Tag Archives: Make-A-Wish

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Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce hires new CEO

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce has hired a new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mark Hiegel, a longtime Scottsdale resident and business executive, takes the reins from Rick Kidder who left in June for a similar position in New England.

Most recently, Hiegel served as director of marketing and business development for Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm in Phoenix as well as national communications manager for Make-A-Wish, America. Previously, Hiegel was managing partner at R&R Partners, Arizona, an international marketing agency with an office in Phoenix and a partner at Lavidge Hiegel Communications, an advertising agency in Phoenix. Hiegel also spent multiple years with PepsiCo, working throughout the United States, at its corporate headquarters in New York, and was On-Premise Managing Director responsible for 13 countries located in Singapore. Hiegel is an active and past member of more than 20 civic and philanthropic boards. Hiegel holds an MBA from Arizona State University.

“We are pleased to welcome Mark to lead the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Bryce Lloyd, market president of FirstBank and chair of the board for the Chamber. “Mark’s marketing and business acumen will serve our members well.”

Added Eric Larson, interim President and CEO: “One of Mark’s perfected skills is connecting people and ideas with action and results. His impact on the Chamber and our members will be immediate and powerful.”

Established in 1947, the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission is “building a vibrant and prosperous community through business leadership.” As part of its ongoing member advocacy, the Chamber leads various economic development initiatives, public policy discussions and educational activities.

“As a longtime Scottsdale resident, I am thrilled to join the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Hiegel, who has most recently served on the chamber board and whose community involvement has included the Scottsdale Charros and serving on the Board of Trustees for the Scottsdale Cultural Council. “Scottsdale is one of the most vibrant and revered cities in the U.S. and I’m proud to embrace the future with the Scottsdale Chamber.”


Tom Hatten elected as chairman of Make-A-Wish board

Make-A-Wish® Arizona, the state chapter of the international wish granting organization, recently elected Tom Hatten, president and CEO of Mountainside Fitness Centers and Fit Republic, as the new Chair of the Make-A-Wish Arizona Board of Directors.

Hatten has been on the Make-A-Wish Arizona board for four years. During that time, he has been instrumental in building a stronger Walk for Wishes in the Phoenix area through partnership with his fitness members. His work in the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Scottsdale also has encouraged the addition of new board members to the board who are committed to the non-profit organization’s vision to grant the wishes of every eligible wish child in Arizona.

“Tom is an energetic and dynamic leader who will help our board support our chapter mission of granting wishes to Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.  “We are excited to have him help us as we grant a record 350 wishes this year, and look forward to seeing how he can help us increase that number in our 2015-2016 fiscal year.”

Hatten started Mountainside Fitness in 1991, and now has 14 fitness centers across Arizona. Mountainside Fitness members have been very generous to Arizona wish kids, creating teams for the chapter’s yearly Walk for Wishes events and purchasing a record number of wish stars in a fall fundraising campaign.

“I am excited and humbled to be the incoming Chair for Make-A-Wish Arizona,” said Hatten. “Following former chairs like Mike Tully (CEO, AAA Arizona), Brad Vynalek (Managing Partner, Quarrels & Brady Law office), and most recently Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall leaves a great path of leadership that will surely help me this next year.  As the Founder of Mountainside Fitness and Fit Republic, it has always been a goal of mine to involve our 50,000+ members and 1000+ employees to help Make-A-Wish Arizona grant the wishes of all the our local children this year – 350 is the goal! I will work hard to continue increasing the number of lives we can positively impact on an annual basis.”

Hatten is joined on the executive committee by Vice Chair Jennifer Moser of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations; Secretary Nicole Pryde-Johnson of Lovitt & Touché; and Treasurer Todd Jarman of BBVA Compass.

In addition, Make-A-Wish Arizona welcomes Kaleim Manji, Chief Executive Officer of Spear Education LLC, to their Board of Directors.

Manji currently serves on the board of the Scottsdale chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where he is incoming Chapter Chair.  He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University and was recently awarded one of Phoenix Business Journals Top 40 under 40.

“Kaleim brings a unique business background to our Board of Directors,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and chief executive officer for Make-A-Wish Arizona. “We know his energy and enthusiasm, as well as his innovative thinking, will help our chapter build new relationships in Arizona.”

Make-A-Wish Arizona is the founding chapter of the now international wish granting association and grants approximately 350 wishes per year. With more than 540 children diagnosed annually with a life-threatening medical condition that would make them eligible for a wish, the chapter is dedicated to raising the funds to expand their reach throughout the state.

“After attending the 2015 Wish Ball, I knew I had to be a part of this wonderful organization,” said Manji. “I am so proud to be able to give back to a community that has provided so much to me over the course of my career.”

