A Bright Badge of Philanthropy for 88 Valley Leaders
What’s the story behind those orange watches? At your next Arizona business function you may wonder why a few participants are sporting spiffy, attention-grabbing bright orange watches. And you may wonder, “where can I get one?”
The watch is a Suns Charities 88 2014/15 season watch, sponsored by KEO Marketing. Sheila Kloefkorn, President and CEO of KEO Marketing is also a Suns Charities 88 member. The cheerful Phoenix Suns-orange colored watch signifies the spirit and energy the group’s members possess and share throughout the Phoenix community.
Suns Charities 88 was created in 2012 to offer a platform for business professionals across the Valley passionate about supporting and building the community. Named after Phoenix Suns Charities’ inaugural year (1988), this powerful group of 88 business professionals and emerging community leaders is devoted to raising much-needed funds for Arizona children through the philanthropic power of the Phoenix Suns Charities.
Since its 2012 launch season, Suns Charities 88 has raised $215,000 to benefit Arizona children in need. In the last 26 years, the umbrella Phoenix Suns Charities organization has granted more than $15 million to more than 200 charitable organizations in Arizona.
Membership in Suns Charities 88 includes professional development with events and panels led by Suns’ executives, players and members of the coaching staff discussing the importance of teamwork, dedication and leadership. Members also attend several behind-the-scenes networking events where they can develop important business contacts and community relationships.
The goal of the watch is twofold: 1) to draw attention to the important work done by Suns Charities 88 and, thereby, spur interest and contributions and 2) to instill a feeling of togetherness and cohesion amongst Suns Charities 88 members.
KEO was thrilled to sponsor the watch for the upcoming season. Kloefkorn feels the impact Suns Charities 88 has already made has been phenomenal and she sees the momentum continuing to grow. She notes the annual watch has already become a tradition and draws attention whenever and wherever a group member wears one. Members also enthusiastically post photos on social media of the watch proudly displayed on their pet’s paws, a plush Phoenix Suns gorilla mascot or a “selfie” of their own wrists.
“I love wearing the watch,” said Kloefkorn “It’s fun. People always want to know why I’m wearing it, providing a fantastic opportunity to talk about Suns Charities 88 and all the good work done by the Suns Charities. It’s an ingenious fundraising and community-building tool and I’m so proud to be a part of this group of Phoenix leaders.”
“Needless to say, we love the attention the watch draws,” says Sarah Krahenbuhl, Director, Phoenix Suns Charities. “And we are so grateful to Sheila for sponsoring this year’s model. It’s going to be a fantastic season for this group of 88ers.”
Krahenbuhl suggests that all interested in being a part of this extraordinary group get out there and let yourself be known within the community. You may catch the attention of a current member who may nominate you to join. Then, of course, in addition to contributing to the betterment of our Valley, you’ll be able to sport a Suns Charities 88 watch of your own.