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Piper Trust Supports Back-to-School Clothing Initiative, Other Projects for Kids, Families

Back to School shopping photoPHOENIX (May 12, 2010)—Many Maricopa County children face going to school without adequate clothing because their families can’t afford to outfit them and schools are hard-pressed to help them.

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has awarded nearly $520,000 for the annual back-to-school clothing initiative to assist schools in purchasing clothes for needy children, a program Piper Trust started in 2003. With the back-to-school grants, the Trust awarded 13 grants to other nonprofit organizations, totaling approximately $1.5 million.

“In these challenging economic times, there are many more schools qualifying for back-to-school grants with 50 percent or more of students eligible for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, PhD, president and CEO.

Funds were distributed to 270 elementary schools in 41 Maricopa County school districts to aid schools in purchasing clothing and uniforms, shoes and underwear for needy students. The funds are distributed now so schools can plan for the next school year.

The schools maximize the small grants by shopping carefully. Molly Watson, principal of Copper King Elementary School, Phoenix, reported using last year’s grant of $2,500 to purchase 157 pairs of pants, 121 shirts, 56 jackets and hoodies, 13 packages of underwear, 5 packages of socks and 21 pairs of shoes.

Among other grants awarded are two healthcare proposals for Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation and Mission of Mercy that will improve healthcare in the Valley. Another grant for Miracle League of Arizona supports a special baseball facility for disabled children.

Scottsdale Healthcare received funds to implement the Healthy Steps program for family medicine residents. Healthy Steps is a nationally renowned initiative to train physicians in child development. Five hospitals and two neonatal intensive care units have now participated in Piper’s Healthy Steps funding.

The Mission of Mercy grant provides funds to help the organization purchase a second mobile van retrofitted as a medical clinic to increase medical services to individuals and families with limited access to care in the West Valley. The Maryvale clinic site, for example, will experience up to 2,000 additional patient visits over the next year.

A Piper Trust grant is helping Miracle League of Arizona complete a $1.68 million capital campaign to build and operate a special needs, family friendly, baseball complex. Miracle League will operate the facility and organize sports activities for more than 500 disabled children annually.

“The joyous sound of special needs children playing baseball, along with parents and loved ones cheering them on at a facility designed expressly for the special needs population will soon be heard in the Valley,” said executive director Dan Haren, Sr., father of Diamondbacks pitcher Danny Haren. The complex will be completed by November 2010 in Northeast Scottsdale.

A complete list of grants awarded from mid-February through May 12, 2010, follows:

Arts and Culture
Arizona Town Hall
Spring 2011 Arizona Town Hall on the impact of arts and culture on the economy.
$25,000/12 months

Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix
Two-year strategic marketing and public relations plan.
$60,000/24 months

AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
Computer hardware and software for Latino students preparing for college.
$16,750/12 months

Back-to-School Clothing Grants
Clothes for needy children at 270 Maricopa County elementary schools.
$519,900/12 months

Miracle League of Arizona
Special baseball facility for disabled children.
$100,000/12 months

Arizona State University Foundation
Updated Morrison Institute Latino Education Dilemma report.
$85,000/12 months

Expect More Arizona Fund
Third-year funding for public awareness of the importance of education in Arizona.
$100,000/8 months

Healthcare and Medical Research
Lions Vision Center, Inc.
Examination chair for vision screenings and telephonic equipment.
$16,064/12 months

Mission of Mercy
Second mobile van to increase medical services to West Valley families with limited access to care.
$168,300/24 months

Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation
Healthy Steps program to train family medicine residents in child development practices.
$98,860/12 months

Older Adults
Aging Services of Arizona Foundation
Leadership training program preparing emerging long-term care executives to serve older adults.
$20,000/18 months

Experience Matters Consortium
Service, learning and leadership opportunities for older adults
$17,200/12 months

Arizona Planned Giving Institute
Alumni support program for 17 previous participants in the Arizona Endowment Building Initiative.
$20,000/12 months

Valley of the Sun United Way
A Community Relief grant for the Homelessness and Hunger Funders Collaborative project.
$250,000/12 months

Total of all Published Grants: $1,497,074