UCP of Central Arizona hosts annual ‘Celebration of Champions’ fundraiser

Nicole Almond Anderson, with her daughter Alexandra. (Submitted photo)

UCP of Central Arizona, one of the state’s oldest non-profits, will host the eighth annual Inchstones: A Celebration of Champions fundraiser on Saturday, April 13, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa.

“Inchstones” highlights the accomplishments of UCP’s members while honoring the corporate and community leaders, philanthropists, disability advocates, therapists, and families that make UCP’s work possible, according to a press release.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is the title sponsor of the event that will also honor local physician Dr. Michael Kruer, and his research into movement disorders and rare diseases, which brings hope to families across the world.

Sisters-in-law JoAnn Stevens and Nicole Almond Anderson are the co-chairs of this year’s event.

They share more than a family, each with their own individual experiences of motherhood and having a child with a disability.

JoAnn Stevens, with son Max. (Submitted photo)

As mothers, both experienced normal, healthy pregnancies, only later learning that both their children had been born with different disabilities. Having experienced firsthand the invaluable support of UCP’s services and resources, they are committed to ensuring those same services are available for other families in need.

“Inchstones promises to be a night you won’t forget,” Ms. Anderson said in a prepared statement. “You’ll get to hear stories like that of my daughter, Alexandra, and our nephew, Max, as well as a few other of our friends.”

Ms. Anderson is a dedicated advocate, long-time ASU Sun Devil, and a proud mother. After her daughter Alexandra was diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome in 2016, Nicole launched Alexandra’s Pitt Crew to generate support and to help engage donors to fund a cure for PTHS, using her vast experience in communication and marketing to become a change-agent for her daughter and the greater Pitt Hopkins community.

She is the manager of marketing, communications, and stakeholder relations for the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. Previously, she was the director of alumni relations for ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and a communications/event manager for the ASU Alumni Association.

Ms. Stevens is a meeting and events manager by profession. She is a mother of two, with a passion for advocacy in the special needs community.

Her 3-year-old son, Max is a perinatal stroke survivor living with cerebral palsy and he inspires her passion for advocating for individuals with disabilities and promoting inclusion.

Ms. Stevens uses her social media accounts and her blog (Max Is Mighty) to spread awareness and share triumphs, challenges and everyday life with cerebral palsy.

The evening begins with a silent auction, the dinner offers uplifting and encouraging stories that demonstrate the UCP motto of “Life Without Limits” and will feature entertainment from Urban Electra, Phoenix’s own electric string quartet.

For ticket and sponsorship information, visit ucpofcentralaz.org/champions.

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