Neighborhood Ministries: Katy’s Kids Preschool

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Neighborhood Ministries, a social service agency in downtown Phoenix that helps impoverished children and families, for their Katy’s Kids Early Childhood Development Preschool program.  During the 2019-2020 academic year, this program will serve 20 three to five-year-old children from economically disadvantaged households. It will provide opportunities for sensory learning, physical activity and social, emotional and cognitive development. Developmental, physical health, dental, hearing, and vision screenings will be offered free of charge. A unique aspect of this early education program is the comprehensive services that will be provided to meet the various needs of children and families. In addition to connecting families to Neighborhood Ministries’ onsite food and clothing bank, health and dental clinic, after-school programs, counseling services, workforce development program and parenting classes, community partnerships will be utilized to ensure families’ holistic needs are met. This grant is part of the Spring 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Duet: Partners in Health & Aging Awarded Grant by Thunderbirds Charities

More than 100,000 children in Arizona are being raised by their grandparents or other relatives, according to the U.S. census. Duet: Partners in Health & Aging helps grandparents raising grandchildren through Valley-wide support groups, workshops, family activities, respite care, and information and referrals. Recently, Thunderbirds Charities provided Duet with a $15,000 grant to support their one-of-a-kind Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. “When grandparents raising grandchildren come to Duet, they are often in turmoil,” said Patricia Dominguez, MSW, director of kinship care services for Duet. “They are often confused and scrambling to find resources and help. Duet is that life-line to making sense of their situation and provide them with hope. This grant from Thunderbird Charities will make a huge impact to grandfamilies [grandparents and the children they are raising] facing many challenges.” By supporting grandparents raising grandchildren, Duet provides families with the tools they need to navigate an often unexpected transition and helps to keep children out of foster care. The funds from the Thunderbirds Charities grant will support group family activities, respite care, and more. These social and cultural outings such as family picnics, visits to local attractions, and more, allow grandparents and grandchildren to know that they aren’t alone […] More

Hope Women’s Center

As ACEs and the importance of trauma informed care continue garnering awareness in Arizona, one question remains: How will low-income individuals afford trauma care?  Hope Women’s Center has an answer – their trauma informed services are free. And thanks to the recent grant award from Thunderbirds Charities, Hope’s 5 locations can continue helping Arizona women heal from past trauma.  ‘Empower Her’, Hope’s one-on-one mentoring program, is Hope’s approach to trauma healing. “Mentoring allows a client to meet with a trained mentor for deeper emotional work. Being both relational and holistic, ‘Empower Her’ has a unique approach that creates a safe space for a woman to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually from past trauma,” says Tammy Abernethy, CEO of Hope Women’s Center. “We’ve spent 35 years building trusting relationships with women and teen girls. In 2018, we invested 2,770 hours mentoring women in our communities and we expect that number to grow in 2019 as we open our 5th center in Maricopa and expand our Coolidge center. We are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities!” “We admire the work and services that Hope Women’s Center provides,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We know this grant is going to help so […] More

Harvest Compassion Center

The Harvest Compassion Center Phoenix (HCC) is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will support the mission of the Harvest Compassion Center at both the North Phoenix and Maryvale locations of providing free food, fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy, clothing, hygiene, home and baby items to all who live in Arizona. In partnership with Thunderbirds Charities, as well as St. Mary’s Food Bank, both Harvest Compassion Centers welcome anyone living in Arizona to visit once every 30 days to receive a free shopping trip. Needy individuals, seniors, veterans, families and children come to HCC to find a unique mini-mart shopping experience where a personal shopper volunteer helps them select and fill a cart with their needed and desired grocery, home and clothing items. Last year alone, HCC served 36,180 individuals and children over 205,200 pounds of food and 36,000 pieces of clothing! HCC first opened its doors to the public in memory of a young 23-year-old brother and son, Mitch Swaback. Through one family’s loss, the desire and mission to serve the underserved in Phoenix was born. “Unfortunately, we know we will not end hunger or alleviate poverty in the Valley but […] More

