“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33
2013 Year In Review
Resting in His Love Throughout 2013, we were reminded time and time again of God’s love. Whether it
was meeting Make-A-Wish kids during our trip to Disney World in June, reconnecting with Wish families from previous trips at summer reunions, celebrating with single moms on the closing days of their new homes, or laughing with foster kids on Christmas Eve, even the most dire circumstances can be filled with love and laughter. God calls each of us show His love to one another. Thank you for your willingness to partner with us so all those who are touched by First Things First can experience at least a glimpse of who Jesus is to us. In Him,
Official Treasure House Launch In 2013, advances continued to be made toward
Governor Brewer (center) joined Kurt & Brenda, Don & Kim Cardon, & others at a special dinner for Treasure House. (Bruce Yeung Photo)
building the first Treasure House in Phoenix, a structured, supported living community for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Official paperwork from the IRS has been received to establish Treasure House Phoenix as a non-profit organization. In May, the Warners hosted an intimate dinner at their home along with Don & Kim Cardon to offer more details on the project to guests including Governor Brewer, Arizona Health Services Director Will Humble, executives from Safeway, along with other friends and colleagues. More details on Treasure House’s unique structure and efforts to provide excellence in programming while maintaining affordability can be found on its new website treasurehouse.org. Website visitors will learn more about Treasure House’s programs, staffing structure including Community Assistants who will live onsite, the location at Aspera at Joy, and prospective residents and their families can fill out a letter of interest. Check the website frequently in 2014 for continued updates on this project set to open in Fall 2015.
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Disney World: 100 families and counting! Ten Make-A-Wish families from Arizona (5), Missouri (3),
Illinois (1), and Iowa (1) joined the Warner family for a week of fun in Orlando, bringing the 12th year total number of families to 105! “For Those Without a Voice” once again joined the team as a generous supporter covering the families’ transportation with a $25,000 grant. Each family received their own villa at Give Kids the World, a non-profit resort for children facing life threatening illnesses, including endless activity options, free meals, and ice cream served all day. The group explored each of Disney World’s theme parks, enjoyed conversation over meals, participated in a praise and worship service, and parents were able to share their stories during a special meeting with Kurt and Brenda. The motto of Wish Kid Tyler and his family sums up the spirit of all ten families as they walk a road none of them would choose: Whatever It Takes! First Things First asks for continued prayers for these children and families.
C.H.E.E.R. Expanding with Best Buddies G iven
Kurt and Brenda featured in new assembly video.
the positive feedback from high school students and administrators of past participating CHEER schools, First Things First focused 2013 on expanding the program nationally teaming with Best Buddies. The pilot CHEER program will begin in February 2014 with more than ten schools hosting CHEER weeks to help enlighten students to the daily challenges faced by those with disabilties to create a positive atmosphere of respect and teamwork. Students will adopt disabilities for a day and an assembly will be held at week’s end featuring a video with Kurt and Brenda. High schools interested in getting involved for the 2014-15 school year can contact First Things First at 602-385-0840. #EqualRespect
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A Special Family Reunion 10 Years in the Making
Kurt, Brenda and their seven dwarfs hosted two
reunions in Phoenix and St. Louis to reunite with Make A Wish and Dream Factory families spanning ten years of “We’re Going to Disney World!” trips from 2002 to 2012. In Arizona, 22 families gathered in Scottsdale to enjoy swimming, ping pong, basketball and more as they reminisced and reconnected. Special thanks to Carrabba’s Italian Grill for providing dinner and Sandey Tenuto for capturing the event in photos. Families from Missouri, Illinois and Iowa met the Warners in St. Louis to enjoy games, food, bounce houses and, most importantly, catching up with each other. Special thanks to St. Louis Family Church, Jason’s Deli, Smoothie King and Images by Lori!
