More than 500 ‘Pitch In for Kids’

Big Brothers Big Sisters event raises $200K.

With a lineup that included Bob Brenly as honorary chair, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone and all-star match Sam Leyvas, Skyler and Skyler’s mom, Kelly Aguilar, Pitch In for Kids raised nearly $200,000. The signature fundraiser for Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Arizona was held Feb. 23 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, with more than 500 guests in attendance.

The evening began with a cocktail hour, mystery boxes for purchase and an opportunity to pose in the photo booth.

During dinner, Sheriff Penzone spoke about the impact of one caring, committed adult in a child’s life and how that relationship can, in turn, resonate throughout the family, school and community. Laura Capello, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, highlighted the organization’s programs, pointing out that donors make it possible for the agency to match more than 1,500 youth each year with caring, supportive mentors, and provide professional support to ensure those matches are successful. Clarence Stallings, a board member and former Little Brother, shared the personal story of his 39-year friendship with his Big Brother.

Little Brother Skyler, age 9, and Big Brother Sam spoke about how spending time together has enriched both of their lives. Aguilar, who has three sons in the BBBS program, inspired guests with how the program not only has helped her sons but also has strengthened their family bond.

In speaking about the importance of mentoring, baseball legend Bob Brenly emphasized that he has been mentored throughout his life, both personally and professionally. Then he and the Bigs and Littles present led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Pam Giannonatti of Fry’s Food Stores and Paul Evans of Evans CPA and Consulting co-chaired the evening, and Paul Horton, KPHO CBS 5 chief meteorologist, served as emcee. Letitia Frye was the auctioneer.


Paul Evans, event co-chair; Michael Seaver, board member; Hope Parker and Jessica Taylor

A Big and Little share the fun evening.

Board member Johnny Key and his wife, Sarah, with Georgia Lysay and Jenn Saunders

Casey Strunk and Teresa Strunk, board member; Christine Lindsay; and Samantha and Larry Hirsch

Grace, Brock and Julie Graham, Catrina Boppart and Tyler Ulery. Julie was formerly a Big to Catrina.

Jennifer and Paul Horton with Laura Capello, BBBS president and CEO

Kelly Aguilar with her three sons

Big Brother Sam Leyvas with Little Brother Skyler

Bob Brenley signs baseballs for the Littles.

Sheriff Paul Penzone with Bob Brenley

Police department announces a new program: “Bigs in Blues.”

Freeport McMoRan table: Seated: Ryan and Crystal Whitlatch, Jennifer Saunders and Georgia Lysay. Standing: Heather Ballard, Johnny and Sarah Key, Diana Whiteaker, Jasmine Bullard and Rick Carter

A Little and a Big

Littles with baseball players and wives

Sheriff Paul Penzone

Mario Aniles, board member

John Bohnart, BBBS board president; Tyler, Mark and Pam Giannonatti; Natalie Bedwell



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