Tag Archives: Make-A-Wish Arizona


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.”

Mercedes-Benz 540 K - Royce Rumsey photo

Arizona Concours d’Elegance awards

A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A has won Best of Show at the second annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance, held Sunday, January 11, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

The spectacular pre-war cabriolet, owned by Thomas Taffet of Chatsworth, California, was brought to the Arizona Concours by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.  The 540K earlier won Best of Class in the European Classics group.

The Arizona Concours stepped up for its second year, building on the strong success of its inaugural 2014 event, and with the historic Arizona Biltmore again providing the stunning Art Deco backdrop.  Sunday’s attendance was a sellout for the 2015 Concours, and the two Saturday seminars – the Phoenix Automotive Press Association auction preview and the Elegance at Speed racing-car design forum – were very well attended.

The beneficiary of the Arizona Concours, Make-A-Wish Arizona, raised more than $70,000 in donations.  The Arizona organization is the founding chapter of the national foundation that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The class winners and special award winners are:

Pre-1915 Antique: 1903 Pope-Hartford Model B, John Konwiser, Scottsdale, AZ

Pre-war sports and racing: 1932 MG F1 Magna, Malcolm and Barbara Appleton, Waitsfield, VT

Post-war American-powered sports cars: 1952 Cunningham C-3 convertible, Rich and Karen Atwell, Phoenix

Post-war American race cars: 1959 Watson “Simoniz Special” Indy roadster, Larry and Jan Pfitzenmaier, Sonoita, AZ

Post-war European sports cars: 1962 Jaguar E-type OTS, Randall Smalley, Paradise Valley AZ

American Classic Open: 1933 Packard 1005 convertible coupe, Aaron and Valeria Weiss, San Marino CA

Post-war European Race Cars: 1956 Ferrari 500 Testarossa, Linda and Bill Pope, Scottsdale, AZ

American Classic Closed: 1937 Buick 91F formal sedan, Lee Gurvey, Scottsdale. AZ

European Classic: 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet A, Thomas Taffet, Chatsworth, CA

Preservation: 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, Terry Maxon, Glendale. AZ

Avant-Garde: 1949 Volkswagen Hebmuller cabriolet, Ron Clarke, Paradise Valley, AZ

Exotic: 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, Philippe and Francoise Reyns, Chandler, AZ

Post-war Mercedes-Benz: 1961 300D sedan, Barry Sohnen, Los Angeles

Pierce-Arrow: 1916 Model 48, Clive Cussler, Paradise Valley, AZ

Ghia: 1952 Fiat 8V Supersonic, David Sydorick Beverly Hills, CA


Special Awards:

Make-A-Wish Kids: Jaguar XK120C, Bill and Linda Pope, Scottsdale, AZ

Hagerty Young Judges: 1927 Marmon E-75 Speedster, Ed Boice, Los Ranchos, NM

Historic Vehicle Association: 1949 Crosley Hot Shot (Frank Lloyd Wright), Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn IN

Historic Vehicle Association: 1937 AC 16/80 “Ace” roadster, David and Rochelle Buice, Dallas

Phoenix Automotive Press Association: 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, Todd and Stan Reeg, Paradise Valley, AZ

Most elegant pre-war: 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Most elegant post-war: 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Zagato, Rocky Mountain Auto Collection, Scottsdale, AZ

Director’s award: 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Ghia (Rita Hayworth Cadillac), Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

Director’s award: 1951 OSCA MT4, T.G. Mittler, Santa Fe NM

Director’s award: 1957 Dual-Ghia, Curt and Carole Ziegler, Denver

Most significant race or sports car: 1954 Ferrari Europa 250 GT, Budd and Laurie Florkiewicz, Scottsdale, AZ

Significant design of its era: 1937 Cord 812 SC Custom Beverly, Bruce Hanson, Phoenix

Special award: 1956 Ferrari 500 Testarossa, Bill and Linda Pope, Scottsdale, AZ


GM Foundation donates $25,000 to Valley nonprofits

The General Motors Foundation today made two donations to local organizations totaling $25,000 through its Plant City Grants program.

Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer presented a $15,000 check to East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) and a $10,000 check to Make-A-Wish Arizona.  EVIT is a career and technical school offering more than 30 occupational training programs.  Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“It is important that we are good community neighbors here in Chandler and these grants provided by the GM Foundation allow us to give back in a big way each year,” Mott said.  “Through the Plant City Grants initiative, we’re helping to build stronger communities and are striving to enrich the lives of our neighbors.”

The grant presentation took place at the GM IT Arizona Innovation Center, 2900 W. Geronimo Place, Chandler. It is one of four innovation centers in the United States where GM IT professionals are developing mobile and web technologies to support GM dealers, customer databases, factory systems, vehicle-related technology and other state-of-the-art IT services.

Other GM innovation centers are located in Warren, Mich.; Roswell, Ga., and Austin, Texas.

The GM Foundation grants are given to a variety of organizations across the country that families rely on to provide much-needed services, improve education and impact the quality of life within their respective communities.

“This year, the GM Foundation will provide more than $1.7 million in funding to 209 organizations in 45 plant cities where GM employees live and work,” said GM Foundation Vice President Lori Wingerter. “Through these grants, we continue our mission to give back and build stronger communities where GM does business.”

