Nintendo and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale host free STEM workshops using Nintendo Labo program

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (August 31, 2018) – Nintendo and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) have teamed up to offer free STEM Nintendo Labo programming. Workshops will be held at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale branches throughout September and early October. Any child age 9 – 12 is welcomed to register. Kids will be assigned a time slot based on their age. Nintendo is hosting these 60-minute workshops across the country.

“We see and value the importance of STEM learning opportunities for our kids,” said Curt McReynolds, BGCS Chief Operating Officer. “Nintendo is a master of technology and our kids will surely benefit from being exposed to their products. We have already held a couple of workshops in our other Clubs and our kids are responding positively.”

Nintendo Labo aligns with both Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Globally Competitive Graduate and Innovative Dream Maker initiatives, focusing on STEM learning and creative ways to problem solve.

Nintendo Labo uses a DIY cardboard kit and Nintendo Switch to bring projects to life. In the workshop kids will build, customize, and experiment with the Toy-Con RC Car.

Register for a workshop at your local branch today at

Dates and times for your local Boys & Girls Clubs are listed below. All sessions will be held at 4:00 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EXCEPT at our Vestar Branch


Virginia G. Piper Branch

10515 E. Lakeview Dr.

Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Dates: Tuesday, September 25


Vestar Branch

3975 E. Lockwood

Phoenix, AZ 85050

Dates: Thursday, September 20


Red Mountain Branch

11725 E. Indian School Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Dates: Wednesday, September 26 and Wednesday, October 3


Lehi Branch

1231 East Oak

Mesa, AZ 85203

Dates: Wednesday, September 19 and Monday, October 1


Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch

2311 N. Miller Rd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Dates: Tuesday, October 2 and Thursday, October 4


Scottsdale Charros Branch

6535 E. Osborn Rd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Dates: Thursday, September 27


Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch

14605 North Del Cambre

Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Dates: Monday, September 24 and Friday, 28


Thunderbirds Branch

20199 N. 78th Place

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Dates: Monday, September 10


Proposed Federal Tax Regulations Changes

The IRS, on Thursday, August 23, issued proposed regulations that will disallow federal charitable tax deductions for certain state tax credit donations received after this Monday, August 27, 2018.

If you itemize your federal taxes this may impact the deductibility of your tax credit support for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale through the Qualifying Charitable Organization Tax Credit and the Qualifying Foster Care Tax Credit.

This will not affect your Arizona state taxes. Please consult your tax advisor with any questions.

Please click HERE to act NOW for your 2018 Charitable Tax Credit and Qualifying Foster Care Tax Credit.

Thank you for investing your Arizona Tax Credit in helping local youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential.

Receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on Arizona state taxes, up to $400 for individuals and $800 for joint filers for the Qualifying Charitable Organizations Tax Credit and up to $500 or $1,000 for the Qualifying Foster Care Organizations Tax Credit. The Credits are independent of one another and the state of Arizona allows you to claim the full amount for both as separate credits. Although these gifts will cost you nothing, for our kids it’s priceless.


Single mom caring for six kids thankful for Ellie & Michael Ziegler’s generosity as her family prepares for the new school year

Ziegler’s Prep Rally Back to School shopping days help 400+ Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale kids get ready for school

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (July 24, 2018) – On the first day of four back to school shopping days sponsored by community leaders Ellie & Michael Ziegler, 220 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) kids, selected by need, shopped for new clothes and shoes at the Desert Ridge Kohl’s.

“Because of this generosity, my children will return to school confident and ready for the challenges ahead,” said Angela Chavez, Club parent caring for six children. “It is a powerful movement when someone recognizes and appreciates a single/foster mother who goes beyond her means to try and provide for her family.”

Mom of 10-year-old Taliyah and 9-year-old Amirah, Chavez is also foster mom to four children ranging in age from infancy to teens. Chavez’s children have attended Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch in south Scottsdale since August 2015. Taliyah, Amirah and 11-year-old Alazia shopped at today’s Prep Rally.

Each child is allotted $100 and paired with a community volunteer who serves as a shopping chaperone. Backpacks filled with school supplies provided in partnership with Assistance League of Phoenix and the Legacy Foundation were also distributed to each child.

“In creating a day to fulfill back to school needs, Michael and I are the beneficiaries of thousands of smiles and indescribable joy,” said Ellie Ziegler. “Our dream is to make the next generation’s lives a little bit easier. We value and celebrate these kid’s resilience, courage, ideals and hard work in school, their homes and their communities.”

An additional 250 youth and teens from BGCS will shop later this week, including members from the Peach Springs Branch who will go to the Kohl’s Flagstaff location.

To add to the excitement of the day, Arizona State University Men’s Basketball Coach Bobby Hurley and his 2018-19 team were on hand at the kickoff event with a message of inspiration.

