The Foundation Donates to the HeARTsy Program at Robson Reserve

Back row (left to right): Foundation members Jeanne Becker, Frank Gould, Cheryl Ravenscroft, and Richard Hawkes; Tina Ferguson (executive director at HeARTsy), Dale Darling (resident and artist), Lance Williams (Robson director); front row (left to right): Jay McKnight (Life Enrichment), Abby Nite (Life Enrichment),
Tammy Nite (Life Enrichment)

Jeanne Becker, Foundation Treasurer

Due to a grant of $3,000 from The Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation, the HeARTsy fine arts program will now be “in person” at Robson Reserve, offering fine art classes to some at-risk populations, specifically seniors suffering from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

Due to COVID-19, so many people have lost their sense of belonging and have missed friends and family. This population is high risk and still very isolated. According to the Journal of AHIMIA, “Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with increased risk for several chronic conditions, including dementia, stroke, and heart disease.” Studies have shown that many in these at-risk populations are now dying of abandonment, depression, and isolation; however, HeARTsy can help reduce these negative feelings and outcomes in these populations while giving participants a positive, uplifting purpose through the arts!

HeARTsy is dedicated to bringing ability-appropriate fine art programming to underserved populations who would typically lack the funding, transportation, and access to the arts. HeARTsy believes that creative arts therapies should be at the core of patient-centered care, and our training in Montessori methods of arts training helps us do just that! Through our arts program and art kits, students benefit from fine arts programming, becoming empowered, engaged, and enlightened on multiple mediums of art while also building meaningful friendships! Our innovative Montessori-style art education techniques allow senior citizen communities to transcend the standard childlike “craft” classes filled with simple stickers, crayons, and foam and paper plates, and we replace that with fine arts materials such as goggles, glass paint, polymer clay, canvas, mosaics, watercolor pencils, fabric painting, fine jewelry, and much more! These amazing, creative seniors of all ages and abilities have participated in the arts in the past, and now we are helping them rekindle their ability to thrive. So, HeARTsy provides these fun, challenging, and safe opportunities for seniors to connect with each other again through art.

The Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation was established to enhance the quality of life for the older population in the East Valley, including Sun Lakes residents, in the areas of health, safety, education, and culture. The Foundation gives grants and awards to local nonprofits, service organizations, and clubs to enhance their work in all our Sun Lakes communities. The Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation is entering its seventh year as a charitable 501(c)(3) foundation serving the Sun Lakes community. During the past six years, The Foundation has raised and disseminated grants and awards in excess of $100,000 in support of many local groups that provide services, activities, and opportunities for our senior population. So, if you are part of an organization in Sun Lakes that needs financial support, to apply, please go to