Frontdoors Magazine April 2020 Issue

Page 1

THE FURRY FRIENDS ISSUE APRIL 2020, VOLUME 18, ISSUE 4

On the

d l i W Side

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center helps people learn about wildlife and conserve its habitat

THE COLTEN COWELL FOUNDATION + LIBERTY WILDLIFE + UNITED AGAINST COVID-19


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EDITOR

PUBLISHER

Karen Werner

Andrea Tyler Evans

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHING COORDINATOR

Neill Fox

Jillian Rivera

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

BEAUTY PARTNER — MAKEUP

Tom Evans

The Sparkle Bar

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

BEAUTY PARTNER — FASHION

Lesley Kitts

Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

PHOTOGRAPHY PARTNER

Julie Coleman Shoshana Leon Judy Pearson Carey Peña Catie Richman McKenna Wesley

Marion Rhoades Photography

On the Cover Linda Searles and Boots the fox

Photo: Marion Rhoades Photography

Be in the know FOLLOW FRONTDOORS MEDIA

Our mission is clear – empowering young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible members of the community. During this crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley responded by consolidating our operations to serve those families and students working in essential services. When we get through this crisis, we will be here to serve our more than 16,000 members in 27 Clubhouses around the Valley. Thanks to our member families and donors,

your key to the community

WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!

GENERAL INFORMATION & PRESS RELEASES

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Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS {april 2020, volume 18, issue 4}

EDITOR’S NOTE...............................05 Comfort During Crisis 10 QUESTIONS WITH...............08 Todd Driggers, DVM, Exotic animal veterinarian

12

BOOKMARKED.................................11 What are you reading? OFFICE DOORS...............................12 Megan Mosby, Executive director of Liberty Wildlife

20

CAREY’S CORNER.......................16 Calling All Superheroes COVER STORY.................................20 On the Wild Side NEXT DOORS......................................27 Where Do We Go From Here? STYLE UNLOCKED......................32 Unbridled Style A 2ND ACT.................................................37 The Power of Canine Love CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS.....40 Ruby Farias CHARITY SPOTLIGHT............42 Rescue a Golden of Arizona OPEN DOORS.....................................46 Defining Moments

37 NONPROFIT AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE + Alliance

+ Liberty

+ Arizona

of Arizona Nonprofits Community Foundation + Arizona Grantmakers Forum + Childsplay + The Colten Cowell Foundation + IncrediBull Stella

+ Local

Wildlife First Arizona + Rescue A Golden of Arizona + Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center + Valley of the Sun United Way + Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

READY TO DO YOUR TAXES? THE FRONTDOORS 2019-2020 TAX CREDIT GIVING GUIDE IS HERE! Make sure to check out frontdoorsmedia.com/taxcredit


EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

COMFORT DURING CRISIS “We’re all connected. Everything’s connected. You can’t take one thing and remove it without impacting everything along the line.” That’s Megan Mosby talking, the executive director of Liberty Wildlife, who Julie Coleman profiled in this month’s Office Doors. I found a lot of similar sentiments in this, our Furry Friends issue. Whether it was Linda Searles, the executive director of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, talking about needing to learn to live with wildlife, or exotic animal veterinarian Dr. Todd Driggers connecting the dots between public policy, the environment and the wildlife that lives in it, folks that work with nature every day understand the intrinsic, delicate balancing act between living things in our interconnected world. As I write this, I — like so many of us — am selfisolating in an effort to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. It seems like forever ago when we started working on this issue. And now, after our country and community have changed so much so fast, we wondered if we should move forward with it at all. In the end, we decided we would, hoping you might enjoy reading about something that brings so many of us joy — animals. As timing goes, perhaps it might not be so bad. Science has shown time and again, animals can offer comfort during crisis. The companionship of pets can reduce stress and lower anxiety, helping people feel calmer and more secure when news from the outside world is distressing. My own dear (accidental) Chiweenie — half Dachshund/half Chihuahua/all attitude — has literally been by my side every minute of every day, making me feel happier and more resilient. Resilience is what will be required of all of us in the weeks and months ahead, notably Arizona’s

charities, which are frontline responders that offer food, medical services, shelter and other assistance to those in need, who were already many and will now include many more. Coronavirus has dealt a triple blow to these nonprofits as they face increased urgency from the people they serve, workforce shortages and logistical challenges, and lost money from canceled fundraising events and increased competition for strained resources. As we make our way through the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic, these nonprofits will be more important than ever. So now is the time for us to band together to volunteer, give and ask what can be done to support these organizations that are helping the most vulnerable among us. (Tom Evans shares some ways to help on page 27.) Amid these uncharted days of “socialdistancing,” we at Frontdoors, like you, are finding creative ways to keep in touch with one another and do the best work we can — this week that includes sharing these stories of organizations working on behalf of the animals around us and the call that all nonprofits, including these, are now in dire need of support themselves. In the process, let it call attention to the critical ties that still connect us. Because days filled with threat can be treated with kindness. My dog Tuco reminds me of this every time he snuggles at my side.

Karen Werner EDITOR

@kwerner409

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  5



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10 QUESTIONS {fascinating people}

TODD DRIGGERS, DVM Exotic animal veterinarian

Dr. Todd Driggers holds Bindi, an orphaned baby wombat that was bottlefed after her mother was hit by a car.

1. You specialize in exotic animal medicine and surgery. How did you get into this? It’s true, I only practice on exotic animals and have been doing this since graduation in 1994. As a child, I loved and still love my dogs and cats but was fascinated with the biology of wild animals. The field of exotic animal med/surgery has developed right alongside my career, and I’ve enjoyed blending biology with the medical. To be sure, I don’t know how I got into it; it was just who I was. On the first day of veterinary school at Purdue, I was asked in front of the class what type of medicine I intended to practice, and I said I wanted to be a turtle vet. They laughed, so did I, but here I am.

potbelly pigs and — surprisingly to most — chickens. We don’t see farm animals or dogs and cats.

3. You recently traveled to Australia to help with rescue and care efforts after the devastating fires. When did your affinity for Australia begin? I’m fascinated by the wildlife of the world, not just Australia. Admittedly, I rescued some Bennett’s wallabies in 2000 and raised more than a dozen joeys, so, yes, I probably have some Australia leanings. In 2018, I was asked to lecture at an international exotic animal conference in Adelaide and developed some colleague friendships that I’ve maintained.

