SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings – May 2024

SBR residents loaded pick-up trucks with food donations for transport to the MountainView clubhouse parking lot in SaddleBrooke.

Food Drive Is a Great Success!

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

The compassionate residents of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch made this year’s annual SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Food Drive a great success. The Food Drive raised a total of $134,386 and approximately 18,000 pounds of food. This is a wonderful result, and the families assisted by the Tri-Community Food Bank (TCFB), as well as its board of directors and volunteers, are deeply grateful for this outpouring of support.

Thanks to your generosity, the TCFB will be able to provide food to more than 500 households, which include over 1,500 individuals, in 2024. The Food Bank serves 428 children and 365 seniors. These households can receive up to two food boxes a month, each containing a three-day supply of food.

Speaking on behalf of TCFB, Rosemary Douglas said, “SBCO’s Food Drive donations are critical in enabling us to continue the TCFB mission: ‘Feeding Neighbors in Southeast Pinal County.’ Many of our clients receive 20% of their monthly food requirements from the Food Bank. The generosity of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents in food and monetary donations, and in volunteer hours, ensures that we can successfully complete our mission in 2024. Our deepest gratitude to all who participated in this wonderful annual event.”

The Food Drive accepted food donations and monetary contributions made online or with checks. Volunteers from SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, Sunrise Rotary, Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, TCFB, and Teen Closet students enjoyed the warm weather and camaraderie of sorting through the food donations, boxing and loading them on trucks, and unloading the donations at TCFB. All monetary contributions will go directly to grocery purchases and related expenses. Both SBCO and TCFB are all-volunteer organizations and IRS 501(c)(3) and Arizona nonprofit charitable organizations, so donations made to these organizations are tax deductible.

SBCO and TCFB thank the many SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents who made such a great difference in the lives of those in need, especially the following:

SaddleBrooke Unit Food Drive Captains:

Units 1/1A: Casey Domalewski, Unit 2: Melanie Stout, Unit 3N: Candy Brockey, Unit 3S: Beth and Dan Conquest, Unit 4: Linda Holt, Unit 5: Becky and Steve Spence, Unit 6: Linda Henriksen, Unit 7: Linda Morrison and Kathie Garman, Unit 8: Heidi Wagner, Unit 8A: Donna O’Shea and Cindy Rutkowski, Unit 9: Ted Crowley, Units 10/10A: Sandy Simester, Unit 11: Paula and Frank Morgan, Unit 12: Mike and Chris Havnaer, Unit 14: Barb Turner, Unit 15: Marcia VanOmmeran, Unit 16: Emilie and Ken Siarkiewicz, Unit 17: Patrick Polencheck, Unit 18: Lorna and Mark Kitchen, Unit 19: Patty Oswalt, Unit 20: Ruby Okada and Mike Hatmaker, Unit 21: Pat and Ron Andrea, Unit 22: Linda Morrison, Unit 23: Patrick and Eileen Hansen, Unit 24: Phyllis Meierhenry and Susan Barnes, Unit 25: Bill Rigg, Unit 27: Karen Erickson, Unit 28: Anita Woodbury, Unit 29: Cheryl and John Quist, Unit 30: Linda DeWitt, Unit 31: Kathy Mathews, Unit 32: Teri Spencer, Unit 33: Cash Striplin, Units 35/35A: Debra and Dwight Cox, Units 36/36A: Christine Schmitz, Unit 42: Eric Zobel, Unit 43: Linda Bartholow and Linda Oberski, Unit 44A: Shirley Hovan, Unit 45: David and Kathleen Eaton, Units 46/46A: Rex Witherspoon, Unit 47: John Farnham, Units 48/48A: Jane Lahman, Unit 49: Carol Thompson and Andrea Sahl, Unit 50: Marsha Kurtic.

SaddleBrooke Ranch Food Drive Unit Coordinators:

Unit 1: Mary Snowden, Unit 2: Dale Farland, Unit 3: Bev Hinton, Unit 4a: Deb Sandin, Unit 4b: Jeanne Bianchini, Unit 6: Lisa Richards, Unit 7: Linda Shannon-Hills, Unit 8a: Pam Blaess, Unit 8b: Donna Pedota, Unit 9a: Barbara Nicolich, Unit 9b: Cyndy Pylkka, Unit 10: Tim and Debby Bowen, Unit 14A and B: Tony Zoellner, Unit 16A: Toni McDole, Unit 16B: John Green, Unit 16C: Glenna Matthews, Unit 17: Anthony Signorelli, Unit 18A: Marie Mantoura, Unit 18B: Jim and Toni Selk, Unit 18C: Waters Davis, Unit 21A: Lin and Robert Heald and Pat and Colleen Gillespie, Unit 46A: Barry and Mary Milner, Unit 46B: Judy Tedeschi, Unit 47: Kelly Moss.

A big thanks to all of the above volunteers who helped make this year’s food drive such a huge success.

Mary Jane (MJ) Beasley and her husband Norm valued higher education and donated to educational institutions and scholarship programs.

Mary Jane Beasley: A Committed Supporter of Education

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Mary Jane (MJ) Beasley, a longtime SaddleBrooke resident, died in August of 2023. However, her lifelong dedication to education lives on. MJ and her husband Norm were among the earliest SaddleBrooke residents, moving here in the early 1990s. After spending the past 30-plus years in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., they were seeking a warmer climate where they could play golf and avoid shoveling snow. Norm retired from a career as a wealth advisor with Hillard Lyons, while MJ had spent three decades managing research labs at the University of Illinois.

