Category: Uncategorized

Goes With the Territorial

Keeping what was good, and updating what was outdated, was the mission of this makeover.

Romi Carrell Wittman

The late 1970s — the era of shag carpet, laminate countertops, and avocado green appliances — saw a boom in territorial revival homes. An architectural style born in the desert Southwest during the 1930s, territorial revival is known for its blend of Anglo- American building design with regional influences like adobe brick construction, low, flat roofs, wooden vigas, and sash windows. You can spot these beautiful and distinctive homes throughout Tucson by their iconic rectangular shape with stucco or adobe brick façades.

Michelle Carnes, ASID, vice president and senior designer with Dorado Designs, a Tucson-based design-build firm, was called upon to bring one of these 1970s gems up to date. The 3,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home, located near the Omni Tucson National Resort, had what designers call “good bones,” but it needed freshening up.

Although the homeowners wanted to modernize, they didn’t want to lose the home’s architectural flavor or character. “We talked in quite a bit of detail,” Carnes says. “They wanted a modern twist and an airy feel. We termed the design ‘modern territorial.’”

Like many homes of that era, the interior was dark and closed off. Though the home boasted several skylights and many expansive windows, the dark saltillo tile flooring and exposed brick seemed to absorb all the light.

Carnes’ design retained the original footprint of the home, but opened up some of the interior spaces to create a great room, giving the home a better flow.

One large room originally was divided into two areas, with one serving as a dining room, which was too far from the kitchen to be truly functional. Carnes had the dividing wall removed, exposing a hidden beamed ceiling, and turning the room into an open living room. It became the perfect location for the homeowners’ piano. “Cubby holes” made an ideal spot for books and items from their art collection.

Carnes revamped the kitchen so it is modern, comfortable and functional. The clients love open shelving, but wanted it to tie in with the overall style of the home. Carnes chose cabinetry in three different finishes to provide visual interest. White textured bead board creates a simple, but dramatic contrast both in the built-in hutch and the open shelving.

As Carnes points out, combining different textures and finishes in the kitchen while utilizing modern and traditional lines instills character in a typical functional space. “Several different focal points, from the island drawer detail, to the built-in custom hutch, to the rustic beam above the sink, help the space to seem comfortable and well thought out.”



The kitchen island presented a fun challenge for Carnes. She designed it so it’s intentionally off-center, thus making room for better traffic flow in the kitchen. “I needed to find a way to make it look centered even though it’s asymmetrical.” The solution presented itself in the form of the starburst light fixture that hangs over the island. “The starburst is centered on the sink, so your eye can ‘find the center,’” she explains.

Carnes tore out the home’s existing flooring, which was a mélange of saltillo tile, carpet and ceramic tile, and replaced it with poured concrete that’s consistent throughout the home.

Next she painted the exposed brick to brighten the interior. New exterior doors and windows were selected to continue the modern upgrades. “We updated everything down to the switch plates and only kept the master tub and door handles,” Carnes says. Last, but not least, she sourced new furnishings and artwork for the home.

That attention to detail extends to the backyard as well. The previous patio was too short and let in too much sun and heat to be functional. Carnes extended the patio, constructed a large fire pit and created comfortable seating and dining areas.


The driveway got a makeover with brick pavers; new garage doors were installed, and the front door was refurbished to maintain a consistent style with the home.

All in all, from the design phase to completion, the project took about seven months. The homeowners had traveled to Colorado during the construction phase and hadn’t seen the home as the project progressed.

“They didn’t come back once to check in,” Carnes notes. “They trusted us.”

The homeowners saw their “new” home for the first time when they stopped by during the final touch-up phase. “We were all there, and it was like an HGTV reveal,” Carnes says. “Every time the homeowner turned the corner, she kept saying, ‘Wow!’ She and her husband couldn’t believe it was the same house.”

Carnes enjoyed the clients and the project from beginning to end. “I do my best work when the clients trust me. I get to hone in on my intuition while staying in tune with their personal integrity, and create something that is thoughtful and original,” she concludes. “On this project, I was allowed that freedom and I put my heart and soul into it.”

Carnes revamped the kitchen so it is modern, comfortable and functional. The clients love open shelving, but wanted it to tie in with the overall style of the home.

Natural light, and the sleek vanity, shower and soaking tub add to this master bath’s luxurious feel.

