Stephanie Bracken joined the Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club (“the Club”) in 2013 after her Dad passed away. She wanted to meet other young, professional women, and join in the Club’s efforts to improve lives for children in our community. The Club became therapy for Steph, by putting her energies into such a great cause, she was able to move forward following the death of her dad.
Liza Cohen and her sister, Ally Warshaver, both learned the importance of giving back from their family. Their Dad, Chuck Warshaver, served in prominent charity roles, including as Executive Director of Playworks. Getting involved and supporting important causes was understood as something every professional has a responsibility to undertake. Both girls decided to join the Club to put these lessons into action, and they have served the Club for more than 5 years each.
The Club was formed in 1988, as a regional division of the Active 20-30 International Club, whose mission is to support worldwide organizations assisting children in need. Through the efforts of its members, over those 33 years the Club has donated more than $2.1 million to local children’s charities. The ladies involved in the Club form unique bonds with their peers through social and philanthropic activities, and perhaps more importantly, learn vital life lessons about the importance of giving back.
It’s so easy, as a young professional, to be totally consumed by your blossoming career and personal life. The day-to-day responsibilities and stresses can be overwhelming. But as we all know, there is more to life than a job, and all of the members demonstrate this by putting their energy into volunteering and fundraising that improves the lives of children right here in our local community.
Attending the Club’s major fundraiser “VIVA”, you see the fun these women have, enjoying an evening of entertainment. What you don’t see is the enormous commitment of time that is devoted by caring women between 21 and 39 years of age to raise dollars – over $120,000 in 2021 alone for Arizona children’s charities!
You might ask why a busy young professional should devote so much energy to such a cause? Steph would tell you it’s to help children who don’t have the blessings she does, and to pass on lessons learned to younger women of the Club. Liza would relate the story of helping with the Boys and Girls Clubs holiday shopping program, and the way she was moved by seeing a young man who doesn’t smile enough experience the joy of the season. All of the members participate in volunteer opportunities to see first-hand how the dollars they work so hard to raise are put into action.
The Club volunteers at, and supports beneficiaries including Ryan House, Child Crisis Arizona, Harvest Compassion Center and Best Buddies. The interaction Club members have with children served by these charities truly cements one of their cornerstone tenets, that “One never stands so tall as when kneeling to help a child.”
The Club provides women with an opportunity for personal growth, friendships and leadership development, while improving the quality of life for children in our community – a home run for every one of the ladies as well as for our Valley of the Sun!
VIVA 2022 will be held on April 29th at Warehouse 215 in downtown Phoenix. The ladies of the Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club are actively seeking sponsors and supporters to help set another fundraising record. To learn more, visit www.vos2030.com.
Dan Shufelt, the former CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, has been involved in the charity world as an executive and grant maker for many years.
If you enjoy learning of caring people and the amazing work they devote their energy to advance, be sure to sign up for Dan’s blog (see sign-up form below).