2. What kinds of animals do you see in your practice in Mesa?

4. What made you decide to get involved?

We see any non-domestic, which means any wild animal, whether it is bred in captivity or is captive or native wildlife. The scope of what we see could range from a small salamander, tortoise, parrot, duck, rabbit or even a cougar. We see domestic

I saw devastating pictures of the fires and wildlife, and the photos and videos made me feel helpless and sad. So on January 3, I went from a thoughts-and-prayer mentality to “I have to do something.” I intended to send some

8  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


money to a colleague and a couple of wildlife rehabilitators (carers) in Australia and hoped to send a couple thousand dollars and potentially help a koala or two. Soon enough, my contacts in Australia signed me up for a temporary license and asked me to man a field station. In three weeks, after lots of media interviews, I raised more than $75,000 that I was able to administrate after visiting. I had technicians, an Aussie vet, a med student and a YouTube media channel operator pay their own way to be on the team, so we booked flights and got underway.

5. What kind of work did you do there? Upon arrival, the first job was to listen to the needs and assess the given talents and organizations in place that were already developing plans for helping wildlife. We organized visits with several wildlife organizations that were involved in long-term conservation management as well as short-term relief. After reviewing their stories and visions, we pledged a value to them, depending on the tools they needed. From the Central Coast, we headed to South Australia (where my contacts were) and worked at the Adelaide Koala Rescue and South Adelaide Koala Rescue to lend value in the medical support of wild koalas. We placed a lot of IV catheters and administered fluids to some very dehydrated wildlife. We arranged to support carers with money for gas and vet bills to help in collecting field-injured wildlife. We were able to fund two drone operators to use thermal imaging to find injured wildlife for two nights. The second week, we organized with a group of New Zealanders at Helping U Helping Animals (HUHA) and a wildlife facility in Cooma, where we were safe but in the middle of active fires in New South Wales. We treated cockatoos, lizards, eastern grey kangaroos and a lot of koalas for fire-related injuries.

A rose-breasted cockatoo was found by the road and brought into the wildlife clinic in Cooma. There, it was treated for a fracture caused from trauma, which could be one of the secondary effects of fire, due to decreased habitat. “We also saw things like this in koalas fleeing the fires. Sometimes suitable trees are located in backyards, which put them into contact with dogs,” Driggers said.

7. Did you have any particularly notable moments? When I held Bindi, the wombat, it was magical. I was at the center of life at that moment.

8. What does the future look like for animals in the area? We are an interconnected world, so without addressing global warming issues, I am afraid for not only the animals but also for us as earth stewards. Long-term conservation projects are essential, not just short-term relief for wildlife caught in fires. If we save the animals without conserving their habitat, we have lost the battle. The fruit bats are huge pollinators and seed dispersers there, so helping them, long-term, will help the fire areas tremendously, as long as we get enough help from rains and other climatic events.

9. How can people continue to help? Vote for politicians who invest in technology that decreases the carbon loads, or support research that replaces these fuels altogether with such things as zero-point energy, solar, wind, etc.

6. Can you describe the level of devastation?

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We visited severely burned forest and saw no food where the fires had been. We also saw active flames where the smoke was so thick you couldn’t see the sun. Stressed animals running from the fires also hurt themselves, just escaping the heat.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in the way that I can, for all of those who went, care, or contributed to the campaign, or who advocate for the betterment of lives they steward in their own homes. APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  9


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BOOKMARKED {what are you reading?}

KATE BENJAMIN Owner of Hauspanther LLC and co-author of New York Times bestsellers “Catification” and “Catify to Satisfy”

RECOMMENDS: “Writers and Their Cats” by Alison Nastasi

H E R TA K E

“This collection of stories peers into the relationships between 45 famous writers and the various cats that have provided them with both companionship and creative inspiration. From Allen Ginsberg and Sylvia Plath to Judy Blume, Stephen King, Gloria Steinem and, of course, Ernest Hemingway and Ray Bradbury, each portrait illuminates the indisputable literati-feline connection. With the majority of the cat books on my shelf qualifying as either cat humor or cat behavior and care, this is a welcome addition and an enjoyable read.”

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  11


OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}

A DAY WITH MEGAN MOSBY Executive director of Liberty Wildlife

As told to | Julie Coleman

4:30 a.m. >> A MORNING WALK BEFORE FLIGHT

I start my day by walking my dog, Sophie. She’s a Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix — a giant! Sophie is smart and energetic, and leaving her home all day wasn’t an option, so she comes to work with me every day. I also spend time catching up on emails as I have an open-door policy, which means people drop in all day long. It’s great because I keep up with what’s going on and know what my staff and volunteers are doing. If there’s a problem, if there’s a success, I want to know about it. So, I make it my policy to be available, which means a lot of the things that I should be doing get done either in the morning or evening.

8 a.m. >> AN EARLY BIRD’S PRIORITY I’m often one of the few people here early, which is good, as it gives me a little bit of time 12  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

to catch up. I make the rounds and make sure everything looks good for the public to come in. We now have goats that are our weed patrol, so I need to erase the effects of the goats from the day before. And we have an egret that comes to the window and admires its reflection and leaves dander on the window. So, I clean the windows and do just the basics, keeping in mind what it will look like when the public shows up. That’s my first job.

10:45 a.m. >> AN EAGLE EYE ON WHAT’S HAPPENING

We have a public program called “The Duck Experience,” one of the most fun things we do. We have two Indian Runner ducks that were brought to us because the people who found them thought they couldn’t fly, and indeed they can’t because Indian Runner ducks don’t fly; they run. We examined them and determined


Liberty Wildlife works to nurture the nature of Arizona through wildlife rehabilitation, natural history education and conservation services to the community.

the ducks were fine, so we took them back into an area we thought would be compatible for them to live. When the person who released them came back to her car, they were in the front seat and were not going anywhere. During the program, they waddle around, and the audience can feed them mealworms. It’s an interactive experience that we don’t get to do a lot of, because most of the animals we deal with are scary or could hurt you if you interact with them in the wrong way. The ducks add a little bit of comic relief. During the program, we bring out a bald eagle and feed it for the public to see while talking about the natural history of where the bird came from. We also have pop-ups all around the property with animals, such as a great horned owl or red-tailed hawk. People can take pictures with them and engage with a volunteer related to that animal. In our children’s interactive room, little bitty kids can draw, color and see the animals, including tortoises, tarantulas, Gila monsters and native squirrels. During a given day, I’m in all of these places, seeing how things go.

1 p.m. >> A HABITAT OF HARD WORKERS I lead a small staff meeting where we work to avert any potential problem and make the visitor experience better. Until three years

ago, we weren’t open to the public, and with that came a whole new element of concerns. Once a month, we take what happened in the small meeting into the full staff meeting and create policy. I also spend time meeting with donors, which is a big part of my job. I don’t get to handle the animals anymore because my job is to make sure everybody can feed the animals we have and that we have paychecks for people. I’m a very fortunate person, and I challenge anyone to have a better staff, volunteer crew and board. That’s what makes it work. It’s a team full of people who are just remarkable.