Prep Rally relies heavily on community and corporate engagement, as each child is paired with their own adult volunteer including representatives of the Arizona Coyotes, Big YAM, Charles Schwab, GoDaddy, Sons of Arizona, Sunland Asphalt, TopGolf and Voya Financial.

“Ellie and Michael’s vision of bringing the community together through this event is what makes it so special,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “Not only are our kids excited about new clothes and shoes, but volunteers get the chance to meet and spend a couple of hours shopping with them. We appreciate Ellie, Michael and all the volunteers for making this day memorable and fun for our Club kids.”

The Zieglers have invested their time and more than $500,000 over six years to help outfit and prepare thousands of kids for school.

GoDaddy presents sixth annual Live & Local event scheduled for Nov. 11, proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Event passes are now on sale for the sixth annual Live & Local evening festival celebrating Arizona food, music, beer and spirits. Live & Local is presented by GoDaddy and will take place on Sunday, November 11 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Live & Local will take over The District at Desert Ridge Marketplace for the second year in a row as a benefit for the 20,000 youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS).

Live & Local is hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Associate Board in partnership with Arizona Restaurant Association and is supported by community corporate sponsors. Live & Local features local restaurants, mixologists and performers. Sponsorship opportunities are available including ticket packages and inclusion on promotional materials.

The early bird discounted price for event passes is $110 each available until September 15. Standard pricing of $150 per pass begins after that. Event passes include drink samples from multiple full cocktail bars, a beer garden, wine stations and dish samples from more than 20 local restaurants including Tryst Café, The Dhaba and Mustache Pretzel Truck. Passes also include access to on-stage entertainment including DJ Miss Mixx and Nate Nathan & The MacDaddy-Os.

“We are proud to continue our support of local businesses and musicians, while giving back to our community and the youth served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale,” said Stacy Cline, Director of Social Impact at GoDaddy.

Proceeds benefit BGCS youth development initiatives such as Innovative Dream-Makers and Healthy Game-Changers. Innovative Dream-Makers programming teaches and encourages kids to explore their artistic and entrepreneurial potential through a variety of programs. Healthy Game-Changers teaches kids fitness, nutrition and life skills that promote teamwork, healthy choices and emotional intelligence.

“We are grateful to GoDaddy, Vestar and all of our sponsors and partners who support our youth and their Great Futures by making Live & Local possible,” Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “It is always amazing to watch our community come together for our kids at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. The funds and awareness raised at this event truly make a difference in the lives of our youth and the communities we serve.”

Find tickets, event information and sponsorship opportunities at Attendees must be 21 years or older with a valid photo ID.

Marena Sever, State Youth of the Year heads to Regional competition in southern California

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (July 9, 2018) – Marena Sever, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Hilton Family Teen Center member will be representing BGCS and the state of Arizona at the Regional Youth of the Year competition this week in southern California. Marena has been a Thunderbirds Branch member for 10 years.

“It was at the Thunderbirds Branch that I grew from a shy, insecure 8-year-old to a strong, spirited advocate for today’s youth,” says Marena.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Marena for her entire Club journey,” said Liz Byrne, Branch Director Thunderbirds Branch. “She has become such an impressive young woman, and she never ceases to amaze me with her empathy, leadership skills, and dedication to excellence in all things that she does. I know that she will do great in this process, and I am so excited to have the honor of experiencing it with her.”

Marena is the first BGCS member to be named Arizona State Youth of the Year and compete at the Regional level since 2011.

“My process of preparing for the regional competition can best be characterized as nervous excitement,” said Marena. “It brings me such joy to be representing not only my city, but my state. I’m especially looking forward to befriending all of the other state YOY’s.”

Youth of the Years from Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington will join Marena in Los Angeles for activities and the culminating gala on July 12. Marena will compete in a judging session in Beverly Hills, take a Disney studios tour, participate in a Disney leadership session and meet her State YoY peers.

The Pacific Youth Region Youth of the Year will go to the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington D.C., in September.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale names Robyn Julien as President & CEO

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) selected Robyn Julien, third-generation Arizona native and known local non-profit leader, to fill the position of President & CEO. Julien comes from the Arizona Burn Foundation where she served as their CEO.

“It was top-of-mind for the organization to find someone who was locally-invested and respected,” said Allen Thompson, BGCS Board Chair. “We are incredibly impressed by Robyn’s past career accomplishments and her passion for our youth. We know she is a great fit for our organization.”

Julien’s experience and success with high-level fundraising in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area will be an asset for the next stage of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

“I am excited to join Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s team as their President & CEO,” said Robyn Julien, newly-named BGCS President & CEO. “It is evident that staff, Board members and volunteers are devoted to helping our kids, which makes this organization stand out. I believe that together we can keep making positive strides for our kids who rely on us.”

