SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

SBCO scholarship recipient Anastasia Taylor is working toward a career in international politics.

Scholarship Student Majors in Political Science and Arabic

Ron Andrea

Anastasia Taylor graduated from high school with honors and a 3.7 GPA. In addition to excelling in her classes, she was also an active volunteer in both her school and community. Her school counselor described her as “an outgoing young leader” and her history teacher stated she was “an inquisitive student who consistently took on leadership roles” and added, “She works well with others and makes sure everyone feels included.”

Anastasia was awarded a SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) scholarship two years ago and is currently attending the University of Arizona, majoring in Political Science and Arabic. When asked what her SBCO scholarship has meant to her, Anastasia stated, “My family doesn’t have much money, so this scholarship has been so helpful. It means I can have a meal plan and can focus on school rather than worrying about how I can pay my expenses. Upon completion of my schooling, I will pursue a master’s degree and go into a career in international politics. Thank you so much for both your kindness and generosity.”

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach is very proud of their scholarship students’ achievements. Most of these students would be unable to attend college without financial support. Each student is carefully selected by a team of SBCO volunteers using a process that considers not only financial needs but also grades, references, community activities, a written essay, and a personal interview with a team of volunteers.

In 2020, the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Program was created to raise additional funding for scholarships. Because only the earnings on the Endowment are used for scholarships, the actual funds donated continue to grow and last forever to help students like Anastasia. Please consider helping to make a difference in the lives of future students by donating to the endowment.

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 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.

• In-kind contributions (e.g., stock, securities, real estate, autos).

Send donations to:

The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona

SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund

5049 E Broadway, Suite 201

Tucson, AZ 85711

For more information, send an email to [email protected] or call the SBCO office at 520-825-3302.

Ray School District Receives  Education Enrichment Grant

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Ray School District for a learning garden. The district, which serves students in pre-K through grade 12 who live in Kearny and Winkelman, will create a garden to teach sustainable living practices through hands-on learning. High school and junior high students enrolled in sustainable living and similar skills classes will be involved in building and maintaining the garden. Younger students will plant and help harvest the garden. Each grade will plant a space in the garden, and harvesting will help teach the children about healthy food choices. Soil testing will serve as another teaching tool in the project. Student projects and journals will be centered around the garden.

The Winkelman Resource Management Center, a subsidiary of the Winkelman Resource Conservation District, will partner with the garden project. Community volunteers will also help with the garden, and all students will be eligible to participate in this educational program. Since Kearny is considered a food desert (an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food), students in the district have no experience with gardening. The district currently serves 500 predominantly Hispanic and white students between the ages of 4 and 19.

The Ray School District has contributed $11,000 to this program, which will be supplemented by the SBCO grant.

Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke are the volunteer co-chairs of the Thanksgiving Holiday Food Basket Program.

Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke are the volunteer co-chairs of the Thanksgiving Holiday Food Basket Program.

Volunteers Brighten the Holidays with Thanksgiving Baskets

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

For the third consecutive year, the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Thanksgiving Holiday Food Basket Program will be led by Mona Sullivan and Mark Liefke. Mona and her husband moved to SaddleBrooke in 2016 from Phoenix. Mark and his wife moved to SaddleBrooke Ranch in 2012 from Vancouver, Wash. Four years ago, Mona began working with Joan Roberts, the prior chairperson of the food basket program. In early 2019, when Joan and her husband, Rich, moved from SaddleBrooke, Mark and Mona agreed to be program co-chairs and have been working together ever since.

Prior to moving to SaddleBrooke, Mona was a real estate broker and commercial property manager. She finds it very satisfying to work with Mark and other SBCO volunteers during the week of Thanksgiving to bring everything together to prepare and deliver 62 Thanksgiving food baskets to Mountain Vista Elementary School and the health facility in Oracle. She finds it particularly gratifying to deliver the baskets—filled to the brim with a turkey and all of the trimmings—to the school. As she notes, “So many families have had members in Oracle, Mammoth, and San Manuel laid off from the mines, and there are few good job prospects in the area. Our contact at the school is very thankful SBCO has continued this annual program to ensure some students and their families have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.”

