Colin and Bithika Thompson and Dr. Basu and Mrs. Jean Saha

Mayo Clinic doctors Colin and Bithika Thompson and Dr. Basu and Mrs. Jean Saha pose for a photo with JDRF Executive Director Scott Showers at JDRF Arizona Chapter’s 19th annual Promise Ball Gala at the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale on Nov. 9.

Scottsdale businesses and residents alike are banding together to give back – and give back big – this holiday season. 

Farm & Craft in Old Town Scottsdale, for one, has partnered with Valley of the Sun United Way to raise money and help fund community gardens throughout Maricopa County.

Starting late September, the local restaurant began donating 50 percent of sales from its signature Probiotic Bowl, $10-$17, to United Way.

Farm & Craft will continue to raise money via sales of the popular dish through Feb. 2020.

The first project will take place at Frank Elementary School in Guadalupe.

“Frank Elementary School in Guadalupe is an excellent partner with VSUW as they have taken great steps to ensure hunger will not be a barrier in a student’s success,” said Jayson Matthews, community impact director for VSUW. 

On Nov. 12, Scottsdale company Plexus Worldwide sponsored its third-annual Pima Center Community Walk, raising $25,000 for the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center.

Seven-hundred walkers, including walkers from neighboring companies such as Medieval Times, Natural Partners Fullscript, V.I.P. Mortgage, Firetrace, and iMemories, participated in the one- and two-mile route through the Pima Center business park.

“Phoenix Children’s Hospital provides hope, healing and the best healthcare for sick kids and their families, and we are honored to see so many local businesses come together to help our kids,” said Patty Barney with Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

On Nov. 11, Valley-based Angry Crab Shack CEO and retired NFL player Ron Lou presented a $40,000 check to the Arizona Housing Coalition, an organization aiding and providing resources to homeless veterans and their families.

Over the past three years, Angry Crab Shack has raised more than $87,500 with the “You Dine We Donate” program.

The donations go toward clothing, food, hygiene products and more.

“We couldn’t provide the work we do without the generous donations from Angry Crab Shack,” said Shane Groen, chief programs officer at Arizona Housing Coalition. “Some of the services it benefits include legal, housing, Motor Vehicle Department and The Department of Economic Security.”

On Nov. 10, the Steele Foundation donated $250,000 to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona’s Building Hope Capital Purchase and Renovation Campaign.

The campaign will transform 352 E. Camelback Road from an office building to a center for art and transformation. The new art room will be named after the Steele Foundation.  

“We are so appreciative of the Steele Foundation’s support and commitment to our mission,” said Alicia Sutton Campbell, Free Arts executive director.  “With the gift from the Steele Foundation, we have raised $3,650,000 of our $4,500,000 goal. We are in the final stretch of our campaign, and it’s exciting to see our dream coming to fruition.”

On Nov. 9, local organization Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International held its 19th annual Promise Ball Gala at the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, helping the organization raise $1.4 million to help fund a cure for type 1 diabetes.

This year’s event honored David and Kim Roberts and their family for their commitment to JDRF’s vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.

On Nov. 2, the ALS Association Arizona Chapter raised $470,000 at its 19th annual Walk to Defeat ALS at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

The event helped raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Community partners of the event included Numotion Foundation, Permobil Foundation, Cytokinetics, MT Pharma, Quantum, Big Two Toyota, Valley Toyota Dealers, Nextiva Cares, Ability Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Bonneville, Honor Health, Mayo Clinic, United Access, and more.

“It is always inspiring to see the community come together in support of patients and families living with ALS,” said Taryn Norley, president and CEO of the ALS Association Arizona Chapter. “Our free programs and services would not be able to help the amount of people we do, without every single walker and donor who showed up in November, and for that, we are very grateful.”

On Oct. 25, UMOM New Day Centers raised nearly $687,000 at its 10th Annual Buckles and Bangles Gala at Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale.

The money raised by the 667 gala attendees supports UMOM’s mission to provide crisis shelter for families, single women, and unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

And, earlier in the season on Sept. 28, Great Hearts Arizona raised nearly $560,000 for its teachers at its fourth annual gala at Chateau Luxe. 

Monies raised at the gala, which was themed “A Wrinkle in Time” this year, supports faculty through the Teacher Excellence Fund, a fund dedicated to rewarding Great Hearts’ best teachers based on the academic and cultural impact they have on their students and the overall school community.

“Our teachers are the foundation of all our Great Hearts schools,” said Erik Twist, president of Great Hearts Arizona. “We are so excited we are able to use this money to thank them for the passion and dedication they show us every single day.”

‘Tis the season to give back, indeed.