SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings – January 2024

SBCO Scholarship Endowment Provides a Lasting Legacy for Donors

Scholarship recipient Augustine Hing was the featured speaker at a recent reception for SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund donors.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

On Nov. 6 members of the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Board of Directors and Scholarship Endowment Fund Committee hosted an appreciation reception for fund donors. At this event, donors had the opportunity to meet each other and SBCO volunteers while enjoying some appetizers and drinks.

After opening remarks by the Scholarship Endowment Fund Committee co-chairs Ed Barnes and Jan Olsson, donors heard from Steve Sahl, chair of the Scholarship Committee. Sahl told attendees that this past spring, SBCO awarded 53 two- and four-year scholarships to high school graduates. In addition, the interest earned on the Endowment Fund was used to provide one-time grants of $4,000 or $5,000 to three graduate school students. Currently, there are more than 100 students receiving scholarships from SBCO.

Marilyn Heasley, who serves on the Scholarship Committee, introduced the evening’s featured speaker Augustine (Augie) Hing. The committee assigns a scholarship liaison to mentor and guide each student through their college years, and Heasley has recently been serving in this role for Augie. Heasley explained that Augie graduated from Superior High School in 2019 first in her class, with a GPA of 3.9+. She was taking college classes while in high school and achieved a GPA of 4.0 in those classes. In addition, she received local, state, and national awards and recognitions while also playing on sports teams.

Augie told donors how much undergraduate, and now graduate scholarships from SBCO, along with support from her committee liaison, have meant to her—a student who came from a small town with few college graduates. She knew she wanted to help the people in her community, so she initially majored in education. However, since she completed some college courses while in high school, she was able to take on a second major in criminal justice, graduating this past May from Arizona State University.

She currently serves on the Superior School Board (the youngest person ever to serve on the board) while taking classes for a master’s degree in criminal justice at Arizona State University. She is also working in the District Attorney’s office in Apache Junction. Augie is thankful for the assistance she has received from SBCO and told donors how much their contributions could help to change the lives of young people like her.

If you would like to contribute to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund, you should know that all contributions to the endowment fund must be made payable to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (CFSA) and designated for the “SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund.” (CFSA’s Tax ID is 94-2681765.) The minimum contribution to the fund is $5,000.

Tax-deductible donations can be made in any of four ways:

• A personal check (sent directly to CFSA) made payable to Community Foundation of Southern Arizona with “SBCO Endowment” in the memo line.

• A distribution from your IRA to CFSA for the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund.

• Include CFSA as the manager of the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund as a beneficiary in your trust or estate plan.

For non-cash contributions (e.g., stocks, securities, real estate, autos), please email [email protected] for assistance.

Donations should be sent to the following:

The SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

5049 E. Broadway, Suite 201

Tucson, AZ 85711

SBCO Volunteers Delivered Thanksgiving Baskets

SaddleBrooke Thanksgiving Food Basket program co-chairs Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke coordinated the purchase of food and the assembly and delivery of 68 Thanksgiving baskets to Oracle residents.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

The Thanksgiving holiday was made brighter for 111 families in Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth due to the efforts of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO). Just before Thanksgiving, SBCO volunteers in SaddleBrooke, chaired by Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke, assembled and delivered 68 holiday food baskets to Oracle residents: 44 to the Mountain View School and 24 to the Wellness Center. These baskets were delivered on Nov. 20.

SaddleBrooke Ranch residents, led by Karen Lanning and Anthony Spignorelli, assembled 43 baskets for the San Manuel/Mammoth Unified School District. These baskets were delivered on Nov. 17. This SaddleBrooke Ranch expansion of the Thanksgiving Basket program was started last year.

Each holiday basket was filled with traditional Thanksgiving food items, including a large turkey and all the trimmings. Special baskets were created for those with larger families. The baskets were actually laundry baskets, making it easy to transport the food and provide the recipients with a useful household item.

The Thanksgiving Food Basket program has been in existence for many years and is one of the important ways SBCO helps combat hunger among residents of nearby communities. Many residents in these communities rely on the Tri-Community Food Bank, government food programs, and the generosity of SaddleBrooke residents to feed their families. They are especially grateful for holiday meals they can share with their loved ones.

