Check here for recent announcements from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma and upcoming events in the area.
The Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma is now accepting nominations for the 18th annual Heart of Yuma awards. The Heart of Yuma celebrates the organizations and individuals who dedicate time, talent and treasure to enhance the quality of life in our community. Community members are now invited to submit their nominations in the following categories:
Nominees in the category of Outstanding For-Profit Corporation should be companies that have demonstrated a history of generosity and/or leadership benefiting Yuma area nonprofit organizations.
Nominees in the category of Outstanding Nonprofit Organization should be organizations that have a strong history of improving the quality of life in Yuma County.
Honorees will be recognized at the Heart of Yuma event on October 24. All nominations will be reviewed by the Heart of Yuma Blue Ribbon Panel, and all nominees, whether category winners or not, will be recognized for their contributions by being called forward at the event to receive the beautiful Heart of Yuma paperweight.
Last year, Charlie and Michelle Castaneda were named Philanthropists of the Year for their commitment and service to the Yuma community. Officer Luis Marquez was named Outstanding Volunteer, Mike Ivers was named Outstanding Leader and Sincere Madrid was named Outstanding Young Leader. The Children’s Museum of Yuma County was named Outstanding Nonprofit Organization, and Sprague’s Sports was named Outstanding For-Profit Corporation for being an integral partner in raising financial support for Yuma-area nonprofits. Cody and Becky Naquin were named Outstanding Benefactors, and a special award Recognizing Multigenerational Giving in Yuma County was presented to Jon and Carolina Jessen.
The nomination form is available now on the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma website at www.azfoundation.org/HeartofYuma. Completed forms must be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15 to be considered. For more information, contact Miguel Salcedo or Veronica Shorr at Yuma@azfoundation.org or call 928.539.5343.
The Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma has awarded more than $81,750 in scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year. Listed below are the 20 Yuma County Scholars who are pursuing degrees in a variety of disciplines at Arizona Western College, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, and universities outside Arizona.
Since it was established in 1993, the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma has placed a high priority on education. Thanks to scholarship donors who blaze a trail for students to reach their educational and career aspirations, support for quality education for all will continue, year after year. The funds established by these generous individuals and families are also listed below.
Arizona Community Foundation Scholarship Fund
Barbara Shay Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Gene Shay Memorial Scholarship
Helen Dyar King Scholarship
Helene Thomas Bennett Health Career Scholarship
Jerome & Gale Glaser Scholarship
June Pallack Scholarship
Kenneth N. Harrison Memorial Scholarship
Mabel Sassoe Kirsch Trust
Marion F. Griffin Memorial University of Arizona Agriculture Scholarship
Nikki Ferguson Healthcare/Business Scholarship
Riedel & Garcia Scholarship
Thomas Family Scholarship
Vanita A. Schwenn Scholarship Fund
Walter Keith Irwin Memorial Scholarship Fund
Yuma Unified Medial Associates Scholarship
If you would like more information about the Arizona Community Foundation scholarship program and ways you can support education in the Yuma-area community, contact Miguel Salcedo at MSalcedo@azfoundation.org or call 928.539.5343.
The Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma held its Third Annual Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night in January. The event provided an opportunity for students, families and educators to learn more about scholarships available to local students for post-secondary studies. Scholarship providers that participated this year met with over 200 students interested in learning about local scholarship opportunities.
The Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night, coordinated to accommodate students’ and parents’ busy schedules, provided an invaluable opportunity for students to learn more about scholarship options for students from Yuma County.
ACF of Yuma is an affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation, the largest private provider of scholarships in the state. With one application, students are matched with more than 150 scholarships for which they qualify through the Arizona Community Foundation’s online scholarship system. Several scholarships are available specifically for students in Yuma County.
The 2017 Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night was held on Wednesday, January 25. Local community groups as well as staff from ACF of Yuma were available to answer questions and share information. The event was free and open to the public.
Congratulations to the 2016 Heart of Yuma Honorees
Nominated by Scott and Kristan Sheppeard
Charlie and Michelle, owners of Aqua 2000, are being recognized for their commitment and service to the Yuma community. For the past five years, they have run the Yuma Catch and Go flag football program, that includes 950 children. In addition, they support many area causes and events, including the Harvest Dinner. Charlie and Michelle are huge supporters of Yuma Catholic as well. Donating their time and offering financial support is a constant for these two.
Nominated by Craig Higgins
Officer Luis Marquez is being recognized for his work in developing stronger ties between the police department and the community. Due to Officer Marquez’s diligent work and passion for the community, he raised over $18,000 for the Special Olympics project. In addition, he coordinated the first bi-national bike run. He has also served as a board member for the Gadsden Elementary School District for over 25 years.
Nominated by Estrella Fitch
At the young age of 16, Sincere Madrid has already made a difference in Yuma County. He is a kind and giving young leader for the Healing Journey Youth Empowerment Group and is eager to help and inspire others.
Nominated by Shara Merten
Mike was a living legend and someone who knew how to conduct his life and his profession. Mike’s enthusiasm and encouragement for each person in his world knew no bounds. His inspiration for the Plates of Life is an example. Mike took his work seriously, but not necessarily himself. Mike had a rare gift to speak to anyone with passion and purpose that would help you visualize the picture he was painting with words. There was not a day that goes by that a volunteer or a donor does not call or come in to ask about him and relate a story of how he encouraged them to donate or volunteer. With his gift of gab he elevated the food bank to a new level, and he also inspired individuals to realize what their purpose was in the community. Mike retired earlier this year, but has left an inspirational legacy for the future.
Nominated by Douglas Nicholls
This organization was nominated for its continuous efforts to fulfill a very important need in Yuma County: a place for families where learning is fun and in a nonstructured environment. This summer the Children’s Museum set up temporary shop inside of the Arts Center. In six weeks more than 9000 Yuma families visited the Children’s Museum making it the perfect solution to the always lingering comment “there’s nothing to do in Yuma for young children in the summer” Thanks to the dedicated volunteers and board members the Children’s Museum is here to stay.
Nominated by Sharon Merz
Sprague’s Sports have been a leading company in raising financial support for non-profits in Yuma for over 50 years. Now in its second generation of operation, Sprague’s has grown from a small corner store to a nationally renowned sports facility, employing many Yuma gun experts and giving back to the community at every turn.
Nominated by Denise Sweet-McGregor
Cody and Becky are extremely involved with the Humane Society of Yuma, serving on the Board of Directors and supporting the fostering program. Both their financial commitment and time have made a huge impact. The Naquin’s are also huge supporters of Yuma Lutheran School and Yuma Catholic High School.
In addition to these awards, this year the ACF of Yuma also presented a special award to the Jessen Family – Recognizing Multigenerational Giving in Yuma county.
Nominated by Crane Elementary School District
Thanks to Jon and Liney, the Crane GAP program was created and has been impacting Yuma students for more than a decade. The Jessen’s have donated significant financial contributions to area education efforts. They extended the program to include the Gowan Science Academy and then increased their generosity to include Salida Del Sol, Pueblo and Mesquite Elementary. In addition to financial support, they are always willing to offer time, their expertise and experience!
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