Zieglers’ Back to School shopping days help local children

On the first day of four back to school shopping days sponsored by community leaders Ellie and Michael Ziegler, 220 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale children, selected by need, shopped for new clothes and shoes at the Desert Ridge Kohl’s.

“Because of this generosity, my children will return to school confident and ready for the challenges ahead,” Angela Chavez, club parent caring for six children, said in a prepared statement.

“It is a powerful movement when someone recognizes and appreciates a single/foster mother who goes beyond her means to try and provide for her family.”

Mom of 10-year-old Taliyah and 9-year-old Amirah, Ms. Chavez is also foster mom to four children ranging in age from infancy to teens. Ms. Chavez’s children have attended Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch in south Scottsdale since August 2015.

Taliyah, Amirah and 11-year-old Alazia shopped at the Prep Rally.

Each child is allotted $100 and paired with a community volunteer who serves as a shopping chaperon.

“In creating a day to fulfill back to school needs, Michael and I are the beneficiaries of thousands of smiles and indescribable joy,” said Ellie Ziegler in a prepared statement.

“Our dream is to make the next generation’s lives a little bit easier. We value and celebrate these kid’s resilience, courage, ideals and hard work in school, their homes and their communities.”

An additional 250 youth and teens from BGCS were set to shop later in the week, including members from the Peach Springs Branch who will go to the Kohl’s Flagstaff location, according to a press release.

To add to the excitement of the day, Arizona State University Men’s Basketball Coach Bobby Hurley and his 2018-19 team were on hand at the kickoff event with a message of inspiration.

Prep Rally relies heavily on community and corporate engagement, as each child is paired with their own adult volunteer including representatives of the Arizona Coyotes, Big YAM, Charles Schwab, GoDaddy, Sons of Arizona, Sunland Asphalt, TopGolf and Voya Financial.

“Ellie and Michael’s vision of bringing the community together through this event is what makes it so special,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS president and CEO, in the press release.

“Not only are our kids excited about new clothes and shoes, but volunteers get the chance to meet and spend a couple of hours shopping with them. We appreciate Ellie, Michael and all the volunteers for making this day memorable and fun for our club kids.”

The Zieglers have invested their time and more than $500,000 over six years to help outfit and prepare thousands of kids for school.

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