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 capacity, offer easier access to care and quicker assessments, and will help to efficiently treat the more than 83,000 patients that come through the emergency department each year, a number that is expected to reach more than 100,000 in the next five years.

The Emergency Department will increase to 69 private exam rooms, more than doubling the current capacity that will allow the treatment of 100,000 to 140,000 patients each year. Currently 200 yards away, the new Emergency Department will be located directly below the helipad, just seconds away from operating rooms, imaging and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to reduce transport time and improve treatment efficiency.

The new Pediatric Trauma Center will increase to nine trauma bays, allowing Phoenix Children’s Hospital to accommodate multiple trauma patients at the same time.

Additionally, the added space will decrease wait times significantly and will decrease the number of kids and families that leave without being seen by an estimated 50 percent.

“Thunderbirds Charities is a longtime partner of Phoenix Children’s having helped our patients and families in so many meaningful ways, including establishing play areas for our children, and supporting our Crew’n Healthmobile Program that serves homeless and at-risk youth,” said Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “They really put their hearts and souls into the work they do and the charities they partner with, and they’ve made our community a better place. Their most recent gift to us will, no doubt, touch thousands of families as we embark on a much-needed campaign to build a new Emergency Department and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center.”

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only children’s hospital that is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Phoenix Children’s provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children’s provides care across more than 75 pediatric specialties. The Hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the hospital, 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