Annual SBCO Food Drive and Home Tour Coming in March

An army of SBCO Food Drive volunteers receives, sorts, boxes, and delivers donations to the Tri-Community Food Bank to provide healthy meals to local families.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

On Saturday, March 16, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) will gather donations of food and money to support the Tri-Community Food Bank (TCFB) based in Mammoth. TCFB serves needy families living in Mammoth, San Manuel, Oracle, and the Dudleyville/Aravaipa area. Our donations helped to provide bi-monthly emergency food boxes to an unduplicated count of 530 households (1,565 people) for the past calendar year. TCFB meets a real need in the Tri-Community area where 20% of households live below the poverty level and 10% are below 50% of the poverty level.

All monetary contributions go directly to grocery purchases and related expenses. SBCO and TCFB are all-volunteer organizations and are IRS 501(c)(3) and Arizona nonprofit charitable organizations, so donations made to these organizations are tax deductible.

If you live in SaddleBrooke and would like to volunteer for the Food Drive, please contact Andrea Stephens at [email protected]. SaddleBrooke Ranch residents should contact Betty Ryan at [email protected].

One week later, on Saturday, March 23, the annual SBCO Home Tour will be held. Six SaddleBrooke homeowners have graciously agreed to open their doors to allow attendees to see the changes made in their remodeled homes. You’ll get to see extensive changes, as well as budget-friendly transformations you might want to consider making in your own home.

This event helps SBCO inform the SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch communities about its food, clothing, enrichment, and educational programs for children in nearby communities. It also helps SBCO recruit the volunteers needed to help execute these programs. Tour attendees will be able to choose between a morning (9 a.m. to noon) or afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.) tour. Stay tuned for information about ticket sales.

Mark your calendar now—March 16 and 23 will be busy Saturdays for SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents.

SBCO Scholarship Program Makes Dreams Come True

Angelita Mendibles received a two-year SBCO scholarship to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, majoring in graphic arts.

Kathie Marshall

Meet Angelita Mendibles, one of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s (SBCO) bright and talented scholarship recipients. Raised in the small high desert town of Oracle, Angelita decided to commute to Oro Valley to attend high school. Although she loved her family and community in Oracle, she longed to expand her horizons. She excelled in high school and discovered she had an interest and talent in art and set her sights on becoming a graphic designer. She needed help financing her post-secondary studies, so she applied to the SBCO scholarship program. SBCO provides college scholarships to deserving local students. The application process is rigorous and includes a written application followed by student interviews. Scholarships of $3,600 per year for four-year programs and $1,800 per year for two-year programs are renewed annually for students maintaining a 2.0 GPA as a full-time student taking a minimum of 12 credits. Each student is assigned a liaison from the committee to monitor their progress and offer support.

I met Angelita during the interview process. She impressed me and our team of reviewers. She was articulate and personable and had an excellent GPA and a sharp vision of her career goals. When it came time to apply to colleges, she was specifically interested in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). FIDM is an accredited, specialized private college located in downtown Los Angeles. The college offers 26 associate of arts degree programs; a bachelor of science degree in business management, which is also available via distance learning; and nine bachelor of arts degree programs. Admissions are competitive, with a 36% acceptance rate. Angelita applied there and was accepted into the two-year intensive graphic arts program.

I must admit, as her SBCO liaison, I was a little worried about her transition from a small town to the sprawling metropolis of LA. Surely, there must have been some culture shock, but for Angelita, it was a whole new world, and she embraced the change. She works hard and maintains a stellar GPA each quarter and is grateful for the financial assistance that allows her to pursue her dreams. My concerns about culture shock were eased when she told me, “By moving to LA and attending a school as prestigious within the industry as FIDM is, I have matured and grown more than I could have ever fathomed. I have had experiences, good and bad, that have taught me how to be a successful young adult in a hectic world. I hope to become a movie poster and album cover designer after I graduate in June with my associate’s  in graphic design.”

Angelita has a bright future ahead, and with the help of an SBCO scholarship, her dreams can come true.