Category Archives: Fundraising

Gifts for mom that give back to great causes

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Flower Shops.

A better way to buy flowers

Purchase Mother’s Day flowers and gifts through Phoenix Flower Shops (delivery nationwide) and Children’s Action Alliance receives 10 percent of the purchase price.

CAA also operates an e-store where you can purchase beautiful pottery pieces created by local youth artists. Though it’s too late to have items shipped in time for Mother’s Day you can still pick up pieces from the Phoenix office. Contact Amy Kobeta at 602-266-0707 x202 or

CAA advocates for the health, education and security of Arizona children at the state capitol and in the community.


One of four card designs from Maggie’s Place.

Honor the mothers you know with special Mother’s Day cards and/or charms from Maggie’s Place. Phoenix-based Maggie’s Place provides houses of hospitality for expectant women who are homeless or alone and who wish to achieve their goals — for themselves, and for their child — in a dignified atmosphere. Learn more.

[NOTE: We published a story about Maggie’s Place in our May 2009 magazine; coming in June 2012 is an update on new developments at the growing nonprofit.]

The YWCA offers a Mother’s Day eCard that offers a particularly convenient option for those of you who wait until the last minute. There are many styles to choose from and you can personalize your message. A suggested tax-deductible donation of $20 provides financial education classes for one woman, making a difference in another mother’s life. Learn more.

A celebration of moms and theatre

Nonprofit Theatre Artist’s Studio will present a special event on Sunday, May 13, in celebration of Mother’s Day. “Music and Musings in Celebration of Mothers” will feature popular songs from Broadway and the great American Songbook and amusing and poignant readings about mothers by Studio members and others.

No ticket is required; pay-as-you-can donations will be accepted at the door. Advance reservations are recommended. Special reserved seating and program recognition will be provided for anyone who would like to donate a minimum of $100 to the “Spring for The Studio” Challenge Grant Campaign in honor or memory of a special woman.

The Studio is located on Paradise Village Parkway East, two blocks north of Cactus. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. 602-765-0120 or

Make strides against breast cancer

What better way to honor mothers, grandmothers and all women than by signing up for this year’s American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk?

The walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Tempe Beach Park. Mothers lost to breast cancer will be remembered and survivors will be celebrated. Learn more at

Take a chance and help another family

Maybe you want to take a chance on something really magical happening. Enter Mesa United Way’s Happiest Sweepstakes on Earth for a chance to win a Disneyland Vacation Package from Get Away Today. You don’t have to make a donation to enter the sweepstakes, but even the most modest contribution will help:

$10 will provide 50 meals for the hungry. $50 will provide a week’s worth of diapers for four infants in a shelter or feed a family of four for 19 days. $100 will provide a foster child with a backpack filled with school suppies,shoes,and clothing.

You get the idea. Even if you don’t win, you win. The contest ends May 16.

Know of other community-minded Mother’s Day gift ideas? Please log on and comment to share with the rest of us!


Pop tabs help families facing a child’s hospitalization

Dick Paulin dumps one of 32 five-gallon buckets holding more than 717,000 pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House to recycle.

On Tuesday, 15 residents of Sunland Springs Village in East Mesa delivered 32 five-gallon paint buckets filled with 717,755 pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Phoenix. The tabs, weighing a whopping 566.5 pounds, will be recycled and all proceeds will benefit the House.

Since 2008, members of the master-planned active adult community, which is located near the Superstition Mountains, have collected 2,326,843 pop tabs and donated $3,940 to the House.

The project is organized by Dick and Karen Paulin, whose relationship with the charity began when their grandson was undergoing medical treatment at hospitals in Wisconsin and Paulin family members stayed at a Ronald McDonald House.

RMHC provides a temporary “home away from home” for families who must travel to the Phoenix area to receive medical treatment for their children and also supports programs that directly benefit children and their families in our community. Funds raised by the Sunland Springs Village community will help ensure that no family is ever turned away because they can’t afford the $15 nightly fee.

Want to see if your organization can beat the Sunland Springs record? Learn more about the RMHC’s ongoing pop-tab fundraiser. 

Dick Paulin (left), Karen Paulin (center) and Janet West sift through some of the 717,000 pop tabs Sunland Springs Village residents delivered to the Ronald McDonald House for recycling.

KOA Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend sends kids with cancer to camp

Photo courtesy of KOA Care Camps.

Pay to stay at a Kampgrounds of America site on Friday, May 11 and you’ll receive a free night of camping on Saturday, May 12 at any of the 400-plus participating KOA campgrounds throughout North American.

