Local civic leaders donate $100,000 to help local children back to school

0729TPV Neighbors (Zieglers with kids)

For 1,000 local children, the thought of going back to school is now very cool thanks to the generosity of Paradise Valley couple Michael and Ellie Ziegler.

Civic and community leaders for decades, the Zieglers teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale with a singular mission: to give children, regardless of socio-economic factors, the opportunity to start the school year off on a positive note and on an even playing field as their peers.

“From that mission, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s 30 Days of Shopping’ initiative was born in 2013,” says Ellie Ziegler. “By the end of this summer, we will have helped 3,000 children in this community.”

0729Ns Neighbors (Zieglers boys)During the ‘30 Days’ events, which kicked off with a lively shopping spree for club kids on July 10 at Kohl’s in Desert Ridge and Scottsdale and continued with similarly sized sprees through August, 1,000 selected youth from the clubs each received a $100 Kohl’s gift card – courtesy of the Zieglers – to pick out clothing and other needed items for the new school year.

“Youth selected for the events are Club members and identified to participate in the events based on greatest need,” says Ziegler. “We also help members at the Club’s Peach Springs Branch located on the Hualapai Indian Community, who will shop at the Kohl’s Flagstaff location throughout the summer.”

As well as helping prepare children for the upcoming school year, the events allow community partners and businesses to engage directly with youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

“Volunteers from organizations including Kohl’s, Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club and Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club have helped us put this program on in various forms for more than a decade,” says E.J. Hughes of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “But to have one couple – in the Zieglers – step up to ensure so many greater-Scottsdale children – from Paradise Valley to Scottsdale to Fountain Hills and even on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community – get what they need for the new school year is truly inspiring.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provides a positive, safe and fun environment to help 17,500 youth of all ages and backgrounds develop the qualities needed to reach their full potential. The Club offers more than 100 youth development programs at the organization’s nine branches and multiple outreach sites located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Fountain Hills and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities.

For more information, visit www.bgcs.org.

0729TPV Neighbors (Zieglers Thank you)

Ms. Bailin is a volunteer correspondent at the North Valley Office of Independent Newsmedia.

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