SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

Students from Coronado K-8 who attended the Catalina Island Marine Institute trip in February 2020 were able to snorkel and visit the plankton, shark, and invertebrate labs.

Students from Coronado K-8 who attended the Catalina Island Marine Institute trip in February 2020 were able to snorkel and visit the plankton, shark, and invertebrate labs.

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach—Making a Difference Every Year

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) was able to make a significant difference in the lives of many children and their families in 2020, despite the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Kids’ Closet provided clothing, backpacks and books to 2,475 children from Catalina in Pima County through the Pinal County Copper Corridor, up to Superior, across to Miami and down to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Gila County. This was about 500 fewer students than 2019 because the Closet closed in March due to a mandatory national shutdown. For the fall, clothing was bagged for children in need and then picked up by their teachers for delivery at the schools.

* Teen Closet increased the number of participating schools to six, covering an area from Catalina to Superior. Eighty-one eligible 8th grade through high school students shopped at the July event in Oro Valley and Globe and 49 teens shopped at the January event in Oro Valley. Qualifying students can spend up to $200 on school appropriate clothing and school supplies. An average of $189/student was spent in 2020. To qualify for this program, teens must submit their grades and hours of community service.

* Scholarships were given to 80 post-high school students. Sixty-one students received a $3,000 annual scholarship to attend four-year universities and 15 students received $1,500 annual scholarships to attend two-year community schools. Four students received scholarships for post graduate work at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

* SBCO Educational Enrichment programs support academic, sports, travel, and cultural programs in local schools. Supported after-school activities include art and sewing, Future Farmers of America (FFA), 4H, and gifted and talented programs. Funded elective school programs include field trips, math tutoring, AP exam fee support, band programs, and programs for reading, cooking, gardening, and physical education. A grant to Youth on Their Own (which helps homeless youth complete high school) supported Pinal County students enrolled at Coronado K-8 and Iron Ridge High School. COVID-19 caused the school year to end abruptly on March 15. Several summer programs were put on hold or cancelled, while other academic programs were delayed or switched to an online format. Unused funding was returned to SBCO.

* Annual Food Drive was a grand success, despite the fact that the pandemic forced SBCO to suspend the collection of food items and request only monetary donations. A total of $92,000 and 270 pounds of food were collected for the Tri-Community Food Bank. This joint effort between SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch was the highest dollar amount collected in the history of the drive and generous residents continued to make donations for the food bank after the drive ended.

* In addition to the food drive, SBCO also supplies Thanksgiving Food Baskets to families in Oracle identified by school personnel. Each family receives a turkey with all the trimmings and pies. All food is delivered in large plastic laundry baskets that the recipients can continue to use.

* SBCO manages the receipt and distribution of monetary donations for the Adopt a Family and Adopt a Child programs. This allows donors to contribute to a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Usually SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents “adopt” families, purchase and wrap gifts, and load them into vans and cars for delivery. The program includes families in the Tri Community area of Mammoth, San Manuel, and Oracle, as well as youngsters on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. In 2020, gift cards were distributed in lieu of wrapped gifts. SaddleBrooke residents also made 120 quilts that were delivered to Apache children.

SBCO is grateful to the residents of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch who have so generously contributed their time, talents, and funds to ensure that life is much better for people in nearby communities.

SBCO scholarship recipient Allison Martinez is currently a pre-med student at Grand Canyon University.

SBCO scholarship recipient Allison Martinez is currently a pre-med student at Grand Canyon University.

Pre-Med Student Is Grateful for SBCO Support

Ron Andrea

“I slowly opened my eyes and looked around, realizing what had occurred. Inside, I felt my heart racing but I kept control to do my best to deal with the situation. I moved and immediately flinched as my body ached with agony. I ignored the stinging pain to help my family. My younger brother was not awake but was still breathing. I didn’t see any major injuries or excessive bleeding. My older brother woke and I noticed his bleeding nose and saw him wincing in pain. I told him to examine my younger brother further and continue to watch over him. My mother was in the worst condition of all of us. The crash impacted her the most, moving her from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s side. She was covered in blood. I began to talk to her, but her only responses were small murmurs. I immediately began to call for help. Thankfully, many others were already taking action to help us.

“Our car accident occurred over ten years ago. I remember most of it, but I cry every time the memories come to mind. Thankfully, my brothers and I recovered soon afterward. To this day however, my mom suffers due to that same event from so long ago. It is a miracle she is still alive and in decent health. Much of my family’s recoveries are because of the doctors and medics who helped. People in the medical field impact many lives. Their passion is to help others and this is my passion too.”

The accident Allison Martinez experienced changed her life. The treatment she and her family received created in her a burning desire to become a physician.

Allison graduated from Superior High School with a 4.0 grade point average. Due, in part, to her academic achievements and extensive community service, she was awarded first place at the Arizona State Leadership Conference three years in a row and won a Gold Medal at the National Student Leadership Conference. She became certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED and worked part-time as a lifeguard while she was going to school. After attending Central Arizona Community College, Allison enrolled at Grand Canyon University.

She writes, “It’s been an honor to be a recipient of the SBCO Scholarship. This scholarship is worth far more than its monetary value. It has allowed me to be a student in the rigorous, yet highly rewarding pre-medicine program at Grand Canyon University. The scholarship has taken some of the financial burden off my shoulders. I am also extremely grateful for the support provided by the SBCO Scholarship Committee. The committee has encouraged me these past few years and have been a great source of motivation for me to succeed in my classes. They have gone above and beyond to provide support and encouragement for me. I will always be grateful to the committee and the scholarship they have awarded me.”

If you would like to help other students like Allison, please consider making a gift to the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Endowment Program. You can include the program as a beneficiary in your trust, you can have a portion of your mandated IRA distribution sent directly to the Scholarship Endowment Program as a tax-deductible gift, or you can simply write a check. Always consult with your tax advisor regarding the benefits of charitable gifts.

While SBCO accepts gifts of any amount, there is a minimum of $5,000 for gifts to the Scholarship Endowment. Gifts last forever, as only the earnings on contributions are used for scholarships. For this reason, your donation will continue to earn money for student scholarships long after you and I are gone.

For more information about the program, go to our website at or contact Ron Andrea directly at [email protected] or at 520-904-4831.

Remember, a gift of education is a gift that lasts forever!