'Your Cause. . .
Mission: To focus daily on the 'What' in order to complete the tasks given to us to serve the community.
Vision: To engage key stakeholders within the community, to join together in a unified effort to utilize valued resources to make a positive and constructive change.
Purpose: To understand the 'Why' to the mission and bring it to fruition through fundraising events, programs, services and volunteering to enhance the quality of life for the residents in our community..
Lance is a former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams. He is actively involved in the NFL Alumni "Caring For Kids" which benefits children in need through hands-on community service and fundraising events. Lance has coached football at the University of Iowa, Arizona State University and recently at Lincoln University. He has earned a Master of Education and Master of Sports Administration. Lance has also mentored at-risk student athletes for over 20 years and believes that education provides numerous opportunities for youth.
Dr. Brenda Combs
is a symbol of inspiration and perseverance to all who meet her. Only fifteen years ago, she was a homeless crack addict, a petty criminal, a gaunt and hopeless wreck who had been shot, beaten and raped during the endless years when she lived under a bridge in the worst part of Phoenix. It took hitting rock bottom for Combs to find the strength to turn her life around, on a blistering summer day.
As a woman, who at one time could not help herself, Combs now spreads a message of hope wherever she goes. Her journey, which has been called “From Homeless to Hero” by local and national media, has received tremendous coverage, including acknowledgement by “theGrio 100” as one of the most influential African-Americans, an article in Reader’s Digest and interviews on The Today Show and on CNN. She has also appeared on radio talk shows across the country, and accepted invitations to sing and share her message on stages across the globe, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Combs continued to pursue her education at Grand Canyon University (GCU), where she earned a master’s degree in Special Education in 2007. And in May 2011, Brenda earned a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Education after receiving a full scholarship grant presented to her by GCU. Professor Combs is now a full-time member of GCU’s faculty.
Dr. Combs is the founder of Finding My Shoes, a charitable organization that serves the homeless and underserved communities. Additionally, she and her husband run Making Things Better Sober Living, a transitional program for women who have been incarcerated. Her success rate for this program is an astounding 99%. She also serves as an advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness and, in 2009, Combs was named a National Ambassador for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's "Power to End Stroke" campaign.
Valley of the Sun Charity Foundation was founded in 2016 by Bobbie Bennett and Phyllis Smolens; two powerful women of the volunteer community. Bobbie and Phyllis both have the love and compassion for kids and the empowerment of their future by suppling school supplies and books Our board of directors is comprised of individuals who have committed their lives to the cause of serving humanity by paying it forward in every possible way.
Having worked in numerous fields of endeavor in corporate America, public and private sectors, government and community organizations, the board expertise is boundless. Individually as successful entrepreneurs, and now collectively as a team possessing a spirit of service, the board has found its place in the Valley with being forever the creative and assertive group, they are resourceful, result driven, and totally embrace the essence of living to change lives and see hope in the eyes of each and every individual impacted by their efforts.
Bobbie has been an avid photographer for many years and treats clients with excellent customer service due to her extensive background in the hospitality industry. Bobbie belongs to the Arizona Photographer Adventure Club and a member in various groups such as Foothill’s Women’s Club, eWomen, Heartlink, Empowering Women of Phoenix and Girlfriend Guide for Wild Boomer Women. Mrs. Bennett graduated ASU as an Event Planner and have an extensive background in Charity events. Producer of Queen Diva of The Year and Creator of The Kids Kooking Class. Bobbie’s volunteer experience includes a Docent at the Tempe Museum, an active Certified Tourism Ambassador for the State of Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Channel Eight (KAET) pledge drives and Editor/Publisher of The Beaver Valley Bulletin.
Bobbie currently holds the title of Co-Founder of Valley of The Sun Charity Foundation a 501 c3 no-profit organization
Bobbie’s personal goal is to surround herself with women who lead from their hearts and value people who make an impact not just in our community but in the world! When Bobbie isn’t volunteering with Valley of the Sun Charity events or other non-profit events or projects she is performing as a Stand-Up Comedian.
Debbie is an accomplished vocalist and recording artist who has been mesmerizing audiences since the early 1970s. She is a principal member and vocal director of the group she began with her siblings, Grammy-nominated Sister Sledge, who hit the top of the charts with dance hits such as We Are Family, He’s the Greatest Dancer, Lost in the Music, and Thinking of You. These songs made global superstars of the quartet, and today they continue to perform (as a trio) to enthusiastic audiences all over the world.
Recently Debbie stepped out on her own exploring the jazz classics and lesser-known gems close to my heart. Influenced by the artistry of legendary jazz greats such as Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simon, Shirley Horn, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Little Jimmy Scott and many others.
In 2014, she released a mellow debut solo collection of spiritual and love songs.
Ms. Sledge is currently performing with her Sisters and alone with her Jazz in the following location. Toomlers in Amsterdam Holland, the renowned Club Domicile in Pforzheim, Germany, Harlem’s legendary New York Cotton Club and the famous Standard in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Debbie started a blog with her sisters call “Nothing is greater than love”. It’s a webpage that provide Peace, Love and Empowerment to women. In March of 2017 The Sledge Sisters led the Walk in Her Shoes with Helen Pankhurst, Annie Lennox and Bianca Jagger in Honour of International Women’s Day. She also volunteer's with the United Nation Woman’s new campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, X mission; an organization that helps women who are rescued form human trafficking. Ms. Sledge also is honored to support ActionAid, an incredible charity who find safe places for children in need over the Christmas period.
As a small town girl from Starke FL, Phyllis always wanted to help people. After Graduating from Bradford High School in 1980, Phyllis moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin in pursuit of a Business Administration career. Phyllis attended University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and worked at multi-million dollar Corporation’s WH Brady and Johnson Control.
In 1992 Phyllis moved to Mesa Arizona where she found the love of her life, Greg Smolens. After 10 years into the marriage with 3 wonderful kids. Greg and Phyllis decided to start an Event Planning company called Experienced Hearts ~ Arizona Event Planners and Event Sitters. As Phyllis rose to the top of her career she dedicated herself to giving 10% of her revenue to Local Schools by purchasing school supplies for the Teachers.
With the love of the community and seeing the need from so many... Phyllis starting volunteering locally and internationally with building homes with Habit for Humanity, Mission trips to Mexico with her family to build homes, and continual support of out-reach project within the community. Because of her love of volunteering and helping others, Phyllis became the Co-Founder of Valley of the Sun Charity Foundation a 501 c3 non-profit organization . When Phyllis isn’t volunteering or planning events, she is doing Reality TV with shows like " Who gets the Last Laugh", "Let’s Ask America", "The Game of Life", "The Steve Harvey Show", "The Price is Right", "Let’s Make a Deal", as well as taping sizzle reels and pilot shows for ABC, CBS, NBC, TBS and TruTV.
Life isn’t a fairytale but Phyllis makes every day a life of Love Peace and Joy.
Valley of the Sun Charity Foundation
Mesa, AZ 85209
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