A bold-tiled barbecue and area rug in slate blue, along with textured furniture, concrete flooring and a fire feature, make this outdoor area a well-thought out extension of the home’s living space.


Michelle Carnes, ASID, Dorado Designs,

The Pros Who Know: Citrus State of Mind

Desert Treasures Citrus Groves has been a Tucson treasure since 1947, when local residents could purchase fresh citrus and dates directly from the original 25-acre parcel located along Orange Grove Road. The property experienced a renaissance when it was purchased by Peter Larsen in 1972. He sold his products to local residents and wholesale customers.


The family tradition has continued through the second and third generations — son-in-law Chris Duggan and grandson Liam Duggan. More than 30 varieties of citrus and, more recently, dates are grown on the remaining ten acres and are offered seasonally at local farmers markets.

Tips & Trends

• White Marsh grapefruit is most prolific and available through most of the year, as they stay on the tree throughout the year, their sweetness improves over time. The Ruby Red grapefruit is prized for its dark pink flesh.

• Blood oranges, such as Sanguinelli, Moro and Tarocco, are the most requested orange, known for their deep red skin and flesh.

• Unusual hybrids have been developed, such as Mineola tangelos, Temple and Ortanique tangors that are prized for their juice content and tangy flavor.

• Mandarins are very popular. Dancy, Gold Nuggets, Murcotts, Kinnows, Honey, Fairchild and Daisy can be found early in the season.

• Unique and specialty citrus varieties, which are difficult to find in grocery store, include kumquats, limequats, mandarinquats, cocktail grapefruit, and pomelos.

• Navel oranges are sweet and seedless favorites that arrive early on the market. Cara Cara is a sought-after pink hybrid navel.

• Arizona Sweets and Diller Oranges are the most popular.



Oro Valley Farmers Market and Rillito Park Farmers Market,


Special Events

In the following story, we highlight two high-profile galas and an outdoor family fun event that are not to be missed.

DEC 14

The Angel Ball Hollywood — Now and Forever

Pianist Jeff Haskell “tickles the ivories” for Paige Cogdall, Angel Charity for Children’s General Chair (left) and Shawndee Berwick, Angel Charity Vice Chair, in preparation for the Angel Ball: Hollywood — Now and Forever. Photographed by Tom Spitz at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. Décor by Events Made Special.

On Dec. 14, travel back in time to the Golden Age of Tinsel Town for Angel Charity for Children’s annual gala fundraiser.

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa will be transformed with sumptuous décor in palettes of black, gold and silver, and the ballroom will sparkle with an art deco ambience of smoky lilac, rose gold, and shimmery gold and silver accented with rich red velvets. Guests are requested to dress in black or white tie, or Hollywood glamour to enjoy an evening of festivities that will include:

La La Land-inspired dancers Celebrity red carpet interviews Studio dressing room photos Chateau Marmont cocktail bar Star-studded casino and gift boutiques Silent auction Seated, multicourse dinner Dancing to Hollywood’s Midnight Special Showband Illuminated champagne bars “The Envelope, Please” $10,000 prize drawings The Beverly Hills Style Polo Lounge Jazz club piano and vocalist performances Late night after-glow dining selections

The beneficiaries from this year’s fundraising will be: Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services; Therapeutic Ranch for Animals & Kids (TRAK); along with eight additional organizations.

The Angel Ball Hollywood — Now and Forever

Dec. 14, 5:30 p.m.-midnight

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa Tickets: $375 each Respond by Nov. 24 to attend. Call 326-3686 or email Olivia Sethi at

Pianist Jeff Haskell “tickles the ivories” for Paige Cogdall, Angel Charity for Children’s General Chair (left) and Shawndee Berwick, Angel Charity Vice Chair, in preparation for the Angel Ball: Hollywood — Now and Forever.

Photographed by Tom Spitz at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. Décor by Events Made Special.


MHC Hot-Air BalloonFest Photo

This casual, family oriented event will feature jumping castles and obstacle courses for the children, a classic car show, tethered hot-air balloon rides, a balloon glow from 7 to 8 p.m., live musical entertainment, and a ball drop with cash prizes. Guests will enjoy the food trucks and eating area, Coca-Cola products, beer garden with beverages supplied by Hensley Beverage Company, and wine-tasting with vineyards from Southern Arizona. Dress is casual (wear walking shoes and bring a sweater or jacket, as the evening may be cool).

