Frontdoors Magazine January 2019 Issue

Page 1



Rob and Melani Walton Discuss Philanthropy and Partnerships, From Local to Global


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Debbie Gaby is Beginning a New Chapter of Her Fairy-Tale Life




Andrea Tyler Evans EDITOR


ITʼS ARIZONA TAX CREDIT TIME! The Deadline is April 15 Donʼt forget to check out the Frontdoors Tax Credit Giving Guide for 2018-19. Find it on our website at



Lisa Mullavey, Judy Pearson, Carey Peña, Catie Richman






The Sparkle Bar

On the Cover Rob and Melani Walton Credit: Kay Images



Thurlkill Studios

GENERAL INFORMATION & PRESS RELEASES 3104 E. Camelback Road #967, Phoenix, AZ 85016 480-622-4522 |

Frontdoors Magazine is dedicated to the memory of Mike Saucier.


TABLE OF CONTENTS {january 2019, volume 17, issue 1}


EDITOR’S NOTE......................... 05 New Year, New Possibilities 10 QUESTIONS WITH............. 06 Pam Kehaly BOOKMARKED.......................... 10 Titles for 2019 OFFICE DOORS......................... 12 Dr. Jacqueline Allen of Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation CAREY’S CORNER................... 16 The Climb


COVER STORY.......................... 20 The Waltons NEXT DOORS............................. 30 The Future of Fundraising Is Fitness GIVING IN STYLE..................... 34 A Beautiful New Year CHEERS TO THE CHAIR........ 36 Adrienne Schiffner CHARITY SPOTLIGHT........... 38 HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network KITCHEN DOORS..................... 42 To Your Health! A 2ND ACT..................................... 44 Billyʼs Place OPEN DOORS............................ 48 Challenge by Choice


++ Liberty Wildlife

++ Arizona Science Center

++ Mayo Clinic

++ Arizona State University; Rob and Melani Walton

++ Mobilize AZ

Sustainability Solutions Service

++ National Kidney Foundation of Arizona

++ Ballet Arizona

++ The Phoenix Symphony

++ Barrow Neurological Institute

++ Phoenix Theatre

++ Billyʼs Place

++ Rob & Melani Walton Foundation

++ Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation

++ St. Vincent de Paul

++ Conservation International

++ Team Africa Rising

++ HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network

++ TGen

++ K2 Adventures

EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

NEW YEAR, NEW POSSIBILITIES Whatever your stance on New Year’s resolutions — whether you embrace them every year or you’re bored by the whole thing — in this issue, we’ve tried to provide inspiration for a healthy and happy start to 2019.

This issue celebrates big-hearted people (Dr. Jacqueline Allen, a founder of the Central Arizona Dental Society Mission of Mercy event, for one) and touching stories (the origin of Billy’s Place, for example) and addresses big topics in health (fighting the opioid crisis and providing personalized cancer care), all of which might serve to remind us that health is the ultimate wealth.

Need a kick to get moving? Look no further than to Kainoa Spenser, the extraordinary young man that Carey Peña profiles this month. Although his hands and legs were amputated after an infection, For actionable recommendations, look to this he is now climbing mountains. In fact, he summited month’s Bookmarked, where coaches of all kinds Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko a few weeks ago. share titles that will amplify your knowledge and skills. And be sure to check out Kitchen Doors For those already exercising — or who could and its suggestions for healthy eats, including use an incentive to do it more regularly — vegan and vegetarian options. consider giving back through working out. As Tom Evans writes this month, turning your In all, the issue strives to provide information and workout into a way to raise money for charity inspiration you can use to enhance your health is one of the hottest trends in philanthropy. and well-being, so you can focus on what means most in life. Our Frontdoors family wishes you and Speaking of philanthropy, if you want motivation your family the focus and fearlessness to make to do and give more, this month’s cover story 2019 a fabulous year. is for you. Frontdoors talked to Rob and Melani Walton, the powerhouse couple behind the eponymous foundation, about the many ways they give back. Although they have been incredibly fortunate financially, they’ve zeroed Karen Werner in on what’s truly important in life — helping EDITOR others and making the world a better, more sustainable place. They talked to us about @kwerner409 their philanthropy and the many organizations they partner with, both here and abroad.



The president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona discusses the opioid crisis 1. We know opioid addiction is a problem nationwide, but can you tell us more about the situation in Arizona? Suspected opioid overdoses and deaths continue to rise in Arizona. The total number of deaths (counted since 2017) jumped 55 percent in the past few months, from 1,645 in August 2018 to 2,547 in November 2018. Beyond the numbers, which rise daily, is the economic and societal toll, including the devastation of families. There are people, and those who love them, behind each of these numbers, with stories of loss and fear. Misuse of opioids crosses age, race, class, gender, politics and neighborhoods. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) believes this is an all-of-us problem that requires an all-of-us solution.


2. What is the Mobilize AZ initiative, and what is it trying to accomplish? Mobilize AZ is a multi-faceted program focused on improving Arizona’s overall health status in three specific areas: substance overuse, mental health and diabetes. In all three of these focus areas, Arizonans’ health outcomes are poorer than the national average. The substance-overuse initiative specifically is aimed at addressing the misuse of opioids and other substances to reduce overdose-related deaths in Arizona. BCBSAZ is investing $10 million over three years in this initiative for prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help providers, the community and local organizations fight the opioid epidemic.

3. What are some of the signs of opioid addiction?

For more tips, go to

• Taking more and more of a drug or taking it longer than intended or prescribed by a doctor.

6. What about employers? What kind of effect does opioid addiction have in the workplace?

• The inability to control or cut down use. • Spending a great deal of time and effort finding drugs or recovering from the use of drugs. • Having a strong urge to use. • Using a drug despite legal or social problems. • Cutting down on or avoiding important activities. • Using while doing something that puts yourself or your family in danger, like driving. • Using despite physical or mental problems. • Becoming drug tolerant, meaning needing more of the drug or needing to take it more often. • Having withdrawal — physical symptoms when you try to stop.

4. How do opioids lead to the use of heavier, illegal drugs? Prescription painkillers are often “gateway” drugs to illegal drugs like heroin. Some studies show that people who are addicted to heroin often started out abusing prescription painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin. While not everyone who abuses a prescription opioid will move on to abuse drugs like heroin, an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.

5. What are steps parents can take with their children or what can families do at home? Talk about substance use disorder early and often. Some things to consider when starting the conversation: • Choose a good time and place. • Approach your talk with openness, active listening and “I” statements. • Understand your influence as a parent. • Offer empathy and support.

In a recent survey by the National Safety Council, 71 percent of U.S. employers reported having been affected by employee misuse of prescription medications — including opioids. This included lost productivity, on-the-job errors and more workers’ compensation claims. The Arizona Department of Health Services has compiled many great resources for employers.