Soldier’s Best Friend Receives Support from Thunderbirds Charities

Local nonprofit, Soldier’s Best Friend (SBF), is pleased to announce that Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a grant in the amount of $20,000 towards SBF’s Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program that supports veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Arizona. The funding will be used to pair the program’s veterans with appropriate and vetted rescued dogs, providing professional training, all necessary equipment and veterinary care to the veteran/dog team for the duration of their participation in the program. Founded in 2011 and based in Peoria, the Soldier’s Best Friend mission is to provide veterans with combat-related PTSD and/or TBI with service/therapeutic companion dogs. The effects of PTSD can include anxiety, depression, flashbacks, reclusive behavior, uneasiness in public and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, TBI can cause mood and behavioral problems, memory loss, physical pain and difficulty with communication. To lessen the challenges these conditions present, the veteran/dog team undergoes 6-9 months of training with SBF trainers, and upon graduation, the dog has qualified for service/therapeutic companion dog status. SBF conducts training in metro Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, Sierra Vista and Flagstaff. Through August of this year, 281 veteran/dog teams have graduated and over 156 dogs have been rescued […] More

Teach For America Phoenix Granted $265,000 by Thunderbirds Charities

Teach For America Phoenix (TFA) announced their newest cohort of 2019 corps members, and recognizes Thunderbirds Charities for their gift of $265,000 and the critical role this investment makes in building the leadership pipeline here in Phoenix for the 2019-2020 school year. In sponsoring the local recruitment and training of 25 promising leaders, Thunderbirds Charities’ donation of $265,000 provided TFA Phoenix with an opportunity to welcome additional corps members into the Phoenix community. The incoming corps size increased significantly, as TFA welcomed 76 corps members for the summer program.   As a result of Thunderbirds’ investment, the TFA Phoenix 2019 corps will increase educational access and opportunity for over 5,700 students across the valley. In addition, corps members will begin their two year commitment with a rigorous six-week training program to develop the instructional skills needed to be ready for the first day of teaching. TFA Regional Board Chair Jim Swanson said, “I’m already so impressed with this group of leaders. They’re bright, ambitious and driven. With the support of Thunderbirds, they’ll now have the opportunity to serve in the communities that need it the most, and to change the lives of students growing up in Arizona.” “Thunderbirds has always been […] More

October Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

“Every year in Arizona we see about 100 fatalities due to domestic violence, these are not limited to those involved directly in the violence, but include bystanders who tried to intervene and first responders. A 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that almost 40% of people in Arizona had been subject to domestic abuse” (Maricopa County Attorney’s Office). Thunderbird Charities continues to support organizations in the Valley whose mission is geared towards providing safety, support, therapy, and more. Here is what has been funded from our most recent Fall and Spring cycles. We’d also like to thank organizations we have funded in the past for the work they do. Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) CAAFA’s mission is to empower individuals, families, and communities to be free from abuse through collaboration, prevention, awareness, and support. They received $7,500 from Thunderbird Charities to implement equine-assisted therapy facilitated by a licensed professional counselor, on-site at the CAAFA shelter. Children often come to CAAFA not trusting others or isolating themselves due to the domestic and/or sexual violence they have experienced. Over time, through interacting with the equine therapy horses, they become more communicative and trusting, and they begin […] More

Stewarding a Valuable Community Resource Capital Renovation Project

Thunderbirds Charities recently funded several capital projects at our Laura Dozer Center campus; a community resource for individuals and families with disabilities. After 15 years, the campus was in need of restoration to bring it back to its prime condition to improve facility use. Their grant allowed for the installation of healthy Eco flooring in the UCP Early Learning Center and the UCP Therapy Clinic. Thunderbirds Charities also funded upgrades to improve the kitchen at our Day Training for Adults program, which improves food safety for our members learning healthy nutrition. This contribution has supported UCP in their efforts to improve the lives of individuals and families with disabilities. This grant is part of the Spring 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Grant to UMOM New Day Centers

