Wirtzie’s Childcare and Preschool
Dick and Eileen Bloechl have always believed in supporting their community, whether it was in their hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, or their retirement community in Arizona. They were honored with the Interfaith Community Care (Benevilla) Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2007.
Dick retired from UPS after a career of 31 years in National Finance, serving in five states throughout the Midwest. In each state, he was proud to serve on boards of many nonprofit agencies and used his skills to assist with fundraising efforts.
Eileen was a social worker in the Green Bay area, and together they raised four daughters and one son. She saw the value of creating an atmosphere of learning and love for children of all ages.
They desired that their legacy be defined by providing a nurturing environment for the children of future generations. Eileen’s maiden name was Wirtz, and her college friends affectionately called her Wirtzie. This name became the inspiration for the name Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care.
Ken and Alice Meade always lived by the Golden Rule – it’s important to help take care of the community where you live and work. They have been long-time supporters of Benevilla, making sure that the services Benevilla provides continue to be available. Ken has served on many boards with other nonprofits and uses his skills to help raise money for the community. Ken was honored with the Benevilla Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2008.
Both Ken and Alice were born in New York City and moved to Phoenix with their three children in 1958. They eventually opened Ken Meade Realty in 1983. Alice’s Wonderland is a testament to their commitment to all generations having the best quality of life possible.
Alice’s Wonderland consists of a trike track, splash pad, treehouse slide, play equipment, and sand/grass play areas.
“I’m naming this playground after Alice because I love her, and she deserves this.” ~Ken Meade
Art’s Center for All Ages
After coming to Sun City West as Michigan snowbirds, Art and Helen Nickless deeply appreciated the way Benevilla provided respite care for spouses who were faithfully caring for their beloved mates.
Art and Helen were devoted to their family and took a “family first” attitude that extended to helping under-served children of the next generation and generations to come.
Part of the commitment was Art’s support in opening Art’s Center for All Ages, a dedicated space between Lucy Anne’s Place and Wirtzie’s, which allows children and elders to come together to learn and grow and enjoy relationships with each other that are life-giving to all.
Lucy Anne’s Place
Hal and Lucy Anne met while working together at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. They married in 1953. They raised four wonderful daughters together – Sally, Carol, Lynn and Laura.
One of the things that both Hal and Lucy Anne loved to do together was fly an airplane. While Hal was flying their private plane for leisure and business, Lucy Anne decided that she too wanted to learn how to be a pilot and started taking flying lessons. Once Lucy Anne learned how to land the plane, they flew all over the US and Canada.
Hal and Lucy Anne moved to Arizona in 1993 to be close with their daughters and grand children. Once they decided it was time to permanently “land their plane,” they enjoyed motor homing.
Seven years ago Lucy Anne was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In honor of his wife, Hal named the day center after her.
“Interfaith Community Care is a wonderful organization. They provide real-life benefits for those who need help,” Hal said. “Lucy Anne’s Place will offer caregivers a great deal of relief. It is a great way to give back to the community and honor Lucy Anne.”
Birt and Louisa Kellam moved to Sun City West in January 1990 and have been supporters of Interfaith since 1991. They decided to sponsor Birt’s Bistro because they believe the new Interfaith project will have a positive effect on the community.
Birt retired as Corporate Vice President of A. G. Edwards, Inc. a national investment firm headquartered in St. Louis. Louisa played violin with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and for touring music stars and ballet companies.
Birt is currently a Trustee of the Arizona State University Foundation as well as a member of the Sun Health Board of Directors. Louisa now teaches English to foreign-language speaking adults and serves on the Board of the West Valley Symphony.