Winter Wonderland Gala

Picture yourself sitting at this table. (Photo by Jeanne Becker)

Jeanne Becker, Treasurer

During the summer and now in the fall, four members of the Greater Sun Lakes Community Foundation have been planning this year’s Winter Wonderland Gala. This year’s event coordinators Jan Hawkes, Jeanne Duncan, Jade Neff, and Karen McGowan are arranging a glamorous and elegant semi-formal dinner dance to be held on Sunday, Dec. 3, at the San Tan Ballroom in Cottonwood Country Club. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the raffle, silent auction, and a cash bar available. Dinner features a sit-down Surf & Turf dinner (petite filet and jumbo shrimp) served at 5:30 p.m., followed by live music and dancing by Rhythm Edition starting at 7 p.m. The $60 per-person ticket price includes tax and tip, with tickets available online at our website,

This event is our biggest fundraiser of the season and, as always, we are featuring a fabulous array of raffle baskets and silent auction items, along with our voluntary Crystal Donation Bowl to raise funds to support the mission of the Foundation “to enhance the quality of life for residents in the Greater Sun Lakes area in the areas of health, education, and culture.” Since our inception in 2015, the Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in grants and donations to multiple organizations that serve the older population in the East Valley. Examples of the many organizations that have received funding include the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority (AFMA) for the firefighters’ food fund; Neighbors Who Care to support the purchase of their new van, as well as many other programs; The Perfect Place that provides adult daycare and family support services; the Crystal Card Project that gives 100% of their sales to help local shelters; the Sun Lakes Community Theatre to fund workers for moving, set-up, and teardown of production sets and bleachers; Sun Lakes Community Theatre Children’s Productions to support the theatre troupe performing plays that are structured to teach children about theatre in 25 to 30 Chandler elementary schools each year; and both the Sun Lakes Posse and the Arizona Rangers.

The Foundation’s ability to award these grants is made possible through the financial generosity of individuals and companies that wish to enhance the quality of life for residents of Sun Lakes. The support by our friends and neighbors at events like the Holiday Gala and the spring Hoedown, as well as the raffle tickets purchased at TAD events at Cottonwood, are central to the Foundation’s continued support of organizations serving older residents in our communities as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information is on our website,