UMOM New Day Centers, Arizona’s innovative leader in shelter, services, and housing for families, single women, and youth experiencing homelessness, has received a generous gift from the Thunderbird Charities. The $300,000 donation will provide critical programming assistance for families and unaccompanied youth as they rebuild their lives to end their homelessness.   In addition to emergency shelter, UMOM focuses programs and services on each individual to ensure barriers to employment and stable housing are addressed. Examples of programs and services include education and employment assistance, child care, housing assistance, utility and rent deposits, work tools and uniforms, bus passes or gas cards to get to and from work or school, and more, depending on the need. “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 programs and the reach of the families we serve.” “UMOM has such a tremendous impact on the individuals in our community, experiencing homelessness. They are critical to providing the needed support to help stabilize our most vulnerable and we are proud to support such a great mission,” said […] More

Veterans Furniture Center Awarded Grant by Thunderbirds Charities

The Veterans Furniture Center is honored to have the support of Thunderbirds Charities, 100% of the $25,000 donation will  go toward purchasing the furniture and household goods our transitioning veterans so desperately need to start a new life and stay off the streets. The Veterans Furniture Center (VFC) is a veteran run, volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting formerly homeless veterans’ transition to permanent housing by providing them, free of charge, the furniture and household goods they need to establish a home and successfully return to society. The VFC focus is on transitioning veterans who are moving into permanent housing under the HUD-VASH program. While the VA does an outstanding job providing counseling, healthcare, and other services, and transitioning these homeless veterans into subsidized housing, providing them safe shelter, it lacks the authority and budget to provide furniture or necessary household goods. By providing free furniture and household goods, the VFC fills that “critical gap.”  When the VFC volunteers deliver furniture and household goods, they turn that shelter into a home, giving the destitute veteran hope for the future and a new lease on life. This grant is part of the Spring 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $35,000 to ALS

Thunderbirds Charities awarded $35,000 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association Arizona Chapter. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. “We are so grateful for this incredibly generous gift from The Thunderbirds,” said Taryn Norley, President and CEO of the ALS Association Arizona Chapter. “This donation will allow us to continue to invest in the children and young adults who are affected by family members diagnosed with ALS.” The Children and Youth Program was established in 2016 to serve the needs of youth affected by ALS. Services supported by the donation include: Kid’s Day Out, a day of fun designed for youth ages six through 18 as a way to take a break from the realities of ALS. At Kid’s Day Out, youth can immerse themselves in entertaining activities while connecting with peers in similar situations. Family Connections, a support group that brings families together to engage in emotional processing activities that foster discussion on the struggles of life with ALS in a safe and supportive environment. Family Fun Packs, which are mailed every quarter to families that include supplies for bonding and memory […] More

MentorKids USA Receives $10,000 Award from Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $10,000 to MentorKids USA for the Student Success Program, helping kids in South Phoenix with their reading and homework.  Students who lag in their reading skills are at greater risk of falling behind; while those who keep up significantly increase their chance of long-term academic and life success.  “Thunderbirds Charities has been great supporters of MentorKids, and of our efforts to help kids develop their full potential through academic success,” said Aaron Parrott, executive director of MentorKids USA. “Thunderbirds Charities ongoing support of Arizona-based youth programs is helping to build local leaders who will continue to impact our neighborhoods, cities, and state.” Thunderbirds Charities, using funds raised at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, have partnered with MentorKids the past six years, helping make a difference in the lives of hundreds children through improving their reading and leadership skills, and helping grow program capacity to better meet kids’ needs. “Mentor Kids helps children in our community learn and grow,” said Thunderbirds Charities president Chance Cozby. “We believe in strengthening our local communities, and the best way to do that is to empower our young people through education. We’re honored to have a small part in helping our […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Grant to Greater Phoenix American Red Cross

