A 2nd Act: Doing Good and the Value of the Helper’s High

The mission of the magazine you’re reading is to “celebrate the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community.” Valley of the Sun residents give to such an extent that their stories fill every issue throughout the year. And we aren’t alone. Despite a worldwide event unprecedented in […]

A 2nd Act: So Kids Don’t Have to Feel Alone

one•n•ten improves self-esteem and self-acceptance among LGBTQ+ youth “A lot of people have to wait until they retire to do something they’re passionate about,” Nate Rhoton’s stepfather observed. But Rhoton is so passionate about his work as executive director of one•n•ten, he says it doesn’t feel like he’s working at all. Yet, he’s accomplishing so […]

A 2nd Act: Hear the Desert Dragons Roar

The goal of the Desert Dragons team is to extend its support network to the many women and men diagnosed with breast cancer in the Phoenix area each year. Melissa Adams was 31 when she found a lump in her breast. “You’re too young to have breast cancer,” her Pittsburgh doctor told her. Yet cancer […]

A 2nd Act: Singing With Joy

Allan Naplan and Arizona Musicfest are igniting minds with music As a young man, he played the trumpet. This wasn’t a surprise since Allan Naplan’s mother was a music teacher who started taking him to performances at a very young age. “And then I found an even more powerful instrument,” Naplan said. “My own voice.” […]

A 2nd Act: Abilities, Not Disabilities

Pursuing a life of good works from a wheelchair is an inspiring second act. Creating a second second act from a wheelchair is above and beyond. But then, Jamie Heckerman is an above-and-beyond kind of woman. She was born with spina bifida, a rare birth defect affecting the development of the spine. Her first surgery […]

A 2nd Act: Food Is Love

Barro’s Pizza gives back, one slice at a time “We’re Italian, and food is love!” Gina Barro said enthusiastically. From its roots in Italy with Grandmother Angelina to the 40 locations spread across Arizona today, award-winning Barro’s Pizza carries on that tradition. But love from the Barro family goes far deeper than a thick and […]

A 2nd Act: A Clown’s Legacy

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona supports children’s journeys to wellness. The May 9, 1971, Arizona Republic classified read, “One bedroom, furnished, air-conditioned, pool, carpet. 501 E. Roanoke Avenue.” The small complex in central Phoenix featured apartments and single rooms. Offering both air-conditioning and a pool practically made it a palace. Fifty […]

A 2nd Act: Life Reboot

Control Alt Delete resets the lives of domestic violence survivors Laura Pahules was frustrated. She had been working on the elements to launch her nonprofit but was struggling with a name. And then it happened: Her laptop froze. Praying that her work in progress hadn’t been lost, she reset it, pressing the control, alt and […]

A 2nd Act: Home (State) Improvement

Flinn Foundation advances Arizona, and never forgets the fun “What comes next?” Tammy McLeod pondered this question posed by a friend one day at lunch. She had enjoyed her work as an executive with Arizona Public Service but felt in her heart that there would be one more career move in her future. “I have […]

A 2nd Act: Putting Down Roots

Pro athlete teaches others to weed it and reap Becoming a professional athlete requires many skills, beyond the obvious physical abilities. Dedication, drive, endurance and courage are also crucial to an athlete’s success. Those same skills help nonprofits bloom. Bridget Pettis understands this, right down to the souls of her — now — very muddy […]