Colliers Brokers Collect Children’s Books for Charity

A group of brokers from Colliers International in Greater Phoenix recently donated over 5,000 books to several local charities.

Colliers’ Team Literacy consisted of Kathy Foster, senior vice president; Phil Breidenbach, executive vice president; Lindsey Carlson, vice president; Peter Nieman, executive vice president; and Sandy Machado, marketing coordinator.

The brokers collected mostly children’s books such as “Puppies and Kittens,” “I Love Snow,” and “Colors All Around.” The team gives back to the community each year.

The group donated books to Southwest Human Development for its Raising a Reader and Reach Out and Read programs. The Strong Foundations, Homeward Bound and M.L. King Elementary School’s Head Start program in Phoenix also received donated books.

“Each year we select a deserving charity to help during the holiday season,” Foster said. “The donation brings us closer together and we enjoy supporting the charity’s mission.”

The brokers spent months collecting books from friends, setting aside used books from their homes and buying books at discounted prices. After a donation, Goodwill provided more than 1,600 pounds of books that had not been sold in the retail stores. The brokers’ children even pitched in by cleaning the books while Dircks Moving & Logistics of Phoenix donated boxes.

“Goodwill is proud to partner with Colliers International to help donate books to local charities,” says Jackie Halleen, senior vice president of retail operations for Goodwill of Central Arizona. “We know that these books are very much needed and will be greatly appreciated.”

Last year the group donated money to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation provide a Disney World trip for a young girl with cancer.

Gelato War Spoons

The scoop on this year’s Gelato Wars

The Gelato Spot’s annual Gelato Wars are back! Through August 31, patrons of Gelato Spot can try 10 flavors whipped up by local chefs and vote for their favorite.

Gelato Wars is a month-long competition for bragging rights, a customized copper trophy and $500. It’s also a fund raiser with the goal of donating at least $5,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

“Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy…and what’s more joyful than gelato,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato said getting 10 chefs — 5 new and 5 returning — to all come together and create unique gelato flavors was like “herding cats into a cold bathtub.” But we’re here to tell you that the delicious results will beat out a cat bath any day.

Scottsdale Living’s Social Media and Digital Manager Perri Collins taste-tested all 10 flavors and ranked them from best (No. 1) to less-best (No. 10) — come on, there’s no such thing as bad gelato. To even the playing field a little, Associate Editor Amanda Ventura weighed in, too.

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie
Justin Beckett and Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
This creamy and sweet gelato flavor is a delightful mix of marion berries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from the northwest, where Jeff Schoening hails from.
Where I ranked it: No. 9
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was like a cheesecake wrapped up in sweet ribbons of berry mixture. I think it was simple, delicious and something I’d eat a few more scoops of, but it’s not novel enough to stand out among the competition.]

Camelback Crunch
Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals
The 2013 defending champion, Tracey Dempsey, made a dessert homage to her residence near Camelback Mountain. This gelato is a nice balance of flavors and textures that don’t seem to have much in common at first, but they blend really well together.
Where I ranked it: No. 1
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three, but that’s in large part due to the fact that Tracey Dempsey used all of my favorite flavors in one gelato.]

Honey Toasted Almond Biscotti
Gio Osso, Virtu
“I grew up eating with toasted almond bars from the neighborhood ice cream truck, so I used that as my inspiration and added salt for a more sophisticated taste,” says Osso. If you like sweet, then this flavor is for you. It was tasty, but the sugary sweetness overwhelmed the nuts.
Where I ranked it: No. 3
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was actually a bit too salty for me — though I do love some almonds and salted caramel.]

White Chocolate Stracciatella
Josh Hebert, Posh
The cherry and chocolate combination was nothing new and exciting. It was subtle and refreshing, but rather middle of the road.
Where I ranked it: No. 6
[Editor’s Note: I agree here. I think the flavor was delicious but lacked the novelty of the other competitors.]

Sage Brown Butter & Candied Cashew
Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
The candied cashews had an amazing flavor. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Where I ranked it: No. 5
[Editor’s Note: Yep. This was a balanced cup of sweet nuttiness.]

Carrot Cake
Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
This was a good idea with bad execution. It tasted nothing like carrot cake, although you could really taste the goat cheese in the gelato.
Where I ranked it: No. 7
[Editor’s Note: Maybe I built this flavor up more in my head because I love carrot cake; I eat it every year for my birthday. However, I did like the incorporation of the goat cheese. It was in my top five.]