American Red Cross, Greater Phoenix Chapter The Greater Phoenix Chapter of the American Red Cross recently received a generous $10,000 donation from the Thunderbirds Charities that will be used to support The Sound the Alarm campaign; a national Red Cross initiative to reduce fire fatalities, centers around the instillation of free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods.  Recently it was announced that almost 600 lives have been saved nation-wide by free smoke alarms that were installed by volunteers and purchased by partner donors like Thunderbirds Charities. “People are what make an organization work,” said Kurt Kroemer, Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona, New Mexico & El Paso Region of the Red Cross.  “Thunderbirds Charities and the Red Cross have a strategic alignment to help people and reduce injury and death.  I have seen firsthand the amazing results that can be achieved when people set out to complete a complex task, like going door to door installing hundreds of smoke alarms. This Sound the Alarm specific donation will allow us to build our volunteer teams and purchase needed materials. Thunderbirds Charities generous donation will provide the people we serve with comfort and hope knowing that the Red Cross bench is strong, we […] More

Assistance League East Valley Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $20,000 to Assistance League of East Valley for its signature program, Operation School Bell.  Through Operation School Bell, Assistance League of East Valley provides new school clothes, shoes and hygiene kits to needy elementary school children in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe and Kyrene School Districts. In the 2018-19 school year, the organization provided a record 10,436 children with new clothing, uniforms, shoes and hygiene kits. The children are recommended by school resource officers. “Assistance League of East Valley has made positive life changing impacts on children through Operation School Bell and we are delighted to support such a great mission,” said Chance Cozby, president of Thunderbirds Charities. Assistance League of East Valley is an all-volunteer group that raises funds through its thrift shop at 2326 N. Alma School Rd., Chandler, and through various events through the year. It is a chapter of a national nonprofit organization. This grant is part of the Spring 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

East Valley Adult Resources Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $20,000 to East Valley Adult Resources (EVAR).  This generous award will be used to support the Assistance for Independent Living Volunteer Services Program.  Through this program, volunteers are matched with homebound seniors in the East Valley who benefit from assistance with essential daily activities such as: assisted transportation to medical appointments, prescription pick-up, help with grocery shopping, and friendly visiting and phone calls. “We are very grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their support,” said Deborah Schaus, CEO of EVAR. “The program makes the difference in enabling our homebound neighbors to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible, and strengthens our community along the way.” “East Valley Adult Resources has such a positive impact on so many homebound seniors in our East Valley community and we excited to support such a great mission,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. This grant is part of the Spring 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Girl Scouts – Arizona Cactus-Pine Council $50,000 Grant

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $50,000 to Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) to support the Council’s Social Impact programs addressing the needs of at-risk youth.  GSACPC Social Impact programs are designed to reach girls who may not otherwise have access to Girl Scouting. They operate as early intervention programs and empower girls–who face challenges outside of their control–to break cycles of poverty, incarceration, abuse, and other issues, and realize their full potential. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ social impact work in Arizona, that began with the innovative Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program that connects girls with their incarcerated mothers. “We are deeply grateful to the Thunderbirds Charities and their decade-long support of our efforts to introduce more girls to Girl Scouting,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “It’s the best leadership development program for girls in the world that has proven positive life outcomes, and every girl deserves the opportunity to be a Girl Scout.” “The most fulfilling aspect of what we do as tournament host is giving back. It’s especially rewarding to see the funds raised from the WM Phoenix Open impact our community in ways that matter today and tomorrow,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We love […] More

Camp O’Connor Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute has been awarded a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Camp O’Connor, a civics program for middle school students. Camp O’Connor is a free, merit-based week-long summer program providing interactive civics education and leadership development for 7th and 8th graders. Now in its third year, Camp O’Connor takes place in downtown Phoenix at the Beus Center for Law and Society, home of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute and the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. With a large Arizona contingent, an increased focus on outreach to rural communities resulted in participation by students from Bullhead City, Yuma, Chino Valley, Sahuarita, Tucson, Hereford, Clifton, Florence, and Nogales, in addition to Maricopa County. Camp O’Connor works to educate, inspire and encourage the next generation of leaders to develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our democracy and their important role as citizens.  Campers develop leadership skills, greater knowledge of our nation’s democracy and experience civics in action, enhanced by field trips to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of Arizona’s government. O’Connor Institute Board Chair Matt Feeney, added, “Through its generous grant to the O’Connor Institute, the Thunderbirds have once again demonstrated their remarkable […] More

