Cathy LaSusa (Ryan House), Barbara Lewkowitz (Justa Center) and Gerry Kroloff (Doves) represented three of the organizations receiving Sun City Rotary Club Foundation grants.

This year’s recipients are: 

 

 

Arizona Funeral, Cemetery & Cremation Association Foundation for Children gives medical aid to school age children with needs that are not usually met by other organizations. Common needs are wheelchairs, eyeglasses and specialized equipment to enable children to participate in regular scholastic activities. Recipients are identified by school nurses.

 

Challenger Middle School Interact was founded in October 2014. The Club hosts student of the month lunches and awards for six, seventh, and eighth grade students and their parents during the school year and was a sponsor of the School's third annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner where over 700 individuals were served. Challenger is a Title I school with 80% of the students speaking English as a second language. The Foundation has awarded a grant to buy 100 new books for each of the five grade-level literacy teachers that will appeal and encourage reading for these students.

 

Doves is Area Agency on Aging’s program for victims of late-life domestic violence and elder abuse providing transitional housing, food, clothing, case management, transportation services, assistance in applying for benefits such as Social Security Disability and HUD housing. The funds will be used to replace aging stoves and refrigerators with new, more energy efficient units in the housing complex built in the 1950s.

 

Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a 26-year history of providing outstanding education. Their baccalaureate and master's degrees in nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The grant will be used for nursing scholarships.

 

Justa Center is a day resource center catering to people 55 years of age and older who find themselves homeless in the metro Phoenix area. The center's services include procuring safe, affordable housing, basic physical healthcare, mental health counseling, job assessment and training/placement assistance. Women seeking services during 2014 increased nearly 35% from previous years. Justa Center will use the grant to expand its counseling program addressing sexual trauma issues faced by female members. 

 

KAET Eight, Arizona PBS will use its grant to help in continuing their commitment to providing lifelong learning opportunities for all Arizonans. Eight operates three TV channels (Eight HD, Eight Life and Eight World) twenty-four hours a day and typically ranks among the top five most viewed PBS stations in the country.     

                                                                                      

Ryan House provides respite and palliative care to children between birth and 17 years with life threatening or terminal illness at no cost. Each child may stay for respite for up to 28 days of care per year. Children staying at Ryan House for their end-of-life journey may stay until they pass on. Ryan House receives no insurance reimbursement for services so must raise 100% of their annual operating budget each year. This grant will provide over 120 life-enhancing therapeutic activities such as Hydrotherapy, Arts & Crafts, Music and Pet Therapy for the affected children and their siblings. 

 

Sun City Home Owners Association's Residents Assistance and Maintenance Program provides basic needs, as well as food, electricity, day-to-day expenses, cleaning and home repairs to residents in need. The majority of assistance is performed by volunteers and is provided based on available income. This year, Sun City Rotary Club members also joined in service projects weeding and cleaning up yards. 

 

Washington High School Interact Club has been sponsored by the Sun City Rotary Club for 15 years and has over 300 members participating in weekly service projects to help those less fortunate such as Andre House, Home Base Youth Shelter, St. Vincent de Paul, UMOM Read to Me, Watkins Shelter, St. Mary’s Food Bank  and Growing Together: A Living Garden. The grant will provide material for a making "6-hour quilts"  for the Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and local child crisis centers like Child Help and the Glendale Family Advocacy Center.  Students made beds for the Arizona Humane Society with the quilting scraps. Their goal is a minimum 100 quilts during the coming year. The Foundation awards scholarships for high school students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference in January and recently awarded college scholarships to three graduating Interact members.

 

Welcome to America Project serves foreign refugees who have been recently located to the Phoenix area by the U.S. State Department. In 2014, 561 newly arrived refugees including 167 women, 250 children and 35 single-head households were served by the non-profit which provides them with home furnishings and clothing. The agency partners with other local non-profits who serve the refugees.