SOT-AZ recognized by Arizona State Legislature

Left to right: Jeff Jones, Paul Lewinski, Mel Foster, BJ Foster, Rep. Frank Pratt; Steve Anderson, Gerard Wittman and Ed Michaud

Left to right: Jeff Jones, Paul Lewinski, Mel Foster, BJ Foster, Rep. Frank Pratt; Steve Anderson, Gerard Wittman and Ed Michaud

RR SOT-AZ has been recognized by the Arizona State Legislature. Representatives Frank Pratt and T.J. Shope invited current and past board members to the March 30, 2016 session to be introduced to the attending State Representatives. We were truly honored: beginning with a pre-tour of chambers, followed by a formal reading of our accomplishments and then introductions: BJ Foster, president; Steve Anderson (wife, Pat Anderson), VP; Jeff Jones (wife and SOT publicity, Layne Jones), Secretary; Founding/past Board Members: Mel Foster, Paul Lewinski, Ed Michaud and Gerard Wittman. Representatives Pratt and Shope showcased just what a small community of very generous residents can accomplish and how our efforts have greatly helped Pinal County Veterans and Active Duty Personnel.

Our History: Please take a minute to just see how this small group of Robson Veterans saw a need, had the vision and acted.

Our Start: SOT-AZ, a nonprofit corp, 501(c)(3) public charity that was founded in late 2011 by seven Robson Ranch veterans: Jim Law, Mel Foster, Gerard Wittman, Paul Lewinski, Ed Michaud, Bob and Karen Furu. They wanted to create an organization that could help make a difference for local veterans and troops serving overseas. At the time there were many veterans in Pinal County that were not receiving the support they needed in addition to a significant number of active military serving in the Middle East.

Fundraising: We charged a modest membership fee to join SOT-AZ and held our first event, a “USO-like” show using local Robson Ranch talent and raised over $4,000 with only 425 homes at that time. The majority of that money was spent to assist MaryBeth and George Fisher’s annual handmade Christmas stockings project, filled with necessities and sent to individual military personnel overseas.

As We Grew – 2012: Our signature fundraiser was a Veterans Day golf tournament and auction of donated items. The events have grown each year as have the funds. To date we have raised over $158,000. Our neighbors at Robson Ranch and our friends in Casa Grande and Eloy have enabled our organization to help countless local veterans and their families.

Continuing Our Outreach/Mission – 2015: We expanded our community involvement by providing scholarships and starting an endowment fund with Central Arizona College to ensure money would always be available to assist local veterans and their families.

Congratulations to all the Robson residents who have so graciously opened their hearts, their pocketbooks and schedules to help the local veterans in need. We could not have done it without you.

How to join: For those who would like to join our mission, please contact BJ Foster at [email protected] or Steve Anderson at [email protected]

Lifetime membership is $25 per person and receive our new magnetic ribbon-flag; annual memberships are $5 per person.