Chocolate Sorbet with Smoked Almonds and Caramel
Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (set to open later this year)
A chocolate gelato won last year’s competition, so Walter Sterling chose something with chocolate in hopes of stealing the trophy, but we think his dreams are about to be dashed. The chocolate was very bitter, the caramel wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been and the nuts were too large and crunchy.
Where I ranked it: No. 8
[Editor’s Note: This vegan dark chocolate sorbet was delicious. You really do have to like bitter chocolate, though. When I was vegan, I learned to really love dark chocolate so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If anything, this is one of the more decadent flavors better enjoyed in small portions.]

Michael Dowd, Urban Vine
Mole is an ambitious flavor with 17 different spices and nutella folded into this gelato for a spicy explosion on your tongue. It tasted like a kid grab handfuls of every spice he could find in a middle-eastern market and mixed them together with chocolate milk.
Where I ranked it: No. 10
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three. It reminded me of eating peppery German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, as a kid.]

Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey
Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
It was hard to taste the corn or honey over the overpowering thyme in this gelato flavor. The layers of corn and blueberry would have made a better impression
Where I ranked it: No. 4
[Editor’s Note: I agree, but the sweet corn ice cream is a must-try. I can still kind of taste it as I type this.]

Smoked Banana Pudding
Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
“We’re a BBQ place, we had to smoke something!” says Scott Holmes. This is a simple idea with complex flavors and a delightful finish. Well done!
Where I ranked it: No. 2
[Editor’s Note: Yes! Remember those vanilla wafer and banana puddings your mom made for pot lucks? This is the next level of that. There could have been a bit more caramel to balance every bite into perfection, but overall this was a top three flavor.]

Gelato Spot Locations:

3164 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85016

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251

Make-A-Wish_78th-Street, WEB

Make-A-Wish gets new office with $2.8M gift from GoDaddy founder

Thanks to a $2.8 million gift from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Make-A-Wish® Arizona will soon be moving into a new Wish House. The new property will enable the organization to expand its wish granting capacity to eventually reach every eligible child in Arizona.

The grant also provides for the renovation and refurbishment of the new 11,000-square-foot property, located near Thomas and Hayden Road in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Make-A-Wish® Arizona has operated in its current location for more than 20 years. During that period the organization has grown its wish granting capacity from fewer than 125 to 330 wishes per year.

“The need for functional space for our staff, volunteers and the families we serve far exceeds the capacity of our current facility,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Operating within the confines of our current space, we simply cannot grow to serve more children.”

“The new Wish House, so generously made possible by Bob and Renee Parsons, will provide a central location for our wish families and our volunteers, offering a home base of support that will help our chapter reach its vision,” said Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks and current board chair for Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Our Board is excited to work with the many advantages this new home will bring.”
An average of 550 Arizona children are newly diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions every year, making them eligible for a wish. Currently, children are referred to Make-A-Wish Arizona at a rate of approximately 400 per year – 50 more than the chapter is able to grant annually. No eligible wish goes ungranted, however the wait for some may be longer than desired.

“As the founding chapter, we are proud that one Arizona boy’s wish started a movement that now reaches children worldwide,” Reich added. “The new Wish House is a game-changer for our chapter. With the Parsons’ gift, Make-A-Wish Arizona will be able to expand our reach within our community to make more wishes come true.”

Make-A-Wish Arizona relies entirely on donors, both individual and corporate, to support their mission of granting the wishes of Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Bob and Renee Parsons are active donors with Make-A-Wish Arizona, having pledged more than $6.3 million to the organization over the last two years. Renee Parsons also volunteers her time to the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as a co-chair for the Wish Ball.

“When a child is diagnosed with a life threatening illness their entire family is sent into a tailspin –challenged in ways most of us can’t imagine,” said Renee Parsons. “The new Wish House will be a beacon of hope for these families, and every wish granted a chance to inspire strength and joy.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Give Make-A-Wish Arizona $50,000

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced that Make-A-Wish Arizona will receive a $50,000 grant from the D-backs as part of the Grand Slam Awards. In addition, Make-A-Wish America will match the D-backs’ $50,000 donation for a total donation of $100,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona. The donation will be used to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

“We are honored to be able to help fulfill the wishes of children facing life-threatening medical conditions,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, who also serves as a board member for Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Make-A-Wish has such a profound impact on children here in Arizona and we are proud to support their efforts of fulfilling dreams and providing much needed hope and strength to battle for life.”

Last year, Make-A-Wish Arizona granted wishes for more than 250 children throughout the state of Arizona. Currently, 417 eligible Arizonan children are waiting to have their wishes granted. Therefore, Make-A-Wish Arizona has created a “Summer of Wishes” campaign with the goal of providing 280 wishes by Aug. 31, 2012. The average cost to fulfill a wish is $7,500 and with the $50,000 donation from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, the D-backs will help fulfill the wishes of nearly seven children.

