Dear Elevate Board Members, Staff & Supporters:
With your help, all is possible. I can’t tell you just how true those words ring today. Because of your support, our 5th Annual Elevate Phoenix Invitational hosted by Tom Lehman, exceeded our aggressive goals and successfully raised more than $1,000,000 this year! That money goes directly back into our program to help support more youth and even more programs for our youth.
None of this would be possible without the support and direction of our executive board, board president Bob Barbee, our development board, staff, and amazing partners. And to the man of the hour, a huge thank you to Tom Lehman who gives Elevate his time, endless energy and is always so generous anytime we ask.
As you know this is our biggest annual fundraiser and truly helps provide the framework for our future. With a goal of expanding into every school in the Phoenix Union High School District, we are continuing to follow your vision in growing our program in delivering life-changing results with urban youth.
In case you couldn’t join us in person or virtually, I wanted to provide you with a quick update on our big event:
Respectful of the fact that our country is still in the grips of a pandemic, we held both an in-person gala for those who were comfortable attending, along with a virtual option for those viewing at home. More than 1100 hope holders joined us virtually on multiple platforms, in person at the gala celebration, or participated in our golf tournament. The entire event video is posted on Elevate’s home page at www.elevatephoenix.org or at the link found here: https://vimeo.com/647895601/27349e7f3d.
We are so honored to have such amazing and giving supporters. Celebrity attendees included our host Tom Lehman, VIP Master of Ceremonies professional golfer Peter Jacobsen, along with Ann Meyers Drysdale, actor Dennis Haysbert, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screenwriter Bobby Herbeck, Major League Baseball’s Cody Ross, Geoff Jenkins, Shawn Boskie, Mark Mulder, Oliver Miller, Junior Spivey, and Eric Gagne, the NBA’s Eddie Johnson, NFL’s Frank Sanders & the PGA’s Stan Utley to name just a few from our star-studded event.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey shared some inspiring words with the crowd, announcing that the state invested $1 Million into Elevate Phoenix this year to help us continue the work we are doing and thanking our leadership, including Tom Lehman, for bringing the program to where it is today. (See the Governor’s wishes here: https://vimeo.com/647895601/27349e7f3d). We are so proud and grateful to be Tom’s charity of choice. Together we have accomplished so much through this yearly event, raising over $4M since its creation.
Our event shared inspiring stories of several of our youth including those who were gifted scholarships this year to Western New Mexico University. Tommy King is one of those youth, who just a few months ago was jobless, falling in with the wrong crowd, making bad choices, and in a dark space with no hope. Today he is thriving at WNMU with a plan to run for Student Body President next semester. His goal after college – to take over my job leading Elevate Phoenix, the program which has given him so much!
“Elevate has put me into a position I never thought I would be in,” said Tommy. “I am in a university now because of Elevate Phoenix. Everyone at Elevate is like a mother and father figure to me. They are the reason I am where I am,” he added.
Our one-of-a-kind auction items didn’t disappoint either. Offerings ranged from a $10,000 shopping experience with Molina Fine Jewelers, a VIP President’s Cup ticket package, a luxury vacation on a private yacht, and much more – all were available for our supporters to bid on to help us raise funds. We are also so grateful for our corporate partners, including the Carlisle Companies, title sponsor Gawley Plastic Surgery, Shasta Pools, Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury, Michael & Traci Tope of CBR, Phyllis & Bob Barbee, Randy & Ken Kendrick, Torabi Family, Colin & Nancy Markley, Ray Barton of Great Clips, Uncle Tony’s Day, Friess Family Fund, Western New Mexico University, CCV Christ’s Church of the Valley and all supporters of various levels.
An investment in Elevate Phoenix is truly transformative and we depend on your donations to thrive year after year. Elevate has been delivering life-changing results with urban youth for more than a decade now in the Phoenix Union High School District, as well as some of its feeder elementary schools. Teaching life skills and character qualities, our youth graduate high school at a rate of 98% and 100% of these students move forward with a post-secondary plan.
There is still much to be done to achieve your goal of expanding our program into every school in the Phoenix Union High School District, as well as its feeder elementary schools. We appreciate your partnership, your generosity, and your time. We know there are a lot of non-profits and are honored that you continue to choose Elevate Phoenix.
Thanks again for your continued support. We can’t do what we do, without you!
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