7. What resources are out there for treating opioid addiction? Treatment can look different for everyone, depending on his or her readiness to receive it. A great place to start is by visiting your primary care physician to discuss treatment options. The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family has compiled a helpful resource on treatment options that can be found at

8. Why is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona taking a lead role in this initiative? Inspiring health across Arizona is the foundation of what we do as the state’s largest locally owned health insurer. By putting an emphasis on key community health issues, BCBSAZ aims to improve the health of all Arizonans. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for the second time in the last three years. The decline is unlike anything our country has seen since the early 1900s. In its report, the CDC noted that two factors, drug overdoses and suicide, have contributed significantly to America’s shrinking life expectancy. Drug overdose deaths reached a record high of more than 70,000 in 2017, which is close to a 10 percent increase from 2016 and the highest ever in the United States in a single year. The rise in overdose deaths has



been attributed to the opioid epidemic and a spike in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl — a 45 percent jump from 2016 to 2017. This decline in life expectancy is deeply troubling and illustrates why our focus on making Arizona healthier is so important. Our Mobilize AZ initiative supports community efforts that treat and reduce substance use disorders.

9. What is the Mobilize AZ grant program about? The Mobilize AZ grant program helps strengthen statewide activities and resources by investing in Arizona community organizations already doing the important work. In an effort to accelerate the

fight against the opioid epidemic, BCBSAZ has awarded nearly $1.5 million through the Mobilize AZ grant program to seven Arizona organizations involved in education, treatment and recovery.

10. What’s ahead for the program? BCBSAZ is accepting proposals for Mobilize AZ grants from nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and for-profit organizations that are seeking resources to further efforts and turn the tide against substance misuse. To learn more, visit

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BOOKMARKED {what are you reading} Driven individuals recommend reads to start the new year

RUTH URBAN President and CEO of On the Money, LLC

R E C O M M E N D S : “Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security” BY JEAN CHATZKY H E R TA K E

“When it comes to personal finances, I believe in simplicity. ‛Money Rulesʼ offers just that: a must-read for those wanting to address personal finances in 2019. Chatzky offers a book of simple rules, understanding that those who succeed financially do so because they do a few basic things consistently. As a known rule follower, I love this format. From knowing your worth on the open market to shopping with a list to the

importance of giving back, ‛Money Rulesʼ is sure to give you more than a few tips that will start you down the path toward financial security. My favorite is counting dollars like calories — the concept of tracking your money is something I teach every day to entrepreneurs in my business. This is a book to keep on the shelf, providing a quick refresher any time you face uncertainty about your relationship with money.”

PENNY TAYLOR Phoenix Mercury legend, three-time WNBA champion and three-time WNBA All-Star

R E C O M M E N D S : “Little Fires Everywhere” BY CELESTE NG H E R TA K E “This book was the first Iʼve read by Celeste Ng and definitely wonʼt be the last. It was a beautifully told story that delved into intricate relationships, which allowed you to truly get to know the characters. Ng, in her unique style, shows the good and bad in human nature: We are all flawed, nobodyʼs perfect,


everyoneʼs unique and complex. Itʼs not a fast-paced read, but rather a slow, beautiful unraveling one. I loved being embraced into this world and feeling a sense of belonging and understanding. After all, isnʼt that what we all hope for when we escape our lives and immerse ourselves into a book?”

BOOKMARKED {what are you reading}

LUKE KAYYEM Executive leadership coach

R E C O M M E N D S : “Hug Your Customers” BY JACK MITCHELL H I S TA K E “Hugging can be understood and used in various

contexts. It can literally illustrate hugging or maintaining a positive connection with the client or consumer. Getting out of the traditional trap and understanding that activities such as sending a handwritten card or a small gift to your loyal group of customers can generate massive return revenue and increase lifetime client value. Showing love and appreciation for being loyal to you and your product or service is regarded as hugging. The key message in this book: Hug your customers

physically, emotionally and even financially! Do everything you can to help them, even if it doesnʼt give you any immediate financial gain. Build long-term customer relationships based on trust and respect. Hugging your customers doesnʼt just keep them happy and bring you success; itʼs more fulfilling for you, too. Since personally introducing hugging to my own brand and company culture, I have witnessed a massive amount of loyalty and gratitude for all we do!”


Olympic athlete, world record holder and founder of Personal GOLD, the Olympic medal-winning fitness app

R E C O M M E N D S : “How to Make Disease Disappear” BY DR. RANGAN CHATTERJEE H I S TA K E “This is the missing instruction manual for

health in the modern day. Dr Chatterjeʼs model includes the same four pillars of health that we use to help Olympic athletes be successful,

using similar techniques to maximize health and eliminate the use of drugs. Similarly, by following this easy-to-use guide, anybody can maximize their health and make disease disappear.”


OFFICE DOORS {valley changemakers}

JACQUELINE ALLEN, DDS Past-president and founding member of the Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation Karen Werner | Editor

Dr. Jacqueline Allen’s voice is unmistakable: as dynamic, empathetic and strong as it is filled with emotion when she talks about her work at the Arizona Mission of Mercy (AZMOM) event at the Arizona State Fairgrounds last month. “Every day is a challenge, coming here and doing this for people. It makes you realize the world can be a better place and that we can help each other.” Allen is past-president and founding member of the Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation


(CADSF), the organization that hosts the event. “We do about $2 million of dentistry over two days and see about 2,000 patients — many who’ve been in pain for years but haven’t gotten treatment,” she said. Started by CADSF in 2012, AZMOM brings together hundreds of dentists, oral surgeons, hygienists and lab technicians — along with more than 1,500 other volunteers — who all donate their time to provide dental care and education to underserved Arizonans. Operating like a MASH unit, CADSF

Every year, the Central Arizona Dental Society Mission of Mercy event helps thousands of people in need of dental care at no cost. Photos: Karen Werner


sets up portable dental-care stations to perform fillings, extractions and cleanings, and even to create custom-made dentures. Processes that normally take weeks are done in one visit.

“And it’s not just a health issue,” Allen said. “It’s a psychological issue as well. When people live like that, they feel worse about themselves and maybe don’t take care of themselves.”

Even more impressive than the work being done is the compassion that Allen puts behind it. She readily admits that the patients — who include unemployed individuals, veterans, seniors and people experiencing homelessness — are not always ideal clients. “They smell, a lot of them have drug issues, you can’t understand many of them when they talk, but it’s about caring about each other,” she said. “If we start with being kind and taking care of each other, it makes our community stronger.”

Allen has special empathy for people struggling with psychological issues. Her son James fought a battle with mental health for years and took his own life in 2012 at the age of 23.

Strength is something Allen knows about. In the early 90s, she was a single parent of two small children when she decided to make a bold move. “I knew that if I wanted to send them to college, I needed to make a better income. So I decided to go to dental school after 10 years of being a hygienist,” she said. Allen left a stable job, took on debt and packed up her family to attend dental school in Kansas City. Along the way, Allen realized she liked getting people out of pain, so upon graduation, she enrolled in the endodontic program at the University of Minnesota. After graduating, she moved to Arizona to be closer to her parents and brothers, who had moved here during her time in school. Through her journey, Allen came to understand the vital link between teeth and overall wellbeing. “If you think about the mouth, it’s kind of the entryway to our world,” she said. “We not only communicate, we show affection, get nutrition and breathe through our mouths.” Beyond that, oral health is intricately tied to overall wellness. If you don’t have enough teeth to properly chew food, the work is done in the digestive system, creating more acid and ulcers. Increased risk of heart disease, dementia, respiratory and kidney infections — the ramifications of poor oral health go on and on.

14  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019 Walter, the World’s Largest VW bus.

