Piles of presents donated by the Ahwatukee Foothills community wait to go to local foster group homes. Local advocates were able to provide Christmas gifts to 47 boys at six group homes in the Valley in 2012.

Submitted photo

In three weeks Ahwatukee Kiwanis was able to pull the community together and provide Christmas gifts to 47 boys in six group foster homes across the Valley in 2012. 

This year, the group is hoping a head start on fundraising will help further its mission.

The group will host a fundraiser at the home of Robin and Andi Pettyjohn, 3926 E. Tanglewood Drive, on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m.

The event will include a concert from Ronstadt Generations, a local group that plays a mix of American folk music, traditional Southwestern and Mexican songs, and original music. Light refreshments will be provided. Guest speakers will also share information about the state’s foster care program.

“It’s a very good cause,” said Andi Pettyjohn. “One thing we want to make a point to everybody is that the biggest need right now is for mentors for the kids. That basically means being a friend to a kid.”

Tickets for the event are $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit foster youth in the Phoenix metro area. Tickets can be purchased through PayPal at ahwatukeekiwanis.org, by check sent to PO Box 50596, Phoenix, Ariz. 85076, or at the door. RSVP to Robin or Andi Pettyjohn at wttinc@cox.net, or by calling (602) 402-6267.

In 2012 the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee, along with other community volunteers, were able to provide a new pair of socks, underwear, a shirt, pajama pants or sweat pants, and a blanket or slippers to each of the 47 boys. The boys were also given a $25 gift card to Target or Wal-Mart and a gift card to a movie theater. Robin Pettyjohn estimates the total amount spent was more than $4,000. Board games and DVDs were also donated to the group homes for all the boys to share. Pettyjohn said she learned so much about the group homes and the needs in 2012 that now she and her husband have big plans to help in the future.

“In 2013 we’ll do the whole Christmas thing again, but this time with a lot more planning and starting earlier,” she wrote in a recap. “Look at what we pulled off in less than three weeks. Imagine what we can do and the number of kids we can help if we all work on this throughout the year.

For a year that my husband and I had “no plans” for Christmas, we experienced one of the busiest and most blessed holidays ever. So many people came together to help these kids in such a short period of time. We are so thankful to live in a community with so many people willing to help others less fortunate than themselves.”

For more information on the fundraiser and the efforts of the Ahwatukee Foothills community to help foster children, visit ahwatukeekiwanis.org or facebook.com/groups/AhwatukeeFoster.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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