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Giving back to the community one ounce at a time

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Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011 2:00 pm

This weekend Yoasis Yogurt, the pay by the ounce self-serve frozen yogurt shop, celebrates not only one year in business, but close to $24,000 donated to good causes around Ahwatukee Foothills.

What's truly sweeter than the yogurt is the Ahwatukee owners', Sue and Brian McHugh and their partners, willingness to give back to the community. Each week they support a cause for a local group by donating a portion of their sales.

Sue was in real estate before the couple decided to open Yoasis. When Bryan also lost his job, and a new one didn't come for six to eight months, they decided to try something new.

"It was something that changed us," Sue said. "When you lose your job you have to reevaluate things. We decided we were going to give back to the community if it was successful, so it's sort of a pay it forward. It's more of a personal thing for us."

So far it has been successful. Each group that has fund raised with Yoasis has earned between $300 and $500 and the local business has received so many applications for fundraising that groups are scheduled through next summer.

One cause scheduled for October is helping a local woman, Teresa Speight, earn money for the 3-Day. It's a cause Sue can relate to because her sister had breast cancer. Speight is part of a team called "Linda's Girls." Their fundraising week is Oct. 16-22.

To fund raise with Yoasis, each group must fill out an application. The rule is it must be a large group and it must be a group from the Ahwatukee community. They spotlight themselves on the "Yo Community Board" to let customers know who they are helping that week. No fliers or secret codes are required. For smaller groups, Yoasis may donate raffle items or allow groups to have a car wash in their parking lot. One group made $1,100 during a car wash at Yoasis.

Sue says business has slowed down recently, which has been proven by a few shops around them closing, but they're hoping it picks back up soon and won't affect their fundraising efforts.

Yoasis, 1304 E. Chandler Blvd., will be celebrating its anniversary beginning at noon today with a ribbon cutting by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Tomorrow morning, a local group will be having a car wash in the Yoasis parking lot. A bouncy house will arrive at about 2 p.m. and a DJ at approximately 3 p.m. There will also be face painting.

If there's anything Sue thinks people should know about Yoasis is that they are here for the community because they live in it.

"A lot of people think we're a franchise," she said. "We are a local mom and pop shop and we are your neighbors. That's huge for us. We're giving back and we want to make sure everyone understands why we do it. We're here for the community."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

• Intern Kirsten Hillhouse contributed to this story.

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