Suns Continue to Support, Impact and Proudly Represent Local Community

by Cody Cunningham

Since 1968, the Phoenix Suns have been committed to the Valley and have strived to implement themselves further and further into the Phoenix community they proudly represent. From local non-profits to Phoenix schools to surrounding businesses, the Suns have assisted in helping shape Phoenix through their constant support and impact throughout the community.

Through Suns Charities, established as the very first NBA team foundation, the organization has continued to give back through its mission of supporting children and family services throughout the state.

“AZA United has received multiple grants over the years from Phoenix Suns Charities to support a variety of our programs for children and families affected by autism,” Aaron Blocher-Rubin of Arizona Autism United said. 

For Blocher-Rubin, the Suns haven’t just been an outside organization looking in, but instead an integral part of their story at AZA United.

“No sports team has supported us and demonstrated community involvement to the level that the Phoenix Suns have,” Blocher-Rubin said. “Nearly 10 years ago, we started hosting an annual Autism Awareness Night at a Suns game and have continued ever since, getting more autism organizations involved to join the event each year.  It’s been a fun tradition and families love it.” 

Autism Awareness Night is one of just hundreds of ways the Suns have embedded themselves within the Phoenix community.

Just last season, Suns Managing Partner Robert Saver and Phoenix Suns Charities awarded a $1 million grant to refurbish, restore and build 50 basketball courts throughout Arizona. The initiative helped not only revitalize areas of the community in need, but also created safer and more enjoyable experiences for children throughout the Valley.

The Suns dedication to Phoenix’s youth has been displayed on countless occasions, including their partnership with Genesis City, who they have worked with throughout their entire 27-year history. Genesis City provides programs, activities and events that foster healthy and active engagement for Valley disengaged youth.

“The Phoenix Suns play a significant role in providing our youth with their very first jobs through the seasonal work available at the arena and the facility’s accessibility to all major hubs of public transportation eliminates further barriers to employment for the families that we serve,” Shana Thompa of Genesis City said.

Both organizations share a common goal in assisting the community and have been working together throughout the years to further their commitment to the Phoenix.

“Their belief in our mission of serving disadvantaged youth has allowed us to implement many life-changing programs and support services that have successfully broken the cycle of despair and poverty for the underserved families we serve in one generation,” Thompa said.

Through grants, player appearances and charitable outreach, the Suns have displayed consistent effort towards elevating the Phoenix community. As Phoenix’s original franchise, the organization will continue to serve, support 

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