Parking is free, and free taxi rides home will be available.

This is a fundraising event with all proceeds going to support graduate medical education programming for new doctors and healthcare professionals in the Tucson area.

Media partners include and Fox 11 KMSB TV.

MHC Hot-Air BalloonFest Saturday, Nov. 9, 3-9 p.m. MHC Healthcare Campus 13395 N. Marana Main St. Tickets: $5; children under 5, active military and veterans, free

NOV 16

Salud! A Night to Remember Gala

Scenes from last year’s event. Photos by Kevin Van Rensselaer.

Join the TMC Foundation for a night to remember, as the non-profit organization celebrates life and honors the past by giving to the future. This is an exclusive invitation to an evening of sumptuous food, chilled libations, and amazing entertainment. Dance to the music of the LA ALLstars, a nationally acclaimed band specializing in highenergy performances of your favorite hits from all genres. Witness a spectacular performance from Cirque Roots, and purchase a raffle ticket to win a trip of a lifetime valued at $10,000.

This year’s TMC Foundation Gala is all about men, including an all-men’s gala committee, to help support men’s health in our community. Some of the health issues that concern men most are cardiac services, neurological services, urology and orthopedics. is a media partner.

Salud! A Night to Remember Gala Saturday Nov. 16 6 p.m. cocktail hour; 7 p.m. ballroom doors open The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa Tickets: $300 each For more information call 324-3116 or visit

Live help

Eyes on the Pies

Each of these distinctive local restaurants could win awards for their mouth-watering pizza

by: Betsy Bruce

Scordato’s Pizzeria

It’s 10:50 on a Monday morning and cars are already pulling into the parking lot at Scordato’s Pizzeria, waiting for the 11 a.m. opening. It’s no surprise that an establishment bearing the name of legendary Tucson restaurateurs is so popular. The eatery, made of brick and beams, sits where Stone Avenue meets River Road on the near northwest side. Seating 130 guests, dining areas encircle the central bar, which features high-tops and cherry-wood stools to pull up to a granite slab bar. The dining areas are made intimate under corrugated low angled ceilings, dark wood tables and hardwood floors. Framed posters — Cinzano, Barrilla — adorn brick walls. Sporting events air on a pair of big screen TVs; cold drafts are pulled from a 12 spout tap.

Scordato’s Manager Jeff Happoldt says, “The key is using high-end ingredients and making everything from scratch.” Dough is made daily using imported Caputo flour and crafted with the same level of skill as the finest bread. Favorite pies include the house made sausage and roasted cippolini onion with mozzarella and fresh sage leaves; and the Japanese eggplant, zucchini and roasted red pepper with aromatic trugole cheese drizzled with pesto and finished with Pecorino Romano. Takeout is available, but it’s suggested that customers savor a Scordato masterpiece in house to ensure the perfect crunch of crust, bubbling cheese and piquant pepperoni. Says Happoldt, “Fresh out of our 620-degree oven is the best you can possibly get.”

Be sure to look up as you enter and exit to take in a gasp-inducing silver and crystal chandelier that Liberace himself would have lusted after … as well as the pizza, of course.

4911 N. Stone Ave., 529-2700


St. Philip is the patron Saint of Joy … so what better place to get a heavenly slice of pizza than “Proof” at St. Philip’s Plaza on Campbell and River. GM/Owner Grant Krueger says he and his partners dug the double meaning. “We not only liked the name due to the rise of bread, we wanted to highlight our bar with the proof in alcohol. We’re very proud of our house-made pizza dough, pasta and bread, amazing craft cocktails and eclectic wine menu.”

Southern Arizonans experience a good part of the year in temperate temps, so half of the tables at Proof are outside. Fourtops sit under a roan-colored planked canopy lit by firefly strings; a fire pit warms when fall arrives. Inside, a “sleek, modern feel with rustic ambience” was the goal, with whitewashed wood floors, and a granite bar surrounded by industrial stools.