“That’s really, personally, why we do this,” said Allen’s husband, Kevin Conroy, CADSF executive director. “James could have easily been one of these people.” So Allen, Conroy and their extended family gather for the event each December — traveling from Illinois, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and more — to support what has become a family tradition. “We don’t have time to decorate for Christmas, but we know that we’ve done this,” Conroy said. And though they realize AZMOM can only make a dent in the need for dental healthcare in Arizona, they recognize that, for the people receiving treatment, the work can be life-changing. Maria Arreola, a patient who received treatment, gushes about the event for “giving me back my smile that I was embarrassed to show off.” And she’s not alone; many patients sob when seeing their new dentures for the first time. Others come back in subsequent years, not as patients but as AZMOM volunteers. “I see the same people I’ve seen for seven years. They know me by name,” Conroy said. “They’ll tell me they got a job. Little things like that make a big difference in their lives.” “It’s very humbling,” Allen said. “They’re grateful because somebody has sat and listened to them and provided human contact.” Allen received a Health Care Heroes Award from Phoenix Business Journal last August for her steadfast commitment to the underserved. And she, Conroy and the other members of CADSF will continue to work free of charge to provide dental care to people throughout Arizona.

“There are forgotten people,” Allen said, “and they are around us all the time. Having my son in my life and the things that happened make me more acutely aware of that.” So Allen continues to raise funds and enlist volunteers to serve the dental needs of the underserved. She knows their problems are many and complex, but if she can help people feel better about themselves to a point where they’re not afraid to smile and that helps them get a job, it might make their lives easier. And that makes her life better, as well. “You have to consciously look for points of happiness and things to appreciate because life is hard for all of us, no matter how well people look like they’re coping,” she said. “We’re all human. And all of us need a helping hand.” To learn more, visit

Dental professionals are able to give back to the community through Central Arizona Dental Society events. Photo: Karen Werner

CAREY’S CORNER {carey peña reports}

THE CLIMB Kainoa Spenser summits lifeʼs challenges Carey Peña | Contributing Writer

Finishing up sophomore year at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Kainoa Spenser had no idea he was about to face the fight of his life. The international affairs major woke up one day not feeling well. The next day he passed out. Believing he was just exhausted from finals, Spenser tried to power through. He flew home to Arizona and was immediately rushed to HonorHealth. His organs were failing. It turned out he had Strep Group A, and while moving boxes out of his dorm room, bumped his leg. That turned into flesh-eating bacteria. Spenser was in a life or death situation. He was transferred to Mayo Clinic Hospital, where doctors put him into a medically induced coma. The flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis, ended up leading to the amputation of Spenser’s hands and lower legs. It’s impossible to imagine what it would be like to wake up in the hospital and hear this news; to find out that your life, at age 19, had been permanently altered. Grief and shock hit hard. When Spenser came to tape a recent episode of our podcast, Carey Peña Reports, I wasn’t sure what to expect. He had every right to feel bitter and angry, to wonder why this happened to him. But that is not the young man I met. Kainoa Spenser came in with his service dog, his mom and his Scottsdale-based fitness coach, 16  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019

Jesse Holland. His energy was magnetic. It’s the kind of energy we could all use more of. I wanted to interview Spenser not about the loss of his limbs, but about all that he has gained spiritually, emotionally and physically over the past year. And all he has given to others. HE RADICALLY IMPROVED HIS LIFE … AND LIVES AROUND THE WORLD “When I got out of the hospital a little over a year ago I was connected immediately with Kyle Maynard. He was born with congenital amputations. Seeing how he was able to transform that tragedy into something that is inspiring to all, and has radically improved his life and lives around the world, was cool to see. How he was able to turn his pain into … purpose,” Spenser explained. Inspired by Maynard’s story, Spenser got to work alongside Jesse Holland. The two met after Spenser spoke at an event for K2 Adventures, for which Holland is a mountain guide. They began to chart a course for Spenser’s recovery. “Kainoa often shows me and everybody what we can do. That we are not a victim,” Holland said. The first objective for Kainoa was to get back to holding a golf club and to have enough stamina to be able to swing. He met and surpassed that goal over the past year, having golfed in two tournaments. “Improving your mental health starts with improving

Spenser credits his family for providing the support heʼs needed to adjust, persevere and triumph over the past year.

Spenser and the K2 Adventures team reached the summit of Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko, part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves in New South Wales.



FIND YOUR TRIBE AND LOVE THEM HARD The Arizona community has rallied around Kainoa Spenser and his family using the hashtag #LiveLikeKainoa. This has been life-changing for the Spensers. Kainoa’s mom, dad and younger brother have been right by his side, but their journey has not been easy and the family has not been without some very dark days. Spenser is open about the fact that he allows himself to be depressed at times — as long as there is an end date.

Spenser (center) trained hard in order to reach the 7,300-foot summit of Mount Kosciuszko.

your physical health,” Spenser said of his ongoing recovery and the lofty physical goals he has set for himself. Next, Kainoa Spenser joined K2 Adventures and Jesse Holland on a trip to Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain. Flanked by Holland and master mountain guide Kevin Cherilla from K2 Adventures, Spenser made the climb with a mix of a specialized recumbent bike and the use of prosthetics. He made it to the highest peak on the continent and Cherilla said there was not a dry eye on the summit.

“Nothing is wrong with having those [dark days], but the best part is knowing that it’s going to end. And setting the end date,” Spenser said. “You can feel bad for yourself, and eat the worst food for yourself, and watch all the movies you want, and sit on the couch. But know on Monday when you wake up that’s the end, and you are moving forward.” Spenser has become an inspiration to the Arizona community where he now lives, to the Seton Hall community in New Jersey where he previously went to school, and also for people all over the world who have discovered his story through TV interviews, social media and podcasts. Spenser credits focus and faith. “I have a major connection with God,” Spenser said. “There’s something greater for this purpose and you have to find those motivating factors outside of yourself.” To hear Spenserʼs full interview, visit

Spenser later posted on his Facebook page: “On December 15th, 2018, I had the opportunity to summit Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, which is one of the 7 summits of the world! We completed the summit in 3 hours and 15 minutes! Thank you so much to all of the incredible organizations and people that it took to make this happen .... Thank you so much to everyone who has been there from the beginning .... Our lives truly change when we surround ourselves with the right TRIBE! I just happen to have the best tribe around!”




AC N ICN IN HT TH HE E SS TTAARRSS AARR I ZI Z OO NA 2 0 21 09 1 9 D ADN GGWWI ITTH NA benefitingthe theNational National Kidney Kidney Foundation of of Arizona benefiting Foundation Arizona Benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona

February 22, 2019 J W M a r r i ot t C a m e l b a c k I n n R e s o rt & S pa

Andy Chambers : : Sarah Dobbs Zach Heasley : : Anja Imamovic Ian Schwartz : : Briana Santiago Ustymovych Marcus Seiler : : Mariyana Vasileva Jarrod Smith : : Gergana Slavova-Daniels

event chairman

Jamie Andersen

Guilding Light Awa r d R e c i p i e n t

Nancy Spetzler

for ticket info and sponsorships visit



c e l e b r i t y s ta r & P r o d a n c e r s Mackenzie Darling Berk : : Elvin Dioquino Laura Bianchi : : Kristijan Burazer Dr. Harini Chakkera : : Damir Karaman Dr. Sheetal Chhaya : : Daniele Cavallo Ali Dugaw : : Radomir Pashev Andrea Tyler Evans : : Ivan Dishliev Kerrie Addante Jacobs : : Tudor Alexander Racquel Miller : : Nikolay Kralev Dr. Jaya Raj : : JC Yeh Dr. Natalee Sansone : : Yavor Genev Denise Viner : : Elijah Armstrong


