The 2018 Saddle Notes Awards Breakfast was held June 27 at the SaddleBrookeOne clubhouse. Cash awards totaling $39,000 were presented to this year’s recipients in recognition of their outstanding services to our neighboring communities. Those recognized included the Amphitheatre Foundation’s “Math Plus” program, Central Arizona College Foundation, Family First Pregnancy Care Center and Family Diaper Bank, Little Hooves and Big Hearts, Marana-Foothills Optimist Club, the Tri-Community Food Bank, the Oracle School Foundation and Against Abuse. Read more about these amazing organizations and how they use their grant funds in upcoming articles.

As a result of the articles written by residents for the Saddlebag Notes and the more than 100 volunteers who deliver the paper each month Saddle Notes Inc. is able to provide grants each year to organizations that strive to improve the lives of residents in communities neighboring SaddleBrooke. The Arizona Daily Star provides Saddle Notes Inc. a donation in recognition of the residents efforts to create and deliver the paper from Saddlebag Notes’ advertising revenue. Our advertisers, some of whom have advertised for many years, recognize the value of the Saddlebag Notes and its contributions to the community.

Saddle Notes, Inc. board members – Dave Taylor, Sally Haslett, Ray Wagner, Doris Helmich, Sherri Wyland, Jean Shaffer, Ted Demerritt and Linda Schreiber – take great pains in reviewing the applications each year and making the tough decisions on where the grant money will have the greatest impact.

Joel Rohlik, VP Finance, Arizona Daily Star attended the breakfast and told the attendees it was a great honor to see how the fruits of the collaboration between the Star and the Saddle Notes benefit such worthy organizations. Joel and Ray Wagner, Saddle Notes Board member, were instrumental in the creation of this collaboration. According to Ray, “…it was in December of 2006 that Saddle Notes, Inc. sold the name ‘Saddle Bag Notes’ and operating rights of same to TNI Partners, a partnership comprised of Lee Enterprises and Gannet Company, Inc., newspaper publisher, and owners of the Arizona Daily Star.  They began publication of Saddle Bag Notes with the February 2007 edition. Saddle Notes, Inc. and The Arizona Daily Star have had a wonderful working relationship for the last 12 years, supporting each other in many special ways.  We are incredibly appreciative of the financial support we have received from the paper honoring our carriers and producers.  That support has allowed Saddle Notes, Inc. to further our direct giving program to the many needy and worthwhile organizations which you have observed over the years.”

Ray Wagner, manager of Vistoso Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, was also instrumental in boosting the amount of funds available for this year’s awards through a $5,000 donation made by Vistoso Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in partnership with Precious Metal Refining Services. In their donation letter, they note, “We are very honored to play a part in supporting the Board’s generous efforts of providing information to the residents of SaddleBrooke and funding many worthwhile organizations that support those in need, especially the youth and elderly in the surrounding communities.   Your efforts are appreciated and valued by many in a service area that expands far beyond SaddleBrooke.”

You can help Saddle Notes continue to make grants to these worthy organizations by volunteering to deliver papers in your unit. Contact David Taylor at 520-818-3344 or