MJ was born in 1934, growing up as one of seven children (four girls and three boys) on a farm in Rock Valley, a community in the northwest corner of Iowa. Her mother was a country school teacher prior to her marriage, but her father had only received an eighth-grade education, because he needed to leave school and work on the farm. MJ’s mother had high academic expectations for her children, and all seven graduated from college. She valued the lifelong benefits of education and passed that along to MJ.

MJ had fond memories of growing up on the farm where she learned to milk cows at age six and helped pitch hay, straw, silage, and manure. She drove work horses and later a tractor, fed pigs and hens, and gathered eggs. But eventually her educational pursuits took her to a career in academia.

She attended Wartburg College and the University of Iowa, followed by a long and legendary career as a very dedicated, productive, and talented research specialist/lab manager in several research laboratories at the University of Illinois. For many years, she not only conducted independent research and co-authored scientific papers on breast cancer, hormones, and reproductive health, but she trained and “mothered” undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists. Although MJ was always busy, she always found time to offer pointers, encouragement, or just a humorous commentary on a current frustrating situation. She treated everyone in the lab like family and did her best to ensure their success. After her retirement, MJ continued to follow the career of her Illinois “family members” and found opportunities to provide support and advice when needed.

Norm had a degree in music, and after the couple retired to SaddleBrooke, he played the trombone and sang, with MJ organizing his performances. However, they still found time to play golf and go back to Illinois for homecoming weekend or football or basketball games. Friends say they were the only two people who owned and looked great wearing that unique Illini orange. MJ and Bob were also very generous in their financial support of the university’s academics and athletics.

Prior to her death, MJ donated to the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Endowment Fund. And through her will, she contributed to the science and music departments at the University of Illinois, as well as to the Rock Valley Scholarship Fund named for her parents Oscar and Emma Miller. Her legacy will live on through the large number of University of Illinois students, colleagues, and athletes who were helped by MJ’s positive, “can do” attitude and enthusiasm. And on behalf of the students who will benefit from her donations to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund, we honor her memory and the difference she has made in their futures.

SBCO Honors Special Volunteers

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

For the past 27 years, all-volunteer organization SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) has provided food, clothing, enrichment, and education to local children in communities along the 100-plus-mile Copper Corridor that stretches north from Catalina to Globe. On April 8 SBCO board members, volunteers, and supporters gathered to celebrate the achievements of the past year and to honor the special contributions made by some of its volunteers. Bea Dillehunt was honored as Volunteer of the Year, while Debby Bowen was named Receptionist of the Year.

Receptionist of the Year

Debby Bowen and her husband moved to SaddleBrooke Ranch in 2020. She learned about SBCO at an Activity Fair and began volunteering later that year. Working as a receptionist in the SBCO office was a natural fit, based on her work as a receptionist with the travel agency she and her husband had owned, as well as her prior work in an assessor’s office and other clerical positions. In addition to serving as a receptionist, Debby has helped with the SBCO Thanksgiving Baskets program and the annual Food Drive. In fact, the Bowen’s garage has served as the assembly site for Thanksgiving baskets delivered by Ranch residents to families in the San Manuel/Mammoth Unified School District. Debby says, “I find it very gratifying to know that I can help in some small way. I enjoy working with all the other receptionists and being part of something so important.”

Volunteer of the Year

Bea Dillehunt serves as the Thursday day manager for Kids’ Closet in Mammoth. The role involves receiving the list of students coming to the Closet each Thursday session, preparing a shopping sheet and bag for each child, conducting the volunteer meeting, checking to ensure each child leaves with a complete wardrobe, and checking the volunteers in and out. Basically, she is the “go-to” person for the day, resolving any issues and helping ensure the kids and volunteers have a good experience. Bea began working as a Kids’ Closet volunteer in 2012 and was asked to become a day manager after two years of volunteering. “They thought I had potential,” she recalls. “I still enjoy meeting the volunteers, many of whom are former teachers, and working with the kids.”

SBR residents loaded pick-up trucks with food donations for transport to the MountainView clubhouse parking lot in SaddleBrooke.

Introducing the New Board of Directors

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

On April 8 at the annual meeting of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO), the organization elected its board of directors for 2024-25. The members of the new board include: President Laura Pauli, Executive Vice President Gayle Van Natter, Recording Secretaries Cheryl Smith and Marcia Van Ommeran, Corresponding Secretary Karen Green, Treasurer Camille Esterman, Assistant Treasurer Jeannine Grippo, Vice President Enrichment Len Hamer, Vice President Education Steve Sahl, Vice Presidents Kids’ Closet Betty Ryan and Eileen Hansen, Directors of Scholarship Endowment Greg Jones and Tony Lulek, Director of Teen Closet Vivian Enrico, Directors of Membership Andrea Stephens and Tim Bowen, Director of Communications Nancy McCluskey-Moore, Golden Goose Representative Melanie Stout, and Immediate Past President Denise Anthony.

Board members serve two-year terms and may be re-elected to serve a second term. Four returning board members required board approval to continue their service beyond four consecutive years in the same position. These included Vivian Enrico, Camille Esterman, Nancy McCluskey-Moore, and Cheryl Smith. An exception to the requirement of having served as an SBCO volunteer for one year or more was waived for Greg Jones.