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

Please take a moment to watch a video of one of the impactful organizations that Thunderbirds Charities supports, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. We specifically supported the expansion of the CVICU to include an additional 24 beds on the 5th floor, 12 new CVICU beds and 12 cardio “step down” beds. We are helping PCH CVICU patients receive the care that is appropriate to their levels of acuity as they heal and recover! More

Human Services Campus Awarded $300,000 Grant by Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded the Human Services Campus (HSC) a $300,000 grant for critical client services to help individuals experiencing homelessness remove barriers leading to permanent housing.  The Human Services Campus opened in 2005 as a compassionate response to a community problem as well as an economic response to an increase in homelessness in the downtown Phoenix area. HSC, is located at 12th Avenue and Madison and is home to 20 nonprofit organizations providing services and resources to people experiencing homelessness.  Services include identification; physical, mental and dental healthcare, meals, shelter, legal services, employment services, navigation, housing match and more. “We are incredibly grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their deep generosity through this grant that will provide vital support in our mission to use the power of collaboration to provide solutions to end homelessness,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender.  “Of the nearly 7,000 unduplicated homeless individuals who visited the Brian Garcia Welcome Center on the campus last year, more than half initiated a strategy to achieve self-sufficiency.  This grant will enable us to provide services to even more men and women. When guests arrive at the Brian Garcia Welcome Center, our first step is to try to reunite them […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants Local First Arizona $80,000

Local First Arizona recently received $80,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program. The new investment will boost outreach of the program to new Latino businesses across the Valley, helping to further Thunderbirds Charities’ mission to improve the quality of life for Arizonans. Fuerza Local Business Accelerator is a six-month program offered at no cost to underserved Latino micro-entrepreneurs in the Greater Phoenix area. The curriculum brings industry experts together to teach courses on business fundamentals, cash-flow projections, marketing, business planning and more – all taught entirely in Spanish. During the program, students solidify a credit score and upon graduation, each student is given the opportunity for a line of credit to grow their business. “The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program was created from a need to help underserved Latino business owners. We are proud of the hard working entrepreneurs that go through the program because they are adding significantly to our communities and our economy. Thunderbirds Charities realizes the impact and potential and we’re thrilled to partner to continue bridging the gap for Latino entrepreneurs,” says Tanairi Ochoa-Martinez, Director of Fuerza Local Arizona.  “Local First Arizona is doing tremendous work in our community assisting underserved […] More

Treasures 4 Teachers

 It is ‘Back-to-School’ and thanks to the generous financial support of Thunderbirds Charities, hundreds of teachers and students from Title 1 schools in metro Phoenix will benefit with a delivery of school supplies from Treasures 4 Teachers – T4T on Wheels. This year truckloads of free school supplies will be delivered directly to Title 1 schools, serving an average of 50 teachers and 1,500 students in one trip. Most students in Title 1 designated schools live in low-income households and are less likely to be adequately equipped with the supplies they need to learn. The T4T on Wheels mobile program provides a solution to this problem while also alleviating the financial pressure many teachers feel when having to purchase their students’ supplies with their own money. Supporting teachers is critical. “Teaching is the one profession that teaches all others” says Barbara Blalock, Executive Director of Treasures 4 Teachers. “Where would we be if we didn’t have a teacher to educate and inspire us?” Barbara expands by saying, “Treasures 4 Teachers has always been available to educators all over the state, but we often hear that they cannot access the supplies they need because of time, money or distance.” Back-to-School is the […] More

Homeward Bound

Thunderbirds Charities granted a whopping $250,000 to Homeward Bound towards their Empowering Homeless Families with Children program. The monies, raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, will be divided between direct services and programming for residents, and maintenance on the now 20-year-old apartment campus named Thunderbirds Family Village. Homeward Bound is a local nonprofit that- along with a housing component- provides tailored stabilization programs targeted at the root issues of homelessness for children and their parents to get back on their own two feet. 89% of Homeward Bound resident families are headed by young, single women with an average of 3 children, limited education and large debt. “Homeward Bound has such a tremendous impact on at-risk families, giving them tools to be self-sufficient and thrive,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are happy to support their efforts in our community.” With homelessness on the rise in 2019, and Arizona temperatures rising even faster, Thunderbirds Family Village is the heart of Homeward Bound’s two-generational program. With the help of the funds granted, homeless children and their families are housed, the parents access training for family-supporting jobs, learn how to advocate for their children, and manage finances. Meanwhile, […] More