Rob and Melani Walton Discuss Philanthropy and Partnerships, From Local to Global


he Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is an organization whose work can be seen here in our Phoenix community and around the world. Created by Rob and Melani Walton, the foundation is an example of how this couple is driven by their philanthropic work.


elani Walton is passionate about supporting innovation in education, arts and humanities, brain health, consciousness studies, well-being, conservation and sustainability. She serves and has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at ASU, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Women’s Forum, Conservation International, National Park Foundation, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent de Paul


and The Nature Conservancy.


ob Walton is co-chairman of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. In addition to his work through the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, he is involved in environmental issues as a member of the Conservation International board of directors and through the Walton Family Foundation. Rob served as chairman of Walmart from 1992 to 2015. Rob and Melani were kind enough to kick off 2019 with a conversation with Frontdoors. In it, they opened up about their love of nature and the environment, the power of the arts, and the spirit that guides the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation.

Melani and Rob Walton with their Italian Greyhounds Lulu and Jazzy. Credit: Allison Jones

Frontdoors: Tell us about your love for nature. Did you always enjoy being outdoors? MELANI: I grew up on a ranch in Montana — Big Sky Country — and spent most of my childhood outdoors. Riding horses was a part of life, from checking on our cattle and farmlands to weekend competition and shows. Also, my father was a banker for ranch and agricultural loans throughout the northwest region of the U.S. so we traveled extensively. Our summer vacations were spent touring over a dozen national parks. And every summer to this day we visit the Badlands and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A lot of my views, and the issues I care about now, were influenced by living with nature and having a strong connection to the land.

ROB: I grew up in northwest Arkansas, being influenced by my father and mother, who loved the outdoors. Our family spent a lot of time visiting really special places, like the Buffalo River in Arkansas, which was the country’s first National River. When I was young, my parents would pack my brothers and sister into a station wagon and go camping all around the country — to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Grand Canyon. A lot of the personal interests I’ve developed over the years grew out of the things we did outdoors, as a family. Frontdoors: Why did you decide to start a personal foundation? MELANI: We’re lifelong believers in giving back, helping others. Both of our families instilled those


Arizona State University president Michael Crow joined Melani and Rob Walton at the announcement of the Waltonsʼ initial investment in sustainability work at ASU in 2012. Photo courtesy of the ASU Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service.

beliefs in us. More so, we have a strong support staff/team that extends beyond us in managing our philanthropic investments. The diligence of our team in working with grantees to establish and monitor performance outcomes is commendable. Frontdoors: How does your foundation reflect the causes that are important to you personally? MELANI: The foundation hopes to create bridges between organizations so they can work together on solutions to big problems, having far greater impact than they could on their own. Often that means supporting innovative local projects or initiatives and seeing them grow into something bigger — taking the local and making it global.


We’re honored to work with organizations here in the Valley and around the world that are committed to learning, and to advancing knowledge. Many have a big vision about what’s possible. Our foundation’s focus areas don’t fit into traditional buckets; our foundation aspires to help others by elevating “people, planet and purpose.” Frontdoors: We understand you’re embarking on a new partnership with ASU. Tell us about that. ROB: We’ve been partners with Arizona State University for a number of years, and it’s been a wonderful relationship. We started back in 2012 with funding to establish the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. What the foundation is


doing now is a three-year renewal of funding for what has evolved to a more permanent Walton Sustainability Solutions Service. The goal is to establish ASU as a global leader in developing solutions to the sustainability challenges we face in the world, and to identify and nurture the leaders who can take on the task of implementing those solutions. ASU is taking their research and knowledge, testing it in the real world and then figuring out ways to take solutions to scale. Frontdoors: How did the partnership come to be? ROB: ASU president Michael Crow approached Melani and me in 2011 about opportunities to take the most promising sustainability solutions out to business, government and the social sector. Everyone felt this project should focus on solutions and financial sustainability. We appreciate ASU’s vision and eagerness to make real change. Frontdoors: Will you have ongoing involvement in the program? MELANI: Rob and I were involved in developing the initial road map for creating sustainable solutions that could live outside the walls of an institution. We remain committed to this vision

and the leaders making this a reality in our world. The sustainability work at ASU is significant and global in scale, reaching across six continents and deep into communities to help empower young students, families — really everyone — in making a difference in their daily lives. ASU is committed to making sustainability accessible to all. Frontdoors: Regarding sustainability, how do you define it? ROB: For me, sustainability is about creating a world where people work to improve the environment. It’s about recognizing that people and the earth need to be in balance. We’ve done a lot of work with Conservation International on projects aimed at finding that balance between human needs and nature’s needs — so they both contribute to sustaining life. Sustainability is about aligning the natural order with human need — finding ways to ensure people and the planet exist in harmony. Frontdoors: Why did you decide to extend your philanthropy to Arizona? MELANI: Rob and I are committed to supporting the communities in which we see potential for

Students attending ASU’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Festival attempt to make the most of their resources in a sustainability game created as part of kits provided to science museums across the globe. The kits were originally piloted at Arizona Science Center before reaching science museums in more than 30 countries.



growth and real change. Our partners often start small but they think creatively and grow to have much larger impact on a national and even global scale. Arizona Science Center is a great example. They’re a well-run organization that leads beyond their size. Their local impact with a global perspective led to the development of ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative Science Museums program. The Arizona Science Center piloted the program locally and it now reaches close to 200 museums across the U.S. and more than 30 countries. It’s a great example of how local action can lead to global impact. Frontdoors: We know that brain health and consciousness studies are also interests of yours. Would you talk about your work with the Arizona Science Center on that front? MELANI: The Arizona Science Center helped us create the Walton Optimal Neurological Discovery Education and Research — or “W.O.N.D.E.R.” — Center. We believe children should have the opportunity to ask questions, to live in wonder, and be inspired to take brave steps going forward in uncharted territory to find answers. The W.O.N.D.E.R. Center gives children, and adults, a great opportunity to learn about everything from neuroscience to mindfulness to brain anatomy. We’ve used the same name — W.O.N.D.E.R. —
with programs the foundation supports through other partners, such as The Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Theatre, tying together the healing power of both the arts and science. Frontdoors: Let’s talk about a couple of those W.O.N.D.E.R. projects. You support a program at Phoenix Theatre called Partners That Heal, right? MELANI: Yes, this is a terrific project with a goal of bringing laughter and joy to patients experiencing health challenges. Partners That Heal is a theater troupe with an enormous repertoire — acting, improv, puppetry, music — they use to deliver very personal performances at care facilities such as


Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The Partners program is meaningful because healing isn’t just about medicine or surgeries. It’s another good example of something that started local but is now looking to expand beyond the Valley. Frontdoors: What about Phoenix Symphony’s B-Sharp Music Wellness, another W.O.N.D.E.R Project? MELANI: The concept is similar to the Partners That Heal Project. B-Sharp recognizes the power of music as a healing force. The musicians give people an opportunity to enjoy the experience of a symphony, even if they’re in a homeless shelter or hospital. Another really great aspect of B-Sharp Music Wellness is the program’s outreach extends to Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. It’s helping researchers understand how music can reduce stress and possibly help people on a much bigger scale. Frontdoors: What other local organizations do you support? MELANI: We’re drawn to projects and organizations committed to promoting healing in the broadest sense. There are several here in the Valley that are doing great work. The foundation supports the Barrow Neurological Institute through the Rob and Melani Walton Neuro-Rehab Gym, which looks for ways to heal that blend science and creativity, to help people who have suffered brain and spinal cord injuries. The foundation has also supported the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Scottsdale to help physicians find new ways of caring for patients and rethink how people can heal. On the conservation side, the foundation has worked closely with Liberty Wildlife. They’re doing a fantastic job caring for injured animals and helping educate people about the wildlife that’s native to our region. Frontdoors: You helped to create the Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm at St. Vincent de Paul. Why was that something you became involved with? ROB: Our values align with the values at

TOP | Melani and Rob Walton are co-founders of Arizona Science Centerʼs W.O.N.D.E.R. Center. BOTTOM LEFT | Professional actors from Phoenix Theatre Partners That Heal, a W.O.N.D.E.R. Project, deliver therapeutic improvisational theater to a young patient. BOTTOM RIGHT | A Phoenix Symphony musician greets a patient following a performance through the Symphonyʼs B-Sharp Music Wellness, a W.O.N.D.E.R. Project. The program recognizes the power of music as a healing force for those facing adversity.


TOP | Melani Walton greets a young gardener at the dedication of the Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm at St. Vincent de Paul. BOTTOM LEFT | Melani and Rob Walton with Liberty Wildlife executive director Megan Mosby prepare to release a great horned owl at the dedication of the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife. BOTTOM RIGHT | Rob and Melani Walton on-site with Conservation International researchers and conservation leaders at the Bird’s Head Seascape in Raja Ampat, Indonesia — home to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet.



St. Vincent de Paul. That’s why we’re so proud to work hand-in-hand and side-by-side with them. We’re inspired by the way St. Vincent de Paul serves people with dignity and compassion. And we’re impressed with how they’re able to leverage resources through thousands of volunteers and through business partnerships. MELANI: The first time I visited St. Vincent de Paul it left a big impression on me because I was deeply moved by the commitment of the staff and volunteers. They provide people not only with food and shelter, but hope, dignity and respect. St. Vincent de Paul has created an opportunity to foster the relationship between people and planet through an investment in the human spirit and our capacity for change. Frontdoors: What about your work internationally? Can you talk about a few of the organizations the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation supports? MELANI: It doesn’t matter if you live in Arizona
 or Africa, we’re interconnected and our health depends on the planet’s health. So it’s important to us to support organizations working on issues of conservation, sustainability, health and healing overseas. The foundation has had a long-term relationship with Conservation International, which does excellent work in maintaining the great wild places of the world and finding ways in which people and the planet can live in harmony. In Indonesia, for example, we’ve worked with Conservation International and others to protect the Bird’s Head Seascape, which is 500 islands and reefs and one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on the planet. In Africa, the foundation is partnering with African Parks Foundation. They’re a nonprofit that’s done wonderful work improving the management of parks and protecting species at risk, like lions, black rhinos and elephants. In fact, Rob and I recently assisted African Parks on the ground with a project that translocated 500 elephants for safety and protection. In Rwanda, the

foundation has supported Team Africa Rising, a competitive cycling team whose members — some of them children of the genocide — have become ambassadors for their nation. They’ve been a force for unity and good, promoting the importance of exercise, education and giving people opportunity. Frontdoors: Speaking of exercise, I read that Melani was a collegiate All-American in basketball and track & field. Would you tell us something about how growing up as an athlete shaped you? MELANI: Being an athlete has shaped every aspect of my life. Values learned through sports are the lens from which Rob and I both operate. Problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership and collaboration are essential to all working relationships. On our basketball team, we chanted, “T.E.A.M. — Together Everyone Achieves More.” That reflects the approach our foundation strives to take in connecting individual organizations to have broader impact as part of a larger team. My greatest joy as a philanthropist is working with amazing leaders within our community and across the globe who are creating impact in profound ways. Frontdoors: With all of your travel and philanthropy, how do you stay connected as a couple? MELANI: By finding things to do together — hot yoga, tandem cycling, pickleball and other racket sports, hiking, fly fishing, canoeing, paddle boarding, scuba diving, racing cars and car tours, spending time with friends and family, and just being in nature. Living a balanced life is a key to healthy living, and everyone benefits from fresh air and sunshine, eating healthy foods and a good night’s rest. Healthy living is about caring for your mind, body and soul, as well as caring for the world in which we live. Frontdoors: The environment is clearly important to you both. Can you talk a little more about that? MELANI: Growing up in Montana and the Badlands,



Rob and Melani Walton have worked alongside environmental researchers around the world to understand threats to endemic species.

I was surrounded by natural beauty. Big skies. Clean air. Lots of sunshine. That definitely influenced my belief in the importance of conservation and sustainability. Also, my service on the local Nature Conservancy board and appointment on the board of the National Park Foundation expanded my understanding of our local and national environmental challenges. On a global scale, Rob and I traveled to more than 20 countries in 20 months to assess ecosystems throughout the world. That was over 12 years ago, and today we’re inspired even more to


become involved with on-the-ground efforts. ROB: My interest in environmental issues initially grew out of a family connection to the land. But my awareness of these larger environmental issues really developed after I got involved with Conservation International. You grow to realize the world is fragile and it’s so important we preserve it for future generations. It’s important for my grandchildren — and for all children — that we try to make a positive difference.

The Waltons lead an active lifestyle and enjoy outdoor activities together such as hiking, canoeing and tandem cycling. Credit: Kay Images

Partner Organizations The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation works intimately with grantees and appreciates the work they do. Here are some of the many organizations the foundation partners with: African Parks Foundation

Mayo Clinic

Arizona Science Center

Phoenix Symphony; B-Sharp Music Wellness, A W.O.N.D.E.R. Project

Arizona State University;
Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service 
 Barrow Neurological Institute 
 Conservation International Liberty Wildlife

Phoenix Theatre; Partners That Heal, A W.O.N.D.E.R. Project 
 St. Vincent de Paul 
 Team Africa Rising


NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

THE FUTURE OF FUNDRAISING IS FITNESS Forget the rubber chicken circuit Tom Evans | Contributing Editor

If you know the missus and me, you’ll find the following statement funny, but … we’ve been known to go to the occasional event here or there. You name it, we’ve pretty much seen it. Black tie. White tie. Bolo tie. No tie. We’re pleased and privileged to go to a lot of different fundraising events throughout the year for some great causes. And over the years, you start to notice subtle changes — trends that drive the charitable landscape in new directions. The biggest trend afoot right now is a move away from the old-school charitable gala. Don’t get me wrong, most galas are great. Some of them — the Heart Ball and Ryan House’s White Christmas jump out — are institutions that should not be trifled with. But people’s tastes change over time, as do the activities that are popular in any given community. Right now, one of the hottest trends we’re seeing is raising funds through fitness. We Americans get our share of criticism for our obesity rates, but the fact is that more people 30  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019

exercise regularly nowadays than ever before, and many more people participate in high-intensity exercise activities such as triathlons, road races or fitness challenges. According to Health magazine, fitness trackers are changing the way people exercise and encouraging more high-intensity workouts. Personal training sessions are more popular than ever, and the diversity of exercise available is greater than ever before. According to Running USA, the number of people participating in some sort of road race has more than tripled since 2005. What does all of this have to do with fundraising? For starters, more road races and fitness challenges to raise money for charity. Pat’s Run and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon are already Valley institutions, but other methods of combining fundraising and fitness are taking hold as well. Pat’s Run may be the most noteworthy charity event centered around exercise. Started in memory of U.S. Army soldier and Arizona Cardinals player Pat Tillman in 2005, the race generated more than $1 million in contributions to the Pat Tillman

