Scottsdale Charros give $200K to 35 local nonprofits in 2015 grant cycle

Scottsdale Charros spent an afternoon last fall with the staff, volunteer and kids at Reigning Grace Ranch. (Submitted photo.)

Scottsdale Charros spent an afternoon last fall with the staff, volunteer and kids at Reigning Grace Ranch. (Submitted photo.)

The Scottsdale Charros put their money where their mouths are.

This grant cycle the Scottsdale Charros have awarded $217,350 in grants to 35 local charities through The Charro Foundation.

The Scottsdale Charros recently awarded $217,350 in grants to 35 local charities through The Charro Foundation’s annual grant cycle. The Charro Foundation emphasizes giving grants to Scottsdale-based nonprofits who do work in the areas of youth, youth sports, education, Scottsdale’s western heritage or cultural and community enrichment, officials say.

For 54 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

That idea means something to Chris Watts, president of The Charro Foundation Board of Directors.

“Our level of review is cursory because we are ultimately acting out the will of the governing body,” he said in an Oct. 8 phone interview of acting out the wishes of the Charros membership. “I used to have that job. It was one of the reasons I think I stood up and took a more proactive leadership in the group — I saw the tremendous need in the community.”

The Charro Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has provided millions of dollars in grants and donations to local charities and educational programs. The programs of The Charro Foundation are supported by corporate and individual sponsorships, donations and the community service of the Scottsdale Charros.

Mark Ashworth, a Scottsdale Charro serving as charitable contributions committee chair, says the amount of need within Scottsdale city limits is substantial. This grant cycle the Charros received 70 grant applications totaling just over $900,000.

“In the last three years we have seen a huge increase in applications,” Mr. Ashworth said. “Three years ago we had 36 last year we had 56. It makes the selection very difficult. We try to stay with an objective approach that relates to our mission, this eliminates some of them, but it is hard to not be subjective when you see the need — with so many requests that pull on your heart strings.”

Mr. Ashworth says the growth in grant applications, in some ways, speaks to the strength of the community.

“It shows that Scottsdale is a great benevolent community and you can see that by the many programs and organizations that are helping and teaching others throughout Scottsdale and the Valley,” he explained.

Mr. Watts contends this kind of thinking is the fuel of the Scottsdale Charros fire.

“I have had the privilege of being exposed to a network of truly amazing people in the Charros. They are very focused on the community and very selfless with their time,” he pointed out. “It makes you aware, motivated and inspired to help those that are in need of support.”

The fundraising activities of the Charros, primarily through San Francisco Giants Spring Training baseball, allows The Charro Foundation to give back to our community.

Visit charros.com/annual-grants or call 480-990-2977 for more information about The Charro Foundation’s annual grant program.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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