On Sept. 10, The Women of Quail Creek (TWOQC) was honored as one of the AZ19 Region’s Most Influential People/Group of 2019. “This is a special project and event to recognize some of those like your group, who give back to their communities or fellow citizens selflessly and usually without fanfare,” said Dru Sanchez, publisher Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun.
“This is our second year, under the auspices of the Green Valley News, Sahuarita Sun, and Nogales International, in collaboration with our area chambers of commerce recognizing outstanding people/group who have touched lives in communities along the Interstate-19 corridor and eastern Santa Cruz County. A panel chose the winners from among dozens of nominations made by the public,” Sanchez added.
This year TWOQC celebrated its 15th anniversary in March. “The mission of our organization is to bring women together with a focus on serving. We believe that action builds camaraderie and enhances understanding. Today, nearly 400 women come together to make positive changes in the lives of others,” said Pat Neel, TWOQC president.
They began their philanthropic work in 2010 creating Quail Creek’s first-ever cookbook. Proceeds of just more than $11,000 went to the Green Valley Food Bank. The club has sponsored two food drives every year since 2006.
In 2011 the club sold aprons, thermal, and canvas totes to assist local victims of domestic abuse with a $4200 donation to Genesis House. In 2015, the sales from a second cookbook earned another $7,000 donation.
Since 2015 the committees support seven charitable areas:
American Cancer Society Fashion Show: Partnered with the Green Valley/Sahuarita Relay for Life since 2015, this year’s luncheon, silent auction, 50/50 raffle raised $17,000 for the ACS Relay team.
Honor Flight of SE Arizona: In 2016 TWOQC sponsored Green Valley resident Jan Haeger for an Honor Flight trip. They continue to support Honor Flight with a cash donation for costs associated with flights to Washington, D.C. TWOQC members write letters of thanks distributed during ‘Mail Call’ on the return flight.
Military Baby Shower: Since 2011, TWOQC has supported young families of the 162nd Air National Guard. The committee raises cash, clothing, and diaper donations. This year 1,400 handmade items were produced from committee members and the community.
The Women of Quail Creek Scholarship Program: Since 2015, TWOQC has awarded $27,000 in scholarships to 18 women: female students at Sahuarita High/Walden Grove Schools. In 2017 a Women in Transition (WIT) category was added for women over 21 who want to complete a degree or certificate in a specialized field. Funds are raised from general, and memorial donations, merchandise sales, and a yearly themed dinner event with raffles and silent auctions.
VA Homeless Veterans Clothing Drive: Since 2010 TWOQC have supported the VA Homeless Veterans. This community-wide event has grown to include over 100 volunteers and JROTC from Sahuarita Unified School District. Volunteers collect, box, and deliver boxes of gently used clothing and kitchen items to the VA—more than 8,000 items were collected in 2018.
The VA Support Group: Small items such as toiletries, calendars, playing cards are collected during TWOQC monthly programs and distributed to the VA.
Youth On Their Own (YOTO): The YOTO program supports students who have no stable living/family environment and who stay in school while maintaining good grades. TWOQC sponsors a school supply drive, a holiday blanket/gift card event, holiday gift bags for YOTO middle school students, collects shelf-stable microwavable food items for YOTO’s mini-mall, spice packets for cooking, and created a microwave cookbook for the students.
Check our website at womenqc.com.