2 p.m. >> SUPPORTING A BABY BOOM Getting ready for several events we have throughout the year takes a lot of time. We spend the entire year getting ready for our main fundraiser in October, “Wishes for Wildlife.” We also have two “Wee Ones” baby showers that provide support for tons of babies that are orphaned and need to be taken care of. Orphan care is our busiest time of year and is getting ready to start. CONTINUED APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  13


During field trips, kids do fun activities, enjoy encounters with reptiles and see a live bird presentation.

3:30 p.m. >> SURROUNDED BY A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT

“ We are the only entity in the world that’s allowed to give feathers and bird parts to legally recognized tribal members who use them in their regalia and cultural practices.”

On a given day, I’m pretty project-oriented. I love starting a new project, and I’ve got one that’s in the birthing stage: I want to do a documentary. We’re working on getting funding for it. I’ve never done this before, so I’m learning a lot. It’s percolating and gets your juices going. As I finish one project, I then think we could do so-and-so, and people around here go, “Oh no, there she goes again!”

6 p.m. >> A PURPOSE OF PROTECTING AND PRESERVING

3 p.m. >> HELPING A CULTURE SOAR Another way for us to help the community, people as well as animals, is our Non-Eagle Feather Repository. We are the only entity in the world that’s allowed to give feathers and bird parts to legally recognized tribal members who use them in their regalia and cultural practices. Until we participated in a wildly successful two-year pilot program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that won a national award, there was no legal mechanism for Native Americans to get these things. We have now sent 4,500 orders to 178 tribes in 49 states. The letters we get from Native Americans are phenomenal and tell us we’re helping people and helping cultures, which is a huge addition to what we already did mission-wise. I’m really proud of this program. 14  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

By the time I get home, I have another list of emails to respond to. I spend my evenings writing or editing, including notes to donors, a regular blog and a monthly newsletter. I’m of the ilk that if we don’t teach people to love wildlife, they’re not going to care when it disappears. We’re all connected. Everything’s connected. You can’t take one thing and remove it without impacting everything along the line. So that’s our message. And I think we do a pretty good job. To learn more, go to libertywildlife.org.

Julie Coleman CONTRIBUTING WRITER juliecolemanconsulting@gmail.com



CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

CALLING ALL SUPERHEROES The Colten Cowell Foundation offers compassion and fun to families facing life challenges Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

The night I went to visit the Crime Fighting Cave in Phoenix, I had no idea what to expect. My friend Bruce St. James, formerly a host on KTAR, had been telling me about it for some time, and I promised I would check it out. One of my mottoes in life is if you say you are going to show up, you show up. So, off I went. I drove up to a nondescript warehouse complex, wondering if I was in the right place. Then I spotted a group of children waiting out front. Not long after that, the show would begin. A parade of cars pulled up, including a black limo. Inside was a family whose son has Down Syndrome. He was the star superhero of the day, nominated by the charity Sharing Down Syndrome. “There’s a script, there’s a set, and basically the idea is that various children’s charities nominate kids with significant life challenges,” St. James explained. “The kids come, and for one night, they are the star of the show.” He has been volunteering for about five years and lending his considerable talent as a host. When the kids walk into the front room, St. James sets

16  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

the stage. From there, they weave through the Batman-inspired Cave with surprises, gadgets, cool cars, a helicopter, memorabilia and lots of fun along the way.

WHO IS BRUCE WAYNE? Much like the alter ego of Batman, the man behind this incredible effort is a wealthy American industrialist. Charles Keller is a businessman, philanthropist and classic car collector. After purchasing a Batmobile on Craigslist in 2009, he found himself inspired to share. Keller met 3-year-old Colten Cowell, who was fighting a fatal form of cancer. In the final weeks of Colten’s life, Keller made sure he was able to take a ride in the Batmobile. From there, the Colten Cowell Foundation was born. It aims to change people’s perspective on giving. “I feel like we are making a difference,” Keller said. “We are in a very trying time right now. What all of us are experiencing — not being


Bruce St. James (top left) with Chase Olson, a recent superhero at the Colten Cowell Memorial Crime Fighting Cave, along with this father, Luke. During their visit, Chase and his friends shared moments of laughter, excitement and wonder.

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  17


CAREY’S CORNER CONTINUED

Visitors at the Cave enjoy a unique experience with activities, gadgets to play with, and one-of-a-kind vehicles to explore.

able to get good answers — the families we deal with have to face for years and years. The principal thing that we try to espouse is compassion for our fellow human beings.” Keller has a hands-on approach to philanthropy, which goes way beyond writing checks. And he has big intentions for the future. Before the end of 2020, he plans to expand out of the warehouse. The Colten Cowell Foundation will move to a 5-acre campus, where they will build a 25,000-square-foot mansion with a Crime Fighting Cave. “Building the new cave,” Keller said, “has nothing to do with comic book characters. It is about compassion.” He plans to call it The Monument to Compassion. “We spend a great deal of time building monuments to ourselves,” Keller said. “This is a monument to a great idea. Known across the country, and possibly even around the world.”

CLOSING THE CAVE DOORS Like so many charities, the Colten Cowell Foundation is trying to adjust to fallout from the

Carey Peña CONTRIBUTING WRITER @CareyPenaTV

18  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

COVID-19 crisis. For now, they’ve had to close the cave doors as they plan for the next steps. On Arizona Gives Day, they hope to broadcast 12 straight hours from the Cave with 12 different stories. They’ve come too far to slow down now. (Does the Batmobile even have brakes?) To date, the Colten Cowell Foundation has worked with 324 children’s charities and celebrated more than 500 superheroes. They’ve also given away $1.3 million. For radio host Bruce St. James, all of this has provided a great deal of perspective in a time of considerable uncertainty. “Giving my time, giving of myself, has bettered my life,” he said. “It fundamentally changed some of the trajectories of my life. Being involved in a charity like this. Finding out just how amazing you can feel when you give back to others.” The final moments I spent with St. James at the Cave involved seeing the little superhero and his dad driving around in the Batmobile. It was quite a sight. Several impressive superpowers were on display that night, not the least of which is compassion. To learn more about the Colten Cowell Foundation, go to coltencowellfoundation.org. To see more of Carey’s reporting, visit inspiredmedia360tv.com.



COVER STORY {by karen werner}

On the

d l i W Side Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center helps people learn about wildlife and conserve its habitat


Linda Searles and Don the coyote, the inspiration for Southwest Wildlife.

It started with a coyote named Don. In the early 90s, a local farmer riding his tractor accidentally ran over a den of newborn coyotes. Only one pup survived. The caring farmer wanted to help the coyote, but at the time, there were no vets in the area that treated injured or orphaned wildlife. So he gave him to a local family that, later, brought him to an animal lover named Linda Searles. “I named him after the book, ‘Don Coyote: The Good Times and the Bad Times of a Much Maligned American Original,’” Searles said. “Don hadn’t been fed properly, so he had nutritional cataracts and was imprinted because he had been raised by people. He didn’t know what a coyote was.” Don stayed with Searles and then lived in her care for 20 years. In that time, this much-maligned American original catalyzed the creation of one of the leading wildlife sanctuaries and rehab facilities in the Southwest. He also became an outstanding ambassador for nature, teaching thousands of people about the importance of wild animals in our shared ecosystem.

