Foundation fund

Kyrene Foundation Holds Signature Fundraiser | Community orientation

The Kyrene Foundation is hosting its Night for Kyrene to raise funds to help school district students and their families, local schools and educators.

Formerly called The Taste of Kyrene, this 10th annual fundraiser is set to be held at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa on September 24.

Tickets are still available for the special evening, which includes a plated dinner and dessert, cash bar, live music from musician Gilbert Guillaume Alvin Jefferson, various keynote speakers – including Kyrene School District Superintendent Laura Toenjes – the silent auction and Live Ask (online auction), a funding feature and a $25 wine raffle.

New this year is Live Demand, an opportunity for those unable to attend the fundraiser to bid on items during the live online auction.

Sponsors, silent auction donors, raffle donors (minimum value of $25 and up) and reserved table reservations are still accepted.

Among the musical hosts is Guillaume Alvin Jefferson who will perform during the reception hour from 6 to 7 p.m.

Gilbert native and former model Guillaume Alvin Jefferson plays jazz, blues, and rock and roll throughout the Valley and in California.

He said he was honored to be one of the lead musicians in the 2022 Night for Kyrene entertainment lineup.

“I support children, families and teachers because I know the true concept of legacy, survival and nurturing,” said the 31-year-old musician and songwriter. “And continuing to give back to the community is my mission to inspire and love one another.”

Former morning radio host and longtime resident of Ahwatukee, Mathew Blades, will host the evening as he did last Night for Kyrene, held in 2019.

A mental wellness speaker and podcast host of “Learning From People Who’ve Been There” said giving back to the community is what keeps him coming back to help the nonprofit Kyrene Foundation.

“My youngest attends Altadena High School and the oldest is in Desert Vista. They’ve been in Kyrene District their whole learning life, which is pretty cool,” said Blades, now the new head coach of the Desert Vista Hockey Program.

“I do this for the Kyrene Foundation because I want to see people succeed, and I like to offer a helping hand and a little hope to families who feel life is tough.”

Suzanne Rinker, board member of the Kyrene Foundation, is once again president of Night for Kyrene. She chaired the 2019 fundraiser which raised over $54,000.

A member of the Kyrene Foundation Board of Trustees for three years, Rinker is no stranger to foundations or fundraising, as she is also Vice President of Business Development at the ASU Foundation.

“It’s a great night to come together as a community while helping raise funds for a meaningful organization,” she said. “The Kyrene Foundation is truly making a difference in the lives of students, their families, and educators throughout the district.”

She said speakers will include recipients of the Teacher Mini-Grants, one of the programs that helps educators in the Kyrene School District.

The Kyrene Foundation, in partnership with the Kyrene School District, also offers master grants, student scholarships for after-school enrichment and athletics, backpacks, and other items for students in the need.

They also provide Thanksgiving food baskets each year and help sponsor the annual Winter Wonderland.

The Kyrene Family Resource Center, located next to Kyrene de los Niños, is also a beneficiary of largesse from the Kyrene Foundation.

“The Kyrene Foundation exists because of the wonderful support of the Kyrene community,” said Shirley Coomer, Chair of the Kyrene Foundation Board of Trustees. “We partner with local businesses, non-profit organizations and community supporters to provide essential assistance to our students and families.”

The signature fundraiser will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa located at 8000 Arizona Grand Parkway.

For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets for Night For Kyrene 2022, see

For those unable to attend the September 24 gala, donations to the foundation and their programs can also be made through the website.

Donors can email [email protected] or submit information

Tickets for the event are $95 and tables are $1,250, with sponsorships available.