Helping Go “Beyond”
First Things First and the Warners’ relationship
with Ranken Jordan Rehabilitative Hospital in St. Louis goes back to the foundation’s roots in 2001. In 2004, Warner’s Corner was part of the Ranken Jordan relocation and expansion. In 2013, First Things First pledged $25,000 for the Warner’s Corner Teen Lounge in support of Ranken’s Beyond Capital Campaign as they look to double in size and capacity to serve hurting children.
The Arizona reunion had families and volunteers from trips in 2004-2012 (top) while the St. Louis reunion boasted families and volunteers from the first trip in 2002 thru 2012!
Competing with Kurt Kurt enjoyed friendly competition with roughly 200
people in 2013 through the Bracket Hoopla and Gridiron Survivor pools. In both, Kurt was outwitted by fans whose selections proved more reliable. The unpredictability of sports always keeps everyone guessing! The Bracket Hoopla winner, an elementary school teacher, used her time with Kurt as a call-in to her class. The winner of Gridiron Survivor is a longtime Rams fan. Thanks to all the fans who participated, the pools raised a combined $4,627.13.
arête = Excellence Kurt and Brenda and First Things First continue to mentor a group
of teens from Sunshine Acres Children’s Home thru the arête program and many have gone on to some exciting next steps. Sterling & Ashley are now at Honor Academy in Garden Valley, TX. Brandon is attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA, and Eric just started at the University of Chicago.
“Uniting” with Cedar Rapids Youth and Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity and local area youth welcomed special guest workers Kurt and Brenda in May as they raised the walls on one home and dedicated another as part of the inaugural Youth United program made possible through $125,000 in grant funding pledged by First Things First at the end of 2011. At the dedication ceremony for Theresa and the three children moving into the home, a college scholarship was also awarded to a young woman who actively served on the Youth United build site. The home under construction in May became home to Beni, his wife and their three children in October. The Warners and First Things First have been involved with Cedar Valley Habitat since 2009 in response to the flood of 2008 which devastated Kurt’s hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since then First Things First has helped generate nearly $1,000,000 in financial support for Cedar Valley Habitat and its families. In addition to financial support, Kurt and Brenda have made several visits since 2009 donning hard hats and construction gloves to swing hammers and work miter saws to be part of the wall raising on several of the homes the foundation has funded.
Florida Group Inspired by
Foundation spread Christmas cheer to individuals assisted by organizations in Cedar Rapids, St. Louis and Phoenix. Kurt’s family in Cedar Rapids served as Christmas elves handing out toys purchased by FTF and others for foster children and families served by Families Helping Families at a party sponsored by FTF.
Families working with Humanitri in St. Louis to transition out of homelessness received a personalized stocking filled with both practical and fun stocking stuffers as well as gift cards.
In November 2012, Brenda shared her story at a Bonita Christian Forum meeting
hosted by First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs, Florida. A group of Canadian snowbirds in attendance that night was touched by Brenda’s stories of blessings shared through Homes for the Holidays and decided to surprise a single mom in their area. With support from Aaron’s, the group went above and beyond to ensure a hard-working mom and her three children would have everything they need for a fresh start in their new Habitat for Humanity home which closed in March 2013! The group is working with Habitat to select another family in 2014! First Things First would like to thank this inspiring group of “snowbirds” for reminding us all that following His promptings leads to amazing blessings.
The Warner family personally delivered stockings to kids at Sunshine Acres in Phoenix on Christmas Eve. Carrabba’s Italian Grill donated lunch for everyone and Arizona Inflatable Events helped to provide entertainment.
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#13 on Hand for 13th Homes for the Holidays on February 13, 2013 Tears, screams of excitement, stunned moments of silence, and
hugs all around were the responses of two deserving families in St. Charles, Missouri who knew they were closing on their Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County homes but were not expecting Kurt and Brenda on their doorsteps. In partnership with Aaron’s, U-Haul, and Amway, the families were the 12th & 13th families in greater St. Louis to be surprised with Homes for the Holidays. Aaron’s provided both families with furniture, mattress sets, computer, and washer & dryer. Amway provided kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies, and air purification systems. First Things First together with support from U-Haul filled the homes with bedding, bath, and décor items along with groceries.