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is home to about

350 WILD ANIMALS,

including foxes, porcupines, coyotes, bobcats, owls, bears, hawks, raccoons, Mexican gray wolves and mountain lions.

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  21


To make that all happen, Searles bought 10 acres northeast of Scottsdale in 1994 with the dream of creating a rehabilitation center that specializes in mammals. Over the years, she planted trees and built enclosures to transform the property into a shady oasis for wild animals in need. Today, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is home to about 350 wild animals, including foxes, porcupines, coyotes, bobcats, owls, bears, hawks, raccoons, Mexican gray wolves and mountain lions. When wild animals are found injured, orphaned or have lost their homes to development, they are brought to Southwest Wildlife. “You never know when that door opens what’s going to be walking in,” Searles said. “They can be hit by cars, poisoned, caught in leg-hole traps. We get orphans that have wandered too far from mom or fallen into a drainage pit.” Animals like a white-nosed coatimundi that migrated north from the Chiracahuas. Or a baby javelina that fell through some grates. Or Boots, a grey fox brought in by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. All are given a safe place to recover, where their wildness is nurtured along with their health. Fire, police and game departments from across the U.S. send in animals, as do citizens who drop off animals they find, such as orphaned bunnies or javelinas. The goal is to offer animals a quiet place to heal, rest and recover, and then release them back into the wild — an aim that Southwest Wildlife accomplishes more than 70 percent of the time. Some animals take just a few weeks; some require a longer stay. Either way, the team at Southwest Wildlife tries to return animals — healthy and wild — back to where they belong, with minimal human contact. Animals that can’t be released for various reasons — they’re too friendly, have been declawed or couldn’t survive in the wild — are placed in zoos and other various accredited facilities. Others remain in Southwest Wildlife’s sanctuary and live out their lives in peace while serving a valuable purpose for us all. 22  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

Southwest Wildlife is the only sanctuary in Arizona capable of caring for large mammals such as black bears, mountain lions and Mexican gray wolves.


“Once you start working in wildlife rehabilitation, you realize why all of these animals are coming in and feel compelled to teach people to live with wildlife,” Searles said. “Education is essential.” To help with this, Southwest Wildlife offers guided tours where docents share stories about the animals in their care. “They explain why they’re there, and why they shouldn’t be. That somebody wanted a pet fox or mountain lion, so they killed their mother and stole the babies so they could have a pet or make some money. Or they were shot or were in a trap and that’s why they lost a leg,” Searles said. “People relate to that animal’s individual story and why we should look out for them.” Southwest Wildlife also practices what’s called conservation medicine, doing research such as vaccine trials for javelinas to try to protect them from canine distemper, or diet studies to try to better understand and help animals in the wild.

One of the programs Southwest Wildlife is most proud of is its endangered species program for Mexican gray wolves. “We currently hold 17 Mexican gray wolves for U.S. Fish and Wildlife for the reintroduction program,” Searles said. By caring for this rare wolf — Searles estimates there are only about 120 in Arizona now — she and her team are contributing to the recovery of an endangered species. Some of the wolves are released back into the wild, either in the U.S. or in Mexico. Southwest Wildlife also harvests oocytes — immature egg cells — from older females and collects semen from males and ships them to St. Louis to be frozen for future breeding. “As these wolves age, you’re going to lose those genetics. But if we capture and freeze them for later use, we can save those genetics,” Searles said.

“When you say research, people think of it in a bad way. But we’re treading new territory in some areas and finding ways to keep animals healthier, from the young to the old. That’s really important,” Searles said.

The goal is to offer animals a quiet place to heal, rest and recover,

AND THEN RELEASE THEM BACK INTO THE WILD.

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  23


It’s something Dr. Leo Egar, who volunteers at Southwest Wildlife, finds very gratifying. “We are part of the breeding program to ensure their genetic diversity and genetic integrity move forward for generations, which is something that will matter long past our lifetimes,” he said. Another impact that will stretch long into the future is Southwest Wildlife’s mentorship of wildlife workers of tomorrow. Southwest Wildlife runs veterinary and biology intern programs to offer hands-on experience treating wildlife. “We’re laying the groundwork for future veterinarians and wildlife rehabbers. We want this to outlive us,” Searles said. Jordyn Blew, who grew up in Arizona but now attends Dartmouth College, appreciates her internship at Southwest Wildlife. “I don’t know of any other opportunities like this, where you get to work with wild animals like a mountain lion,” she said. “I don’t know anything this hands-on, where you get to make such a difference in the individual animal’s life.” Southwest Wildlife’s clinic is equipped to provide stem-cell therapy, ultrasound, digital X-rays, dental care, anesthesia and more. Whether a dehydrated bobcat needs an IV or a coyote requires life-saving surgery, specially trained staff and volunteers are on call to respond to any wild mammal emergency that arises.

Gray Wirtanen, an intern who studied biology and ecology, enjoys this aspect of her work at Southwest Wildlife. “We’re giving animals, especially those that have been hit by cars or poisoned by rodenticide, a second chance. If Southwest Wildlife weren’t here, these animals would be dying,” she said. Second chances are something Linda Searles knows all about, and one of her favorite stories revolves around a jaguar-leopard hybrid named Leonardo, who came to Southwest Wildlife in 2011.

One of the premier wildlife veterinary clinics in the West, Southwest Wildlife works to both save wildlife and train future veterinarians and wildlife rehabbers.

24  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL DECEMBER 2020 2019


Leonardo, Southwest Wildlife’s beloved leopard/jaguar hybrid, was born in captivity to work in the entertainment industry. Searles recently had to make the painful decision to put Leo down.

“I don’t know anything this hands-on, where you get to make such A DIFFERENCE in the individual animal’s life.”

Leonardo was born in Las Vegas and bred to perform in magic shows. “They had declawed him and taken his canines out, which is a terrible thing to do,” Searles said. When the show closed, Leonardo was sold and moved to the Arizona-Mexico border and was not properly cared for. By the time he arrived at Southwest Wildlife, he had severe pneumonia, infected feet and couldn’t stand. After a lot of antibiotics and excellent medical care, he regained his health but not his trust for people. “He had been taunted and teased, poked with sticks, so he really hated people,” Searles said. Determined to make a difference, Searles sat at his cage every day with her back to him. “In the beginning, he would swipe at the fence, hiss or charge the fence, but I would just sit there and not move,” she said. Then one day, Leonardo laid with his back to Searles, and she knew it was a giant step. “From there, we gained his trust and it got to be where if you’d call him, he’d come running,” she said.