Pasta, salads and sandwiches are offered, but artisanal pizza highlights the menu. The oven-charred crispy thin crusts accommodate heirloom tomatoes, housemade mozzarella and other premium toppings. “Our Margherita pizza is our most popular,” say Krueger. “If you are going to measure an Italian restaurant, go authentic.” The mushroom pie is another favorite, combining mushrooms, goat cheese, truffles and scallions. Krueger’s personal favorite? “It’s got to be the potato! It’s so simple, but it takes technique. I like to add some crispy prosciutto if I feel like spicing it up.”

Brunch is offered Sundays at “Proof,” and its St. Philip’s sisters, Union Public House and Reforma. Check for musical performances in the shared courtyard.

4340 N. Campbell Ave., 789-7447

Fiamme Pizza

The aromas of mesquite wood and oregano greet hungry guests ambling toward a sliver of restaurant in the foothills, Fiamme Pizza, tucked into a supermarket strip on the southeast corner of Swan and Sunrise. Once inside, guests glimpse the source of olfactory delight, the brick pizza oven at the front of the house, shooting sparks (fiamme is Italian for “flames”). An open marble-slabbed kitchen is adjacent to the oven, and this is where fresh dough is worked into rounds and embellished with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh Fior de latte mozzarella, full-leaf basil, 24-month-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a variety of locally sourced ingredients.“The pizza at Fiamme is unique because we use ingredients and cooking methods that create a product that is one of a kind,” says Owner/ Chef Scott Volpe, adding, “The pizza is made with naturally leavened dough and cooked to a light, airy, crispy yet soft finish.”

The wide variety of pies include the Pizza Picante, a white pizza with Calabrese salami, Calabrian chiles, onion and mozzarella; and the “Grandma,” with family recipe sauce, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta and basil.

Two-tops progress along the pristine white walls, which are adorned with framed travel shots of both mother Italy and beloved Tucson. Grandmother Volpe is framed, pink-cheeked and 1930s coiffed, next to the myriad medals awarded grandson Scott, the six-time gold medalist at “Campionato Mondiale della Pizza,” in other words, the best pizza dough tossing artist on the planet.

An open ceiling soars above pewter-colored, wood-planked floors. Frank Sinatra segues into “Sh-Boom” and a vintage poster of Sophia Loren gazes at diners from the wall, her elegant fingers holding a margherita pizza, no doubt almost as delicious as can be had at Fiamme.

4704 E. Sunrise Blvd., 529-5777

Renee’s Organic Oven

What has blonde spikes, a big appetite and drives across the country in a vintage Camaro SS? Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, of course, host of the Food Network’s wildly popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. That famous rag-top pulled up to Renee’s Organic Oven right here in Tucson last year, and Renee and husband/chef Steve have been surfing tsunamis of tourists and Tucsonans when it re-airs — a dozen times so far. The obvious query is which Triple D designation does Renee’s fit? “That’s what we said,” responds Renee. Her conclusion simply stated is, “This is a guy, no pun intended, who just wants to highlight what people do really well.” Fieri joined Steve in the kitchen to make The Tailored Tony, “Our kind of foodie version of a Sloppy Joe,” according to Renee, using organic grass-fed beef, marinara, roasted red pepper, fresh basil and mozzarella on house-made organic focaccia. “When the episode airs, we have focaccia stacked from tabletop to ceiling.” Also composed for the affable television personalitywas the signature Spinach Dip Calzone, with creamy spinach, artichokes, organic free-range chicken, roasted green chiles and cream cheese wrapped in a flaky, browned crust. Guy’s first-bite review? “This is dangerous Bro.”

The star of Renee’s is the pizza, despite the worldwide publicity for the sandwich and calzone. “We’ve been perfecting the all-organic pizza crust for as long as we’ve been open,” says Renee. “The key, however, is not being too fussy. We are not jamming to Beethoven in the morning, doing exacting science; it’s about the integrity of the ingredients.” No matter what area of the country a guest is from they find something about the pizza, which has a local flair, to love. “I truly feel we make a Tucson pizza,” remarks Renee. Favorites include the “Old Town,” elegant in its simple composition: fresh basil, Parmesan and Bacio Mozzarella (with a kiss of Buffalo milk). The sausage and roasted red pepper pie is a new addition and an instant favorite. “Jeff’s II” is named after the couple’s 17-year-old son, and it features organic free-range chicken (moist and flavorful), pesto, mozzarella, feta and pine nuts.

