Dedication of Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center held for local philanthropists’ million-dollar gift to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) formally dedicated the newly refreshed Ellie and Michael Ziegler Teen Center at its Vestar Branch in Desert Ridge on Monday, October 22, 2018. The renovations included new paint, flooring, a wall mural, new furniture, technology and safety updates, and the addition of a half gym to the existing Vestar facility built in 2007. 

The dedication ceremony marks the culmination of the 2017-18 One in a Million community matching challenge to fund new construction and revitalize the teen centers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Thunderbirds and Vestar Branches. Community leaders Ellie and Michael Ziegler provided the matching funds igniting community support and donations for the teen projects in the Grayhawk and Desert Ridge communities. 

“For more than a decade, this center has provided a safe place for teens after school and during the summer,” said Ellie Ziegler, speaking to more than 60 dedication ceremony attendees at the Vestar Branch. “Michael and I want to thank this community for the passionate, unrivaled support in recognizing this need and for continuing to believe in our kids” 

Nearly 100 teens attend the center at Vestar every day. One of BGCS’s busiest Clubs, Vestar has more than 2,500 registered members, 600 of whom are teens. 

“Ellie and Michael have invested in local youth and our community with a commitment to creating higher education opportunities and providing positive role models for youth and teens,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President and CEO. “Upon hearing of the need at our Vestar Branch for safety updates, technical upgrades and a refresh of the facility including the half gym addition, Ellie and Michael led the cause. We are so proud to have their name on this facility.”  

“For me the Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center is where I go after school to have fun with my friends, get my homework done and hang out in the computer room making music,” said Bella, Club teen and Keystone member. “We volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank and work on service projects to make our community better for everyone,” she explained about the Keystone academic and community service program. 

 The Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center includes the Rikki & Barry Chasse Games Room; the Cox Innovation Lab; the Terri & John Heitel Homework Room; the Kevin Rowe Teen Lounge; the Michele & Stephen Schwanz Teen Office; and the Liz & Mike Thorell Music & Multimedia Center. Julien recognized all of the investors for their contributions and commitment to youth and teens in Desert Ridge.  

The Vestar Club was named in honor of Vestar Corporation who provided the interior design for the refresh project. “Vestar Corporation continues to put kids and community first by helping with big and little things around the Club to keep it fresh, fun and safe,” said Julien. 

“We know there are many charities all of you can donate to,” Michael, high school junior and Vestar Keystone Club President, told the honorees and donors at the ceremony. “We are here being active, playing volleyball, planning and completing service projects helping others and our community, getting our homework done and hanging out with friends—in person—not on our phones. We are developing skills that help us work with others and doing things we can put on our resumes and college applications…all because of you.”