Mary Ellen & Robert McKee

In 2004, the Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale in Fountain Hills opened its doors, an honor Mary Ellen says was a “huge surprise.”

While a surprise to the McKees, it was a fitting tribute to a couple that has given so much to the organization and impacted the lives of so many.

For almost 40 years, from the time it was the Boys Club through its evolution to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Mary Ellen volunteered with the Clubs. She was the first woman on the men’s board, started the organization’s foundation, was president of the auxiliary, founded the Angels for Kids program and more. In 2011 she was honored with the National Service to Youth Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and in 2017, was the first person named Trustee Emeritus from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

A desire to impact children and the loss of a son in a previous marriage – and the thoughts of what would have happened if he had needed a role model growing up – initially led her to the organization.

When tragedy later struck again with the deaths of two of the McKees’ grandsons, one from a rare disease and one from spina bifida, the couple became involved with Barrow Neurological Institute, funding gene research. Mary Ellen also gave her time, volunteering on the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation for more than 30 years, where she held positions ranging from ball chair to chairman of the board.

In addition to children and health, the McKees are passionate about preserving the history of the community. Since 2000, Mary Ellen has been involved with the Heard Museum, volunteering on committees, serving as a board member and chairing the event now called Moondance. She is now a life trustee. Mary Ellen is also a longtime supporter of the Arizona Costume Institute at Phoenix Art Museum.

Robert McKey passed away on February 23, 2022. 

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