During my 12-year tenure as Executive Director, Thunderbirds Charities have answered our call many times, helping us to purchase our first two mobile medical units, to fund vital health programs and to be our committed partner on this journey.” MOM’s medical team is on the road Monday-Friday, serving more than […] More

Make-A-Wish Arizona

Amelia is one of many children who have been blessed by Make A Wish Arizona – See more here in our latest Thunderbird Charity Spotlight More