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Piper Trust Awards Grants for Arts, Children and Healthcare

Photo of preschool children with teacherPHOENIX (May 21, 2009)— Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded $2.18 million in grants to Maricopa County nonprofits, with grants ranging from mentoring and enrichment activities for children and youth, to Back-to-School grants for school clothing for needy children and health-related grants for specific needs.

“Piper Trust continues to be attuned to the long-term and more immediate needs of our community partners,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, Ph.D., president and CEO of Piper Trust. “These grants reflect the wide-ranging services nonprofits provide in Maricopa County.”

(See the following full list of grants awarded.)

A grant to Foundation for Blind Children will provide comprehensive low-vision exams and optical aids for underserved children.

“Seventy-five visually impaired Valley children will be given the chance to see their class chalkboards for the first time, read without their noses touching the page, or just ‘fit in’ with their classmates,” said Marc Ashton, executive director, Foundation for Blind Children. “We will be able to provide low-vision examinations, training and devices that these children would otherwise not be able to obtain,what I like to call ‘turning on the lights’ for our children,75 lives changed forever.”

Two projects are Piper Trust-initiated, notably a program to strengthen Latino nonprofits and another to acquire 15 automatic external defibrillators for arts organizations.

“The technology of defibrillators is such that they can be installed and used in a variety of public venues,” said Robert Booker, executive director, Arizona Commission on the Arts. “We are pleased to make this lifesaving equipment available in our nonprofit arts centers, museums and theaters in Maricopa County.”

“In so many cases, individuals of all ages have been saved by quick thinking people with the assistance of this technology. If we can save one life, we are ahead of the game,” Booker added.

Piper Trust awarded nearly $500,000 to 256 high-need Maricopa County elementary schools to provide back-to-school clothing for school children.

Grants to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley and Save the Family Foundation of Arizona will bolster mentoring and training programs for disadvantaged youth and children in homeless families.

A full listing of Piper Trust grant awards, both the current grants and all past awards, can also be found at


Actors Theatre of Phoenix
To create a permanent cash operating reserve; $100,000/12 months;

Arizona Community Foundation
To support the Arts & Culture Initiative to raise funds for 16 Valley arts and culture organizations; $5,000/12 months;

Arizona Opera
To increase the permanent cash operating reserve; $250,000/12 months;

Arizona Theatre Company
To support the purchase and implementation of an integrated customer relationship management software system, including conversion and training costs; $220,000/24 months;

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
To fund volunteer recruitment and training of mentors for disadvantaged youth; $75,000/12 months;

Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley
To support the Guardians for Kids Program to serve low-income families in the East Valley; $150,000/24 months;

Pediatric Foundation of Arizona, Inc.
To develop a website that will improve the ability of healthcare providers to provide comprehensive, developmentally appropriate healthcare, and health information and resources to adolescents, families and the community; $20,000/12 months;

Save the Family Foundation of Arizona
To support a staff position to assist youth in overcoming problems associated with poverty and homelessness; $101,720/24 months;

Valley of the Sun United Way
A Community Relief grant to support the collaborative efforts of funders in Maricopa County to match community donations through; $325,000/16 months;

Back-to-School Grants
To provide back-to-school clothing for children in need at 256 schools; $495,300/12 months.

New Global Citizens
To streamline recruitment and training efforts to expand the global education and action program to 20 new high schools across Maricopa County; $75,000/12 months;

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
To provide preventative and restorative dental and oral healthcare to uninsured older adults; $75,000/12 month;

Arizona Commission on the Arts
A Trust initiated request to purchase and install automatic external defibrillators for medical emergencies at arts and cultural organizations in Maricopa County; $55,000/12 months;

Foundation for Blind Children
To provide 75 visually impaired children with comprehensive low-vision exams and optical aids; $75,000/12 months;

Neighbors Who Care, Inc.
To support increased coordination services for homebound older adults in need of assistance to continue independent living; $58,400/24 months;

St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
A Trust initiated request to create and support a technical assistance program for Latino nonprofits; $75,200/24 months;

Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, Inc.
To provide partial funding for a community performing arts venue serving Northeast Scottsdale; $20,000/12 months;

Total of all Published Grants: $2,175,620

About Piper Trust
A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing and vibrant community. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $246.4 million in local nonprofits and programs. The Trust reported total grants paid of $23.8 million in fiscal year 2009 (ending March 31). Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education and religious organizations. For more information, visit