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Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Announces Awardees of 2016 Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations

October 31, 2016

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Announces Awardees of 2016 Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations

Phoenix, Ariz.—Three nonprofits that tap the talent of adults age 50 and older in meaningful work that benefits society have received 2016 Piper Trust Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awarded prizes to: Sun Sounds of Arizona, Circle the City, and The Be Kind People Project. Circle the City and The Be Kind People Project each received a $5,000 prize for demonstrating significant encore engagement. For exemplary encore engagement, Sun Sounds of Arizona received a $5,000 prize and the $50,000 Encore Enhancement Prize to help expand its use of encore talent.

Sun Sounds of Arizona ( current written material accessible through audio for people who cannot read print because of a disability. The free service opens a window to the world for 49,000 listeners. Eighty percent of Sun Sounds’ 370 active volunteers at four broadcast affiliates is encore talent. It’s the encore corps who primarily fulfill the nonprofit’s mission of providing continuous programming—everything from operating the station’s control board to supporting administration.

Circle the City ( is a community health organization that serves people experiencing homelessness. Encore talent, including its founder and chief medical officer Sister Adele O’Sullivan, laid the groundwork for the organization that since 2008 has produced a 50-bed medical respite center, a family health center, and a variety of community-based outreach health services including a mobile clinic program.

The Be Kind People Project ( intentionally combines intergenerational talent to help children learn the skills of kindness. An encore leadership team deploys a hip-hop dance crew to schools as part of a comprehensive approach to providing character education that creates positive change in school cultures and in the community.

“Our 2016 Encore Prize awardees model the power of engaging experienced, older adults—encore adults as we call them—in meaningful work that taps their skills and benefits society. Nonprofits can become stronger and more resilient with encore talent at their sides, and encore adults thrive, which can have positive impacts on their health and well-being,” said Piper Trust President and CEO Susan Pepin, MD, MPH.

In the Phoenix metropolitan area, there are more than 1 million baby boomers, aka, encore adults, who are not retiring in traditional ways, or at all. Piper Trust established Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations in 2012 to recognize and celebrate nonprofits and public agencies with strong encore engagement practices, and to inspire more organizations to avail themselves of the talent, expertise, maturity, and vision of older adults. Encore Prizes complement the work of Phoenix-based Experience Matters; through programs designed for mutually successful encore integration, Experience Matters’ mission is to connect the skills, talents, and passions of older adults with the needs of nonprofits.

Piper Trust Encore Prizes for Exceptional Organizations are awarded every two years through a competitive selection process. A selection committee comprised of local and national members, reviews applications/nominations seeking those with encore engagement practices that exemplify intent, impact, social purpose, creativity, and replicability. Final awardee decisions are made by Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Board of Trustees.

For complete information about Piper Trust Encore Prizes and to view video stories of all awardees (2012-2016), please visit

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust:
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $369 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @PiperTrust; visit us on Facebook; join the encore dialogue via social media #pipertrustencore.

Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 / [email protected]
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust