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Thunderbirds Charities Spring 2015 Funding Cycle Is Now Closed

Thunderbirds Charities is a prime beneficiary of the growing success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, now underway this week at TPC Scottsdale. Since its founding, the tournament has contributed over $90 million to Phoenix area charities, and will likely top $100 million in 2015. Qualified charitable organizations in the Greater Phoenix area have two funding cycle deadlines each year. The Spring Funding Cycle is now closed as of March 1, 2015 at 5:00pm MST. Please check back in early August 2015 for Thunderbirds Charities Fall Funding Cycle information. Thunderbirds Charities only accepts grant proposals submitted through its website. To submit a proposal you will need an email address and your organization’s IRS tax ID number. You also must be able to attach all required materials. This means that you must have the documents stored electronically and accessible to upload during the online proposal process. To learn more about how your organization can benefit through Thunderbirds Charities, please click here to visit the website’s to learn how to apply online. More
 

Helping Hands For Foster Kids

Arizona Helping Hands thanks Thunderbirds Charities for their $25,000 grant in support of our Helping Hands for Foster Kids (“HHFK”) program. This program provides beds, cribs, clothing, diapers and other essential needs to the over 16,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system. HHFK was begun in 2013 and as the word has spread to caseworkers and foster parent groups, the growth in services has been phenomenal. 60 beds were provided to foster parents in 2013, over 500 were provided in 2014. The Thunderbird grant will help AHH continue to expand service to foster families who step up to care for these children. “Children in foster care are frequently moved into new situations with nothing but the clothes on their back. To be able to provide assistance to these families truly does make a difference”, says Executive Director Dan Shufelt. He tells of a great grandmother (“GG”) who recently took in her 4 great grandchildren. AHH provided her with beds, clothing and toiletries to help ease the transition. “GG herself was orphaned at age 9 when her mother died. Despite the challenges and demands her 4, 7, 9 and 11 year old great grandchildren place on her, physically, emotionally and financially, […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Child Grief Program With $15,000 Grant

Hospice of the Valley has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for the New Song Center for Grieving Children. The grant supports the Enduring Ties program, which serves children ages 4 or older who have experienced the death of a sibling, regardless of cause of death or whether the child received hospice care. Parents and guardians of children also participate in a support group that meets separately from the children and teens, who are divided into age-appropriate groups. It is the first program of its kind in Maricopa County. There is no cost to enroll. “Hospice of the Valley and their New Song Center serve such an important role here in the Valley,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom King. “And while we hope no child ever loses a sibling, sadly we know it’s an unavoidable reality. The work the Enduring Ties program accomplishes in the healing process is tremendous and something we’re proud to support.” The death of a child turns a family’s life upside down. Sibling survivors are at high risk for complicated grief, which if left unresolved can lead to emotional and behavioral problems as an adult. Parents are often struggling to cope with their own […] More
 

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Unveils Newest Crews’n Healthmobile for the Homeless

Last fall, Thunderbirds Charities donated $100,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to purchase a new Crews’n Healthmobile, a mobile medical unit that provides free, comprehensive medical services directly to children and young adults up to the age of 25 who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. On Tuesday, December 9th, the new Crews’n Healthmobile was unveiled in front of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The unit is specially outfitted with three exam rooms and the latest pediatric medical technology. This is a second mobile medical unit and will expand services throughout the valley. The original Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) was established by a partnership in 2000, with Children’s Health Fund and Home Base Youth Services. Over the past 15 years, the program has grown to include the mobile medical units and host 18 weekly clinics. The newest Crews’n Healthmobile is state-of-the-art and is one of the most technologically advanced mobile units in the country. “We’re proud to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital and their Crews’n Healthmobile,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom King. “They see about 1800 unique patients per year through 4,000 medical visits to their mobile unit. This second Mobile Medical Unit will help PCH treat more people across our community.” The […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $50,000 To St Mary’s Food Bank