The Village Health Clubs & Spas Fitness for the Cure has raised $1.2 million for TGen in the past eight years. Credit: Village Health Clubs & Spas

Foundation in 2018. The 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon is raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and, nationwide, the series has generated more than $320 million for charity. As another example, the Village Health Clubs & Spas hosts TGen’s Fitness for the Cure event each year, which has raised $1.2 million for cancer research over the past eight years. The daylong event started as Cycle for the Cure, but was such a hit that additional activities including hiking, tennis, yoga, fitness boot camps and interval training were added as well. Carol Nalevanko, president of the Village Clubs, said that the Fitness for the Cure event combined with the clubs’ other Valleywide philanthropic efforts is designed to create a unique impact through fitness. “We believe in the importance of making a difference in the community and are proud to have partnered with a number of local charities to raise money and collect everyday essentials that so many of us take for granted,” she said. “We are extremely proud of our TGen Fitness

for the Cure annual fundraiser and the impact it has made on cancer research.” I wrote last month about golf, and how it’s changing over the course of time. But golf tournaments remain a staple for fundraising, with many — such as the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament — reporting record fundraising in 2018. And that doesn’t even touch on the ever-expanding impact of The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. So as more and more people get into fitness, fitness gets more and more into the fundraising world as people escape the ballrooms and hit the roads. It’s a good thing — and it’s making me feel a little guilty about not getting into the gym today.





BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}


Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

7823 North 3rd Way, Phoenix, AZ 85020

32 West Rose Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Gorgeous, custom home located in the highly sought after, gated subdivision of Villagio in the Heart of the North Central Corridor. 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 4578 sq. ft., on 10.076 sq. ft. lot. Dramatic, wood-beamed ceilings, hickory wood flooring, custom tile work throughout, concrete and tile kitchen countertops, hand painted Italian tile insets, hand stained wood cabinetry, waxed alder wood solid core interior doors, Spanish cedar front door, antique vanities and four fireplaces! Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances in kitchen with large kitchen island. The backyard includes a huge covered patio, fully tiled spa, outdoor cook center, serenity water feature, outdoor fireplace and grass for play. Excelling Madison schools and close to all of the hot new restaurants, boutiques, and stores with which North Central has become synonymous. Do not miss out on the amazing opportunity!

Exceptional Mid Century Red Brick Ranch style home on a wonderful street in the Heart of the North Central Corridor! 4 bedrooms + den, 4 full bathrooms, 3467 sq. ft. on 15,651 sq. ft. lot. Spacious grassy front yard with mature trees. Wood plank flooring and custom shutters. Updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, 5 burner gas stovetop, warming drawer and walk-in pantry. Family room has original vaulted ceiling, Coconino sandstone fireplace and sliding doors with access to back covered patio. Very versatile floor plan. Backyard designed by Creative Environments 2018 includes covered patio, separate Ramada with built-in BBQ, firepit, swimming pool and designated dog run. Madison Schools! Close to all that North Central Phoenix has to offer. This house is a must see!

The Caniglia Group

Shelley Caniglia: 602-292-6862 | Steve Caniglia: 602-301-2402 |

Join Us:

TRENDS IN REVENUE GENERATION IDEAS FUELED BY THE EIDE BAILLY RESOURCEFULLNESS AWARD Join us on January 31 at the Phoenix Country Club for our Trends In Revenue Generation Ideas Seminar to learn more about the great ideas this award helped generate and gain inspiration on how to grow your organization. This event is free to the nonprofit community.


The Eide Bailly




Congratulations to Our Arizona Recipients: Grand Prize: The Be Kind People Project Runner Up: Furnishing Dignity Runner Up: Future Forward Foundation

GIVING IN STYLE {fashion in the philanthropy lane}

A BEAUTIFUL NEW YEAR… 9 TIPS FOR 2019 From Lisa Moore, Chanel beauty ambassador for Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix With 20 years of experience in the beauty business, Lisa Moore has cultivated a loyal clientele at Saks.

Tyler Butler | Fashion Writer


Change your skincare and foundation each season. Depending on the weather, your skin has different needs.

2 3

Mix serum and foundation together to get a more natural, glowing look.

Use your eye cream day and night. I like to keep my eye cream and serum in the fridge. It’s so refreshing on the skin and is great for puffy eyes.


Brows are sisters and not twins. Start with the side you struggle with most. It makes it easier to match. And use a lighter shade than your hair color to avoid brows that look too dark.


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You do not need to wear foundation with SPF to an evening gala.

Never sleep in your makeup — nighttime is when your skin is repairing itself and you want to have your skincare on.


When it comes to trends, find the ones that are right for you. Not everyone needs to contour their nose!

8 9

Pamper yourself. Book makeup appointments for all your special occasions. Drink plenty of water! (Always a good reminder.)


This Etro gown pairs an effortless silhouette with a vibrant paisley print, perfect for the spring season. Photos: Saks Fifth Avenue





Society of Chairs }

Frontdoors is proud to recognize those who volunteer their time, treasure and talents to support local organizations in a leadership role.

Adrienne Schiffner 2019 Dance with Me Gala Chair Benefiting Ballet Arizona,

How long have you been involved with the organization? I’ve been involved with Ballet Arizona in some capacity for the past 20 years: as a board member, a “ballet mom,” a season subscriber and supporter. I’ve served on the present board for the past five years. Why do you support the organization? Two reasons: The first is personal; I’ve always loved the ballet. It has a fascinating history going back to the court of Louis XIV; beautiful music, sets and costumes; and of course, the dancing. I’m inspired by the discipline and dedication of the dancers. Years of hard, grueling work go into the creation of a fairly short career. The second reason is because in Phoenix we are blessed to have a nationally recognized, worldclass ballet. Artistic director Ib Anderson was a protégé of the great George Balanchine and his career as both a dancer and director is well documented. His productions have raised the bar for the arts in Phoenix, and the prestige the company brings to our city is worthy of our support. Describe this year’s event: The gala will take place on Jan. 25 at the Phoenix Art Museum and include cocktails, dinner and dancing. As in past years, guests will have the opportunity to meet and chat with the dancers. After dinner, members of the company ask the guests to dance with them, hence the gala’s name, “Dance With Me.” This year’s guests will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Anderson’s Firebird which opens on Feb. 14 at Symphony Hall. We are also honoring Valley philanthropists Judd and Billie Jo Herberger, who have been very generous supporters of Ballet Arizona, following in the footsteps of Judd’s parents, Bob and Katherine “Kax” Herberger.

