Thunderbirds Charities Donates $80,000 to Desert Voices Toddler Room

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community–recently donated $80,000 to Desert Voices in support of The Toddler Room.

“We could not be more thrilled with The Thunderbird’s extraordinary support of our program that helps children who are born deaf speak oral language,” said Tim Louis, Board Chairman.  “Thunderbirds Charities has been a supporter of Desert Voices for more than 17 years.  Their generosity has helped Arizona’s only non-profit, listening and spoken language program for children born deaf and hard of hearing, give voices to hundreds of children.”

Desert Voices offers two programs — Early Intervention for children zero to 3 years of age, where a child learns to hear and speak one sound at a time; and Early Education that takes the child from 3 to 5 or 6 when they mainstream to traditional schools speaking about 3,000 words and having experienced a pre-school environment where they learn to read and write.

The Toddler Room, for kiddos ages 2 to 3, is a half-day program 2-3 days a week.  It moves the child from Parent-Child Therapy where a baby learns to hear and learns sounds into a language rich environment where they learn about 250 words.  The beginning vocabulary is the foundation for then teaching complex language in a pre-school program where children learn not only to speak, but to have conversations, read, write and prepares them for traditional kindergarten or first grade of their parent’s choice.

“We are pleased to support Desert Voices and help them continue to achieve their mission to teach children born deaf develop to their maximum potential through listening and spoken language,” said Andy Markham, President of Thunderbirds Charities.  “We have been a proud supporter of Desert Voices for many years and love to watch the success stories that come out of such a great organization.”


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 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit


The mission of Desert Voices, Arizona’s only nonprofit, private oral education school for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, is to teach each child the oral language skills needed to talk and understand when others talk to them. Our goal is to prepare the children to mainstream by the time they are 5 or 6 into their school of choice with hearing children their age. The school was founded 20 years ago by parents of children with hearing impairments who believed that spoken language instruction provided their children with the greatest educational and social opportunities.  More than 330 children have graduated from Desert Voices and gone on to finish school, graduate from high school and go to college.  Desert Voices works in collaboration with pediatricians, audiologists, school districts, and state referral agencies in order to identify these children and facilitate their enrollment in Desert Voices.  Visit Desert Voices at or phone 602.224.0598 for more information.