The 40-seat establishment, (mostly inside, with outdoor seating for 12), has been celebrating innovative, delicious, healthy food on the southwest corner of Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon for 15 years, earning more than 160 five-star reviews on Yelp. Cement floors and honeycomb light cylinders brighten and warm, while the tangerine walls display art and expressions of encouragement. Renee invites diners to make reservations, and adds, “We are grateful we are loved and filled!” Fingers crossed, Renee’s will double in size next year, as the neighboring business plans to move one door down. 7065 E Tanque Verde Rd., 886-0484


The incandescent Anello doesn’t take reservations for parties under five, or even have a phone number. Look for the redbrick façade on Sixth Street, illuminated after sundown by an ebony cylinder, just across the alley from Crooked Tooth Brewery. Owner Scott Girod indicates he’s really too busy to answer the phone; too busy keeping his promise to his wife and young sons to make this enterprise soar. Anello means “promise” in Italian, as well as “ring,” the shape of a pizza.

Slight of build and inky maned, the now 33-year-old Girod wanted to “see what Neapolitan pizza was all about.” He spent three months cycling across Italy from Rome to Tuscany, to Sienna to Florence, “eating as much pizza as I could.” Naples found him perfecting his talents at pizzeria La Notizia, “The News.”

The kitchen at Anello occupies a full third of restaurant space and a third of that third is lorded over by the Ferrari of pizza ovens, a Ferrara, introduced to Girod in Italy. At 2 p.m., the beast is already growling, turning pecan wood into glowing coals. Crates of fresh herbs and tomatoes from local purveyors have just arrived, waiting to be composed.

Feasting at Anello, on any given day, is decided by the bounty that arrives through the massive blonde wood front door (there is no backdoor). This evening’s menu includes Asian pears shaved thin, pecorino, pistachios, thyme, pickled jalapeno, drizzled with honey and lemon. “Fresh, bright, not what you’d think of as a salad,” says Girod. “The starter is to kind get your appetite going.”

Headlines on the dynamic menu are more abbreviated than Haiku: “Bite … Pizza … Sweet,” a Trip Advisor review mirrors the poetry — “Small place, incredible pizza, delicious deserts.” House favorites include: Bianca, with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive, basil and chiltepin; and Margherita, featuring tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and basil. Guests may add a curated protein to any pizza. Among the sweet finishes is a olive oil cake.

It takes just 30 humans to fill Anello’s blonde wood communal table and twotops. Polished cement floors reflect the warmth cast by spiraling gold lights, a pink accent wall peeks out from behind the Ferrara. A Chandler native, Girod offers words as delicious as his food when asked why he chose the Old Pueblo to open his business. “I was over Phoenix. Tucson offers so much more. For me it’s all about food and pizza and bringing people together. I hope people see something familiar, but taste it in a new way, and how flavorful a few things can be when done well.” Reservations for parties of five or more can indeed be made on line.



Dominic Ortega

Outstanding Philanthropist

Dominic Ortega is legendary for two things: His exceptional photography skills and his smile-generating handstands.

Oh yes, and for one other accomplishment: Using these talents and much more to raise funds, mentor youth and bring awareness to dozens of service organizations in Tucson.

Ortega, 62, attends up to seven fundraising events a week. He hosts them, buys event tickets, connects people who could help each other, serves on boards, and takes plenty of pictures that he posts on Facebook. “It’s a mission of love,” the retired marketing specialist says.

“I think my photos show the love I feel for my friends and their causes,” the self-taught photographer says. “My photos and Facebook posts tell these stories and encourage others to give their time, talent and treasure.”

As for the handstand? That started at a fundraiser. He and his wife Myriam acted as hosts for a dinner by a University of Arizona Club. The annual event typically raised around $20,000 to $30,000.

“I wanted to shake it up a bit,” Ortega recalls. “In a tuxedo and from the stage I said I would do whatever it would take to raise more money for the event. I flipped over and started walking on my hands. We grossed $325,000 that night.”

Now, organizers of the 10 to 12 galas the couple attends each year encourage him to show off this maneuver. “It is especially fun representing the older crowd after some youngster has ‘busted a move’ inside a large dance circle,” he says.

