Back To School Clothing Drive Will Honor BHHS Legacy Foundation, Grand Canyon University, James W. Rice, Kenneth Jacobson At 50TH Anniversary Gala

By Nonprofit Marketing ArizonaJanuary 15, 2018
The Back to School Clothing Drive (BTSCD) will celebrate its 50thanniversary by honoring its 2018 Champions for Children at the Back to School Clothing Drive 50thAnniversary Gold Masquerade Gala, Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue.
            The Back to School Clothing Drive has delivered more than 2.1 million uniforms to children across the Valley since 1967 with more than 3,000 volunteers donating over 350,000 hours to the effort every year.  Back to School Clothing Drive’s three key programs – New Clothes, New Beginnings Distribution, Student Attire for Education Matching Grant and Online Retail Store, and Stitches of Love – annually reach more than 25,000 students attending Title I public elementary schools in 40 school districts.
            The 2018 Champions for Children honorees are:
• Foundation Award: BHHS Legacy Foundation, Jerry Wissink.
• Corporate Award: Grand Canyon University, Brian Mueller
• Chairman’s Award: James W. Rice, Alhambra Elementary School District (retired)
• Chairman’s Award: Kenneth Jacobson, Avnet
            “Our 2018 honorees have been instrumental in working with us to help children in need throughout the Valley,” said BTSCD Executive Director Karl Gentles.  “Their commitment to our programs enables us continue our mission and underscores the premise that providing school clothing to children builds their self-esteem and confidence and allows them to focus on achieving in school.”
            Individual tickets to the event are $175.  Tables of ten are $1750 and sponsorship opportunities are still available.  To purchase tickets or tables or for sponsorship information, visit
            Co-emcees for the evening are CBS5’s Ian Schwartz and Yetta Gibson. 
            Sponsors include BHHS Legacy Foundation, Discount Tire, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Arizona Community Foundation.  Media Sponsor is CBS5/Arizona’s Family; Print Sponsor is SRP and Social Media Sponsor is Desert Diamond Casino.
            The 2018 honorees have had significant impact on the Back to School Clothing Drive’s success.
            For the past 14 years, The BHHS Legacy Foundation Backpack Buddies program has been the catalyst behind Back to School Clothing Drive’s successful New Clothes Beginnings annual summer distribution event. During that time, over 126,000 K-6 grade elementary school children throughout the Valley and Northern Arizona received new school clothing and school supplies.
            Grand Canyon University provides significant space to host the annual summer distribution “and opened up a world of possibilities and collaboration,” Gentles said.  Students attending the event benefit from being on a college campus and experiencing first-hand the potential to pursue a higher education.
            James W. Rice first became involved with the Back to School Clothing Drive during his tenure as a long-time board member and former president of the Alhambra Elementary School Board. A recognized leader of the BTSCD shoe department operation, his passion, dedication, and commitment have forged partnerships that will last well into the future, Gentles said.
            Kenneth Jacobson’s leadership as Treasurer has helped build BTSCD into a corporate entity with programs structured for growth, Gentles said.  Jacobson’s strategic thinking has led to the expansion of the BTSCD Student Attire for Education (SAFE) Matching Grant and online retail store into a recognized and innovative approach to nonprofit social entrepreneurship.
            For more information about Back to School Clothing Drive, visit
Celebrating it’s 50th year of serving Valley school children, Back to School Clothing Drive ( provides new school uniforms and outfits, backpacks and school supplies to children in need. Through its three programs, the New Clothes, New Beginnings Distribution; Student Attire for Education Matching Grant and Online Retail Store; and Stitches of Love, more than 25,000 kids attending over 260 Title 1 public elementary schools in 40 school districts benefit from its programs annually.