Julien is a Certified Public Accountant, working in public accounting at the beginning stages of her career. She has worked in non-profit development in the Valley for more than 10 years, spending time with the American Heart Association, Scottsdale Arts and most recently the Arizona Burn Foundation.

BGCS conducted a large-scale search to find their next leader after announcing that Dr. Lisa Hurst, previous President & CEO, had been selected to join the leadership team at Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Julien’s first day with the organization is scheduled for Friday, June 29.

Ribbon Cut for New Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium and Hilton Family Teen Center

On Monday, June 4, members and families of the Thunderbirds Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) gathered with community leaders and supporters to celebrate the opening of the new Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium and the Hilton Family Teen Center.

Marianne and Glenn Guenther, who funded the Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium, and Steve and Suzanne Hilton, benefactors of the Hilton Family Teen Center, cut the ribbon with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane on hand,marking the start of a new era for teens in the Grayhawk community with their own dedicated space at the Thunderbirds Branch.

“When there is no teen center, staying involved in the Boys & Girls Club can become more difficult when you get older,” said Tatum Trainor, former Thunderbirds Branch Youth of the Year. “It is crucial to have a place where middle schoolers and high schoolers can be surrounded by members their same age, staff who are dedicated to them and programming focusing on their needs and interests.”

Teen Club members now have their own entrance to the gymnasium and teen center that includes a fitness center, games room, teen lounge, kitchen, technology center and performing arts room.

“We hope that hours of fun and physical activity happen here, that new friends are made and that great futures have a chance to start,” said Marianne Guenther. “This is more than a building and more than just a gym or a teen center. This is a place where young people can feel safe, a place for growth and a place where leaders of tomorrow are born.”

The 12,624 square foot addition to the Thunderbirds Branch will allow the Club to serve 200 more kids and teens on a daily basis. The Thunderbirds Branch has already seen an increase in teen membership since opening the new teen center and gym doors last month.

“We’ve lived in this community for 15 years and that’s why the Hilton Family Teen Center is so important to us and why I’m happy that we were able to make this happen,” said Steve Hilton. “Kids and their families need facilities like this available to them. This is only the start for a lot of great things to happen here.”

“The support from the Guenther/Curran and Hilton families is not only incredibly generous, but vital to answer the needs for teens in our Grayhawk community,” said Curt McReynolds, BGCS Chief Operating Officer. “These new facilities are the result of a community coming alongside major investors as part of our million-dollar-matching campaign which also included gifts from Bob and Renee Parsons for The Bob & Renee Parsons Technology Center; David Lorsch and Cindy Lubin for the David Lorsch, Cindy Lubin & Family Teen Lounge; Stephen and Michele Schwanz for the Michele & Stephen Schwanz Fitness Center; and Mark and Amanda Bosco for the Mark & Amanda Bosco Family Games Room.”

Bollinger Consulting Architects designed the new facilities built by Hardison/Downey Construction, Inc.

Executive Council Charities commits 1.25M to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Teen Center at Barker Branch named in their honor

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (May 11, 2018) – Executive Council Charities committed $1,250,000 over 10 years, their largest contribution to date, to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. To celebrate the commitment to the Club’s youth, BGCS announced the newly-named Executive Council Charities Teen Center at the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch located on Miller Road in Scottsdale.

On Thursday, May 10, the official recognition of this commitment and announcement of the name change took place at a ceremony in front of the teen center that serves on average 100 teens daily with engaging and award-winning programming.

“Many of us teens are going through a lot,” said Dahlia S., Barker Branch Keystone President and Club teen, who opened the ceremony. “Knowing that organizations like Executive Council Charities support us, means so much.”

Members from Executive Council Charities along with Board members and staff from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale gathered to celebrate this moment.

Executive Council Charities provides grants to programs and nonprofit organizations focused on helping youth in Arizona overcome adversity. They have maintained a close relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for more than a decade.

“Boys & Girls Club programs have been paramount to the work of EC70 members for nearly 50 years and we are proud to stay true to those roots and put our name on one of the most dynamic Teen Centers impacting so many local youth,” said Josh Rogers, 2018-2019 Board Chairman for Executive Council Charities. “We are excited to make an investment at this level to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale which will help these teens overcome adversity and become future leaders.”

Previous commitments include $375,000 over five years in 2013 to fund the Power Hour room and programming at the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch along with programming at the Red Mountain and Lehi Branches in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

“Executive Council Charities’ continued investment in our youth has been instrumental in helping our kids reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, BGCS President & CEO. “ECC’s vested interest in the success of our community’s young people will impact future generations and our community as a whole. We are so proud to dedicate The Executive Council Charities Teen Center to show our joint commitment to our kids and our community.”