Make-A-Wish Arizona does not deny wishes to eligible children, and with a 50 percent increase in eligible wish referrals since 2008, it now takes an average of 19 months for a wish to be granted. The goal is to reduce the time to six to nine months and therefore additional funding is needed in order to grant wishes in a timely manner because when a child has a life-threatening medical condition, time is of the essence.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of Arizona children who 1) have been diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy; 2) are older than 2½ and younger than 18 at the time of referral; and 3) haven’t received a previous wish from a wish-granting organization. Its geographic boundary for service delivery is the state of Arizona and more than 60 percent of the Foundation’s wish kids reside in Maricopa County.

A wish come true empowers children to fight harder against their illnesses. During the wish experience hope suppresses fear, strength supplants submission, and joy replaces despair. Throughout the team’s 14-year history, the Arizona Diamondbacks have fulfilled several wishes for Arizona youth including special experiences at Chase Field, enjoying a D-backs game and meeting D-backs legends such as Luis Gonzalez.

Make-A-Wish Arizona is the third announced recipient of five to receive the Grand Slam Award. Other recipients include A.T. Still University ($50,000), which funded a D-backs themed dental suite, and Kitchen on the Street ($100,000), which funded a mobile kitchen. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation established the Grand Slam Awards in 2002 to make a larger impact on community organizations by providing a grant for up to $100,000. The grants are made possible by fundraising efforts by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

For more information on the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and Make-A-Wish Arizona, visit the Diamondback’s website at arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com and the Make-A-Wish Arizona’s website at arizona.wish.org.

frequent flier miles - airline tickets to fulfill wishes

Frequent Flier Miles Can Help Grant Nearly 100 Wishes This Summer

The lazy days of summer may have begun for some of us, but Make-A-Wish Arizona is gearing up for one of the busiest wish granting summers on record…and your frequent flier miles can help!

Nearly 100 Arizona children battling life-threatening medical conditions will have their one true wish granted before the new school year begins, and the majority of these wishes require air travel. Some of those trips include a wish to meet the Pope, a wish to meet President Barack Obama, and a wish to see the turtles in the Galapagos Islands.

Donating frequent flier miles through the foundation’s Wishes in Flight program is easy – and the miles never expire once they’ve been donated.

“We are asking travelers to donate airline miles which we will use to help grant wishes of children who need to travel to reach their wish destinations,” said Elizabeth Reich, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “When you donate airline miles you free up other resources that can be used to grant wishes. An added benefit is that most airlines also waive baggage fees when miles are donated. Baggage fees add significant costs to wishes. ”

Many major airlines based in the United States allow members of their frequent flier programs to donate airline miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona If you have frequent flier miles with Delta, US Airways, Continental, or United, you hold the ticket to a child’s wishSM.

Every traveler can be part of a life-affirming wish. All it takes is a simple airline miles donation.

To donate frequent flier miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona, visit www.wishaz.org and click on Ways to Help or call 602-343-9437 to donate over the phone. If don’t have miles to donate but you’d still like to support the foundation, you can make a monetary donation by visiting www.wishaz.org


Make-A-Wish Recipient Gives Back To Arizona

This past November, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona granted the chapter’s 4,000th wish to recipient Ceci Christianson. Christianson’s wish was to appear on a national morning news television program to educate the public about becoming a registered bone marrow donor, a program which saved her life. Ceci’s mission was a success. After appearing on the morning news program, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Arizona began receiving inquiries from Valley residents about how to become a bone marrow donor.

Christianson has continued her charitable and fundraising efforts during 2012. In an effort to bring awareness to the Foundation’s mission to grant wishes to Arizona children battling life-threatening medical conditions, Christenson, along with many other Arizonans, are participating in the 2012 Walk for Wishes, presented by Go Daddy.

Go Daddy adopted Christianson’s wish as a part of its title sponsorship for the Season of Wishes campaign. The company will also be the presenting sponsor for this year’s Walk For Wishes.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the Go Daddy team and meet the individuals who helped make my dream come true,” Christianson says. “And by walking, I’m helping make another wish possible. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona has invited walkers and runners of all ages to participate in the event, which will take place on March 3rd in Tempe. Last year, Walk For Wishes raised $139,000, enabling the Foundation to grant fifteen wishes. This year, Make-A-Wish has set a fundraising goal of $165,000.

Because of a challenge grant from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Walk For Wishes participants will have the opportunity to double or even triple their donation. Donations between $500 and $999 will be doubled, and donations more than $1,000 will be tripled.

To register, please visit wishaz.kintera.org/2012walkforwishes.

The deadline for online registration is Feb. 28, 2012. Registration for the 5K Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk begins at 7:30 a.m. at Kiwanis Park located at 6111 All America Way in Tempe.