Dreams Come True While
the reactions were starkly different, the sentiment remained the same for two single moms whose lives were changed and dreams fulfilled as they took ownership of their new Habitat homes secretly filled with furniture and all the fixings by Christmas elves from Aaron’s, U-Haul, R&S Mattress and First Things First for the annual Homes for the Holidays program in Phoenix. Vanessa and her daughter Lorelei (16) toured their home in awed silence pointing out things they didn’t own previously like pots and pans and a Christmas tree. Tears streamed down the cheeks of Marina, mother to three teenagers (Natalie, 17, Andrew, 16, and Ariana, 14), before she even opened the door to her home, and squeals of delight and disbelief could be heard from within as the family discovered the treasures inside. First Things First thanks Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, as well as longtime partner Aaron’s for ten years of support valued at more than $270,000! In addition, a special kudos to friends from U-Haul, R&S Mattresses, Albertson’s and the Pedal Power Foundation for helping make dreams come true for Vanessa and Marina and their kids!
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Big FUN dRaised in 10th Annual Ultimate Football Experience
The Ultimate Football Experience
presented by Amway’s Nutrilite brand raised nearly $270,000 for First Things First! At the Draft Party and Auction at Octane Raceway, gridiron warriors from Amway (4 teams), Prosource, Remo Tulliani Gear for Men, and PetRays along with individual players who formed teams of eight competed for their draft position to select NFL players of the past and present to quarterback their team: Anquan Boldin, Andy Dalton, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Flacco, Michael Irvin, Greg Jennings, Brad Johnson, Brock Osweiler, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Weeden, Steve Young and of course Kurt. The following day, competitors played a full day of flag football at the Cardinals Training Facility, and received an intimate NFL experience including access to the Cardinals locker room, a praise and worship service, private Q&A session with the celebrities, stretching led by Cardinals Strength Coach John Lott, and Cardinals training staff on hand to wrap ankles, stretch hamstrings, and ice sore muscles. Training Table Sponsors P.F. Chang’s, The Good Egg, Wildflower Bread Company, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill kept everyone’s appetite satisfied throughout the weekend. Ultimately Steve Young and PetRays proved victorious over Joe Flacco and last year’s winners, First Things First, to win the Championship. Special thanks to Albertsons, Audi North Scottsdale, Auntie Anne’s, A Better Alternative Bouncy Things, Crave Chips, Fast Action Sports, Hensley & Company, Nike, NY54 Limousines, Royal Restrooms, Southwest Ambulance, U-Haul, Wheaties, White Water, and Bruce Yeung Photography who also donated products or services to help make this year’s event a huge success!
UFE 2013 Celebrity Line-up ... Back row L-R: Greg Jennings, Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner, Brock Osweiler, Anquan Boldin, Joe Flacco; Front row L-R: Steve Young, Larry Fitzgerald, Brad Johnson, Andy Dalton, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Weeden.
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Kudos St. Louis St. Louis did it again! Thanks to the generosity of the Bi-State area, more than 16,000 winter coats were collected through the thirteenth annual Warners’ Warm-up Coat Drive. Operation Food Search once again ensured the coats got into the hands of those who needed them through their network of social service agencies, homeless shelters, and social workers in the schools. A grant from the St. Louis Rams, as well as funds from Operation Food Search, First Things First and public donations, added an additional 850 new coats from Columbia Sportswear to the total as well! Special thanks to our Warners’ Warm-up teammates: FedEx Office, Walgreens, LookAfter Hair Company, USAgain, credit unions, police stations, A-Mrazek Moving Systems, KMOV-TV, KMOX, Y98, Fresh 102.5, and American Cleaners. Brenda honored veterans served by St. Patrick Center with brand new winter coats as a thank you for their service.
