Author Archives: Erin Saltzman

Kohl’s Cares Scholarship entries due

The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program will award more than $420,000 in scholarships and prizes to more than 2,200 volunteers ages 6 to 18  who have made an impact in their community.

Nominations for volunteers will be accepted until March 15. Nominators must be 21 or older.

Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 15,000 kids with more than $3 million in scholarships and prizes.

The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s philanthropic program focused on improving the lives of children. Forty-eight Arizona students were awarded scholarships in 2011.

For more information or to nominate a volunteer, visit kohlskids.com.

Youth of the Year Chantinique Dancy

Chantinique Dancy has used her passion for singing to help her at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley Ladmo Branch – Tempe.

Chantinique Dancy. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

Dancy, 18, feels a sense of purpose since joining the club seven years ago, when she was struggling to cope with her parents divorce.

Dancy is one of eight outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year on Feb. 27. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held at 5:30 p.m. at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

She has helped others as a member of the teen leadership-building Keystone Club and the Junior Staff Training team, where she learned how to operate a summer day camp program.

Dancy has helped supervise club members inside and outside of the Club, stepping up to run programs at the last minute. She also helps pre-teen girls build self-confidence and a sense of social responsibility as an assistant in the Club’s Girl Talk program.

The Tempe High School senior is involved with choir and the Black Student Union, a dance program where she serves as historian.

Dancy plans to study cosmetology and would like to earn a degree in business management from Northern Arizona University. Her dream is to one day open a salon and keep helping her community.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.

Erin Saltzman

Youth of the Year nominee Adrianna Henderson

Adrianna Henderson has become a popular and positive influence at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley’s Thunderbird Branch – Guadalupe.

Adrianna Henderson. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

She lives by the motto “don’t judge a book by its cover” and is considered a true and honest friend.

Henderson is one of eight outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year on Feb. 27. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held at 5:30 p.m. at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

She joined the club three years ago after her mother suggested it. At the club she finds guidance and compassion when things are hectic at home.

The Horizon Honors High School senior also volunteers in her community by lifeguarding and through projects with the National Honor Society and the club. Henderson helped with events like handing out water and snacks to participants at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and at a golf tournament for special needs children.

The active club member also dances and has performed in “The Nutcracker” ballet and studied tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and ballet. She hopes to tap into her passion for kinesiology, becoming a physical therapist for an NFL team some day.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.

Erin Saltzman

Youth of the Year nominee Alex Espinoza

Alex Espinoza, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley Grant Woods Branch – Mesa since 2010, is a leader and a dependable person when things get tough.

As the oldest of three boys in a traditional, Mexican-American household, he helped his family cope when his beloved twin Aunts Maria and Francesca lost their battles with breast cancer.

Alex Espinoza. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

Espinoza would like to go to medical school and to one day find a cure for breast cancer.

He is one of eight outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year on Feb. 27. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held at 5:30 p.m. at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

Espinoza uses the leadership skills he learned at the club to help staff as an office aide at Riverview High School, where he is a senior. He also showed great initiative in starting a monthly school clean-up program within the student council, where he was elected to the position of class representative.

Espinoza is the vice-president of the Keystone Club, where he’s helped get donations for its Guardians for Kids Breakfast.

He wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a concentration in medicine from Arizona State University or another university, then complete medical school.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.

Erin Saltzman

Youth of the Year nominee Sache Foster

Sache Foster has learned to become a better citizen in her community, state and nation because of her experiences at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley  Gila River Branch – Sacaton.

Sache Foster. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

Foster is one of eight outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year on Feb. 27. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held at 5:30 p.m. at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

Since Foster joined the club 11 years ago, staff members have motivated her to get involved with basketball, cheerleading, flag football and other programs, in which she earned several awards. She also is a leader for the Keystone Club, where she helped raised money to go to regional, state and national conferences.

Foster is a member of the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council, a group of young people from each of the seven districts of the Gila River Indian Community. Members of the group plan events for the community and work alongside district and tribal members to help solve issues.

Foster, a Coolidge High School senior, has overcome numerous obstacles to stay in  stay in school, including stopping smoking and drinking. She wants to urge other teens to find more positive activities rather than using drugs and alcohol.

Now Foster looks forward to graduating high school and going to college. She plans to continue being a positive influence on the Gila River Indian Community, her family and her peers.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.

Erin Saltzman

Pancakes for PCH

The International House of Pancakes will once again host National Pancake Day on Tuesday, Feb. 28 to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Donations made at IHOPs in the Phoenix area will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

More than 1,500 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will serve customers a free short stack of pancakes from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Customers are then encouraged to make a voluntary donation.

In IHOP’s seventh year of fundraising, the company hopes to raise at least $2.7 million nationwide. Hospitals will use the money to purchase equipment and to fund different procedures and treatments for seriously ill or injured children.

All month, participating IHOPs also have been selling “Miracle Balloons” to guests for $1 and $5 each to jumpstart the fundraising effort.

To find a local location or to make a donation online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

Erin Saltzman

Youth of the Year nominee Nick Groth

Nick Groth is an advocate against bullying and a role model for others. He is also one of eight outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Valley’s Youth of the Year.

Nick Groth. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley

Groth joined the Gilbert Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley 11 years ago.

Now a junior at  Gilbert High School, he participates in football and wrestling and is known for taking a stand against bullying. After some of his peers started teasing a smaller football player who ate out of a trash can for unknown reasons, Groth urged them to stop. He later befriended the victim to make him feel like part of the group.

Groth understands how it feels to be an outcast. In seventh grade, he struggled as a wrestler, losing every match that season. With hard work and determination, he eventually became state champion.

Groth is the youngest of five siblings, but he still looks out for them, especially his brother Chris, who has autism.

Groth’s long-term goal is to become a orthopedic surgeon so he can continue helping others and fulfill his passion for learning about the human body.

He is president of the Keystone Club, a leadership program that helps organizes events in the community. He also serves as a group leader to help members transition from various programs and assists the program staff.

The Youth of the Year event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley. For more information visit clubzona.org.

Erin Saltzman