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, donated $50,000 to St. Mary’s Food Bank. The official check presentation took place on Monday, November 24. St. Mary’s Food Bank will use this grant to provide more than 58,000 meals to at-risk children through a variety of hunger programs targeted to help those in need. More than one in four Arizona children are classified as “food insecure” and do not know where their next meal will come from. “On behalf of Arizona’s hungry children, we are thrilled to receive this generous grant from the Thunderbirds as they continue their long and distinguished tradition of helping this community,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Beverly Damore. “The children we will reach through these programs live with hunger on a daily basis. But if we are able to reach them and provide the necessity of basic nutrition, we have seen the positive results in both their overall health and ability to thrive in the classroom.” 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 […] More
 

Miracle League of Arizona Wiffle Ball Game

Thunderbirds Charities and their continued support of the Miracle League of Arizona provides young Arizonans with disabilities and special healthcare needs an opportunity to experience the joy of America’s greatest pastime – baseball. Thunderbirds Charities most recent donation of $50,000 was celebrated on November 13th with a friendly Wiffle Ball game with The Thunderbirds paired against perennial Miracle League supporters the Scottsdale Charros at Miracle League Field. The impressive facility offers adaptive baseball with custom designed, rubberized turf to allow easy maneuverability for wheelchairs and other devices, and is fully capable of accommodating over 200 special needs athletes, their families and equivalent number of volunteers. The games are success-oriented as each player is encouraged to do as much as they can on their own, while a volunteer “buddy,” a one-on-one friend and helper, assists with whatever additional help the player might need to succeed. More
 

Fall 2014

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The Happily Ever After League (HEAL)

The Happily Ever After League (HEAL) was founded in 2004 after Lauren Daniels was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. Lauren’s children ranged in age from 1 to 11 at the time of her diagnosis and she realized how challenging it was to be a mom with cancer. She formed a Board of Directors and in July, 2004 HEAL began raising money to provide support to Arizona mothers recovering from cancer. HEAL provides a one-time financial grant towards medical bills, rent and utilities. A HEALing House was created in October of 2007 for ongoing support of HEAL families. Programs include monthly social events as well as outreach through the Pantry which is offered once a month to help relieve financial pressure from all of the extra costs that are involved in cancer recovery. Outreach programs also help to provide holiday gifts, back to school supplies and backpacks to the families. On average HEAL helps 80 mothers per year. The requirements are you must have at least one dependent child living at home and you must be in active treatment for any type of cancer. If you or someone you know could benefit from HEAL please visit www.happilyeverafterleague.org. […] More
 

There Is An Economic Scholar Among Us, And She Is Only 14 Years Old!

Over the summer, when many of us were escaping the Arizona heat, Chandler student Emma Baier was taking 1st place in Arizona and 2nd place nationally in the InvestWrite financial essay competition. InvestWrite, made possible by the Thunderbirds and delivered by the Arizona Council on Economic Education, challenges 4th – 12th graders to analyze investments and recommend portfolio allocations targeting long term financial goals. Emma Baier was among 20,000 students nationwide who took the InvestWrite challenge, developing the personal financial savvy needed to make real-world financial decisions. Emma’s winning essay, Tesla vs. Ford, spelled out which is a better investment and why. It takes years to build up the financial savvy to navigate the markets. And Emma is decades ahead of the game. As an 8th grader, Emma claimed this recognition in the middle school division in the spring 2014 competition. The winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of asset allocation, the stock market, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form. It is a transformative program that prepares students like Emma for college, career and life while teaching […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Helps Purchase Specialty Sports Wheel Chairs

Thunderbirds Charities made a commitment in August of 2007 to help fund a project – a dream, really – the goal of which was to build a sports and fitness center for people with disabilities in Phoenix. It would be one of only two facilities of its kind in the United States, and the only universally-designed, accessible facility in the Western United States. On October 31st, 2011, this “dream” project became a reality, as the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities (SpoFit) opened its doors. The 45,000-square-foot facility boasts two sport courts, a suspended indoor track, a 35-foot rock climbing wall, a 7,000-square-foot fitness center, a group fitness room and an accessible aquatic center with lap pool, therapy pool and spa. The SpoFit is a program of Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides programs that empower people with disabilities to live independently. Thunderbirds Charities recognized the importance of this facility and the impact it would have on the quality of life for people with disabilities early on during the capital campaign, and contributed $100,000 towards the facility. All funds were used towards the purchase of the specialized, accessible equipment […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Make $100,000 Donation In Support Of Two Starlight® Site Treatment Rooms

