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Piper Trust Awards $6.7 Million to 18 Nonprofits Serving Maricopa County

Funding Supports Programs for Children, Older Adults, Arts & Culture Organizations

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. (February 23, 2006) – The Board of Trustees of The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced the awarding of more than $6.7 million to 18 nonprofits serving Maricopa County residents.

Many of the grants support innovative new programs that will benefit children and youth, including a new helpline for parents and caregivers of young children; a project with 20 Catholic preschools to introduce nationally recognized curricula; and cutting-edge strategies to recruit and support Girl Scout volunteers.

“The future vitality of Maricopa County depends on supporting our children and youth,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “Through these exemplary organizations, the Trust is investing in model programs that benefit thousands of Valley children and may be expanded to benefit other nonprofit organizations as well.”

A $400,000 grant was awarded to Southwest Human Development for the Birth to Five Helpline – Arizona’s only toll-free line serving parents and caregivers of young children. Expected to launch in Spring 2006, the helpline will provide information and resources about healthy early childhood practices and child development as well as connect callers with resources in their communities.

The Trust also awarded funding for a new initiative to assess the Valley’s 20 Catholic preschool programs and help them implement proven curricula that meet the needs of students so they enter kindergarten ready to learn. The $73,500 grant to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix provides funding for a consultant to work with each preschool to evaluate needs and determine next steps for implementing best practice curricula.

The Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc. received funding for the development of new, innovative strategies to recruit, train and support the organization’s more than 8,600 volunteers. The $1.1 million grant will allow the Girl Scouts to create better information systems to manage its volunteer base, enhance its Web presence, and provide online training and other volunteer supports. The new model reflects the changing needs of the organization’s volunteer workforce and expands its services to accommodate more young girls interested in becoming Girl Scouts.

Both the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and the Valley of the Sun YMCA received grants to build new youth centers. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale received $2 million for a new full-service youth and teen center at Desert Ridge to meet demand in the rapidly growing Northeast Valley. The organization also plans to build teen centers adjacent to two existing Scottsdale clubs. The Valley of the Sun YMCA received a $500,000 grant for construction of a new full-service branch to serve Maryvale youth.

Improving Healthcare for Children

Several organizations that provide healthcare services for children were awarded funding. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation received $1 million for expansion of its neonatal intensive care units; Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center will use a $300,000 grant to provide bridge funding for early intervention programs; and Mission of Mercy will expend its $150,000 to support the purchase of a custom-designed mobile medical clinic that will increase services to underserved groups.

Two agencies were awarded funding to increase awareness about their services and provide more information to Valley residents. The WellCare Foundation received $10,000 to increase community awareness about the availability of free healthcare services for uninsured women and their children, and notMYkid, Inc. was awarded $10,000 to develop a comprehensive Web site to provide behavioral health information and resources to Valley teens.

Innovative Programs for Baby Boomers

Three planning grants were awarded for the development of innovative programs to serve retiring baby boomers. Both the Area Agency on Aging and the City of Phoenix Human Services Department received funding for development of café programs in senior centers. Additionally, San Francisco-based Civic Ventures is exploring the feasibility of bringing the national Experience Corps mentoring program, which matches older adults with school children, to Maricopa County.

Strengthening Arts & Culture

In the area of Arts & Culture, the Trust awarded more than $1.1 million for programs to strengthen arts organizations. Childsplay received $500,000 to build the Campus for Imagination and Wonder at the Mitchell School in Tempe, which will consolidate the theater company’s operations. Fountain Hills Community Theater plans to use its $66,000 grant to upgrade technology and safety elements in the youth theater.

Theater Works received funding totaling $195,000 to strengthen the organization as it prepares to move to the new Peoria Performing Arts Center, while the Scottsdale Cultural Council was awarded $350,000 to purchase Tessitura, a customer relationship management software system designed specifically for performing arts organizations. The West Valley Arts Council also received a grant to support completion of a regional cultural assessment and plan to determine potential arts and cultural opportunities in the West Valley.