Thunderbirds Charities Grants $25,000 to Audubon Arizona For Education Programs

Phoenix, Ariz. – Thunderbird Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community – recently awarded $25,000 to Audubon Arizona for its Nature in Your Neighborhood environmental education programs in 2017-18.  Nature in Your Neighborhood is a suite of interactive, hands-on education programs for K-12 students in primarily Title 1 schools and low-income neighborhoods. The programs greatly improve science education by serving schools that struggle to make environmental science relevant, and inspiring thousands of children and teens to protect the environment and pursue careers in STEM.

“The Thunderbirds’ renewed support of Nature in Your Neighborhood programs will allow us to reach a tremendous number of children, many of whom would otherwise have no opportunity for an experience in nature,” said Sonia Perillo, Executive Director of Audubon Arizona.

Thunderbirds Charities has partnered with Audubon Arizona for several years, providing support for the construction of the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center and the Thunderbirds Charities Ramada where students gather during field trips, as well as support for the Nature in Your Neighborhood education programs.

“Audubon Arizona brings nature to life through these hands-on interactive education activities, and we are excited to support such a great neighborhood program,” said Andy Markham, President of Thunderbirds Charities.

Audubon Arizona is the state office of the National Audubon Society and a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission of connecting people with nature, using science, education, and advocacy to protect Arizona’s birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and earth’s biodiversity.

Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds.  The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona.  The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members.

For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit  For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit  For more information about Audubon Arizona, visit

For more information and interviews:  contact George Martinez, 623-377-3597;

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