In an effort to improve the life and health of children and families in the Phoenix area, Thunderbirds Charities have partnered with Starlight Children’s Foundation and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center to support pediatric patients through sponsorship of two Starlight® Site treatment rooms and a Starlight® Tablet. These generous gifts will help the hospital support more than 5,000 children and families every year, directly at the point of care. A ribbon-cutting dedication and tour of the treatment rooms took place at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center from 4 – 5 p.m. on June 4. The ceremony was hosted by Tom Dickson, CEO of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center and Tom King, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds, host organization of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Other ceremony participants included Wendy Pauker, the hospital’s Child Life Manager, Starlight representative Allison Gentry who designed the rooms, in addition to current patients and family members from the hospital. Starlight Sites are beautifully designed, welcoming and child-friendly hospital environments that support the healing of pediatric patients during their hospital experience. Since 1990, Starlight has been transforming designated areas of sterile hospital environments into colorful, entertaining oases that can be enjoyed by young patients and their families. Starlight Sites […] More
 

First Tee Kids Take On Thunderbirds

As many of you know, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is hosted by a pretty special group of volunteers called The Thunderbirds. When they’re not knee-deep running the world’s largest golf tournament, they’re supporting the First Tee of Phoenix. Well, they own the chapter actually! Today marked the 4th Annual Big Chief Challenge, an opportunity for kids and adults alike to get out on the links at Phoenix Country Club and have some good old fashioned fun. Pictured here are first-place winners Thunderbird Robbie McGarey (far right) and First Tee members Mahanth Chirravuri, Jake Guess and Christian David. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donation Supports UMOM Families

UMOM is proud to announce and thank Thunderbirds Charities for their $60,000 donation to support renovations of UMOM’s Atkinson Family Resource Center. With this donation UMOM recently installed a new gym floor providing a wonderful space for family activities including movie nights, youth programs, after-school sports, and life skills worships. “We value our partnership with Thunderbirds Charities and the support they provide for those in need in our community”, said Darlene Newsom, UMOM CEO. “The recent Thunderbirds Charities donation will go a long way to improving the environment at UMOM for the families we serve.” UMOM plans to further renovate the activity center space that will include improvements like added storage, energy efficient doors, vinyl flooring, new furniture and installation of a ceiling projector for meetings & presentations. Thunderbirds Charities Mission: to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. UMOM’s Mission: to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 Grant To UPWARD For Children And Families

UPWARD for children and families recently received a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support Project Care, Comfort and Education, which provides special education, therapy and nursing services for children who have severe disabilities and are medically fragile. The grant will specifically support registered nurse and licensed practical nurse care to ensure that the children’s medical needs are met so that they can attend school. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of Thunderbirds Charities and their commitment to children with special needs,” said UPWARD CEO Doug Carter. “UPWARD is a place where abilities thrive and every child is treated with dignity and respect.” UPWARD has been dedicated to a simple yet powerful purpose: To see past a child’s disability, recognize their unique abilities, and do everything in our power to ensure these children and their families thrive—through education, therapy and loving care. Due to a passionate commitment to this calling, Upward is many of the Valley school districts’ primary provider of special education, therapy and childcare for children with severe disabilities. For more information on UPWARD, visit www.upwardaz.org. Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. […] More
 

Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe Hall of Fame

Thunderbirds Charities has been a supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley for many years. In 2001, due to a large donation to our capital campaign to build the Guadalupe Branch, the facility was renamed the Guadalupe Branch the Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe. Most recently, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley received $112,000 in January 2010 and $50,000 in May 2013, for programming and transportation needs at the Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe. And in 2014, $100,000 was granted in support of the Guadalupe Field Project, to build a multipurpose field on an empty dirt lot adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club facility. The Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe serves 1,380 members annually with an average daily attendance of 280 during the school year and 150 during the summer. Approximately 600 youth participate in the Youth Sports programs at the Thunderbirds Branch. 85% of the membership at the Thunderbirds Branch is minority and 62% reside in single parent families. 70% are at or below the poverty line. The Thunderbirds Branch serves those who need it most. In regards to the Guadalupe Field Project, the majority of the 5,000 residents of Guadalupe will utilize the field, whether it is through Boys & […] More
 

Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe Breaks Ground on New Football / Multipurpose Field

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley (BGCEV) is partnering with the Arizona Cardinals, the NFL Grassroots Program, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and The Thunderbirds to construct a football / multipurpose athletic field at the BGCEV Thunderbirds Branch-Guadalupe. The project will include installation of new turf/football field, a shaded play structure, and a sport court. Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said “We are happy to assist our neighbors at the Thunderbird Branch-Guadalupe Boys & Girls Club with this project in our back yard. The opportunities this field will provide for kids to play football and other youth sports on a year round basis will give them more opportunities to stay active and healthy.” Mayor Rebecca Jimenez from the town of Guadalupe said “The Guadalupe community is thankful and appreciative of this support from the NFL, LISC and The Thunderbirds to build this football field for our children and families. This will be one of the jewels in the Town of Guadalupe, and will give our kids a first class field to play many sports on and exercise, as well as hold various community activities as well.” Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom Altieri said, “This new football/multipurpose field […] More
 

2014 Special Olympics Summer Games

Athletes Compete in Track and Field, Tennis and other Olympic Sports Special Olympics Arizona athletes from across the state competed in the 2014 Summer Olympic Games held May 1-3 at Grand Canyon University. The Summer Games are the largest Special Olympics Arizona event held each year with 1,300 athletes competing. The games kicked off with hundreds of fans cheering on the athletes at the Americana-themed Opening Ceremonies, and the fun continued for the following two days with competitions covering track and field, tennis, powerlifting, volleyball and kayaking. “This is by far one of the most highly anticipated events of the year,” said Tom Altieri, Big Chief for The Thunderbirds. “The enthusiasm and appreciation these kids have for the games really lights up the event and makes it all worthwhile.” The Thunderbirds — a premiere sponsor for Special Olympics for over 30 years — spearheaded the awards ceremony, ensuring each athlete was duly honored for their achievements. This renowned charitable organization has raised more than $3 million for Special Olympics Arizona to date, contributing to Summer Games as well as the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program. For more information on the 2014 Summer Games, please visit www.specialolympicsarizona.org. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities gifts $100,000 to the ADAPT Shop

Grant expands disabilities services for young children, opens new ADAPT Shop Family Resource Center Each year, more than 2,000 children in Arizona under the age of 1 are expected to be diagnosed with a developmentally-limiting condition like cerebral palsy or spinal muscular atrophy. Thanks to a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, more of Arizona’s young children with these types of severe disabilities will be able to receive the support they need at Southwest Human Development’s ADAPT Shop. The ADAPT Shop is a unique facility where parents can bring their young children with disabilities to receive customized products and support devices. A physical therapist works with each family in their home or at the ADAPT Shop to determine what equipment would be most helpful – such as custom foam seating and mobile scooters – and products are then designed and built based on the child’s individual needs. “We are so grateful for the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities,” said Ginger Ward, CEO of Southwest Human Development. “This commitment helps us continue providing this incredible and much-needed resource for Arizona’s young children and families, expand the ADAPT Shop’s work space and create an on-site family resource center.” Children who can benefit from […] More
 

Thunderbird Charities Donates $82,000 To Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS)

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – recently donated $82,000 to Maricopa Integrated Heath System (MIHS) to build a Family Learning Center at the Chandler Family Health Center. On January 10, 2014, more than 200 members of the local community attended the grand opening celebration of MIHS’ fourth Family Learning Center (FLC). Housed within MIHS’ Chandler Family Health Center, the FLC will provide culturally competent services to children and families seeking reliable health information, community referrals, education classes, literacy activities and insurance enrollment assistance. The FLC also features a children’s area with books and space for storytime activities, public computers available to view health education DVDs and on-line tutorials, a group area used for health education and parenting classes and private office space used to assist individuals applying for health programs. 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. […] More
 

