Tucson Fire Foundation

The following message was sent on April 21, 2017, to the Greater Tucson Firefighting community from Mike McKendrick, Chair of the Tucson Fire Foundation:

Dear Friends,

It’s been a challenging few weeks within our firefighting family. The loss of one of our own at his own hand – and the injury and death of two others also at his hand – evoked deep sorrow and pain for all involved.

But it also prompted many of us to wonder what we could have done to stop this tragedy. Was there a change in our friend’s behavior that we missed? Did we see something, but were afraid to say something? Are there Fire Foundation programs that could have helped him through his crisis?

And do we, as a firefighting family and community, make it “okay” for our brothers and sisters to seek help when they do need it without stigma?

The Tucson Fire Foundation offers what amounts to free counseling and support services for all firefighters, first responders, and their families. But we also understand that it’s not always easy to ask for help.

In light of the recent events, we are establishing a dedicated email, phone line, and online website access that will make it simpler for our members to confidentially access our support services at any time. We’ll update you shortly with the details.

Our hearts are with the members of the Scott and Bair families. They need to know we all stand with them and that we’re proactively working to help prevent tragedies such as this in the future.


Mike McKendrick,
Chair, Tucson Fire Foundation

Social Venture Partners Capacity Building Grant Applications

Looking for a different kind of funding relationship?

SVP could be the right fit for you. Is your nonprofit ready to look at what might be holding it back? Are you unafraid of the messiness of collaboration? If you are ready to take your organization’s vital work to the next level, then SVP Tucson’s Capacity Building Grant could be right for you.

Grant applications are open now through January 18, 2017. Learn more by clicking here and be sure to attend a Meet SVP! Info Session.


Special Emmy Recognition for AZPM Original

The Rocky Mountain Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has presented the 2016 Board of Governors’ Award to the Arizona Public Media (AZPM) original project, Passing On.

The Rocky Mountain Southwest NATAS Governors’ Award is the highest award the chapter gives to an individual, organization or station. This award is given to a multi-platform project that extends beyond the parameters of the chapter’s regular television distinctions.

Passing On will be honored along with “Build A Bike” from Cox Communications at the regional Emmy® award gala in October.

“AZPM has been fortunate to be recognized by NATAS in the past, but this award is very special to us because it represents a collaborative, team project that involved many people in many departments and several community organizations,” said Jack Gibson, AZPM General Manager. “We’re very honored and proud to receive it.”

AZPM’s original documentary Passing On sheds light on a subject most people shy away from: end of life. In partnership with the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), AZPM coordinated various outreach programs open to members of the southern Arizona community, including panel discussions and workshops, to share valuable information about planning for end of life. Major funding for Passing On was provided by The David and Lura Lovell Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Marshall Foundation.

The full film, information and resources are available at passing-on.org.

Story by AZPM Staff

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Buyers’ Club Now Online

Through generous support from the Lovell Foundation, SAAF has been able to bring its venture, the Travis Wright Memorial Buyers’ Club, to a whole new audience, as it moves online. The Buyers’ Club offers the general community high-quality vitamins, supplements, protein powders, and more at reduced rates. Started in 1988, the Buyers’ Club has offered nutraceuticals to SAAF clients and the general community, supplements that help bolster the immune system of people living with HIV and help address the numerous side effects.

Until December 2010, the Buyers’ Club was located in SAAF’s offices when Deb Van Sant and Greg Rogan, long-time donors and supporters of SAAF and owners of Cactus Drug, proposed a forward-thinking business plan that included the Buyers’ Club as part of their new pharmacy. Donating 250 square feet of floor space in their pharmacy, Deb and Greg doubled the size of the Buyers’ Club and expanded hours. Cactus Drug closed last month and the physical Buyers’ Club space moved back over to the SAAF offices, located at 375 South Euclid Avenue. We thank Deb & Greg for all they did to support the Buyers’ Club these past 6 years.

Seeing the success of moving the Buyers’ Club to a more high-profile, public location, in 2015, the Lovell Foundation made a grant to SAAF to further expand the Buyers’ Club and bring it online. The website, at www.tucsonbuyersclub.org, which launched on August 10, 2016, has been a dream for many years. SAAF Executive Director, Wendell Hicks, states, “By bringing the Buyers’ Club online, we are greatly expanding on the positive impacts the program has had for thousands of SAAF clients over the years. Now, it will be even easier for members of the community to take control of their health while supporting SAAF and saving a little bit of money, too.”

Membership in the Buyers’ Club is free and open to the general public. For more information about becoming a member, visit www.tucsonbuyersclub.org.

Date: 8/10/2016
Contact: Wendell Hicks, Executive Director
Luis Ortega, Director of Programs (520) 547-6127

SAAF’s mission is to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society through transformative action. For more information about the programs and services of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) or to schedule a tour of SAAF, please visit www.saaf.org or call (520) 628-7223.

