Tag Archives: scottsdale

Celebrate Youth: Jackson Fogerty

Jackson Forgerty, a longtime member of the Virginia G. Piper Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, credits the Club and its programs for shaping him into the individual he is today.

His involvement over the last 10 years in programs like Leader in Training and Keystone, a leadership and service club for youth, has taught him how to be a role model to those around him. Team sports like basketball taught him the importance of teamwork and communication. Now a senior at Desert Mountain High School, Jackson plans to remaining involved in the club programs, especially basketball, while he attends college.

Kristofferson will be honored along with eight other outstanding young people at the Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction on Saturday, March 31, at Talking Stick Resort.

The gala is the Club’s premier fundraising event. Individual tickets are $125. The black tie event begins with a hosted bar at 5:30pm, followed by dinner, a live auction and the Youth of the Year Ceremony.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provide youth development services that instill strong core values and life-enhancing skills in a safe environment. The programs help promote healthy lifestyles, good character and academic success. For more information, visit bgcs.org.

Jackson’s speech

In each stage of the past decade of my life, the Boys & Girls Club has given me what I am truly seeking and this clarity is a rare constant in my fast-paced life. I am able to summarize the impact the people, programs, experiences and opportunities the Club has provided in one brief but meaningful word. This word continues to resonate with me as I reflect on my journey with the Piper Branch. It has become the power of fulfillment.

When I first arrived at Piper almost 10 years ago, I was an impressionable new member searching for a sense of belonging. As I became more involved, Club mentors and programs influenced me to be completely committed to school, the club and my community. The Piper Branch provided a sense of satisfaction and happiness in my life as I went from a new member seeking belongingness to a well-balanced leader taking in every opportunity available.

As I developed into my teen years, what I was searching for began to change. I found the Leader in Training Program, which allowed me to have a leadership position at the Club while learning to work in a team and be responsible. A sense of fulfillment was provided by the Boys & Girls Club in this pivotal stage of my growth as I created an identity for myself at an age when so many teens struggle to find just that.

The next phase of my life was the transition from a developing teen to a secure young adult equipped to take on life’s challenges. The Club prepared me to lead my peers as Keystone President, be a positive role model for my younger brother Grant, and exhibit Club values for the hundreds of members I am able to shape each day. As I continue my journey to becoming a more capable individual, I am confident that the ideals I have acquired from the Club will enable me to live a more fulfilled life.

The Boys & Girls Club provides this strong sense of fulfillment to every individual it touches, regardless of age, position, or level of involvement. I am truly grateful for what I have received from the Club in each phase of my growth and I have confidence that what I have learned through my involvement will guide me in every decision I make and continue to give me a sense of fulfillment no matter how far life may take me from the Piper Branch. Thank You.

Next: Youth of the Year finalist Lane Yazzie.


An opportunity to HEAL

HEAL hosted a Mommy and Me Tea early this year. Photo courtesy of HEAL.

The Happily Ever After League (HEAL) got its start in 2003, when founder Lauren Daniels learned that she had breast cancer at age 35 . She created HEAL within six months of her diagnosis, with the goal of providing support to moms battling cancer and their families.

Since 2004, the nonprofit’s board of directors has awarded more than 500 financial grants to moms with cancer. The women can use the funds however they choose.

“Most moms don’t even have time to have a cold, let alone go through surgeries and treatment and that type of thing,” Daniels says.

HEAL has expanded its influence in recent years, with programs like the HEALing House, established in 2007, which serves moms and their families with a food pantry and various other services.

Ambassadors in HEALing is a nine-month program where high school students learn about community leadership in the areas of event planning and execution, grant writing, outreach and fund raising. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2011-12 program.

The organization’s Laura Mylonas Scholarship began in 2009, when Linda, a close friend of Mylonas’, decided to take donations for HEAL in lieu of gifts at her wedding. Laura passed away before she was able to be Linda’s maid of honor; Linda went on to create the scholarship fund in her name.

HEAL announced the three winners of the annual scholarship at a recent fundraiser. This year’s first-place winner, Marios Mylonas, is the son of the woman for whom the scholarship was named.