Tumbleweed Receives $100,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities

Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development has received a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities as a result of the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open, launching a collaboration to support homeless youth. Grant money will be used towards the Tumbleweed Youth Resource Centers located in Tempe and Phoenix. Youth Resource Centers (Phoenix/Tempe) is a program for homeless youth ages 12 – 25. Tumbleweed provides the most basic needs including meals, showers, clothing, access to medical care, counseling, case management, and educational and social groups in the Phoenix and East Valley area. Street-based outreach teams are another component of the Resource Centers. Vans hit the streets supplied with sack lunches, water, blankets and hygiene items to hand out to youth living on the streets. “The donation provided by Thunderbirds Charities will help insure young people living on the streets will get their most basic survival needs meet each day,” said Cynthia Schuler, Tumbleweed Chief Executive Officer. “Our Resource Centers help clients escape homelessness and work toward their individual goals of self-sufficiency.” “As Thunderbirds, we work hard all year planning and executing the Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom Altieri. “The real satisfaction, though, comes from the ability to give back […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities donates $150,000 to Chrysalis for Family Resource Center

Thunderbird Charities gift of $150,000 to create the Thunderbirds Charities Family Resource Center has helped impact many lives including this client. The center consists of a supervised computer resource lab, a 50-seat conference room for educational, counseling and support groups; and a client advocate wing where residents have 24-hour access to staff and supportive services. Chrysalis’ Courage Campus has touched the lives of many through its comprehensive programs. One shelter resident had the following to say in regards to their time at Chrysalis. “Thank you so much for the wonderful gift you have given me. You knew me not when you took me in your good graces, with arms open wide you gave me a chance. You treated me with respect and care. You provided me with a safe home in which to live, and all the things I would need to begin again. I had no worries of food, hygiene, utilities and all the basics. It was up to me how and what I would do to reclaim my life. As I wondered and reached out, I discovered that the classes, therapy and case managers were there in place to support and encourage me through the trails. I am […] More
 

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open And The Thunderbirds Raise $6,214,711 For Local Charities

Waste Management Phoenix Open hosts, The Thunderbirds, will distribute $6,214,711 to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2013 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom Altieri announced today. Since October 2003 when the tournament first brought on a title sponsor, The Thunderbirds and the Open have raised more than $60.3 million for charities ($60,376,103). In its history, dating back to 1932, the Phoenix Open has raised more than $86.1 million for charities in Arizona. “This is one of my favorite days each year; the day when a year’s worth of hard work truly pays off as the real winners of the Waste Management Phoenix Open are the local charities,” said Altieri. “The more than $6.2M we announced today will help thousands in need; we can’t thank the community and our sponsors enough for their outstanding support of this tournament.” “As North America’s environmental solutions leader, Waste Management is proud to be the title sponsor of the greenest show on grass, and we are extremely pleased that more than $6.2M of golf tournament proceeds are going to charities throughout Arizona,” said David Aardsma, Waste Management chief sales and marketing officer. The 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open, known as “The Greatest Show on […] More
 

The Thunderbirds Donate $60,000 to The Miracle League for New Batting Cages

The Miracle League of Arizona and the Phoenix Thunderbirds teamed up to unveil the first-ever batting cages for special-needs athletes at Miracle League Stadium on Saturday, October 26 at 10 a.m. The cages include soft toss, slow-pitch and advanced machines, giving each athlete the chance to play at their own pace. The Miracle League is a charitable organization that grants over 200 children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to play a game of baseball as a team member in an organized league. “Every child deserves the chance to play baseball,” said Dan Haren, executive director of the Miracle League. “We want to thank the Thunderbirds for providing the funding for the special needs community and giving our athletes an experience that, prior to this, they could only dream about.” “We’ve had the pleasure of donating millions of dollars to a variety of organizations across Arizona; however this donation to the Miracle League is one of the most exciting and anticipated,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief Tom Altieri. “We are really proud of it and look forward to watching many Miracle League members use the new batting cages.” The Miracle League of Arizona stadium, located near Cholla Park, at […] More
 

Fall 2013

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Fall 2012

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