Leonardo spent the last eight years at Southwest Wildlife but had to be put down in February. Though it was a painful decision for Searles and everyone at Southwest Wildlife, it was the right choice because, at 17, Leonardo’s kidneys were failing and he had lost a substantial amount of weight. “We’re still broken up about it,” Searles said. “He had had such a terrible life that we tried to make every day Christmas for him. He got a present every day.” Searles has always had an affinity for wildlife and a connection with nature. She grew up on an Arizona ranch that did both farming and cattle ranching. “I was a sick child and always found comfort and friendship with animals,” she said. Perhaps that’s why she literally lives at the wildlife center she created. “My house is attached to the hospital,” she said. “When I moved here, the plan was to have a center and do some education. That was 26 years ago, and the plan took off and has been very successful.” That success is in large part due to the dedicated animal lovers who volunteer at Southwest

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  25


Wildlife. “We have about 100 volunteers who do everything from cleaning in the clinic to animal care to running errands to going on rescues,” Searles said. “We have veterinarians and vet techs who donate their time. And then we have people who do fundraising. So there’s a lot of different jobs that make the wheel turn. It’s a village of volunteers, staff and donors that make it happen.”

6 TIPS

for Coexisting With Wildlife

The public is also part of the equation. Southwest Wildlife welcomes about 7,000 visitors each year, drawn mostly by word of mouth. “We’ve been called the best-kept secret in the Valley,” Searles said. Searles is grateful for everyone who has been part of turning her dream into reality. “And that includes the citizen that takes time out of their day to call and say there’s a coyote that’s been hit on the side of the road or a javelina that’s injured in their backyard,” she said. In the end, Searles and her team hope not only to educate but inspire people to learn about and respect our wildlife and conserve its habitat. “I think part of it goes a little bit to repairing some of the impact that we have living in the desert,” Dr. Egar said. “In some cases, you feel like you’re righting a wrong,” said Searles.

Linda Searles says the Southwest offers a special chance to connect with wildlife. Here are her suggestions.

1 2

Learn to enjoy them. “They’re your neighbors, too.”

3

Don’t be needlessly afraid. “A lot of people are terrified because they saw a coyote or bobcat walking down their street. They’re not going to hurt or bother you.”

4

Learn how to protect your pets because a lot of things in the desert can injure, harm or kill them.

5

Don’t use rodenticides. “People don’t realize that that rodenticide box is going to kill something and then when that animal is eaten by another animal, it’s going to kill them. Often they end up poisoning their own pets and poisoning wildlife.”

6

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions.

To learn more, go to southwestwildlife.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottsdale Wildlife refuge is closed to the public and its annual fundraiser and other spring events have been canceled to protect public health in response to the virus. However, Southwest Wildlife will remain open for wildlife emergencies and orphaned animals.

26  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

Don’t feed them.


NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Uniting to help during the coronavirus outbreak Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

The best way to deal with this crisis is to do what we’ve always done — come together as a community. It’s difficult to figure out where to start. I’m late writing my column this month because I wanted to hold out as long as possible, in case of some substantive paradigm change that would have been unthinkable even days or weeks ago. So I’m sitting on my porch on Sunday, March 29 as I write this, social distancing on one of the most gloriously beautiful days of the year. The juxtaposition between the natural beauty that’s begging the soul to go out and interact with others versus the unthinkable crisis that’s keeping most of us in our homes is jarring.

In less than three weeks, the world economy has crashed. You’ve read plenty about that. So I’ll focus on what we focus on, those individuals and organizations that give back to our community. So many of them are hurting. Some organizations aren’t able to function normally, some not at all. Many of the Valley’s most high-profile fundraising events, generating millions of dollars for those in need, have been postponed or canceled. The arts are shuttered. People have lost their jobs. We are entering into a period of unpredictability never seen before, with no end in sight, and with many of the public service organizations we rely on to help us deal with troubled times struggling to survive. According to the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, in just the first few weeks of the crisis, nonprofits have seen more than $36.7 million in revenue loss.


So where do we go from here? As I write this, it was only 18 days ago that I was looking at the NBA and NHL schedules and wondering which games I was going to watch on TV that night. I say that to point out something that seems somehow counterintuitive — it hasn’t been a very long time since this crisis started. And yet, already there have been millions of dollars in investments to help our community survive the storm. New funds have been established to help those on the front lines. Longtime philanthropic organizations have taken leadership roles in helping us find a way forward. People are looking for ways to help, even if they need help themselves. The best thing we can do is to do what we’ve always done — come together as a community and support those who need it most. Do what you can. Stay indoors and focus on your health. If you’ve lost your job, then focus on your own needs and the needs of your family. If you’re more secure, then help others by giving to efforts to fight this terrible outbreak and ensure our quality of life on the other side.

There’s a lot you can do, job or no job, money or no money. The following are just a few ways you can help. I’m going to leave some out, for sure. But this is a start:

ARIZONA GIVES DAY Arizona Gives Day is on April 7, and it is an opportunity for you to give to any one or more of hundreds of nonprofits throughout the state. The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, which organizes the effort along with the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, has found a donor to cover credit card processing fees and has created an Arizona Gives Day Emergency Relief Fund, which will be equally distributed to Arizona Gives Day nonprofits. You can go to azgives.org to donate.

FRONTDOORS 2019-2020 TAX CREDIT GIVING GUIDE

2019-2020 Tax Credit Giving Guide

While the deadline to file Arizona state income taxes has been extended to July 15, the deadline of April 15 for Arizona charitable tax credit contributions has NOT been extended. So if you donate to a qualified nonprofit by April 15, you receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on your state income taxes. You can read our Tax Credit Giving Guide for more information.

DON’T FORGET TO BRING THIS TO YOUR TAX ADVISER!

PRESENTED BY

YOUR GUIDE TO MAXIMIZING ARIZONA TAX CREDITS

ARIZONA TOGETHER Several larger community organizations and foundations have started dedicated funds to support nonprofits on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, or ones providing critical support services to families that may be struggling during this challenging time. The Arizona Community Foundation and Valley of the Sun United Way each have started funds to help nonprofits throughout the state, but are coordinating their efforts to ensure there’s no duplication. And Governor Doug Ducey’s office has launched the Arizona Together fund and is providing vital information for those affected by the crisis on a new website, arizonatogether.org. 28  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA Local First Arizona recently launched an initiative to provide immediate financial relief to Arizona’s small PROUD MEMBER: businesses in the form of mini-grants that will help with expenses such as rent and employee payroll. To qualify for relief funds, a company must have anPROUD MEMBER OF: annual revenue of less than $250,000 and be the sole source of income for a family, with priority given to businesses owned by a family with children under 18 in theirPROUD MEMBER OF: household. Businesses may submit an online application here.

