SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

Our wonderful SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch volunteers

Our wonderful SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch volunteers

SBCO’s holiday food program update

Joan Roberts

Once again SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) traveled to Oracle to provide Thanksgiving food baskets to families in the area. This year 40 baskets were distributed, filled with all the traditional Thanksgiving items including a large turkey and all the trimmings. In addition to these baskets, SBCO supports the Holiday Food Basket Program of the Tri Community Food Bank with food and cash donations. This year’s efforts were supported by the generosity of the Walmart Neighborhood Market and by donations from the community.

SBCO is celebrating its twentieth year of service to the children of the area. If you would like to learn more about the food related programs sponsored by SBCO or any of its other programs visit our website, call our offices at 825-3302, or stop by our offices now open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. We are located in the community shopping center, 63675 S. SaddleBrooke Boulevard, Suite L. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed.

George Gregg (left) and Richard Hicks

George Gregg (left) and Richard Hicks

Can you add?

Nan Nasser

If you can add, subtract, even calculate percentages, you can be a terrific asset for a child dealing with math challenges in our area schools.

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach has a very active education committee that begins with tutoring, moves on to providing college scholarships and financially supports area enrichment programs. The tutoring takes place in four area schools; Ironwood Ridge High School (Oro Valley), Coronado K-8 (Catalina), Mountain Vista K-8 (Oracle) and San Manuel Jr. /Sr. High School (San Manuel).

SaddleBrooke resident Richard Hicks gave an overall view of the tutoring program at a recent SBCO General Program. He has been involved for 11 years, seven of them as a math tutor and four as a member of the education committee. He serves as a liaison between the committee and the schools and stated that since the tutoring programs began, there has been a consistent rise in state test scores in both math and reading.

George Gregg has been a tutor in math at San Manuel Jr./Sr. High School for 18 years. He says he is probably tutoring youngsters who weren’t even born when he began this second career. He also noted that the children are well behaved and really enjoy time with their tutors. When George’s wife had a medical emergency he missed his day at San Manuel. Upon his return, most of the students wanted to know how his wife was! George wouldn’t have this flexibility anywhere else apart from running an education franchise. If you are keen, passionate and love teaching others, consider following in his footsteps. There’s always someone to help 🙂

Tutoring can be adapted to your schedule. Yes, you can travel and keep your weekly golf date. Carpooling can take place; the amount of time you spend in the classroom will be managed by you and the program. Sometimes a bond is formed between the student and the adult that lasts for years. The benefits of tutoring are not just for the students, but for the volunteers. When a youngster has an a-ha moment the adult and the child rejoice together.

For more information check our website: or telephone our office at 825-3302.

Special Halloween volunteers

Special Halloween volunteers

Kids’ Closet volunteers dress up to greet students

Vivian Errico

On October 27, Kids’ Closet volunteers donned their Halloween best in preparation of meeting the Miami School District’s, second and third grade students. This was the third visit by the Bejarano School, kindergarten through third grade school. Miami’s two other schools servicing grades four through eight will visit later in this session. It is estimated that with the addition of approximately 500 students from Miami, SBCO will provide approximately 2,000 wardrobes for the fall.

Miami, Arizona sits 67 miles northwest of Kids’ Closet building in Mammoth, Arizona. The town of Miami, once a copper mining center, now has a population with approximately 20 percent of its residents falling at or below the U.S. poverty line. The city has three schools servicing grades K through 12.

To visit the Closet, the children, accompanied by their teachers and the school Principal, board school buses for the one hour and 15 minute drive to the Closet. Once there each child is greeted by a volunteer who provides an individual shopping experience. After their shopping is done, they board their buses once more to make the hour and 15 minute drive back to their schools.

With the addition of Miami’s 500 students, Kids’ Closet volunteers will dress over 2,000 children from 17 schools from eight school districts. Each child will leave the Closet with new pants, shirts, shoes and socks, a jacket and sweatshirt, underwear and toiletries. In addition they will receive two books at their individual reading level. This session runs from September through early December. A spring session will begin late January and run through May when these children will once again make the two hour trip for another brand new wardrobe.

It’s a long day for both children and volunteers but there were smiles on all of the faces when leaving the building. The children loved that the volunteers put on their Halloween finery just for them.

Grand Marshals Pat and Ron Andrea

Grand Marshals Pat and Ron Andrea

20th annual Walkathon wrap up

Nan Nasser

The 2016 SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s (SBCO) twentieth Walkathon was a wonderful success with over 250 registered walkers, several dogs, school members from the Mammoth/San Manuel School District and volunteers from Teen Closet.

The morning began with warm-ups by Vital Moves. The walkers departed for the long walk following the Grand Marshal car, driven by Bev Porras, for a three mile loop around Ridgeview Boulevard. A shorter walk led participants to the firehouse and back.

The Grand Marshals were Pat and Ron Andrea, honored for their very active support of SBCO over many years. Both have been instrumental in two Suite L upgrades. Ron represented SBCO on the Golden Goose Thrift Shop (GGTS) Board of Directors and still works with the GGTS on the truck. Ron was the facilitator for a recent program for the SBCO Board of Directors. Pat has been an SBCO Board member, chaired the Ambassador Program and serves as office manager, receptionist trainer and scheduler.

Betsy Lowry and Trish Parker chaired the Walkathon Committee. The event was monitored by SaddleBrooke Patrol HOA 1; breakfast was professionally prepared and served by the staff at HOA 1. The Jim Click Mustang Raffle Car was present, as were 20 tee-shirts representing all Walkathons. Raffle tickets offered special prizes to many participants. Many of our sponsors attended the event. Patrice Meyer Interiors and Oracle Ford were acknowledged for the 20 years of support for SBCO.

A long time member, Florence Madas was recognized at the event for her years of dedication to the Walkathon, her support of SBCO, her participation in the GGTS Fashion Show and her enjoyment at being honored as a Grand Marshal several years ago. Ken Siarkiewicz gave the memorial talk, suggesting that all volunteers should try to emulate Florence.

Thank you to everyone who made this a very special day. Together you made it possible to clothe more than 160 kids at Kids’ Closet.