SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

Volunteer Annette Holleman modeled this Middle Eastern embroidered vest, hand-picked from the Golden Goose’s inventory, in last year’s fashion show.

SBCO Fall Meeting to Feature the Golden Goose ‘Cheap Chic’ Fashion Show

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

The SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) fall kick-off general meeting, which features the popular Golden Goose Fashion Show, will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, in the MountainView Ballroom. It’s a great chance to learn about SBCO’s programs to provide food, clothing, and educational opportunities for local children—and see some great clothing at affordable prices.

Throughout the year, Betsy Lowry culls through the Golden Goose Thrift Shop clothing donations to find runway-worthy items for this fashion show. Clothing and coordinating accessories, from casual to formal wear, are selected for quality and style in order to display some of the best items available to the store’s shoppers. Betsy also recruits volunteers who are willing to serve as models, many of whom contribute their own fashion savvy to the occasion.

Plan now to attend this very popular annual event!

Education—The Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Since 2001, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has annually granted two- and four-year college scholarships to deserving students in the “Copper Corridor,” an area that stretches more than 100 miles from Catalina to Globe, Ariz. Each year, the Education Committee receives applications from local high school seniors. Committee members review each student’s financial situation, high school transcript, activities, an essay about personal and professional goals, and letters of recommendation. Then committee members conduct a personal interview to select the scholarship recipients.

Students attending two-year colleges receive a $1,500 per year scholarship, while those attending four-year institutions receive $3,000 per year. These scholarships help change lives. Most of these students are the first in their families to attend college. They come from small towns with few economic opportunities, and obtaining an advanced degree allows them to become gainfully employed. Research shows that post-high school education leads to financial stability, stronger families, better health, lower chances of committing a crime or going to jail, and stronger feelings of empowerment, all of which contribute to overall happiness. And these graduates then pass along these benefits to their children and grandchildren.

If you would like to make a donation to the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Endowment Fund, we’d welcome your support. All contributions must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (CFSA) and designated for SBCO Endowment (CFSA’s Tax ID is 94-2681765).

A minimum contribution of $5,000 is required (consult your tax advisor for potential benefits).

* Mail a personal checks directly to CFSA made payable to CFSA and include “SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund” in the memo line.

* Arrange for a distribution from your IRA to CFSA for the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund.

* Include CFSA and the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund as a beneficiary in your trust or estate plan.

To donate in-kind contributions (e.g., stocks, securities, real estate, autos) please email [email protected] for assistance.

Donations must be sent to The SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, 5049 E. Broadway, Suite 201, Tucson, AZ 85711.

Bente Fongemie, a 24-year volunteer with SBCO, also uses her time and talents to help other organizations in the community.

Dedicated SBCO Volunteer Finds Joy in Helping Others

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Bente Fongemie and her husband moved to SaddleBrooke in July 1996 from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area. Within a year of her arrival, she was recruited by Harriett Schultz, one of the founders of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (then known as SaddleBrooke Women’s Outreach) to help with the group’s program for clothing school children in Oracle.

Tasked with managing clothing inventory, Bente recruited Huguette Baad to serve as her assistant. Back in 1998, the group’s clothing program was a fledgling enterprise compared to today’s Kids’ Closet that annually distributes about 3,000 wardrobes to local students. Twenty-four years ago, all of the merchandise was delivered to a garage in one of the model homes in SaddleBrooke TWO. Since sorting and counting the clothing was a hot job (especially during the summer months), Bente recounts how she and Hugette would take advantage of times when no one was visiting the model home. They’d close the garage door, open the door to the house, and enjoy moments of cool air wafting into the garage. Ahhh!

Eventually, Bente turned over inventory management to Pat Staufer and took on the job of scheduling school visits to Kids’ Closet as well as volunteering at the Closet helping students select shoes and clothing. Since her husband died in 2015, she has worked as a substitute SBCO office staff volunteer.

While many would think supporting SaddleBrooke Community Outreach for 24 years would be a major achievement—and enough volunteerism to fill anyone’s days—Bente would disagree. She has been a volunteer at the SaddleBrooke One Library for 22 years, worked with Care and Share until it was dissolved, and has been a Senior Village volunteer for the past five years. She also served as a volunteer with Odyssey Hospice from 2000 to 2010.

As someone who has dedicated the past two decades of her life to helping others, Bente recalls how working with kids has put a smile on her face. Seeing a child jump up and down with joy over a new pair of shoes is a precious moment. Little girls wearing new clothing and giggling at their reflection in the mirror are adorable. She also has valued her time helping elderly and very ill people. Those experiences have made her count her blessings.

Bente would be the first to say, “Volunteer! The smiles of children and a dying person’s tears of gratitude offer huge emotional benefits to those who help. You can make a difference in the lives of others and meet people you otherwise would never have known. When you volunteer your time, you receive far more than you give away. Writing a donation check is good, but volunteering is more satisfying. If you can—do both!”