PHILANTHROPIC SUPPORT We’ve probably seen more six-figure and seven-figure charitable donations in the past three weeks than we would otherwise see in months. As we head to press, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust just awarded $6.3 million in emergency grants to support Maricopa County science, human services, and arts and culture nonprofits to combat the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. New things are happening every day to provide help to those in need, and nonprofits are changing their models on the fly to maximize their impact. You can read our COVID-19 coverage for real-time updates from the nonprofit community. Most of all — be kind. Serve others as you’re able. Spend time with your family and connect (remotely) with your friends and loved ones. There’s another side to this whole thing, even if we don’t see it now. We’ll get there, together, as a community, doing what we’ve always done — being there for one another.

Tom Evans CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

@TEvans927

Photography for Life 602.677.3985 | MarionRhoadesPhotography.com


2019-2020 Tax Credit Giving Guide

DON’T FORG ET TO BRING THIS TO YOUR TAX ADVI SER!

PRESENTED BY

CRE DITS YOU R GUI DE TO MA XIM IZIN G ARI ZON A TAX


MAXIMIZE THE TAX CREDIT OPPORTUNITY

HERE IS A REMINDER FROM THE “FRONTDOORS 2019-2020 TAX CREDIT GIVING GUIDE” ON HOW TO

BY GIVING TO ALL FIVE CATEGORIES!

­­­­­

Deadline is April 15, 2020, Tax Day, to make these contributions and submit your forms to get your tax credit when you file.

ARIZONA QUALIFIED CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION TAX CREDIT 1

$

400 $800

PER INDIVIDUAL

MARRIED COUPLES

EXAMPLE: Mr. & Mrs. Smith give $800 to one organization or give $200 to four Qualified Organizations.

QUALIFIED FOSTER CARE ORGANIZATION TAX CREDIT 2

$

500 $1,000

PER INDIVIDUAL

MARRIED COUPLES

EXAMPLE: Mr. & Mrs. Smith give $500 to two Qualified Foster Care organizations or give $1,000 to one organization.

PUBLIC SCHOOL TAX CREDIT

200 $400

Public School Tuition Organizations

3

$

PER INDIVIDUAL

MARRIED COUPLES

569 $1,138

Private School Tuition Organizations

4

$

PER INDIVIDUAL

MARRIED COUPLES

566 1,131

Certified School Tuition Organizations*

5

$

PER INDIVIDUAL

$

MARRIED COUPLES

EXAMPLE: Mr. & Mrs. Smith have a tax liability of $2,000 and donated the maximum combined amount to all tax credits of $4,469 on their Arizona tax returns. They will now receive a refund of $2,469. No catch, dollar-for-dollar assistance to your favorite organizations and schools. * You may only make this contribution if you’ve already maxed out the Private School Tuition Organization credit first.


STYLE UNLOCKED {living fashionably}

UNBRIDLED

STYLE Lee Courtney’s pawsitively fashionable world

McKenna Wesley | Contributing Writer

Lee Courtney has many loves in her life. Chief among them are her husband Joe, their son Chase and furbabies Sequin, Porsche and Ferrari. Courtney surrounds her family and her beloved animals with beauty, style and joy. When I recently met Courtney at her Scottsdale equestrian ranch, the first thing I noticed was her smile. But then a small French bulldog’s head popped up beside her as Courtney laughed and exited her car. Ferrari, her sweet and spunky Blue French bulldog, gets regular manis and pedis courtesy of Courtney and that day was sporting royal blue nail polish. The adorable pup has an equally adorable wardrobe and numerous bejeweled collars. (Trust me, she wears them well.) Photos by Jillian Rivera Photography

32  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  33


STYLE UNLOCKED CONTINUED

I was then introduced to Sequin, Courtney’s magnificent, multi-award-winning Arabian horse. I am not an equestrian, but this beautiful horse stunned me into silence. As Courtney began to tell Sequin’s story, I was struck by this horse’s regal stature and composure. It’s clear that Courtney and Sequin share a special bond. Of course, bling is part of Sequin’s life and her favorite bling includes lots of bedazzled halters and saddles. As Courtney and I sat down to chat, Ferrari hopped on her mom’s lap while Courtney shared when her love of fashion began. As a child, Courtney enjoyed dressing up the family pets and that love of “dressing up” continues today with Sequin, Ferrari and Porsche. Porsche is another French bulldog and, like Ferrari, she is darling. Courtney showed me a few of her dogs’ little dresses, each with a matching collar. Courtney is a community leader with an incredible sense of style. Her philanthropic work is extensive, and she has a deep love for the community. Naturally, her favorite fashion brand is Gucci because of its many equestrian details, including the famous horsebit clasp. Courtney’s go-to look is sleek and chic black attire, paired with a classic black boot and bag. This particular day, she was carrying a Dior saddlebag, which looked phenomenal. As I drove away and watched Courtney waving in my rearview mirror, I realized that Lee Courtney is one class act. Her warmth, personality and trademark smile make her one of our favorite women in Arizona.

McKenna Wesley CONTRIBUTING WRITER

@thebubblyblonde

34  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


KHAITE

BOLD FREE SPIRIT K RYS TA B O N I L L A P H O T O G R A P H E D BY E L L E N VO N U N W E R T H

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  35 2446 E CAMELBACK ROAD | 602.955.8000



A 2ND ACT {helping is healing}

THE POWER

OF CANINE LOVE Unconditional and incredible Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

For better or worse … but no dogs. That was the promise Marika Meeks made her husband, Brian, when they married. The Indiana couple went on to have two daughters, become partners in a restaurant chain and live what seemed a charmed life. And then, their life took a left turn. Despite being proactive about her health, Marika found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2013. She researched her best treatment options and found them in Arizona. It made the most sense for

Marika to come to the state alone, while Brian cared for the business and their girls in Indiana. “My cancer experience included every worstcase scenario,” Marika said. “I decided I wanted to have some kind of control in my life. Riding a secondhand bike to each of my appointments fit the bill.” That plan delivered more than she expected. While picking the bike up, the owner’s dog ran out to Marika, jumping up to greet her. In an instant, Marika felt healing and love coming APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  37


In a leap of faith, the Meekses welcomed Stella into their home and the pressures of work, stress and Marika’s health problems seemed to melt away.