SVP Tucson Fast Pitch Applications Now Open

June 27, 2016 – Tucson, AZ

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tucson is seeking applicants for Fast Pitch, a free communication skills-building program for local nonprofits culminating in a showcase event, modeled after traditional venture capital funding competitions.

SVP Tucson has opened applications for their Fast Pitch program. Fast Pitch provides Tucson’s nonprofits with community collaboration, skills building and increased awareness to grow their impact. This innovative program provides an opportunity for nonprofits to “pitch” their cause to an audience of more than 500, to gain local awareness and to win cash awards.

Through a competitive application process, 15 non-profit leaders will be selected to participate based on their innovative approaches to creating social change and their potential for significant positive community impact. Selected nonprofits will receive training and mentoring over the course of two months from volunteer business, marketing and coaching professionals on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story.”

The program culminates in a “Fast Pitch” competition – a high energy, rapid-fire presentation event during which seven finalists share the mission, vision and impact of their organization with the audience and judges – in just three minutes! Fast Pitch finalists compete for over $40,000 in grants and prizes.

2015 was Fast Pitch’s inaugural year in Tucson and it made a big impact, resulting in over $100,000 in awards, grants and donations; $200,000 of media exposure; and $300,000 of skills building training delivered to nonprofits. Fast Pitch is changing the game, and providing new opportunities for the Tucson nonprofit community.

Applications are open now through August 8th. The Fast Pitch Showcase will be held on November 10, 2015, at the Leo Rich Theater in the Tucson Convention Center.

Contact Information:
Ciara Garcia, Executive Director
Direct: 520-209-2878 Cell: 520-449-0169

About Social Venture Partners Tucson

Our Mission
SVP Tucson is an ever-expanding community of engaged philanthropists dedicated to building the capacity, strength and impact of nonprofits in addressing social problems. We accomplish this through:

  • Thoughtful and strategic investments and collaborations
  • Our Partners’ engagement and expertise, and
  • Inspiring and equipping Partners to be more strategic and effective with their giving

SVP Tucson is a member of the Social Venture Partners network of more than 3,900+ engaged donors in 40 cities, in 9 countries, who have contributed $54M+ to 700+ nonprofits to date.

UA College of Nursing Launches Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship

June 15, 2016

The first cohort of integrative nursing faculty fellows from the UA College of Nursing: Sharon Hom, Megan Munson, Mary O’Connell, Ruth Carlson, Connie Miller, Michelle Kahn-John, Deborah Williams, Elizabeth Spinks, Melissa Goldsmith and Kim Blumenfeld. As the first participants in the world’s only Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship (INFF), 11 fellows from the University of Arizona College of Nursing have begun charting a new course for nursing education.

“Leaders in nursing education have yet to fully embrace the theory and practices of integrative nursing to improve health-care practice,” said Joan Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the UA College of Nursing. “We need a new approach to nursing education that will better meet what patients want, and we view this fellowship as a game-changer. Our faculty fellows will evolve a new framework that unites traditional views of what constitutes health with broader views of what constitutes well-being, even when disease may be present.”

Funded through the generous support of The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, the INFF program offered by the UA College of Nursing is a first-of-its-kind program for educating and preparing nursing faculty to transform nursing education using the science, theory and practice of integrative nursing.

“Integrative nursing is a whole-person, whole-system approach to health and well-being,” said Mary Koithan, PhD, CNS-BC, FAAN, the Anne Furrow Professor of Integrative Nursing at the UA College of Nursing and director of the INFF program. “During this fellowship, faculty will learn to use and teach the full range of evidence-informed therapeutics to manage symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea and insomnia – all commonly seen across health-care settings in which nurses deliver care.”

On May 19, INFF participants enjoyed a welcome with Dr. Jean Watson, founder and director of the Watson Caring Science Institute, who spoke the following day about the connection between caring science and integrative nursing.

The first INFF class, comprised solely of UA College of Nursing faculty members, began the yearlong fellowship on May 20. In 2017, the second cohort will include 30 fellows from nursing schools across the nation. The application will open on February 1.

“Students are opening up to integrative nursing in ways that are exciting and challenging,” said Ruth E. Carlson, MSN, RN, an INFF fellow and clinical instructor who teaches mental health nursing in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. “Our patients also are becoming aware of the integrative therapies that are available and expect that these be provided as part of their care. As faculty, it is imperative for us to be there to develop, excite, challenge, teach and model integrative nursing practice for our students.”