Favorite movie: “The Milagro Beanfield War,” directed by Robert Redford Favorite restaurant: The Capital Grille for its cuisine and ambiance, and Vincent’s on Camelback, always wonderful in every way. Proudest accomplishment: I was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship between 1973 and 1983, where among other things, I worked in the archives of Frank Lloyd Wright. I had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright and interacting with scholars and museum curators throughout the world. Secret talent: Needlepoint Talent I wish I had: To play the cello Fun fact about you: I grew up in Panama where my father was a ship’s pilot on the Panama Canal. He sometimes took me along on his transits and consequently I’ve been through the Panama Canal on almost every kind of sailing vessel, from the RMS Queen Elizabeth to a nuclear submarine to a cayuca (a dug-out palm tree).

To Nominate Your Event Chair, Co-Chairs, Honorary Chair or Board Chair, Contact 36  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019



Sometimes improving your health is as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables. But that’s not always easy. That’s why we created Nourishing Arizona. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is teaming up with people from around the state to make fresh produce available in more places and bring ideas to help Arizonans make healthy eating a daily habit.


Visit to take part.


HONORHEALTH VIRGINIA G. PIPER CANCER CARE NETWORK Providing care for the body, mind and spirit Catie Richman | Contributing Writer

THE STORY The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth was founded almost 20 years ago as a cancer care destination — a place where patients and their families could go to receive all aspects of treatment in one spot. Its goal was to simplify the overwhelming protocol that comes with a cancer diagnosis, including multiple doctor visits for radiation, chemotherapy and rehabilitation. “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place you could go and not only get all of that treatment but also be able to get the other support you need? That’s how the idea started,” said Caroline Berger, the associate vice president of donor relations at HonorHealth Foundation, and a 13-year breast cancer survivor. It was from this inspiration and a generous grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust that the center was established. Located at the Scottsdale Shea Medical campus, the center draws patients from all over the world who come for treatment ranging from radiation to chemotherapy to imaging


and surgical services, as well as for a community of support from compassionate experts. “The whole theme behind what we do is to have a caring environment,” said Nancy McCutcheon, manager of community outreach and operations. “You walk in and it says, ‘Dedicated to all the courageous people who are fighting cancer. May you and your families find inspiration, caring, healing and hope within these walls.’ That is the message we want every patient to receive.” A “bridge between care and the cure” was built, connecting the cancer center to the HonorHealth Research Institute, opening up access to groundbreaking clinical trials for qualified patients. “It’s the best of both worlds,” said Berger. “You have this nationally acclaimed center with all of this innovation and care that could be matched against many larger institutions in the United States, but you also have that feeling of a community hospital.”

THE CAUSE Cancer affects more than physical health. It can also take a toll on patients psychologically and spiritually. That’s why HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network is committed to providing personalized care that goes beyond clinical treatment to care for the whole individual — body, mind and spirit.

therapies designed to alleviate the stress and painful side effects of treatment and instill coping mechanisms to improve the patient’s overall well-being. Free yoga, drum circles, gong meditation, tai chi, reiki, art, journaling, knitting, embroidery and cooking classes are offered through the program.

Patients have access to support services including nurse navigators, social workers, exercise physiologists, survivor services, a board-certified cancer dietitian, and even Tina’s Treasures, a cancer boutique offering wigs, bra fittings for breast cancer patients, prostheses and specialized beauty classes.

“It’s helpful for people to see that the Body, Mind and Spirit program focuses on the whole person. You look at the needs of the patients, and based on those needs, you make a recommendation for therapy. Every patient is different,” said McCutcheon. “When you can get them to a place where the anxiety and stress are reduced, that helps them move forward in their healing process.”

Under the umbrella of support services, the Body, Mind and Spirit program provides complementary

THE FUTURE In the past couple of years, HonorHealth has embarked on a mission to provide leading-edge cancer care to patients at locations throughout the metro Phoenix area. Under the banner of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network, the organization has opened outpatient centers from Wickenburg to Avondale. The cancer Diagnosing and treating cancer requires a personalized approach that combines the kind of skill, research, care and compassion the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center provides. Photo: James Christy Studios

center at the Scottsdale Shea campus still remains the hub and home to the majority of Body, Mind and Spirit programs but as the network continues to grow, the support services are growing as well. “We want to add even more programs, looking

From exercise classes to events for the family, there is something for everyone going through a cancer journey. Photos: HonorHealth

at opportunities where we can do those exercise classes, not just here at the Shea campus but beyond,” said McCutcheon. “We want to be able to offer nutritional classes across the Valley and expand our Body, Mind and Spirit program even more.”

can come. In doing so, we open up another new realm of places for healing.” For more information, visit

Some locations have already begun to offer yoga and cooking classes and have even had pop-up Tina’s Treasures shops.


“Cancer is not limited by ZIP code,” said McCutcheon. “My goal is to create a space wherever patients Photo: LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup

PARTNERSHIP SPOTLIGHT The LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup welcomes HonorHealth as its Official First Aid Sponsor for the 2019 tournament. During the course of tournament week, March 19-24, medical representatives will be on-site at Wildfire Golf Club for any first-aid needs. Each year, the Founders Cup strives to expand its community impact by giving back. As such, a portion of ticket sales will be donated to HonorHealth to promote community outreach and educational programs through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network. For tickets and information, visit


KITCHEN DOORS {to your health!} Lisa Mullavey | Contributing Writer

GREEN NEW AMERICAN VEGETARIAN Phoenix | Chef and owner Damon Brasch has created a menu to please all palates, using 100 percent plant-based ingredients, vegan cheeses and mock meats. From familiar classics like hamburgers and cheesesteak sandwiches to rice bowls and wraps, there’s something for everyone. I picked up lunch for my husband and me, selecting their Original “G” Spicy Po-Boy for him, Thee Fighting Artichoke wrap for me, and an order of Green’s buffalo wings. Served on a toasted ciabatta bun, the po-boy features buffalo mock chicken topped with crisp lettuce, tomato and mayo. It earned a thumbs-up from both of us. My wrap was a delightful combination of artichoke and palm hearts, kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and greens — all fresh and tossed in a tahini and lemon dressing complemented with crunchy tortilla strips. I added blackened mock chicken and was glad I did; it was delicious. Finally, the wings. As a self-proclaimed wing connoisseur, Green’s version has my seal of approval. The spicy buffalo sauce and texture make them a tasty alternative to the real thing. Stop in, pick up, or order online.

POKITRITION Chandler | Pokitrition is a local build-your-own poke restaurant with two Valley locations. So what is poke? Pronounced (poh-KAY), it’s a dish native to Hawaiian cuisine that has become increasingly popular in the U.S. While there are many variations, poke often includes diced and marinated raw fish or shellfish served in a bowl with items such as vegetables and rice. At Pokitrition, you can put together your own custom bowl or try their signature and unique sushi burrito, which is what I chose. I filled it with spicy tuna and crab, marinated tuna, cheese, veggies, rice and Sriracha aioli for an extra kick. Wrapped in seaweed, the burrito had an ideal texture between the fish and the crunch of the veggies, and the spices nicely enhanced the fish’s flavor. The best part? Their fish comes from Hawaii and is fresh and never frozen. In fact, they only do business with companies that provide high-quality, sushi-grade product. Stop in, order ahead online, or have Pokitrition delivered to your home or office.