According to Daniels, Marios and his brother were always involved in the selection process of the scholarship winners, giving their input on candidates’ applications and essays. This year, Marios wrote his own entry essay.

“We were thrilled to give him the award this year,” Daniels says.

Marios graduated this spring from Desert Mountain High School, where he earned an impressive GPA and was captain of the varsity baseball team. He hopes to continue playing ball at college this fall.

Marios received $2,000 in scholarship money. Two second-place winners received $500 each, paid directly to their schools.

To learn more about HEAL, visit happilyeverafterleague.org or contact Lauren Daniels at happilyeverafterleague@yahoo.com.

Shop for a cause

If your family is in the market for some new electronics, Friday, May 27 is the day to shop!

Best Buy stores in Scottsdale will be hosting the second annual Customer Appreciation Day to benefit cancer research, in association with Mirabel Hope for the Cause. A percentage of the store’s earnings for the day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., will support the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, which has conducted research and provided cancer care since 2001.

Special pricing will be available on items throughout the store.

Participating Best Buy stores are located at 15448 N. Pima Rd. and 10330 N. 90th St. in Scottsdale. — Sadie Smeck

Boys & Girls Clubs of Great Scottsdale name Youth of the Year

Olga Fernandez and Steve Davidson, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Scottsdale resident and Saguaro High School senior Olga Fernandez was selected as the 2011 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

Olga has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for the past 10 years and has been involved in a variety of educational and community service programs. She credits Club technology programs like Techathalon and Club Tech for her academic success at school. Olga maintains a 4.1 GPA and plans to attend Arizona State University’s Barrett, The Honors College, in the fall and will eventually pursue a career in medicine.

As the 2011 Youth of the Year from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Fernandez will represent the organization at the state competition held on Tuesday, April 19, at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix. The state winner will advance to the Pacific Region competition. Then, five regional finalists will vie for the national title of Boys & Girls Clubs of America 2011 Youth of the Year.

The 2011 Youth of the Year announcement was made at the organization’s annual Celebrate Youth Gala & Auction held on Saturday, March 26, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Fernandez will receive a $5,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems, $750 American Express gift card, and new laptop computer from Network PC Engineering.

The Youth of the Year program has been an integral part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for more than 60 years and is the highest honor given to members of the organization. Finalists are chosen based on their dedication to the Club, community and family, academic performance, moral character, life goals, leadership, poise and public speaking ability.

Below is the award-winning speech that Fernandez gave at the event:

Me siento triste. No tengo con quien hablar. Nadie me entiende. I am feeling sad. I have no one to talk to and am not being understood. Those were the exact thoughts that went through my mind on my first day at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. I was a lonely, Spanish-speaking 7-year-old who thought nothing good could come out of this move to America. I believed that the club was just going to be a temporary fixture in my life but was I wrong. Little did I know that it would become a place where I felt accepted and at liberty to just be me; a place where I would build lasting relationships and learn to express myself; a place where I would gain the confidence that I so desperately needed and a place where I learned that my differences were not so different.

The fairy tale club life that I live today is a far cry from how it was ten years ago. I was a second grader who wanted nothing to do with this so called “club”. I felt alienated and in result misbehaved, desperately seeking attention. I once remember, sprinting out of the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch just to cause commotion. When the staff sat down and tried a different approach to handling me, I slowly began to feel secure and change my ways. I began to think positively and appreciate the Boys & Girls Club for what it had to offer. It soon became that place where I could be accepted.

Not long after, I moved to a new school and a new Boys & Girls Club, the Rose Lane Branch. My first day at Rose Lane, I was determined to have a fresh, positive start with a new attitude. I immersed myself into all the programs the club had to offer. One program in particular was Smart Girls. It taught me to have confidence in myself and embrace the woman I am becoming. The more programs that I participated in; the more I discovered my love for the club. I realized how being an individual did not mean being an outsider. I finally had people who understood and believed in me.