Before he moved to SaddleBrooke Ranch, Mark worked for 38 years for a large company in the Northwest that supplied construction materials, such as Ready Mix concrete, aggregates, and cement, for both residential and commercial projects. He held the position of Vice President/General Manager of the Oregon/Southwest Washington Division prior to retiring. Mark’s involvement with SBCO began with working as a volunteer to help assemble and deliver the Thanksgiving baskets. Previously he volunteered with Impact of Southern Arizona, performing a variety of tasks. Due to the pandemic, Mark found 2020 to be the most challenging year of his term as the Thanksgiving Holiday Food Basket Program’s co-chair.

Mark says that the most gratifying part of his work as an SBCO volunteer is helping other families in need during a special time of year. “When we deliver the baskets to the school and people come to pick them up, you can tell they are very grateful for the donation. I feel really good about giving back to the community and to families that need help during this time of year.”

Mona and Mark encourage others to become an SBCO volunteer. Mona says, “Just pick an event that you think you will enjoy and try it out. Many volunteer positions only take a few hours and are not terribly time-consuming. There are many events and programs within SBCO that can use volunteers, so if one activity doesn’t fit, try something else. It is a great way to meet your neighbors and to help locals outside SaddleBrooke.”

You Can Make a Difference with a Donation to SBCO

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) provides children with opportunities to succeed by supporting numerous programs that provide food, clothing, and educational opportunities in nearby communities. Like most community service organizations, our programs in 2020–21 were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools were closed to in-person learning, school enrichment programs were cancelled, and SBCO volunteers had to avoid coming in contact with others. Yet the economic challenges in Copper Corridor communities, stretching from Catalina to Miami, were worse than ever.

During this challenging time, our volunteers came up with “work arounds” to ensure that students could receive the assistance they needed.

Kids’ Closet—Since children couldn’t come to the Kids’ Closet in Mammoth, the schools submitted lists of students’ names and clothing sizes. Volunteers then filled a “take out” bag with shoes, clothing, and toiletries for each child and delivered the bags to the schools.

Teen Closet—Due to the pandemic, 79 eligible students, including 34 9th graders and 45 10th through 12th graders couldn’t shop in stores. The Teen Closet program director sent $100 Target gift cards to each student. In the spring, this process was repeated with 35 eligible students.

Education Enrichment—Grants to schools and community organizations weren’t needed during the 2020–21 school year, but the Mammoth-San Manuel Summer Enrichment Camp did request and receive a grant. This situation is reversing in the 2021–22 school year with more grant applications being received and fulfilled.

Scholarships—24 new college scholarships were granted, bringing the total number of students receiving scholarships in 2020–21 to 79. These scholarships were given to 69 four-year students, eight two-year students and one graduate student. Those students in a two-year program receive $1,500 per year and those in a four-year program receive $3,000.

Food—The 2020 Food Drive was limited to monetary donations. The generosity of SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents resulted in a record-breaking collection of $226,000 for Tri-Community Food Bank. Thanksgiving food baskets were given to 62 families in Oracle and also families affected by the Asarco Mine strike.

Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child—During the pandemic, these programs distributed gift cards instead of wrapped gifts. SaddleBrooke residents’ contributions funded the distribution of Walmart gift cards: 544 $80 cards for families in San Manuel, and 126 $40 cards given to parents and guardians of children attending elementary schools in San Manuel, Kearny, Winkelman, San Carlos, and Apache Tribal Social Services. SaddleBrooke Ranch donations funded the purchase of 107 $75 Walmart gift cards distributed to children in Oracle and 43 $75 Bashas’ gift cards given to families in Oracle.