There is a short list of interests and causes that attract Ortega, but a much longer one of those he supports. “My greatest passions are education, health care and the support of women and children,” he states. “I also try to give my time to groups that will have the greatest impact on the community.”

He works for and with the American Heart Association, YWCA, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, El Rio Foundation, Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and dozens more organizations. The self-described Wildcat for life is involved with several University of Arizona colleges and clubs, as well as the Alumni Association, Hispanic Alumni Club and Student Alumni Ambassadors.

His presence and efforts don’t go unnoticed. “He inspires and motivates other community members to be more involved simply by the sheer number of events he personally supports every year,” says Wendy Erica Werden, manager of community investment with Tucson Electric Power.

Ortega has been named the 2019 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, but his reward for this work is more internal.

“The secret to happiness is in the genuine act of caring for others, service to others and giving to others,” he says. “It is looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Did I do my part? Did I make a difference?’”


Julie Ragland

Outstanding Fundraising Executive

It takes a little bit of magic to raise funds for a nonprofit. At least that’s how Julie Ragland sees it.

“I think of fundraising as a bit of a magical exchange,” says Ragland, who has been development director for The Rialto Theatre Foundation for three years. “I’m looking for people who are looking for me or, more accurately, my organization so that they can give gifts that are meaningful to them.”

As the foundation’s first-ever development director, Ragland, 42, has been able to weave her magic to great effect. Her efforts pumped up membership at the downtown entertainment venue from 300 to 1,700. She helmed the successful “I Rock the Rialto” capital campaign that raised $1 million to rehab the theater’s historic building. She also manages the foundation’s Giving Program that supports other organizations.

For this and other accomplishments, Ragland has been named the 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Executive.

Ragland’s career path wasn’t clear in 2001 after the Chicago-born and Wisconsin-raised University of Arizona student graduated with a degree in anthropology. She took an entry-level job at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, cleaning kennels and taking in homeless animals. That opened her eyes to working for nonprofits.

She stuck with community work through the Birth & Women’s Health Center, Fox Tucson Theatre and Center for Biological Diversity.

It was at this last post, where she worked with major donors, that Ragland had her “aha” moment. “I realized how my strengths — my ability to build strong, meaningful connections with people and organize data and systems on the back end — lend themselves really well to development work,” she says.

And she’s good at it, having helped to raise more than $8 million for these organizations.

It turns out the anthropology degree does serve her well in her career. It enabled her to understand people’s motivations and how they are shaped by where they come from. “I’m really a people-person, which is one reason I studied anthropology,” Ragland says.

“The thing that brings me the most joy has been meeting the people in this community who make it vibrant and unique.”

Ragland is all in for a development career. She’ll lead the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southern Arizona Chapter after serving as membership chair and, currently, president-elect. She was introduced to the organization by mentor Deb Dale, who earned the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award in 2008.

Ragland has helped her small foundation staff sharpen their skills to become a proficient development team.

Curtis McCrary, for one, is grateful for Ragland’s skills. McCrary is the executive director of The Rialto Theatre Foundation, as well as executive director and general manager of the theater.

Her work has established the venue as a “pre-eminent arts nonprofit” in the community, he notes.

“She has been integral in imbuing the Rialto with the ‘spirit of philanthropy,’” he says, “something that we were largely lacking before her arrival.”


Michael Cyrino

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

Professionally, Michael Cyrino is known as the manager of corporate giving for Arizona Complete Health, which offers health care plans, programs and services.

He’s coordinated distribution of funds from the company’s community reinvestment program to pay for mental health first aid training, youth education on resisting drug use and peer pressure, the Pima County Sheriff’s Crisis Canine Response Team, and more.

After giving all day, Cyrino spends his free time giving even more. It’s why he has been recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year for 2019.

“Managing corporate philanthropy is my job,” says Cyrino, 32, “but giving to my community is my passion. Passion doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. and neither do the needs of our community.”

The Southern California native recalls volunteering at an early age with the guidance of his grandparents. One memory is of selling Tootsie Rolls outside of grocery stores with Knights of Columbus members from his family’s church.

“I have many fond and vivid memories of wearing my yellow vest that was way too big and ringing my little bell,” he says.

Cyrino moved from Albuquerque to Tucson in 2013 following a visit with a friend who introduced him to eegee’s and Sonoran hot dogs. “The rest is history,” Cyrino says with a laugh.