It’s part of KOA’s 9th Annual Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend, which also serves as a fundraiser to support KOA Care Camps for children with cancer. The event attracted more than 25,000 camping families in 2011.

KOA Care Camps is a network of 44 specialized summer camps nationwide that provide a safe — and free — summer camping experience for children undergoing or recovering treatment for cancer.

“We have found a wonderful way to invite out campers to begin enjoying their summer camping season and also allow them to help us support camps for children with cancer,” said KOA CEO Jim Rogers in a press release.

Last year, more than $500,000 was raised through camper donations. Find a complete list of participating KOAs.

Kampgrounds of America, founded on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962, is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public family campgrounds. KOA has 485 locations in the United States and Canada.

Running against cancer, with Grace

Grace Kostyk.

In many ways, Grace Kostyk is a typical 6-year-old girl. She goes to kindergarten at Lookout Mountain Elementary and plays tennis.  She has an energetic and friendly personality.

But Grace’s life is anything but typical. In September 2011, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), one of the most common types of cancer in children, according to the National Cancer Institute. ALL inhibits healthy cell growth in the blood and bone marrow because of an excess of underdeveloped white blood cells. So hospital visits, spinal taps and daily medications are also part of Grace’s routine.

“She’s not the kind of kid to let this get her down,” says her mom, Sue Kostyk.

Grace is the honorary starter for Saturday’s Run to Fight Children’s Cancer. The event, which takes place at Grand Canyon University, benefits the nonprofit organization Children’s Cancer Network.

“Cancer can be a devastating health issue for the kids and a devastating financial issue for the parents,” says Sue. Treatment for ALL can last two-and-a-half years for girls and three years for boys. “[The Cancer Network] is a great organization,” she says. “Many families can’t even put food on the table and this run helps provide gas cards and mattresses and things families struggle to afford.”

Saturday’s event includes family activities, games, crafts, facepainting, mascots and more on GCU’s campus at 33rd Avenue and Camelback in Phoenix. 5k and 10k runs will be held, as well as a Cancer Surviviors’ Walk. Registration begins at 6:30am. Proceeds will support families at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital. A similar run last fall raised $30,000.

Sue says it’s hard “watching [Grace] go through things normal kids don’t have to go through. It breaks my heart that she can’t be normal.” But cancer hasn’t hindered her daughter. Grace is looking forward to starting off the big run and is proof that life doesn’t end with a cancer diagnosis; it simply changes.

To join the run, visit

— Amy Vogelsang

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

Erin Saltzman

Mark Grace Celebrity Invitational raises $135,000 for youth development

Group shot at the Mark Grace Celebrity Invitational.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ legend Mark Grace brought together more than 200 golf enthusiasts and celebrities at his annual Mark Grace Celebrity Invitational Feb 9-10.

The tournament raised money to provide youth development programs to children and teens served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and other charities.

The two-day event raised nearly $135,000 and included an upscale cigar dinner hosted by Scottsdale Plaza Resort as well as a tournament at The Phoenician Golf Club, one of Scottsdale’s premier golf courses. Participating celebrities and sports figures included Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Justin Upton, Chris Yong, Jay Feely, Joe Proski, Kevin Towers and many more.

Since 1954, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has provided more than 100,000 Northeast Valley youth with a positive, supervised environment to explore the power of their potential. Today 16,000 children and teens are served  through the organization’s nine branches and 12 outreach sites located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Hualapai Indian Community and other Northeast Valley neighborhoods.

The club offers more than 100 youth development programs emphasizing five core areas: the arts; character & leadership development; education & career development; health & life skills; and sports, fitness & recreation. For more information visit

Buster welcomes members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Great Scottsdale.

A deal to fill a toy closet

The Toy Closet at Cardon Children's Medical Center.

Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Children’s Center will be featured on Tuesday through Thursday Jan. 24-26 to raise money for the Toy Closet program.

The Toy Closet program provides toys to patients who are undergoing medical treatment, providing distraction and comfort during what can be a stressful time in their lives. A trip to the toy closet may follow a painful procedure or scary treatment, or may occur when a child just needs a bit of encouragement. Children are allowed to keep the toys they select.

In order to minimize the risk of infection, all donated toys must be brand new.

Items most needed are age-appropriate toys that would appeal to the largest group possible. Some examples:

Teething toys
Musical toys
Teddy bears

Pop-up books
Light-up toys
Jumbo crayons with coloring book

School-age children
Matchbox cars
Board games
Arts and Crafts

Video games
Disposable cameras

Groupon features daily deals. To see the deal to benefit the Toy Closet program, you must subscribe to Groupon.