Valley Couple Teams with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale to Outfit 1,000 Children for Success

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Northeast Valley underserved children participate in back-to-school shopping spree at Kohl's thanks to a $100,000 donation from Ellie and Michael Ziegler.

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Mike and I have remained committed to this program over the years because youth perform far better when they are provided the same opportunities as their more affluent peers.

For the fourth consecutive summer, one thousand of the Northeast Valley’s underserved children will experience a personal back-to-school shopping spree, thanks to a $100,000 donation from Paradise Valley residents Ellie and Michael Ziegler.

“All children, regardless of socioeconomic factors, deserve the opportunity to start the school year off on a positive note, on an even playing field,” said Lisa Hurst, CEO of the Greater Scottsdale Boy & Girls Club.

To prevent children from low-income, distressed environments from starting school behind their peers, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has implemented this program with Kohl’s, now in its fourth year. This series of altruistic shopping events began at Desert Ridge Marketplace in mid-July, and will conclude in August.

Ellie’s connection to the Boys & Girls Club goes back generations. Her grandfather, Ellis I. Levitt, founded Des Moines, Iowa’s first Boys & Girls Club. Her mother, Maddie Levitt, volunteered extensively for the clubs, and now Ellie and her husband also fund the Maddie Levitt Youth of the Year scholarship, honoring 12 graduating Phoenix Boys & Girls Club kids with partial college scholarships.

“My mother carried on my grandfather’s legacy. She volunteered tirelessly, and as children, we were always involved in her efforts,” Ellie said. “Mike and I have remained committed to this program over the years because youth perform far better when they are provided the same opportunities as their more affluent peers.”

One thousand children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies and a $100 gift card to Kohl’s for clothes and necessities.

Director of Outreach Marybell Ramirez-Deeds said participants, ages 5-18, are selected from a those who are on full or partial scholarships, based on the criteria used for the federal government’s free and reduced-price lunch program.
Youth from all nine branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, including Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Mesa and Peach Springs, on the Hualapai Indian Community in northern Arizona will be chosen to participate.

“A majority of the children are from single-parent households, where the parents are typically living paycheck to paycheck,” Ramirez-Deeds said. “Our volunteers assist each child in selecting the right items to build their confidence as they go back to school. It is such a joy to watch their faces light up.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale was established in 1954 serving 282 youth in order to keep them productive and safe during critical non-school hours. Since then, our organization has added, built and expanded Clubs, served thousands upon thousands of more children and teens, and expanded our reach to communities across the Northeast Valley and in Indian Country. Today, we serve more than 18,000 youth providing the same mission services established 60 years ago. In over 60 years, our commitment to providing quality opportunities for youth has never wavered. For more information visit http://www.bgcs.org

Media contact:
Christine Holtz
Phoenix Marketing Associates
602-282-0202

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Christine Holtz
Phoenix Marketing Associates
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