Kids Need to Read

Kids Need to Read was the fortunate recipient of a generous $25,000 grant award from Thunderbirds Charities. This is the third year of funding Kids Need to Read has received from Thunderbirds Charities, which has provided over $147 million of charitable donations to Arizona-based organizations over the years. The funds will be used to provide books and other reading resources to children living in low socioeconomic and rural areas of Arizona via The Page Coach, Kids Need to Read’s mobile conveyor of literary treasure.  The Page Coach was selected for funding because of its ability to reach areas traditionally overlooked by many literacy programs, including remote areas where children live without electricity and running water. Kids Need to Read has also worked with Thunderbirds Charities to deliver books to the Blessings in a Backpack program at Nevitt Elementary School in Tempe, Arizona via The Page Coach. “Ensuring that children have access to books is vital to breaking the cycle of generational illiteracy that exists in many impoverished areas of the state,” said Kids Need to Read Executive Director Denise Gary. “The Page Coach makes it possible for our organization to deliver books to children living in areas where the need […] More


Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – announced today at an official groundbreaking ceremony, that a record-breaking donation of $1 million has been gifted to Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ).  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 Special Olympics Arizona state office and distribution center adjacent to Perryville Prison in Goodyear. “We’re extremely proud of every charitable contribution we make to our local communities, but this gift to Special Olympics Arizona – the largest in our organization’s history – is extremely special,” said 2019 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Chance Cozby.  “This gift is only possible through the incredible support we receive from our corporate partners and from the best fans in golf who attend the WM Phoenix Open each year. We’re honored and humbled to have such a strong giving presence in the Valley.” This much needed new facility, which will be led by JE Dunn Construction, will provide statewide support for programs and events that are not just for Special Olympic athletes and personnel, but also for […] More

WM Phoenix Open Raises Record $13.2 Million for AZ Charities

Thunderbirds eclipse $13 million donation mark for first time, eighth straight year breaking record. PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – raised a record $13.2 million ($13,254,334) for local charities through proceeds from the 2019 tournament.  This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s record total of $12.2 million and the first time eclipsing $13 million in tournament history. It also marks the eighth-consecutive year breaking the tournament record of charitable dollars raised in a single year. “We’re always extremely proud when we make this announcement, and we’re pleased to break our single-year charitable contribution record for the eighth-straight year,” said 2019 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Chance Cozby. “It is a testament to the public involvement around our event and we’re grateful for the support of the community, our corporate partners and especially our title sponsor Waste Management so we can continue to achieve our goals to help Arizona children and families in need.” The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open have raised more than $81 million ($81,672,224) for local charities since 2010 when Waste Management became title sponsor. In […] More


PHOENIX – Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – awarded $3.9 million in grants to 71 Valley charities during its fall 2018 funding cycle. Most notably, Thunderbirds Charities granted $400,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), $350,000 to Barrow Neurological Foundation, $335,000 to St. Vincent De Paul, $200,000 to Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, and $172,000 to United Food Bank. Thunderbirds Charities has now opened its 2019 spring funding cycle. Information about the fall and spring funding cycles can be found at “Without a doubt, giving back to our communities is the most fulfilling thing about what we do as tournament hosts,” said Carlos Sugich, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re extremely proud and thrilled to give these grants to deserving organizations around the Valley. It’s an honor to see how the funds raised from the WM Phoenix Open impacts those in need in our community.” The $400,000 donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital went toward funding the expansion of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). The hospital is doubling the size of the CVICU from 24 to 48 beds and acquiring […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $10K to Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation

Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation Inc. (“DreamCatchers”) is excited to announce receipt of a $10K grant from the Thunderbird Charities. These funds will support the expansion and growth of DreamCatchers in Maricopa County.  Local high school and college students set up DreamCatchers chapters at their school, partner with a local hospice, and set about granting the final Dreams of hospice patients. With the Thunderbird Charities grant, DreamCatchers can start more chapters, allowing for the fulfillment of many more end-of-life Dreams for hospice patients throughout the Valley.  Both young and old see tremendous benefit in connecting together through DreamCatchers, enriching lives and widening intergenerational perspectives all while having a fun experience. Caitlin Crommett, the founder and president of DreamCatchers, states, “We are incredibly excited and grateful for the support provided through this grant by the Thunderbird Charities. We will now have the capacity to increase our presence here in Maricopa County- our home county- and impact more hospice patients and young students in the area. We are proud to be based in such a supportive community, and can’t wait to make a greater difference than ever with the support of the Thunderbirds.” “We’re extremely happy to help Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation in their efforts to benefit […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Funds New Classrooms for Child Crisis Arizona’s Mesa Facility!

Child Crisis Arizona was able to expand its Early Education Services, in partnership with Maricopa County Head Start, due in part to a generous grant from Thunderbird Charities. The gift enables Child Crisis Arizona to remodel a portion of its Mesa facility to house two classroom spaces for 40 four- and five-year-old children, and construct child-size bathrooms and Head Start staff offices. The Head Start program is a collaboration with Maricopa County Head Start to provide educational services to children who are aging out of the Early Head Start program yet are too young to start Kindergarten. The remodeled 4,300-square-foot Head Start classroom space is located at the Child Crisis Arizona Mesa campus, in the same building as the Early Head Start program. The one- to three-year-olds in the Early Head Start program have demonstrated a measurable, positive difference in achievement; therefore, giving children an opportunity to continue their education in a Head Start program will help better prepare them for success in Kindergarten. The two new classrooms are located in the same building where Child Crisis Arizona hosts parent education classes, community workshops and family activities. “We could not be more thankful to Thunderbird Charities for their ongoing support,” […] More

Phoenix Theatre’s Partners that Heal

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $15,000 in grant funding to support the direct service delivery of Phoenix Theatre’s expanding Partners That Heal program. Unduplicated in the United States, Partners That Heal is a therapeutic arts program in which specially trained actors perform improvisational care to bring laughter and joy to children and families undergoing traumatic medical diagnoses in healthcare facilities. Incorporating a repertoire of games, songs, puppetry, and instruments, the Partners’ creative services are personalized to the interests of the individual, and are approved for delivery within multiple hospital departments, including individual bedsides and isolation. Hospital staff who have worked with the program report consistent, significantly improved communication directly following a visit, which makes it easier to take vitals, draw blood, administer tests and determine the patient’s level of discomfort. Partners That Heal provides regular programming at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Thunderbird Children’s Hospital, Ryan House, Banner Cardon’s Children’s Hospital, Arizona Burn Center, and Mayo Clinic, among others. Since its inception in 2008, the program has serviced over 52,000 individuals. A Child Life Specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital testified: “Partners That Heal allows a patient to be a child, to feel ‘normal’ again, sometimes for the last time. They strip away […] More

Southwest Human Development Received a $50,000 Grant

Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest early childhood nonprofit organization, received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to purchase audio-visual equipment for its Children’s Developmental Center and Good Fit Counseling Center programs. “This funding from Thunderbirds Charities will allow us to upgrade our technology solutions in three of our on-site evaluation and treatment playrooms at our Children’s Developmental Center and our Good Fit Counseling Center,” said Ginger Ward, chief executive officer of Southwest Human Development. “High-quality technology is vital to the clinical work we provide through these two programs and is a valuable tool for the training we offer to a wide range of community practitioners and students.” The nonprofit will use the grant funding to replace outdated camera recording systems in two of its evaluation and treatment playrooms and install a new system in a third playroom. The Children’s Developmental Center and Good Fit Counseling Center rely on the technology for observation and planning related to young children’s interactions and relationships with their parents, caregivers and Southwest Human Development staff. Each camera system will allow for multiple camera angles, zoom features, frame-by-frame playback and more. “We’re proud to help Southwest Human Development secure the technological improvements they need to upgrade […] More