FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kelly Taft
PHOENIX (November 5, 2014) — A new statewide network will connect people of all generations with each other and with meaningful opportunities to participate in their communities—thanks to recently announced funding from local and national philanthropies. Grantmakers In Aging and the Pfizer Foundation are providing $157,000 in grants to support the Arizona Age-Friendly Network, an initiative of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust also contributed a $40,000 grant as cash match for the project.
Of the $157,000 received from Grantmakers In Aging and the Pfizer Foundation, $120,000 will support the expansion of the age-friendly network statewide. This includes assisting pilot sites throughout Arizona, the project's website, www.Connect60Plus.com; an annual conference; and a monthly webinar series. An additional $37,000 is supporting a collaboration with peers in Indiana, one of the other Community AGEnda sites. The other sites received grants of $120,000 each to further their efforts.
The funding will support a total of nine pilot sites throughout Arizona to implement new programs to connect generations. Partners, such as the Western Arizona Council of Governments, are coordinating efforts with communities outside Maricopa County, such as Quartzsite and Bullhead City. A multidisciplinary leadership team is coordinating activity statewide and providing support to local planning teams.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has championed the project since it began in 2011. "The network relies on our greatest asset, our residents, to connect neighbors and strengthen our community for all age groups,” Stanton said.
Maricopa Mayor Christian Price looks forward to seeing his community become a new pilot site in the network. "As a relatively new city, this is an important opportunity for us. Our City Council approved a resolution expressing our support for connecting all generations in Maricopa. Our growing city will grow stronger as a result of this program. "
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has partnered with the network since the beginning. "We are investing in the age-friendly network because of the potential it has to reframe how we build strong communities. It’s not up to government, nonprofit agencies, or foundations to do this work alone. The community can be an important partner in this work," said Trust President Dr. Susan Pepin.
“Making our communities more age-friendly means helping people live better by staying involved, healthy, and independent, able to live in their own homes as long as they want to, and maintaining important connections to families, neighbors, and communities,” said John Feather, PhD, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging.
“The global movement to make our communities more age-friendly is a smart and forward-looking response to our changing demographics,” said Oonagh Puglisi, Executive Director of the Pfizer Foundation. “Both the Pfizer Foundation and Pfizer Inc. recognize that healthier lifestyles, improved mobility, and stronger connections to community are important factors in improving quality of life for older adults and everyone in our communities.”
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