YOGURT TIME DOWNTOWN HANGOUT Phoenix | Whether looking to indulge or for a healthier alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth, Yogurt Time can do both. They feature several flavors of frozen yogurt, have a smoothie menu, and offer sorbet and two yogurt flavors made with almond milk. I must also mention that Yogurt Time has a vast topping bar with more than 60 items to choose from, including several healthy options and smoothie boosters such as whey protein. My mom and I recently stopped in for a sweet treat to top off our afternoon. She got chocolate yogurt with shredded coconut and sliced almonds and I chose a smoothie with vanilla yogurt and fresh banana and strawberries. We also tried samples of two of their signature flavors: coconut and salted caramel. The yogurt was light and creamy and there was a pleasant subtlety to each flavor that was just right — not too sweet. The smoothie was just as good and blended to the ideal consistency for sipping through a straw.


Mi Vegana Madre Glendale | Having started with a mobile food trailer and pop-up kitchen, owners José and Leticia Gamiz have realized their dream of opening a permanent location on the west side of the Valley. Located in Glendale’s historic district, their Mexican restaurant is a welcoming space that features a menu that is 100 percent vegan. Hungry after a long day, I stopped in for dinner. José and Leticia graciously walked me through their menu and made recommendations based on my request for something on the healthy side. I ordered two tacos, their carne asada (seasoned veggie protein) and taco de picadillo (seasoned vegan ground beef) as well

as a corn and queso empanada. The carne taco was topped with cilantro and white onion while the picadillo had onion and diced potatoes, both served on corn tortillas. I added their red salsa and a few squeezes of lime juice. Each had a robust flavor and spice that, along with the toppings, boasted a flavor profile and texture that made me quickly forget I was eating vegan meat. The empanada is oven-baked and filled with coconutbased cheese and corn served with their red salsa. I enjoyed the taste of the cheese — it was creamy, and the corn added sweetness. What a hidden gem!

A 2ND ACT {survivors giving back}

BILLY’S PLACE Honoring love and loss Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

Becoming a widow at the age of 30 was not something Juli Schragel expected. But that was what happened when her husband, Mike, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. Mike and Juli’s son, Billy, was only 15 months old at the time. Being an only child, Billy was advanced for his age. Around 3, he began noticing that other kids had daddies and he didn’t. And he let his mother know that the difference bothered him. Juli had attended an adult grief support group near their Illinois home that offered a program for children. “Once he started, I was amazed at how it helped,” Juli said. “Billy was 4½ when we moved to Arizona. The programs here were reluctant to take a child under 5. Making things more difficult was the fact that we live near Lake Pleasant, and there just weren’t resources in the West Valley. Even when he was old enough, it was a 40-minute, one-way drive to the sole children’s support group in Phoenix. It was hard to do at night and still maintain as normal a routine as possible.” Juli and her sister-in-law began having discussions about helping other families in the same boat. “Children heal differently from adults, and their 44  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019

needs change as they progress through different ages and stages,” Juli said. “We wanted to create a program that would do exactly what our mission now expresses: to provide support to children and families through their grief journey.” In 2012, they launched Billy’s Place, a grief resource center that not only provides support services for children ages 3 and up, but also acquaints parents with other services they may not know exist. A member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Billy’s Place has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. As a team, Billy and Juli have worked together to use what they learned on their journey to help others know there is hope after the death of a loved one. The organization offers ongoing peer support groups for children, teens and young adults through play, art, storytelling, music and just simply hanging out and talking. Grief can cause children and teens to feel isolated and different from their friends. Peer support changes that. Knowing their thoughts and feelings are not unusual, and that they are not alone, helps them cope in their strange new world — one missing an important loved one. Groups are led

Pillows is an activity that kids of all ages do at BillyĘźs Place to deal with their emotions. One side of the pillow features happy messages and the other is used when they get mad. Kids are allowed to hit the pillow or yell into it to release their anger.

Juli Schragel, founder of BillyĘźs Place, with her son Billy at a Sunrise High School football game.

Kids unwind at the dress-up station at BillyĘźs Place.

by staff and trained volunteer facilitators, providing a safe environment in which the children and teens can express themselves. “I’ve received some wonderful feedback from our program attendees,” Juli said. “One of our families had been blessed with biological children, but had enough love in their hearts to adopt two brothers, ages 15 and 9. Shortly after the adoption, the family was in a tragic car accident in which the older adopted brother died. Having witnessed his brother’s death, the younger adopted brother was angry all the time. He struggled at school with outbursts and his grades were at an all-time low.” But, Juli said, after coming to Billy’s Place and hanging out with other kids who had also experienced the death of a sibling or parent, he realized he was not alone in his grief. He used the coping skills he learned at Billy’s Place and, little by little, his parents noticed his meltdowns became fewer. Three months later, he was smiling more, his grades had improved and he was named student of the month at his school. Family support groups, kicking back with other kids, honoring the lives they miss — all of these help children along their grief journey. Juli and Billy continue along their own journey too, paying tribute to Mike, as well as to all of the families who need their support. To learn more, visit


OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

CHALLENGE BY CHOICE Why I’m dancing for a cause Andrea Evans | Publisher

In today’s crazy, fast-paced life, we often discuss “challenges” that come our way. These are unexpected, life-happens moments that many of us share via social media or email to let friends, family and associates know we may need a moment out of the fast lane to care for ourselves or take time to help someone in need. While my recent years have had their fair share of these moments, many of which I have shared here, I decided to choose a challenge for 2019. Thanks in large part to friends Leslie Rich, Brad Vynalek and the late Linda Pope, I have signed on to not only learn a Latin ballroom dance but to perform it in front of a live audience. All of this is in the name of a cause — a cause with family ties. 48  FRONTDOORS MEDIA | JANUARY 2019

Dancing with the Stars Arizona benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona is coming on Feb. 22. To prepare for this challenge, I have been taking ballroom dance lessons twice a week and the days are counting down quickly to the big day. Yes, I took ballet, tap and jazz as a child and pom-pommed my way through high school as a cheerleader, but this is a whole new thing. My instructor Ivan will be my dance partner for the event that is closely modelled after the ABC hit TV series, with a fundraising twist. Reminders like “lean forward,” “tippy toes” and “WAIT” have become a bit like being back in school as I learn a new subject. While I’ve always loved the pageantry of the TV show and thought

it would be a great way to exercise, I said yes to putting myself in this situation, hoping I don’t embarrass myself, for another reason: kidney disease. My Uncle Steve is a walking miracle. He has had three (yes, three!) kidney transplants over the course of 20+ years. The first from a stranger, the second from his sister and the third from his daughter … can you imagine? This long fight has meant there were many years he couldn’t do much due to the limitations that came along with kidney disease and surgeries, but right now he’s doing really well and making the trek from California to cheer me on at the big event. There are some other ties too: Our former nanny is on dialysis, my sister’s best friend has a 7 year old fighting and my sorority sister Mel donated a kidney to a stranger after signing up to be a possible match. All of my fellow dancers also have a tie to someone or several

someones with kidney disease, so the ripple effect is quite large once you join the effort. And so, we are now banded together through a challenge we chose, to not only learn to perform as dancers but to raise as much money as we can to assist the largest chapter of the National Kidney Foundation as they continue their efforts to provide care, education and hope to more than 600,000 Arizonans with kidney disease. Cheers to 2019, and to choosing a challenge with lots of glitter. Wish me luck!

Andrea Andrea Evans PUBLISHER


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