Your financial contribution to SBCO can make the difference in many children’s lives. Since SBCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID # 86-0843458), all contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Contributions are also eligible for the Arizona Tax Credit for Contributions to Charities that Provide Assistance to the Working Poor.

Your donation will be acknowledged. If you make a gift on behalf of a friend or family member, in memory of a special person or in honor of an event or person, an acknowledgement also will be sent to the appropriate person or his/her family.

You can make a secure online donation at using your credit card or your PayPal account (a PayPal account is not required to make a donation).

Or a donation can be made by delivering or sending a check (made payable to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach or SBCO) to:

SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, Inc.

63675 E. SaddleBrooke Blvd., Suite L

Tucson, AZ 85739

On behalf of many local children, we thank you for your support.

Kim Schweitzer, shown with her granddaughter, Riley, knows the importance of helping children receive the food, clothing, education, and encouragement they need to thrive.

Ranch Resident an Enthusiastic SBCO Volunteer

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Kim Schweitzer knows the tremendous impact the work of volunteers can have on the lives of others. Prior to moving to SaddleBrooke Ranch from Plainview, N.Y. (on Long Island, but proudly from Brooklyn), in July 2016, she worked as the paid professional for a volunteer-run nonprofit organization.

But Kim didn’t relax for long following her move. Within two months, she was recruited by the late wonderful volunteer Martha Sampson to become the SBR Women’s Club treasurer. Shortly after that, Marlene Diskin asked Kim to help with the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Adopt-A-Family program, a program that she continues to co-chair for SaddleBrooke Ranch. Since 2016, she has added to her volunteer activities.

Kim says, “I have had some wonderful mentors here who have provided great examples to follow. For the SBR Women’s Club, I have served as program chair and cookbook chair as well as treasurer. I manage programs for the Shalom Club, and for the New York/New Jersey Club, I have helped with programs, social events, and trips to the Mets/Diamondback games.”

When Kim received a call from Linda Shannon-Hills about assisting with the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in SaddleBrooke Ranch, she was thrilled and immediately joined the program’s steering committee. She also recalls with amusement how she and Sharon Groth performed a Shark Tank skit at a Women’s Club meeting to introduce the group’s fundraising cookbook. “We came out with aprons and wooden spoons to the music of the Shark Tank TV show. Suffice to say, we sold out of cookbooks and raised money for the club.”

As a committed volunteer, Kim says that it is always gratifying to help people. She enjoys the sense of camaraderie from working with others, seeing new Ranch residents volunteer, and the pride that comes from a job well-done. Her advice to others considering becoming a SaddleBrooke Community Outreach volunteer: Just do it!

Holidays Made Brighter with Adopt-a-Family Program

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Since 2007 the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Child programs has provided hand-picked and carefully wrapped Christmas gifts for local families and Apache children on the San Carlos reservation. The entire program typically assists 111 families in Oracle and San Manuel and 254 Apache children. SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents provide the money and volunteer services required to make this program such a rousing success.

The SaddleBrooke Ranch program focuses on the Adopt-a-Family program, providing gifts to families whose children are enrolled in the Mountain Vista School in Oracle. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health of volunteers and those assisted by the program is of paramount importance. This year, the Adopt-a-Family program in SaddleBrooke Ranch will be distributing Walmart gift cards in lieu of buying and wrapping presents. The gift cards given to parents for purchasing gifts will be restricted—they cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, or firearms. Parents will be asked to account for their purchases.

As always, residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch are encouraged to donate to the program. Since SBCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID # 86-0843458), all contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. You can donate online at or with a check made payable to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach or SBCO.

Checks can be left at the home of either Adopt-a-Family co-chair. If you have questions, contact them by phone or email:

Kim Schweitzer, 61162 E. Arbor Basin Road, 516-428-8927, [email protected]

Betty Ryan, 31710 S. Summerwind Drive, 425-260-4418, [email protected]

Donations are needed by Nov. 15.