First Things First was selected as the
local charity by the five Mazda dealers in the St. Louis area for its all-new charitable giving campaign that ran from November 25, 2013 to January 2, 2014. For every new Mazda sold during the “Mazda Drive for Good” campaign, Mazda donated $100 to either First Things First or one of four national charities as selected by the new Mazda owner. The local Mazda dealers also served as drop off locations for the Warners’ Warm-up Coat Drive throughout the campaign. Mazda employees in St. Louis will also volunteer one hour for every test drive during the campaign.
Raffle Winners Shadow Kurt
Through Mission: Possible! Scholarships, First Things First
F irst Things First raffled off the unique opportunity for one gridiron fan and a guest t o b e Ku r t ’ s shadow for the Thursday Night Football game in September which featured San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The winner from southern California and his guest, both lifelong Rams fans, joined Kurt on the field for a behind-the-scenes look at the pre-game and halftime show on NFL Network. In addition, the duo watched the game from a suite with Kurt and other Rams Legends in town for the rivalry game! The package also included roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay at Lumière Place with dinner at Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, and luxury airport transport from JED CCL. In addition, the pair also witnessed the Cardinals become the Central Division Champions when they defeated the Cubs! Most importantly, the raffle raised over $21,000!
was honored to assist 78 youth groups from across the country with funding for their service-based mission trips in the US. The groups served food in homeless shelters, built homes, ran after-school programs for at-risk youth, completed repair work, assisted elderly in need, and more, all while sharing the love of Christ. As Hannah from Corner Fringe Ministry in Minnesota commented, “Even if you don’t feel qualified, He still uses you.” And a chaperone from Bethany Church in Iowa stated, “As we worked throughout the week, we learned lessons about the importance of intentionality, positive attitudes, and problem-solving. It was a great opportunity to grow in those practical skills while worshipping God through the work of our hands.” Applications can be downloaded at kurtwarner.org and deadlines for submission are consistent each year: April 1 for summer trips and December 1 for spring break trips.
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Keeping up with the Warners B.
A. Kurt and Brenda joined friend Trisha Yearwood for an episode of “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” on the Food Network. B. Kurt is all smiles with former teammate Larry Fitzgerald at his annual Fitzgerald and Friends Celebrity Softball game. C. Kurt joined the “Movember” movement to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues like prostate cancer. D. Kurt appeared on the Today Show to promote his reality show The Moment. E. Brenda was the featured speaker for a celebration of Serve Denton in TX. F. Kurt was in PA for Unequal Technologies’ new HQ opening to support their “Play It Safe” program. G. (opposite page) Kurt proved he has finesse as a server as he juggles multiple salad plates at Larry Fitzgerald’s annual Supper Club event at Morton’s.
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Keeping up with the Warners H.
H. Kurt poses with two players of the Elite Football League of India during a recent trip to promote the new league. I. Kurt joined fellow celeb Iowans Shawn Johnson and Zach Johnson back in his hometown of Cedar Rapids for the latterâ€™s Foundation Classic. J. The Warners followed the yellow brick road to the Best Buddies AZ event with Brenda (wicked witch), Kade (scarecrow), Zack (tin man), Jesse (Dorothy) and Kurt (cowardly lion). K. Kurt, Brenda and sons Kade (left) and Elijah (front), attended the 2nd Annual NFL Honors in New Orleans, LA prior to the Super Bowl. L. Key elements of Greatest Show on Turf reunited on set of NFL Network as part of the Rams Primetime Legends celebration in St. Louis. (L-R Kurt, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk.)
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2013 Friends of First Things First Helping First Things First share God’s love with the community with cash and in-kind contributions (Sincerest apologies if anyone was inadvertently omitted from this list)
$50,000+ Amway Safeway Foundation* $40,000+ Aaron’s Todd Brock Family Foundation* $25,000+ For Those Without A Voice Nike $20,000+ NFL Charities PetRays Prosource Foundation, Inc. Remo Tulliani Gear for Men $10,000+ Arizona Cardinals KMOV-TV John Merwin U-Haul Walt Disney World Resorts $5,000+ Daniel Carns Carrabba’s Italian Grill J Gerstner Donald Glaser* IMH Financial Corporation* Insight Direct USA, Inc. National Football League NY 54 Limousines Operation Food Search OolaMoola, Inc.