This most recent contribution will be used for teen activities and facilities at the Barker Branch. To increase their impact, ECC members have pledged to participate in activities and programs, helping to inspire teens with their community support.

Local female leaders make lasting connections with 100 Boys & Girls Clubs girls at inaugural event

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (May 8, 2018) – Riley and Yaya were among the 100 Club girls paired with a local female leader for a night of fun, inspiration and mentorship as part of a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale inaugural event called Girls Night Out.

For these two Club kids it turned out to be much more. “Tonight was the best night ever, my mentor is like my new soul sister,” said YaYa

Riley from the Lehi Branch was matched with Jessica Dempsey, an HonorHealth nurse. These two made an immediate and lasting bond.

“Being a mentor at Girls Night Out was so fulfilling,” said Dempsey. “Riley and I bonded quickly and had so much fun together. It was amazing to watch how the girls reacted to the activities, speakers and special attention they received that night. I would do it all over again if I could.”

“After meeting Jessy at Girls Night Out, now it’s like I have another sister,” said Riley of her mentor. “I can’t wait to see her again some time!”

During Girls Night Out, mentors and mentees rotated through activity stations, listened to speakers and girls got a chance to meet someone who is a living example of what they aspire to be when they grow up. Girls ages 9 – 12 took surveys to match their interests with mentors who were recruited to participate.

“It was incredible to see the smiles on the young girls’ and mentors’ faces as they moved through activity stations and listened to speakers,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, BGCS President & CEO. “I can tell that the bonds created at Girls Night Out will be lasting connections. I think mentors enjoyed their time with our kids as much as our girls enjoyed meeting someone who truly embodies who they want to be one day. That was something truly special to see.”

Activity stations included: Zumba, yoga, jewelry making, car simulations, arts and crafts, slime making and a beauty station. Local businesses brought staff and resources to provide these activities. Buffalo Wild Wings donated all food for the event and As You Wish provided the painting supplies.

Marena Sever, Arizona State Youth of the Year and Thunderbirds Branch teen, spoke to open the evening’s activities. “In my ten years at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, I have always been surrounded by amazing and fierce female role models,” said Sever. I hope to be one of those figures for Club girls in Arizona with my title as State Youth of the Year.”

Sandra Munoz, founder of spoke to girls and mentors with the message to follow your dreams and “set your souls on fire.”

Riley and Jessica aren’t the only ones who want more of Girls Night Out. According to Emma of the Piper Branch, “The mentors helped give us self-confidence and courage. You should do this every year!”


Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) serves thousands of youth at nine Clubs located within the communities of Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Mesa, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Hualapai Nation.

Research shows that the more time youth spend at a Boys & Girls Club, the more likely they are to feel more connected to school and have greater post-secondary aspirations. The door to our kids’ futures is often crowded by temptation and misdirection making it difficult for them to reach their full potential.

Inside our doors, youth development professionals and mentors provide guidance, support and encouragement in an enriching and safe environment. Our outcome-based programming assures that success is in reach for all kids and teens who enter our doors, no matter their circumstances.

Confidence. Mentorship. Real Relationships Not Made In Front of A Screen

Our kids are growing up attached to a digital screen. Statistics tell us that youth ages 5 – 16 spend on average 6.5 hours on or in front of screens each day. In a world with countless media outlets available to our kids, one thing still has not changed. There is still no comparison to the power of personal interaction and creating meaningful relationships with others for building essential social skills.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale we witness this with our kids every day. The importance of children knowing that someone cares and roots for them is unparalleled. Our professionals are trained to encourage and challenge kids to become the best people they can be. The first step to our success: caring about each individual child and taking a vested interest in their talents, accomplishments and burdens.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale serves 20,000+ youth ages 5 – 18 last year. At any point school is not in session, we are. This means that during summer and school breaks, our kids need us most. And in turn, we need you most.

Your support allows us to continue offering the positive relationships and real social interactions for kids who will be spending their warm summer months inside our doors. Rather than spending most of their day in front of a screen or on a phone, they will be learning, experiencing and engaging through our first-class programming and activities.

To combat summer learning loss, our kids participate in Summer Brain Gain educational programs. To avoid the temptation of spending countless hours in front of a TV or looking at a cell phone screen, our kids get up and moving with fitness and wellness programs. To encourage imagination and innovation, kids explore and create their biggest ideas.

Take it from Marena S., Arizona State Youth of the Year from the Hilton Family Teen Center at our Thunderbirds Branch, “We must invest in the future ingenuity of this nation, like the Thunderbirds Branch invested in me.”

Be part of the movement. Invest in the future of our kids and give them the tools to become our next generation of great leaders, thinkers and innovators. Your donations make an impact in the lives of local families and kids today. It truly is an investment in the future of our country. Please consider a gift of $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25. Or if you are able, please consider a gift of $1,500 which supports a child for an entire summer.