Valley Partnership, the Valley of the Sun’s premier advocacy group for responsible development, has announced that Sunshine Acres Children’s Home will be the 2018 recipient of the Valley Partnership Community Project. The annual event brings together hundreds of leaders and members from the real estate and developmental communities for a day of service. This year, join hundreds on November 3 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. to build a park, garden, football field and playground for the deserving youth of Sunshine Acres.

Sunshine Acres in Mesa takes in children Valley-wide who have been separated from their families due to abusive situations or lack of care, and provides them with emotional, social, physical, educational and spiritual support. Located on 125 acres, Sunshine Acres hosts a church, large family homes, a barn, garden, baseball field, and community resource center.

“We are so fortunate to be selected for the second time as Valley Partnership’s community project,” said Jon Markwell, facilities director at Sunshine Acres. “As a children’s home, we don’t receive any federal funding and heavily rely on donations and volunteerism, so that fact that Valley Partnership is adding on to the original project with a park, garden, football field and playground, is such a blessing.”

Valley Partnership makes their selection based off of who can benefit from their skills, efforts and supplies provided by their partners to renovate and enhance facilities for children and those in need.

“Giving back to Sunshine Acres is always a joy and we’ve created a simple but well thought out plan to add to our initial design,” said Kim Kleski, community project committee Chair and Landscape Architect and Owner of Kleski & Associates. “On event day, we’ll have four different sites for volunteers to work at on the 125 acres. By the end of the day the park, garden, football field and playground will be finished and ready for the community to use.”

Dena Jones, board liason for the 2018 Valley Partnerships’ Community Project and assistant VP of Fidelity National Title Agency added, “It is such an honor to work with Jon and Shara Markwell as we plan for event day at what is affectionately called ‘the miracle in the desert’.  They are truly amazing partners to us. I know that the work we do together will help enhance the lives of the children at Sunshine Acres.” 

More than five non-profit organizations in the Valley applied for the 2018 Community Project. This year, Valley Partnership celebrates 31 years of the Community Project. In that 31 years, Valley Partnership has contributed more than $4 million to the community through these projects.

“Although it is very out of the norm for us to go back to a community project for the second time, we felt that we left something unfinished,” said Cheryl Lombard, CEO and president of Valley Partnership. “Selecting Sunshine Acres for 2018 gives us a chance to not only finish what we started but to add on to it and give these deserving children a place to flourish.”

Valley Partnership sponsorships have already started coming in. Several companies have already committed to generously donate their company’s time and services to this year’s initiative.

For more information on Valley Partnership, to donate or sponsor, or to volunteer, visit

For more information on Sunshine Acres Children’s Home visit