“We provide county shelters much-needed blankets and dog food. Last year, we delivered over 2,000 pounds of food and two pick-up truckloads of blankets.”

from those big paws, and her marriage promise began to wobble. It wasn’t the “for better or worse part”— it was the dog part. When her cancer treatment was over, Marika was left shaken, fearful and uncertain about the future. Her relationship with her eldest daughter was strained, and Marika felt sure she was suffering from PTSD as a result of the whole ordeal. And she couldn’t stop thinking about becoming a dog owner. 38  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

“I kept showing Brian pictures of adoptable dogs. I finally wore him down in 2016,” Marika said. “One night at dinner, he said, ‘For the love of God, just fill out the paperwork!’ I did, and we took it to an adoption event that weekend. They had advertised three dogs. But two had already been adopted when we got there, and the other wasn’t a good fit. Then they brought in a young, beautiful pit bull mix and we knew in an instant she was the one. She would be our Stella.” The Meekses never dreamed where Stella would take them. While they gave her a second act, Stella has given their entire family a second act! Marika and Brian had fallen in love with Arizona during Marika’s treatment and decided to move here fulltime. She and her daughter reconnected, and both girls became Arizona State University Sun Devils. And the family discovered their mission. “Everywhere we took Stella, people connected with her instantly,” Marika said. “They wanted to pet her and take pictures of her. My daughter thought Stella should have her own Instagram account. Because of our heartfelt stories and videos, a web-based news aggregate picked up Stella’s story. Suddenly we had


30 million views. It became apparent to us that we could use that force for good.” The Meekses left the restaurant business and founded IncrediBull Stella, initially focusing on a three-part platform. First, they publicize “adopt, don’t shop” when it comes to bringing dogs into families. Second, to cut down on all of the unwanted animals, they promote spaying and neutering pets. And finally, they advocate for pit bulls, a breed that’s gotten an unfair reputation. Because the dogs are often used in illegal dogfights, the public assumes the breed is congenitally mean. Stella is proof that is not so. To promote their platform, Marika and Brian have utilized a number of approaches. There’s the reality TV show, “Dog Moms of Scottsdale,” and a Stella coloring book. Marika co-authored their story in “Incredibull Stella: How the Love of a Pit Bull Rescued a Family.” Stella and her humans endorse products, and their social media exposure continues to drive more interest. The income they derive has allowed them to expand their work to include Stella’s Rescue Rehab. “We provide county shelters much-needed blankets and dog food,” Marika said proudly. “Last year, we delivered over 2,000 pounds of food and two pick-up truckloads of blankets.” And the ideas keep coming. Marika saw a news story about lost dogs being pictured on pizza boxes. “Why couldn’t we flip that?” she asked. “Why not put pictures of dogs that are available for adoption on boxes?” Why not, indeed? But maybe an even better way of furthering the mission of IncrediBull Stella is found in the love this beautiful dog has given a broken family. It’s unconditional, and it’s healing. It’s the incredible gift that a dog unselfishly gives its humans.

Today, the Meekses advocate for pit bull awareness, explain the benefits of pet ownership and support shelters and other organizations that save animals’ lives.

Judy Pearson CONTRIBUTING WRITER

info@A2ndAct.org

To learn more, visit IncrediBullStella.com. APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  39


CHEERS TO THE CHAIRS {

Society of Chairs } Why do you support Childsplay? Childsplay is a wonderful organization that provides theater to children who may not have the opportunity to see a play. As an artist/designer, I wholeheartedly believe that theater offers an opportunity for imagination and wonderment. It also provides empathy, which in turn creates a better individual. The actors are so talented. If you’ve seen one of their plays, you know that they can play multiple roles.

What can people expect in the coming year?

Ruby Farias Chair of the 2020 World of Wonder Gala benefiting Childsplay

childsplayaz.org

The unexpected turn in our world of the coronavirus has stalled many not-for-profit organizations. I hope that I can help provide more exposure to Childsplay’s work in a variety of circles that will appreciate their efforts in our community. Childsplay is in its 43rd year, and I anticipate it will survive as they have in the past. Steve Martin, the managing director, and Dwayne Hartford, the artistic director, are so talented. I foresee some wonderful plays that will help our community in so many ways.

Talk about the impact Childsplay has on the community. Brought to you by

Custom Logo Gifts to Brand Your Cause and Define Your Event

I am a firm believer that art in all forms is therapeutic. To be in an audience of children and watch them be awed by a play is very moving. Their eyes light up; they laugh, they engage. And in so many ways, as an adult, Childsplay can take you back to your childhood, and help you remember moments that have been hidden away for a very long time. That, to me, is pretty wonderful.

charitycharms.com

Thank you to our April 2020 Cheers to the Chairs Runners-Up: Sara Mayer The Centennial Celebration chair benefiting the Phoenix Panhellenic Association Lisa Pettorossi The 12th Annual Fairytale Tea chair benefiting the Happily Ever After League

And now for some fun info about you. What’s your favorite restaurant in Arizona? My kitchen. I am a really good cook!

What’s something Frontdoors readers would be surprised to learn about you: I have had seven poems published.

Frontdoors is proud to recognize those who volunteer their time, treasure and talents to support local organizations in a leadership role. To Nominate Your Event Chair, Co-Chairs, Honorary Chair or Board Chair, Contact publisher@frontdoorsmedia.com. 40  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


The Valley’s Highest Quality, Most Reliable, Best Equipped Audio/ Visual Company is also the Best Value in Town Find out what dozens of the Valley’s top events and nonprofits already know — Latest Craze Productions goes above and beyond to create an extraordinary AV experience for any occasion. Be sure to ask us about our incredible new LED walls that will make your visuals stand out like never before.

LatestCrazeProductions.com | 480.626.5231


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT {giving back} By Karen Werner

HEARTS OF GOLD Rescue A Golden of Arizona helps beloved breed

THE STORY In 1998, Joyce Hubler, a retired detective from the Phoenix Police Department, did some sleuthing that changed thousands of dogs’ lives. She had gotten her first Golden Retriever, Lucy, the year before and learned that many Goldens were being abandoned and put down in shelters. Why was this the fate of so many of the popular breed? Hubler discovered that many people weren’t prepared to handle a dog that would grow large, shed and incur medical expenses, so they simply gave up their dogs.

42  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


“ Many people were buying puppies, not realizing they would become large, energetic dogs that require a lot of grooming and healthcare.”

Engage with Green Living Magazine

Check out the latest issue to see what is happening next at Green Living Magazine and see how you can be a part of the next issue!

To help, Hubler started rescuing Goldens from shelters, grooming and rehabbing them, then finding them new homes. Once the work became more than she could handle alone, she enlisted help from friends and people in her network. Through a lot of hard work, they established Rescue A Golden of Arizona as a nonprofit organization in October 1998.

THE CAUSE At the time Rescue A Golden of Arizona was launched, Golden Retrievers were the second most popular breed of dog, a distinction that remains today. “Many people were buying puppies, not realizing they would become large, energetic dogs that require a lot of grooming and healthcare,” said Heather Marcom, president of Rescue A Golden of Arizona. The organization educates the public on the traits of these outgoing, eager-to-please canines. For instance, they are easy to train and make great family dogs, but their playful, puppyish behavior makes outdoor play a priority. “For a breed built to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, swimming and fetching are natural pastimes,” Marcom said.

Our March issue was all about sustainable living and saving the planet!

It is more than just a magazine, it’s a way of life. Be a part of our network!

