Fri, Sept. 20

Corporate benevolence earns county philanthropy award for Phoenix Cement

Clarkdale’s Phoenix Cement Company was among the recipients of the Yavapai County Community Foundation’s Philanthropists of the Year award Wednesday.

Phoenix Cement was honored as the foundation’s Business Foundation’s Philanthropists of the Year.

Other foundation recipients included Chuck and Faye Bagby and Robert (Bob) Grosscup as the individual Philanthropists of the Year; the James Family Trust (Foundation category); Prescott Valley Soroptimist International (Community Benefactor); and Open-Inn Community Outreach Teen Peer Counselors (Youth Service Award).

The nominating criteria included outstanding contributors to improve the quality of life in Yavapai County, tangible results from a philanthropy history, innovative solutions to community problems, individual involvement and commitment to charitable causes, leadership by example, giving without personal gain or benefit and genuine caring for humanity.

The honorees were recognized at the foundation’s seventh annual Joy of Giving luncheon at the Prescott Resort.

Phoenix Cement Company has been in business in Clarkdale since 1959 and is well known in the entire Verde Valley for its charitable efforts. On an annual basis, the company donates approximately $80,000 in cash and material to local nonprofit organizations, youth activities, school and cultural events.

The company’s support includes Catholic Social Services, Old Town Mission, Rainbow Acres, Verde Valley Fair, Bread of Life Missions, Fort Verde Days, Chambers of Commerce, Crossroads Youth Services, American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of Cottonwood, Verde Valley Concert Association – to name a few. In addition all schools receive significant support and six $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually.

"I want to thank Cathy Peterson from Catholic Social Services for nominating us for this honor," said Margie Walsh, communications director for Phoenix Cement. "We were very excited."

Walsh is personally involved in about 10 organizations and admitted with a laugh that she’s not home very much. She truly loves her involvement with those causes she considers deserving and admires her fellow volunteers and colleagues who contribute to the good of the community.

"I enjoy the fellowship and being around these positive people," she said.

Walsh also thanked the members of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce who appeared at the awards ceremony at their own expense and time, in showing their support for the recipients.

"There are so many worthwhile organizations that are wonderful and help create a higher quality of life … we like to help them out," said Walsh.

Roger Smith, president of Phoenix Cement, added that receiving the Philanthropist of the Year Award, "is a great, gracious honor."

"During these 41 years of existence, we’ve done exemplary things … it’s nice to see that you’re recognized," Smith said.

He explained that the company is often overwhelmed with diverse requests for assistance from various areas of the Verde Valley.

"We try to do as much as we can," Smith said, and explained that Phoenix Cement sends crews of people to those areas in need of assistance.

"It’s a pleasure to serve the community … we’re very proud and honored."

Chuck and Faye Bagby have long supported the elderly and people with special needs in our community. For over a decade they have given financial and moral support to Adult Day Care. This support has resulted in scholarships for people unable to purchase the Center’s services and matching money for more than one vehicle. Another organization benefiting from the Bagbys’ largess is Yavapai Exceptional Industries. The Bagbys have also been generous contributors to higher education in the community.

For over 20 years, Bob Grosscup has contributed his time, talent and resources to advance local nonprofit organizations. His involvement includes Prescott Noon Lions, Prescott Litter Lifters, Mayor’s Committee for Handicapped Awareness, Memorial Society of Prescott, Feed the Hungry of Prescott, Habitat for Humanity, Yavapai Symphony Association, Yavapai Center for the Blind – in addition to contributing annually to over 40 local charities.

As the recipient of the Foundation of the Year award, the (Harold) James Family Trust exemplifies charitable giving in human services, youth services and the arts. Recent grants include the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, American Diabetes Association, Salvation Army, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Prescott YMCA and the Phippen Museum. Ronald E. James is the Trust’s president.

Soroptimist International of Prescott Valley has long played an active role in that community. In recent years SIPV has worked with the Chamber of Commerce and various nonprofit organizations to conduct the Prescott Valley Health Fair and Business and Community Show Case. This signature event is well attended and has become a vital resource for community residents. Every year SIPV participants in scholarship programs for women re-entering the work force and for students. SIPV also supports many domestic violence and literacy programs, in addition to often sponsoring community issues forums. Their annual Murder Mystery Dinner allows SIPV to continue community service donations throughout the year.

Open-Inn Community Outreach Program is a community based nonprofit organization that provides youth services, life skills, tobacco education classes and a unique employment opportunity for youth. At the core of the Community Outreach program is a dedicated staff of Teen Peer Counselors who are responsible for the smooth functioning and effectiveness of its programs. They are James Rivard, Prescott High School; Augustine "Augie" Molina, Prescott High School and Excel; Crystal Marston, local artist; and Noah Badillo, Yavapai College.

These unique individuals share backgrounds and experiences that allow them to effectively counsel and mentor other teens in crisis and at important junctures in their lives.

For more information, please contact Kristi Edwards, regional foundation manager, at 708-9632 or kedwards!

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