P.F. Chang’s R&S Mattress Liquidators St. Louis Rams Colin Trout Wildflower Bread Company $1,000+ Albertsons A-Mrazek Moving Systems Audi North Scottsdale Auntie Anne’s Cathedral of Faith Bob & Tracy Chinery* City of Grace Columbia Coats Webb & Cathy Edwards FedEx Office Doug Fitzgerald Mo Glancy The Good Egg Hensley & Co. Daniel Heyer Jason’s Deli Chesterfield KMOX Radio MarketPlace One Mattel Alan Murdock Royal Restrooms Rushing Family Trust Greg Smith St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation St. Louis Family Church Lisa Tucker Remo Tulliani* Wal-mart Nathanial Young Bruce Yeung Photography
$500 + Brian Brader Kenneth E Bunney Burlington Coat Factory John Collins, Jr. Crust Pizzeria Fed Ex Gap, Inc. God Feet Great American Title Company Rachel Hammil Daniel Huitnik Images by Lori Alex Jansen Gail Jansen Bret Holley Loews Hotel JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort Pedal Power Foundation Lynn & Glenn Robbins Smoothie King Manchester Judy Steele-Beckett Southwest Airlines Mr. & Mrs. Trevor Strawhecker Sandey Tenuto Photography U.S. Airways USA Network Wayne Foundation WestEd White Water Women of Faith
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2013 Friends of First Things First (cont.)
Helping First Things First share God’s love with the community with cash and in-kind contributions (Sincerest apologies if anyone was inadvertently omitted from this list)
$100+ A Better Alternative Bouncy Things All Star Framing American Cleaners America’s Taco Shop Arizona Inflatables Jake Baker* Barnes and Noble Bill’s Custom Frames Helen Boyd Anne Brennan Michael Brickner Les Clairmont Coca-Cola Crave Potato Chips Bruce Darrough Cecilia DeLeon Dominick’s Steakhouse Brenda Doner Senait Dyson Elements at Sanctuary Joseph N Eddings* Fairmont Princess Hotel Fast Action Sports Fine Art Framing Sally Giancola ICS Surfaces iPic Theaters Alex Jansen JED CCL Thomas Jochum Zach Jones William Ko Philip Kruis Christopher Krizek
Ludwig Klewer & Co LLC Lumiere Place Brian Mcgrath* Microsoft Sean & Scott Morgan Alan Murdock* Gary Newell* Origami Owl Anne Pals Paradise Bakery & Cafe Robert Radomski Theresa M. Ramsbottom Adam Ray Ritz Carlton Phoenix Romans 12 Disciple, Inc. Mari Rotty Tracy Senf Dorothy Sosnicki Derek Sotnyk Southwest Ambulance St. Louis Cardinals St. Teresa School Jaime Stephens Jason Stinson Tarbell’s Jerry Trout Truist Employee Contributions Greg Vanderschaaf Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign Wheaties Todd White Wildlife World Zoo B Susan Wilson *indicates portion for Treasure House
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PHOENIX, AZ PERMIT NO. 2659
One N. First Street, Ste. 735 Phoenix, Arizona 85004 Phone: 602-385-0840 Fax: 602-385-0841 Toll Free: 877-FIRST-13 www.kurtwarner.org
Warner family favorite and we’re confident soon to be yours!
Kurt is headed back to the grocery store! Except instead of stocking shelves, this time he’ll be on the shelves. Discussions are underway to put Kurt Warner’s Marinara Crafted by Crust on the shelves of grocery stores in Arizona. The marinara sauce is available now at Crust restaurants throughout the Valley. Those not in Arizona can still taste this delicious sauce by ordering online at crustrestaurants.com. Best of all, 10% of sales will be donated to Treasure House.