News

News
 

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, www.thunderbirdscharities.org, 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
 

Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games

More than 1,300 athletes competed in the Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games in early May at Raymond S. Hellis in Glendale, with the competitors participating in events ranging from Track and Field, Tennis, Powerlifting, Volleyball and Kayaking. This annual event is the largest on the Special Olympics calendar each year and includes an Olympic-style opening ceremony, torch run, parade of athletes and victory dance. The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, are strong supporters of Special Olympics of Arizona, and have donated more than $3 million to this outstanding organization since 1979. Each year, The Thunderbirds help to run this yearly event and are proud to award to medals to these amazing athletes. Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed and represented the Valley of the Sun! More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Awarded Most Outstanding Foundation

Thunderbirds Charities was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Great Arizona Chapter on Wednesday, Nov. 11 as part of National Philanthropy Day. Thunderbirds Charities earned the award of Most Outstanding Foundation/Corporation. Thanks to the AFP for this prestigious honor! More
 

2015 WM Phoenix Open And The Thunderbirds Raise Record-Breaking $9,060,731 For Local Charities

Waste Management Phoenix Open hosts, The Thunderbirds, will hand out $9,060,731 to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2015 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Danny Calihan announced today at the Foundation for Blind Children. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, helping to reach a historic milestone of more than $100 million that The Thunderbirds have raised in the history of the organization, dating back to 1932. This marks the first time that The Thunderbirds have eclipsed the $9 million mark in money raised in a single year, surpassing the previous record of $8.8 million that was raised in 2008. “Congratulations to The Thunderbirds on setting a record with more than $9 million raised for charity from this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “This is an incredible achievement that will have a profound effect on the lives of many. The tournament is annually one of the leaders on the PGA TOUR in terms of the impact it is having in the community and that is due to the selfless efforts of The Thunderbirds, Waste Management, the tournament staff and all of those involved in the event.” The Thunderbirds and the Waste […] More
 

Fall 2015

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Thunderbirds Charities Donates $15,000 To Benevilla

GRANT TO BE USED BY HELPING PARTNERS PROGRAM TO AID ADULTS FACING INTELLECTUAL/DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – recently donated $15,000 to Benevilla, the West Valley’s premier human services nonprofit organization. The grant will help Benevilla’s Helping Partners Program that is designed specifically for adults with intellectual and developmental challenges. “When we received the contribution letter from Thunderbird Charities President Danny Calihan we were just thrilled,” said Michelle Dionisio, President and CEO of Benevilla. “Thunderbird Charities has such a long history of supporting families in Arizona and our Helping Partners program that supports adults with intellectual, developmental disabilities and the families who care for them can benefit immensely with this added finical support. This donation will truly change lives!” Helping Partners is a life-enriching day program that provides a wide range of wellness programs and classes and exposes members to volunteer opportunities, giving them a chance to boost their self-confidence and give back to the community. Benevilla also provides employment opportunities that allow members to contribute and for many, earn a paycheck for the first time. Entertainment, education, games, crafts, gardening, community outings and exercise fill […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $50,000 To Playworks Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – recently donated $50,000 to Playworks Arizona to support programming in Maricopa County schools for low-income elementary school students for the 2015-16 school year. The $50,000 contribution will help to grow Playworks’ impact in Maricopa County, and with the support of Thunderbirds Charities, Playworks Arizona expects to serve up to 20,000 children at Title 1 Elementary schools during the 2015-16 school year. “We are grateful to receive a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities,” says Chuck Warshaver, Executive Director of Playworks Arizona. “These funds will directly support our programming in low-income schools across the Valley positively impacting up to 20,000 children in Maricopa County.” During the 2014-15 school year, Playworks partnered with 18 schools in Arizona, serving more than 11,800 children directly. Playworks impacted another 2,100 students through professional development trainings for school staff and youth workers across the state. “We are impressed with the impact that Playworks has had with children in the Valley and we are excited to be able to help them continue to grow their programming to help even more low-income kids in the Phoenix area,” said Tom King, President […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $50,000 To Military Assistance Mission

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – recently donated $50,000 to Military Assistance Mission (MAM) that will be dedicated to its basic needs program for Arizona military. “We understand the sacrifices that our active duty military make each and every day and we are proud to support an organization that goes out of its way to make sure these military members and their families are helped financially,” said Tom King, President of Thunderbirds Charities. MAM supports E6 and lower active duty Arizona military members with financial grants for basic everyday needs like food, utilities, rent, mortgage, vehicle assistance and more. “Our military, regardless of deployment status are continuing to struggle with their low pay and the increasing cost of living,” said Margy Bons, Founder and CEO of Military Assistance Mission. “The average case is approximately $650 so thanks to this Thunderbirds Charities’ grant MAM will be able to support 76 families.” MAM’s mission is to provide financial and morale aid to current Arizona active duty military, their families and wounded warriors regardless of overseas deployment status. Through generous and widespread public support and a collaborative team of exceptional staff […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates Record $500,000 To Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – announced today that a record-breaking donation of $500,000 will be given to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The donation is the largest single gift handed out by Thunderbirds Charities since its inception in 1937, and the gift will help support the building of a new Pediatric Emergency Department and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. The $500,000 donation came from the more than $7 million that was raised from the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open and distributed to Valley Charities, the third highest charitable donation in tournament history. “The Thunderbirds have a long history of charitable giving in the Valley but this donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital being the largest single gift we have ever distributed is special,” said Tom King, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We receive tremendous support from our corporate partners and from the golf fans who attend each and every year, and it is because of them we are able to give such a historical gift that will help thousands of children and families who will be treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the future.” The much needed expansion project will increase […] More
 