Bradley Nynalek of Quarles & Brady; Paul Hickman, president and CEO of Arizona Bankers Association; Elizabeth Reich, CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona; AZ Big Media Editor in Chief Michael Gossie; and AZ Big Media CEO Mike Atkinson.

AZ Big Media gives almost $17K to Make-A-Wish


AZ Big Media and the Arizona Bankers Association have teamed up to make wishes come true.

The media company, which publishes Az Business magazine, AZRE, Ranking Arizona and five other Arizona-based publications, created Bankers Care, in which it donated a portion of all bank-related advertising revenue to Make-A-Wish Arizona. The Arizona Bankers Association is featured in supplement that is published annually in the November issue of Az Business magazine.

“We realize how much the banking industry gives back to the communities they serve in Arizona,” said AZ Big Media CEO Mike Atkinson. “We saw this as a way to show the banking industry that we appreciate the support they give to the business community that we cover. We also wanted to do our part to impact the community in a positive way.”

On Tuesday, Atkinson presented a check for $16,824 to Make-A-Wish Arizona CEO Elizabeth Reich, which was the result of the Bankers Care partnership between AZ Big Media and the Arizona Bankers Association.

“The fact that we were able to do this for Make-A-Wish meant a lot to me personally,” said said AZ Big Media Editor in Chief Michael Gossie. “I have two sisters who both had life-threatening medical conditions and both were beneficiaries of the amazing work that Make-A-Wish accomplishes. The joy that Make-A-Wish brought to my sister Lisa’s final days when they arranged for the Buffalo Bills to visit her is something that brought my family comfort in a time of great despair. And the strength that my sister Kristina’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland gave her allowed her to weather her medical crisis and live a full life. I am proud that AZ Big Media’s contribution will help Make-A-Wish impact the lives of other families like it enriched my family.”

Olive oil with lemon zest stracciatella by Cullen Campbell at Crudo.

Valley’s hottest chefs battle in Gelato Wars

As the temperatures soar outside, look for the competition to heat up inside The Gelato Spot as 10 of the Valley’s most popular chefs head into the freezer to create their one-of-a-kind gelato concoction for Gelato Wars.

Held at all three Valley Gelato Spot locations, and at participating chefs’ restaurants, the 2nd Annual Gelato Wars will take place from August 1 to August 31.

The rules are pretty simple. The chef who sells the most gelato at all three Gelato Spots combined — wins!

Along with bragging rights, the winning chef will also receive a custom molded gelato cone trophy, $500 cash and have a $5,000 check presented on their behalf to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Chefs participating in the 2nd Annual Gelato Wars include:

  • Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
  • Gio Osso, Virtu
  • Chris McKinley, The Local
  • Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
  • Josh Hebert, Posh
  • Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals (2013 Gelato Wars Winner!!)
  • Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
  • Justin Beckett & Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
  • Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
  • Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (Opens Late 2014)

“Expect the flavors to be super outrageous, funky and cool,” said Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato. “These are 10 of the most talented chefs in the Valley right now and there is really no sweeter way to celebrate our love of gelato and the end of the summer.”

The 10 chef flavors will be available at the following Gelato Spot locations:

3164 E. Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Sunday – Thursday noon – 11pm
Friday & Saturday noon – Midnight

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85032
Sunday – Thursday noon – 9pm
Friday & Saturday noon – 10pm

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Sunday – Thursday 11am – 11pm
Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight

To get a sneak preview of the flavors and celebrate the kick-off of Gelato Wars, a VIP Reception and Tasting night will be held on Thursday, July 31. To get more information or be added to the VIP list please contact Jennifer Parks at Jparks@rosemoserallynpr.com or call 480.495.3806.

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.”

Wish Ball

Larry Fitzgerald Will Be Honorary Chair Of Wish Ball

Make-A-Wish Arizona is pleased to announce that Arizona Cardinals star player Larry Fitzgerald has been named honorary chair of this year’s gala event, the 2012 Wish Ball, Le Cirque.

Wish Ball is the foundation’s largest event that raises money to grant the wishes of Arizona children battling life-threatening medical conditions. The black-tie dinner will be held on April 28, 2012 at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey will be honored with the Tom and Madena Stewart Lifetime Compassion Award. As the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, Ducey’s decision to support Make-A-Wish has resulted in the granting of hundreds of wishes over the past 10 years.

The Tom and Madena Stewart Lifetime Compassion Award honors in perpetuity those outstanding community members who, through their contributions to the arts, business, education, government, humanities, community service, philanthropy and science, have brought honor to themselves, Make-A-Wish Arizona and the communities where they work and live. Bob and Renee Parsons, the founders of Go Daddy, were last year’s recipients.

For this year’s event, the Parsons have donated a 2012 Harley Davidson Softline Backtail for the live auction. The motorcycle is on display for the next month at in the Hacienda Harley Davison Dealership in North Scottsdale. This, along with numerous other live and silent auction items, will be part of the evening’s entertainment as the foundation strives to raise $500,000 to grant wishes. Thanks to a generous challenge match from Make-A-Wish America, every dollar raised during the Fund-A-Wish portion of the evening will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.

Wish Ball will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by dinner, aerial performances, and a live and silent auction. Tickets start at $300 per person or $500 per person for preferred seating. For more information and sponsorship opportunities visit www.azwishball.org.