He spends his volunteer time working on boards for organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Social Venture Partners, Greater Tucson Leadership and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. They allow him to fulfill his desire to support Ronald McDonald House, serve as a mentor and help with dog welfare efforts.

Other organizations he’s volunteered for include the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Centurions, El Rio Vecinos and the Education Enrichment Foundation.

He likes to help people connect to the community. “It’s really about relationships,” he says. “When one thrives, we all thrive.”

Cyrino is willing to put himself out there for the causes he cares about. He has rappelled down the side of a building wearing a green tutu, danced the tango blindfolded, competed in a spelling bee, and acted as a celebrity bartender.

“There isn’t much I wouldn’t consider if it would raise money for a good cause,” he says. “I have been very fortunate to build a personal brand that excites the community, and if I can leverage that to raise money for a cause, why not? For me, it’s just the right thing to do, and it’s fun.”

That combination of behind-the scenes work and public — some may say wacky — displays of support is what’s key to Cyrino’s leadership style, says Kate Maguire Jensen, president and chief executive offer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona.

“He is equally adept at working a room,” Jensen says, “and having a meaningful, private conversation with a constituent or potential donor.”

The David and Lura Lovell Foundation

Outstanding Foundation Philanthropist

A family foundation reflects what’s important to its trustees. For the late Lura Lovell, that was to help spread advocacy and education as far and wide as possible.

“My mother always spoke of the ripple effect,” says Ann Lovell, the second of David and Lura’s four children. “Drop a stone into a lake and watch the ripples. Live a good life and help others and the ripples of that keep spreading out.”

The 25-year-old David and Lura Lovell Foundation has focused its funding on mental health, integrative health and wellness, youth access to the arts, and gender parity. It has been designated 2019 Outstanding Foundation Philanthropist.

One signature project is the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership. The foundation collaborated with Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to fund nine Tucson organizations and one statewide partner that spreads the word about advance directives, educates about end of life care options, and seeks to, “fundamentally change the way we talk about death.”

Lovell Foundation and Tucson’s Marshall Foundation co-funded an award-winning documentary, Passing On, produced by Arizona Public Media and narrated by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, which preceded this initiative. The partnership now is considered the country’s largest funded community-based end-of-life-effort.

This project is personal. David Lovell, who died of cancer in 1993, spent his last months selling the family’s Toledo, Ohiobased chemical company in order to create the foundation. David relied on integrative medicine techniques to alleviate suffering through his illness.

After David died, Lura created the foundation in 1994 in Ohio, but spent more time at the vacation home that the couple bought in Tucson in 1989. Lura worked full time alongside Ann on the foundation until Lura died in 2013. “It was her baby,” Ann says. “She participated in every part that she could.”

Ann served as executive director for a decade until she transitioned to professional management. She still serves as president and chair of the board, but has stepped away from day-to-day activities, believing in a team approach to philanthropy. She works closely with Executive Director John Amoroso, Office & Grants Manager Ann Borden, consultant Christina Rossetti, and nine other Trustees and Board Advisors, including Tucson’s Bonnie Kampa, to amplify the foundation’s impact.

By focusing on initiatives instead of programs and operations, the foundation tackles social issues using the collective brainpower of partners to make big changes.

The Bravewell Collaborative, for instance, spurred acceptance of integrative medicine and has led to more than 80 programs in medical schools worldwide. Funding has expanded residency and fellowship programs at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and faculty training at University of Arizona College of Nursing.

Dr. Mindy Fain, co-director of the UA Center on Aging, has seen how Lura’s ripple effect works. Lovell Foundation funding allowed the center to permanently include a living will component in the medical curriculum that Dr. Fain says, “will impact future medical school classes and their patients well beyond the life of the grant.”

Students at Salpointe Catholic High School

Outstanding Youths in Philanthropy

Some 1,200 teenagers get bragging rights this year as the 2019 Outstanding Youths in Philanthropy.

They make up the student body of Salpointe Catholic High School. Last school year they spent more than 42,000 hours on charitable works.

Service is a hallmark of Salpointe students, whose education includes living their faith through good works. Every student is required to complete 15 hours of service each year. Last school year that totaled more than 23,000 hours — 23 percent more than what was required of them.