Subscribe to stay up-to-date with eco-trends! https://greenlivingaz.com/

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Green Living AZ


As the oldest and largest Golden Retriever rescue organization in Arizona, Rescue A Golden helps these dogs, regardless of their health or age, serving the entire state as well as the El Paso area in Texas. Over the past few years, the organization has also rescued Goldens internationally from countries that lack resources or local families willing to take in a rescued Golden, including China, South Korea, Turkey and Mexico. “When we have the resources, we do what we can to help those Goldens, because pain and suffering have no borders,” Marcom said.

THE FUTURE Rescue A Golden of Arizona has placed more than 3,400 dogs in homes and will continue as long as the work is required. “Our hope is that one day there won’t be a need for us anymore because all Goldens are able to stay in loving homes. But until then, we will be here to save every Golden that needs us.” Of course, the need often goes both ways. Marcom shared the story of a 99-year-old man whose life was touched by a Golden Retriever. “He was depressed and didn’t feel he had anything left to live for, and his daughter was worried about him,” Marcom said. “He had 24/7 healthcare providers who agreed to take care of the dog.”

“ Our hope is that one day there won’t be a need for us anymore because all Goldens are able to stay in loving homes. But until then, we will be here to save every Golden that needs us.”

44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


When Rescue A Golden delivered his Golden, Katie, the man’s eyes lit up, and Katie went straight to him as if she knew he was the reason she was there. The man’s health improved — in fact, he lived another year and celebrated his 100th birthday. “While this is not a typical adoption scenario for us, we were happy to be able to help this man make a connection with a Golden when they both needed it most,” Marcom said. As a nonprofit, Rescue A Golden of Arizona welcomes donations and is always looking for volunteers to help with home visits, transporting dogs, assisting with adoption coordination, intake and more. “We have a comprehensive list of opportunities to volunteer on our website, and people can stay up to date on what’s happening with us by following us on Facebook and Instagram,” Marcom said. To learn more, go to golden-retriever.org.

CONNECTING WOMEN WHERE THEY WORK, LIVE OR PLAY Join us where you live, work or play to connect with like-minded women to share information, ideas, contacts and opportunities. Learn more at: eastvalleywomen.org | centralphoenixwomen.org womenofscottsdale.org | northvalleywomen.org


OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

DEFINING MOMENTS THESE TIMES WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING Andrea Tyler Evans | Publisher

The first week of March was my last glimpse of “normal.” I attended several nonprofit fundraisers and planning meetings. My kids went to school for 3rd and 8th grade each day. We ate out, took the kids to tutoring and their elective activities. Then the news started to creep in, and a new reality took hold on March 17: canceled, postponed, closed.

46  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020


It’s a couple of weeks later, and what is emerging as the one thing we all need to keep doing what we can? Technology. School, work, food, friends and family — everyone with access to a phone, computer or i-anything is making it happen. We’ve been on a homeschool schedule since March 16 and, thankfully, our teachers use computers and apps regularly as teaching tools. The first bell at our house rings at 8 a.m. (via iPhone) and on the hour, each hour till 3 p.m. to follow the Evans Homeschool Schedule. Subjects switch each hour after a 10-minute break for a snack or a breath of fresh air. So far, each child has had a class Zoom call so they can see each other, and I’m on a 3rd-grade mom group chat with 16 other moms to support each other as we navigate the process.

But I know it’s not been very smooth for so many others. One of my closest childhood friends is a 2nd-grade teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and all of these tech communication tools are new to her. She’s taught for 26 years and never had the need to “Zoom” until last week. I am willing to bet there’s no going back now that she will be using it to participate in district and school meetings for the foreseeable future.

I’m also seeing my friends and colleagues in the nonprofit and health sectors switch over to everything tech has to offer. With the inperson coffee or lunch on hold, savvy executive directors and development teams are calling or Facetime-ing with their top supporters, staff and, well, everyone. I have a few doctors’ appointments coming up, and several have already reached out to schedule a telemedicine appointment instead of the in-person check-up. They’ve had the technology sitting there, but now they are actually using it, because they have to. It’s the safe thing to do and it works really well. As a resident of one of Phoenix’s historic districts, our collective neighborhood feels it’s important to support local restaurants. And we really upped our Uber Eats and DoorDash use last fall as our 14 year old developed an expansive palate. (While I like to cook, our schedules are beyond crazy most evenings.) So I am thrilled that it was easy for our local restaurant industry to ramp up their take-out offerings before COVID-19 hit, and I hope that the take-out orders will keep everyone in business as long as it takes. I personally pledge to keep the Postino’s Uptown location going! CONTINUED

APRIL 2020 | FRONTDOORS MEDIA  47


OPEN DOORS CONTINUED

Then there’s our circle of friends. I have always welcomed a break from charity events, group dinners and parties each July, but this abrupt halt to what would have been at least 50 nights out before summer break was a shock to the system. This past weekend, we started having 6 p.m. virtual happy hours from our front porch or kitchen bar. We began with Facetime, but then I learned about the Houseparty app. It’s a multiscreen format like Zoom but much easier to use, sign in, etc. Plus, they have games you can play while you’re waiting for everyone to join or just to have some fun while seeing friends and family face-to-face. The point? Technology is having its day! And you don’t need to be an expert to use it. Those who were timid before are all in now, and the best applications are rising to the top. Business models will be changed forever and Sunday dinners with grandparents can continue in this new way. I’m liking it! Together. From home. We can do this.

Andrea Andrea Tyler Evans PUBLISHER

@AndreaTEvans

48  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | APRIL 2020

Technology is having its day! And you don’t need to be an expert to use it.


Frontdoors Media is Looking Forward to the Future It’s time to start putting plans in place as we do our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve here in the Valley. SOCIETY OF CHAIRS 2020 Save the Date — Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts While we are unable to celebrate the close of the spring season together, we look forward to gathering as friends and colleagues to kick-off the 2020-2021 season and honor philanthropist Billie Jo Herberger and many others who give tirelessly to our community. Click here for more information. TAX CREDIT GIVING GUIDE Reservations are now open to reserve your logo and listing in the 2020-2021 Tax Credit Giving Guide. Space is limited to 50 Qualified Organizations. Payment is not due at this time and upgrades may be considered at a later date. Click here to hold your spot today. SPECIAL EDITION: 2020 FALL ARTS ISSUE OF FRONTDOORS mAGAzINE New for 2020, Frontdoors is offering all arts organizations season-long packages with a monthly payment plan option. Contact Andrea Evans at Andrea@FrontdoorsMedia.com today so we can help you plan your media buy for the coming season.

your key to the community Andrea Tyler Evans | Publisher andrea@frontdoorsmedia.com

3104 E. Camelback Road #967 | Phoenix, Arizona 85016 | 480-622-4522 | frontdoorsmedia.com



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