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FROM THE EDITOR: Grants, calendars and a dress code

On Wednesday, the Greater Green Valley Community Foundation gave away $55,000 to two dozen non-profits, but that wasn’t the best part of the morning.

This is the foundation’s 48th year handing out checks, but its bigger value goes much deeper. Twenty-two groups — from Paws Patrol to the Sahuarita Food Bank — received $1,000 or $2,000 to help keep the operations afloat. Two other groups — the Community Performance and Art Center and the GVR Foundation — each received $12,500 to help set up endowment funds with the goal of sustainability and attracting more donations in the future (donors like groups they know are going to be around a while).

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That’s the real value of the Community Foundation — coming alongside non-profits to help them strengthen everything from their boards to their bottom line through wise decision-making and support from like-minded organizations. Michelle Phillips, the foundation’s executive director, graduated 24 non-profits from its recent training series carried out by their Non-Profit Learning Institute. If you’re with a non-profit and don’t know about it, get ahold of her. NPLI is transforming the non-profit scene around Green Valley.

But the best part of the day? Michelle handed over the microphone to the non-profits to share what they’ve been up to. I wish everybody had been in the room. Board member Jim Nelson called it “one of the best days of the year.”

He’s right, because Green Valley rises and falls on its non-profits, and to hear how they’re serving the community is humbling and exciting.

The services cover everything from counseling to food banks, animal care to the arts. All non-profits serving you.

“We couldn’t do it without the support of this community,” Patti O’Berry said. She heads up Hands of a Friend, which runs Genesis House domestic violence shelter and other services, including DaZee’s consignment shop to support the effort. They receive zero public dollars.

Congratulations to Michelle Phillips, the Non-Profit Learning Institute and the Community Foundation. Great work in a community that truly appreciates it.

Calendar call

We received nearly 300 photos last year when we put out the call for our first — and very successful — calendar. Just 14 made the 2017 calendar, but every shot went into an online slideshow that had thousands of visitors (you can see it at

We’re ready to do it again. Our new 14-month calendar (December 2017 to January 2019) will be published in November, and we’d like to highlight your work.

Here are some basic rules:

•Think about the shape of a calendar and shoot for that hole. Ours is horizontal to squarish, so that’s what we’d like.

•Photos don’t have to be new. If you took a great shot last year, send it in. Still in love with the shot you submitted last year? We’ll take another look. If you were in last year’s calendar you can still enter — everybody’s welcome.

•All entries are going into an online slideshow, which launches with the arrival of the first photo. We might also use shots in our other publications.

•You’ll be credited by name in the calendar and online. Enter as many photos as you like.

•Everything must be emailed and we’ll accept entries through Sept. 17.

•Send entries to assistant editor David Rookhuyzen at:, and put “Calendar photo” in the subject line. Tell us who took the photo, where and when.

She did WHAT?!

We needed a good laugh out of Washington, and Rep. Martha McSally delivered.

The Speaker’s Lobby, a room next to the House chamber where lawmakers often meet reporters, has an unwritten dress code: dresses and blouses with sleeves for women, jackets and ties for men. No tennis shoes or open-toed shoes. They call it “appropriate business attire.”

Several women have been turned away over naked arms, including a reporter last week.

On Wednesday, Rep. McSally entered the kerfuffle, and from the House floor no less, in a statement directed at House Speaker Paul Ryan, who’d recently endorsed the dress code.

“Before I yield back, I want to point out, I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,” McSally said. “With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”

On Thursday, Ryan noted that the decades-old dress code likely needs updating and promised to get on it.

This isn’t the first time McSally has challenged a dress code. She brought a lawsuit against the Department of Defense in 2001 over the military policy requiring U.S. servicewomen in Saudi Arabia to wear an abaya — a body covering — while off base. She won that round, too.

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