The beneficiaries of that work included Ben’s Bells, Boy Scouts, Kino Border Initiative, Gospel Rescue Mission and St. Luke’s Home.

A program that started in 2016 goes a step further. IMPACT Service Days tie directly to course work. “The IMPACT Service Days are unique as they align course curriculum to justice on a much broader sense,” says Jennifer Harris, the school’s director of advancement. “We ask the question, ‘How does our high school curriculum link to justice?’”

Freshmen attack hunger and poverty; sophomores focus on stewardship of God’s creation; juniors learn compassion by helping the poor and vulnerable; and seniors design projects on social justice issues. In the two November days of service, more than 60 partner organizations and sites receive student assistance while teaching them about the lives of the people they serve.

That’s the experience of Zoey Delgado, a Salpointe senior who has participated in IMPACT Service Days her entire high school career. She recalls one incident in particular.

Last year she was among a group of Salpointe students who organized a field day for an elementary school in which many students were from low-income families. The high schoolers gave the kids a fun day and talked with them about healthy living.

One child spoke with Zoey about vaping and how it happens in that child’s home. Zoey says she felt good to be able to have that conversation. “To be a positive influence in these kids’ lives was really special,” she says.

Through the IMPACT program, Zoey has helped paint a mural at Elvira Elementary School and share Communion with homebound elders, many of whom were sick and bedridden.

In this final year of high school, Zoey also is involved with the National Honor Society; Assisteens, which is run by the Assistance League of Tucson and was a 2016 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy winner; and Kino Teens, a Kino Border Initiative network.

This level of community involvement is not unusual for Salpointe students, she says. Many of her friends belong to various service organizations.

“I’m very fortunate to be going to Salpointe in the first place,” Zoey says. “To have the opportunity to help with projects and interact with people who aren’t as fortunate as us is a touching experience for us. We learn a lot about gratitude and how we can affect others by helping out.”


Tucson Federal Credit Union

Outstanding Corporate or Corporate Foundation Philanthropist

Once a year, each employee at Tucson Federal Credit Union (TFCU) has the opportunity to not report for work.

Instead, they are encouraged to show up at a nonprofit’s project location, ready to do good deeds for the Tucson community. And it’s still a workday of sorts because TFCU pays its employees for eight hours each year to volunteer.

This is one of several ways that TFCU contributes to a better Tucson. These actions have led to it being named Outstanding Corporate/Corporate Foundation Philanthropist of 2019.

The credit union’s motto is “Tucson Matters!”, and its mission is to use TFCU’s resources to help residents meet their basic needs.

“When people find housing, live in safety and eat nutritious food, then we know that they have a better chance of improving their future,” says Susan Stansberry, TFCU’s president and chief executive officer.

The company’s philanthropy isn’t focused on a handful of nonprofits or particular causes. Instead, it prefers to respond to the needs of the community as various sectors define them. “This allows us quickly to adapt our community engagement to the social needs and issues occurring in Tucson,” Stansberry explains.

To that end, organizations can appeal for support through the TFCU Gives application. A company committee made up of employees makes decisions about group volunteer projects.

One big project is delivering free financial education to a variety of residents. They include felons on probation, Pima Community College students taking basic education classes, low-income clients of the Primavera Foundation and teens training for culinary careers in classes supported by the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

Stansberry walks the walk, according to Becky O’Hara, director of development for the University of Arizona Cancer Center. When O’Hara held a similar post with the Arizona Oncology Foundation, she observed Stansberry working on boards and empowering employees to contribute to communities in need.

“Susan’s leadership is remarkable,” says O’Hara, “and she is always ready to volunteer with staff at nonprofit events.

“Susan has made a passionate commitment to ensure that TFCU serves as a business role model for social consciousness and corporate responsibility.”

That commitment has translated to substantial amounts of volunteer services and financial contributions.

In 2018 alone, 92 percent of TFCU’s 146 employees gave 4,231 volunteer hours in service to 136 organizations. The company donated $155,254 to nonprofit groups.

Beneficiaries have included Pima County JTED, Aviva Children’s Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona, Boys & Girls Club of Tucson, Tu Nidito, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and the Erik Hite Foundation.

Philanthropy is a natural outgrowth of the company. Says Stansberry: “As a credit union with a community charter, we believe this to be part of our DNA.”

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