The first cohort of INFF participants includes:

  • Kim L. Blumenfeld, MSN, RN, clinical instructor
  • Ruth E. Carlson, MSN, RN, clinical instructor
  • Melissa M. Goldsmith, PhD, RNC, clinical associate professor
  • Sharon Hom, PhD, MS, RN, clinical instructor
  • Michelle Kahn-John, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, GNP, assistant professor
  • Pamela Lusk, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, clinical associate professor
  • Connie S. Miller, DNP, RNC-OB, CNE, CCCE, clinical assistant professor
  • Megan A. Munson, MSN/Ed, RN, clinical instructor
  • Mary F. O’Connell, MA, RN, PHN, clinical instructor
  • Elizabeth A. Spinks, MS, RN, clinical instructor
  • Deborah K. Williams, PhD, MPH, RN, clinical assistant professor

For more information about the Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship, please visit: nursing.arizona.edu/inff

About the University of Arizona College of Nursing
At the University of Arizona College of Nursing, faculty members envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information, see: www.nursing.arizona.edu

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu

Lead Guitar Receives NEA Art Works Grant

Arizona-based nonprofit Lead Guitar announced today that it was awarded a coveted National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant to fund its 2016-2017 classical guitar programs. The grant is specifically earmarked to support Lead Guitar’s expansion in the greater Phoenix area, where Lead Guitar will partner with seven schools.  Funding from the NEA will ensure the quality and sustainability of Lead Guitar’s Phoenix programs, and the Art Works grant is a terrific nod of approval to Lead Guitar’s work.


About Lead Guitar
Lead Guitar was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2006, but concert guitarist Brad Richter began developing the Lead Guitar curriculum in 1999 for Page High School in Page, AZ. Lead Guitar grew steadily from 1999 until 2013 when it became an outreach program of the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. In the 2016-2017 school year, over 50 schools will operate Lead Guitar programs in Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Illinois.  Lead Guitar’s mission is to provide rigorous instrumental music education to the young people who need it most. Lead Guitar establishes and supports classical guitar programs in public schools with reduced access to the arts, focusing on Title I schools and schools with a high percentage of students eligible for federal free and reduced lunch.

About NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.

To learn more about Lead Guitar, please contact
Brad Richter, Executive Director
888 N. Euclid Ave. Room 203
Tucson, AZ 85721

Lovell Foundation Awards $748,000 to Nine Nonprofits Serving Southern Arizona

The Tucson-based David and Lura Lovell Foundation recently approved $748,000 in grants for nine Tucson nonprofit organizations to support programs in the areas of mental health, integrative medicine and arts for youth.

The largest grant this year is for $300,000 over two years to the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine to develop the Integrative Health Self Care program – an online interactive health resource the public can use to assess motivation for lifestyle change and to increase patient health and wellness, especially for underserved populations nationwide. A research project will track the effectiveness of the program.

The second largest grant is $200,000 for the University of Arizona College of Nursing to establish the Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship program. The goal is to expand nursing education to encompass more integrative nursing knowledge and skills that can help improve the outcomes of patients with acute and chronic healthcare issues. This is the second portion of a three-year grant from the Lovell Foundation.

The third substantial grant is to Arizona Public Media to produce a one-hour documentary on the mental health of teens and youth. In addition to this $120,000 grant, the Lovell Foundation last year helped fund Passing On, a documentary that explores end-of-life care and coping with death and grief. This premiered on Feb. 22. The foundation also provides multi-year funds for a mental health producer/reporter.

Additional Lovell Foundation grants are:

  • $50,000 to St. Elizabeth’s Health Center to expand the behavioral health program with additional staffing by a licensed certified social worker, allowing more patients to be served as well as providing better supervision for interns.
  • $25,000 to help Interfaith Community Services present the 2016 conference on Faith Communities & Well Being – Mind Body and Spirit. Dr. Esther Sternberg will be one of the keynote speakers. She is internationally recognized for her work in the science of mind-body interaction. The Lovell Foundation previously supported ICS conferences on mental health in 2012 and 2014.
  • $20,000 for UA Presents to expand the Lead Guitar program into three additional schools for a total of five. Students learn to read music, play the guitar and perform as an ensemble. These skills help them develop self-discipline, self-esteem and the ability to work as a team.
  • $15,000 for continuing support of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Music in the Schools/Young People’s Concerts. This is the orchestra’s largest music education program, reaching more than 13,000 students from 90 schools.
  • $10,000 to the Tucson Museum of Art for three existing youth programs – Picture This!, The Creative Space and Activity Guides – plus a new drop-in program called School Break Sketch-In.
  • $8,000 for Invisible Theatre’s Project Pastime, providing twice-weekly instruction in music, drama and dance for eight months and culminating in an original musical called “The Me Inside of Me” which the students create and perform.

The Lovell Foundation was established in 1994 by David and Lura Lovell. Since then the foundation has distributed nearly $14 million to support more than 60 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Today the foundation is led by an executive director, a board of trustees and a board of advisors. More information is at lovellfoundation.org or by calling (520) 325-3656.