Homeward Bound Announces Grant From Thunderbirds Charities To Support Homeless Youth

Homeward Bound announced today that it has received a grant totaling $200,000 from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will be used by the nonprofit to support their children’s services programming for homeless youth in Maricopa County, including a new afterschool program. “We are extremely grateful for the support of Thunderbirds Charities,” said Barbara Ralston, Homeward Bound’s Executive Director. “This grant is going to programs that make a tremendous difference in these underserved children’s lives and help break the cycle of poverty in their families.” “The Thunderbirds have been longtime supporters of Homeward Bound and we are proud to make this significant donation that will assist in their continued efforts to support homeless youth in the Valley and the creation of a much needed after school program,” said Tom King, President of Thunderbirds Charities. Since its inception in 1990, Homeward Bound has been one of the largest providers of safe and secure housing to homeless children and families in Arizona. Every year, the organization helps 300 children on average with stable housing and children’s services programming that’s designed to support their healthy development and future academic and life-long success. Seventy-five thousand dollars of the grant will be used to support a new […] More
 

Sam Burns Holds On To Win The Thunderbird International Junior

Mika Liu takes home Girls Division title in third appearance at Grayhawk Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, made a clutch birdie on the final hole to win by a stroke over the hard-charging Braden Thornberry. After the dust settled, Burns fired a 2-under-par 70 to win the event with a tournament total 11-under-par 205. In the Girls Division, Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, California, claimed the top spot with a 4-under-par 212 performance for the 54-hole competition. Burns entered the final round with a two-stroke lead over the field, although he felt them nipping at his heels from the start. Showing that he belongs in the No. 1 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings, Burns held on for the win. “It means a lot to me to win since it’s one of my last AJGA tournaments,” said Burns, who will play at Louisiana State University in the fall. “I had to focus on my game and get myself as many opportunities to birdie as possible. I think if you do that out here you can score pretty well. Last year I had the same deal where I was leading after two rounds and lost it, but I wasn’t going to […] More
 

Making A Difference At UPWARD

UPWARD for Children and Families celebrated another transformational gift to the $5.325 million capital campaign, Lifting Children Upward. Thunderbirds Charities, awarded a $100,000 grant to support a project to significantly expand UPWARD’s capacity to provide care and education of our community’s most severely disabled and medically fragile children. Thunderbirds Charities mission is to help children and families and improve the quality of life in our community. “We highly support UPWARD’s purpose of helping children with special needs achieve their highest potential, while empowering their families to thrive,” said Tom King, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “In recognition of the Thunderbirds’ investment in our children and families, we are pleased to name the multi-purpose room in their honor,” said Doug Carter, UPWARD’s CEO. This space will be the hub of the new facility, bringing together programs for children, their families and the entire community. For more than 50 years UPWARD for Children and Families has delivered special education and childcare for children and young adults with severe developmental disabilities. Upward will add 20,000 square feet of new construction to the existing 2.2-acre campus, bringing the total facility size to 26,000 square feet. This will dramatically increase UPWARD’s capacity and enhance the experience […] More
 

Eric Ghim and Alisa Snyder Crowned Champions of the 2015 Thunderbird Invitational

Glendale resident, Eric Ghim, topped Jake Chanen with a birdie on the first playoff hole to capture the Boys title at the 2015 Thunderbird Invitational, contested at Papago Golf Course March 7-8. Ghim carded eight birdies during the two-day event on his way to a 72-69–141 winning score. Set to graduate from Sandra Day O’Connor High School in 2016, Ghim adds his latest victory to a host of achievements. He won the 2014 Mesa City Junior and Tucson City Junior; was runner-up in the Phoenix City Junior; finished 3rd in the Arizona Junior State Championship; and tied for 3rd place individually in the AZ High School State Championship in 2014. In the Girls Division, Xavier College Prep student, Alisa Snyder, also in the class of 2016, slammed the door on Tucson resident, Sydney Colwill, with a final-round 65 that included seven birdies and no bogies. With the 65, Snyder set a new competitive course record for ladies at Papago Golf Course. Her 74-65–139 for the event was good enough to secure a five-stroke victory. Snyder notches a first-place finish early in the 2015 season after a handful of near misses last year. The Junior Golf Association of Arizona is a […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donate $240,000 To The Arizona Special Olympics

The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, donated over $240,000 this year to the Arizona Special Olympics.   If you’ve ever been to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, chances are good that you’ve witnessed the blue-tunic-clad guys roaming about TPC Scottsdale acting like they run the place. Well, for that week anyway, they do. But before you chalk it up as just another opportunity for golfers to rub elbows, it’s important to realize how that special event benefits other special events. The Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games, for example, kick off every year with nearly 1,300 athletes competing in sports ranging from track and field and weight lifting to kayaking and tennis. This year, they all gathered Raymond Kellis High School in Glendale as well as Tempe Town Lake May 7-9 to show their stuff. “As an organization, this is one of the most rewarding weekends of the year,” said Tom King, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds. “We get an opportunity to see how much it means to these athletes to get a chance to compete, and at the end of the day, we’re thrilled to shake their hands and say ‘well done.’” The Thunderbirds – a premiere […] More