I am glad that I had role models to help me through my struggles and I can honestly say that without them, I would still be that misinterpreted, vulnerable 7-year-old. Instead, today I am a young person committed to do her best, an upcoming college student at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College but most of all a courageous individual who is determined to succeed despite the odds of any given situation. This would not be possible without the help Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. Gracias…Thank you.


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. The organization’s nine branches and 12 outreach sites are 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 bgcs.org.

Offload unneeded electronics and help Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Time to get rid of this dinosaur.

Do you have an old keyboard or broken computer monitor in the garage or taking up space in your office?

MacMedia, Inc., in partnership with Westech Recyclers, will be accepting old electronic device donations from 9am to 5pm Saturday, March 19. The annual “Go Green” event provides a proper and safe way to dispose of your old, unwanted and outdated electronics.

Based on the total weight of donated items, 5 cents per pound will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital from MacMedia and Westech Recyclers. The goal is to collect 100,000 pounds of equipment.

Businesses interested in pledging a matching gift of 1 cent to 10 cents per pound are encouraged to contact Brian Georges, bgeorges@macmediainc.com for more details.

To participate, bring scrap electronic goods to MacMedia’s Scottsdale or Peoria locations. Tax donation vouchers will be provided for usable equipment donated. There will be food, drink, door prizes and one-day discounts, plus the first 250 people will receive two tickets to a spring training game at Camelback Ranch.

Working and non-functional unwanted electronics that can be donated include:
• PDA’s
• Keyboards
• Mice
• Fax machines
• Scanners
• Cables & adapters
• Cell phones
• Computer monitors
• Printers

MacMedia is located at 6928 E. 5th Ave. #1 in Scottsdale and 15525 N. 83rd Ave. #108 in Peoria.

Know someone who deserves a Hon Kachina Award?

Nate Anderson of Ear Candy at last year's awards dinner.

Nominations are being accepted through April 1 for the 35th Annual Presentation of the Hon Kachina Volunteer Awards. The annual awards honor seven of the Valley’s finest volunteers who have dedicated their time to different causes.

Last year’s winners included Nate Anderson of Ear Candy, Donna Bartos of the Purple Ribbon Council, Fred Christensen of the Navajo Volunteer Literary Program at Navajo Elementary in Scottsdale, Charles Finch of Stepping Stones of Hope, Kim Mills of the AZ Compassion in Action (Phoenix Fire Department), Bill Smith of A Stepping Stone Foundation, and Michael Young of Swing Fore Kids Golf Classic, which supports Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

“People may be involved with social and human services, organizations, arts organizations, pets, or homelessness,” says Pam Betz, executive director of the event. “Truly, it runs the whole gamut of the nonprofit sector, excluding advocacy or political-based organizations.”

The celebration of volunteerism will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa, in Scottsdale. Winners will receive a hand-carved Hon Kachina doll and a cash award for their nonprofit organization.

“The Hon Kachina doll is representative of the award and is the most powerful of the healing kachinas, according to the Hopi Indian culture,” says Betz.

To nominate someone you know, visit honkachina.org.

Parents learn how to deal with teen drinking

If you have teenagers, consider having breakfast without them this Wednesday. It might be the most loving thing you could do.

notMYkid is hosting an educational event Wednesday morning called Rethinking Drinking: What’s the Buzz. The event, to be held at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale will cover teen alcohol abuse and the roles and responsibilities that parents carry today.

“Underage drinking and binge drinking is a huge problem in our community and notMYkid wants to educate parents about the problems and the implications of alcohol — not only medically and physically but also legally,” says Jill Woods, senior director at notMYkid.

The breakfast program will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. It will repeat at lunchtime, from 12 to 2 p.m., for parents who can’t make the earlier session. Paradise Bakery is providing a continental breakfast for the morning session and box lunches for the afternoon session.

Koren Zailckas.

Koren Zailckas, author of the bestselling book Smashed, will tell her story about how she started drinking starting at the age of 14. Experts tell parents about their roles and signs to look for when dealing with teen drinking.


“Parents will learn the signs and symptoms of alcohol use, why alcohol is bad for people under the age of 21, teen trends in alcohol consumption and the penalty for adults supplying alcohol to minors,” says Woods.

To register, click here.