Welcome to our celebration of the remarkable milestones achieved by these Valley organizations. As we commemorate these anniversaries, we want to highlight the impact these organizations have made on our community. Their enduring commitment echoes the spirit of collaboration that makes the Valley such a special place. Join us as we recognize these organizations for their dedication and celebrate the journeys they’ve undertaken in shaping a brighter future for all.
100 Years | Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Named after its founder, Col. William Boyce Thompson, the 135-acre arboretum holds collections of desert plants from the United States, Mexico, Australia, Madagascar, India, China, Japan, Israel, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula. Learn more about the early days of the arboretum here.
The Arizona Biltmore broke ground for construction in August of 1928, and later hosted three separate grand opening parties upon its completion in February of 1929. Since then, it has been a staple getaway spot both for those visiting Arizona and locals. Click here to learn more about the rich history of this historic resort.
In 1929, when Phoenix was a town of about 48,000 residents, the Orpheum Theatre opened its doors. In its early years, the theater hosted many Hollywood and Broadway legends including Mae West, Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall. After coming close to closing its doors in the 1980s, the City of Phoenix acquired the building and placed it on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the theater hosts comedians, live performances, movie viewings and more. Get the full history here.
Over eight decades ago, Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck and a group of fellow plant lovers saw an opportunity to preserve Arizona’s beautiful landscape. With the help of philanthropist Gertrude Webster and other local investors over the years, the garden stands today as home to over 50,000 plant displays. Staying committed to education and preservation, Desert Botanical Garden offers classes for adults and children and collaborates with research and conservation groups across six countries and four continents. Learn more about the early days here.
In 1964, members from the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church created what would come to be known as United Methodist Outreach Ministries or UMOM. Its mission is simple: eradicating homelessness. Each night, UMOM provides shelter to almost 700 people. Learn more about the history of the organization here.
What started as a mother and daughter opening their homes to homeless animals is now a nonprofit three decades in the running that’s saved tens of thousands of animals in the Valley. From teaming up with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control to moving into its present-day headquarters, learn about the full history of HALO here.
Featured | United Food Bank
Forty years ago, what was then known as United Food Distribution Center began operating as a joint venture to provide food to those in need in the East Valley. Today, United Food Bank serves an area 19,608 square miles, including some of the most unpopulated areas in Arizona. Get the full history here.
Featured: Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
Nina Mason Pulliam was a journalist, business leader, humanitarian and a lover of all creatures. The trust was formed upon her death in 1997 to support causes that she cared deeply about. The trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life primarily in metropolitan Phoenix and Indianapolis. Learn more about her incredible life and legacy here.
Featured: Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy
It was during a luncheon hosted by Gay Firestone Wray with the then head of the Smithsonian, Lawrence M. Small, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Ambassador Barbara Barrett, that this nonprofit was started. It aims to carry on the legacy of Justice O’Connor by civics education, discourse and engagement. See a full timeline of the organization here.