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Piper Trust Awards Nearly $3 Million 
to 14 Organizations in Maricopa County

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Food Banks Receive Grants

SCOTTSDALE, AZ.  (March 23, 2005)  The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced the awarding of nearly $3 million to 14 non-profit organizations in Maricopa County. The awards bring to almost $30 million the total amount the Trust has granted in the past year.

Awards include a $1 million grant to the St. Joseph’s Foundation to support its hospital expansion project and $225,000 to St. Mary’s Food Bank on behalf of three food banks for an innovative partnership that will provide an additional 4.75 million pounds of food to needy families each year.

“We have great confidence in these organizations and the high impact work they provide in the Valley,” says Judy Jolley Mohraz, President and CEO of The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “These grants will advance the Trust’s commitment to health, youth, arts and culture, education and older adults.”

The $1 million gift to the St. Joseph’s Foundation will support an expansion project that includes a new children’s cardiac intensive care unit as well as expansion and rehabilitation of the existing neonatal intensive care unit. St. Joseph’s Hospital currently is undergoing a $203 million hospital renovation and expansion project to address the growing demand for medical services in central Phoenix.

Clients of three food banks – St. Mary’s Food Bank, United Food Bank and Westside Food Bank – will benefit from a $225,000 grant that provides equipment to collect an additional 13,000 pounds of food through a newly negotiated partnership with Albertsons stores. Collectively, the food banks would receive enough food from Albertsons stores to provide daily meals for an additional 4,500 people per day.

Another grant that provides services to the community was made to Mt. Claret Retreat Center, a small retreat and conference center owned by the Diocese of Phoenix. Virginia Piper funded earlier renovations to the facility, formerly a resort motel. The recently awarded $250,000 grant will support the construction of community retreat facilities. The center provides space for the Christ Child Society, a ladies’ organization that supplies low-income mothers with layettes and clothing, and it also includes a conference center and a retreat center for the Cursillo Movement.

More than $1 million was awarded to four organizations that support youth programs, all of which address the social and developmental needs of young people in distressed communities:

  • Arizona Project ChalleNGe – $500,000 was awarded to support a capital campaign to expand a high school dropout prevention program for ages 16 to 18.
  • GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), Northern Arizona University Foundation – $400,000 was awarded to support this program to encourage more low-income young people to complete high school and pursue post-secondary education.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona – $200,000 to increase the organization’s individual donor base. The funds will be used to match each dollar received from new individual donors as well as increased donations from current individual donors. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest non-profit provider of one-on-one mentoring services for children ages 6 to 15 in Maricopa County.
  • The Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk Foundation – $75,000 to expand the New Pathways Mentoring Program, which utilizes individual and community mentoring experiences.

Two grants totaling nearly $269,000 were awarded in the area of older adults – Civic Ventures received $256,000 to support the implementation of Next Chapter Centers, and Friendship Foundation received $12,940 to purchase a computer system specially designed for older adults with dementia living in a skilled nursing facility.

In arts and culture, the Trust funded a request for $12,000 from East Valley Children’s Theatre to assist with marketing as the theater company moves to the Mesa Arts Center.

Other grant recipients were NPower Arizona, Inc., Arizona Grantmakers Forum and the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, Inc.