Thunderbirds Charities Donates $15,000 To Benevilla


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 the Helping Partners daily agenda. Members are involved and help direct their daily activities, including meal preparation.

“Through its Helping Partners program, Benevilla is able to enrich the lives of so many adults in the Valley who are dealing with intellectual or developmental challenges,” said Danny Calihan, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are happy to be able to support Benevilla and this much needed program for the community.”

Started by the community and for the community in 1981, Benevilla is an ever evolving nonprofit which has been responding to the needs of the local community for the last 34 years. For more information on Benevilla’s services visit

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 promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit