Realtors, Developers To Dig In For Sunshine Acres - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Realtors, Developers To Dig In For Sunshine Acres

October 23rd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Realtors, Developers To Dig In For Sunshine Acres

Hundreds of volunteers from the realty and development communities are planning to head back to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home for a second round of service.

Valley Partnership, the Valley’s advocacy group for responsible development, designated the Mesa facility as its 2018 community project recipient for the second time in two years – a first for the organization.

Nearly 300 volunteers are expected at Sunshine Acres on Nov. 3 to build a park, garden, football field and playground for the children who live there, according to spokeswoman Cassidy Landaker.

Sunshine Acres takes in children from across the Valley who have been separated from their families due to abusive situations or lack of care, providing them with emotional, social, physical, educational and spiritual support. Located on 125 acres, Sunshine Acres hosts a church, large family homes, a barn, garden, baseball field and community resource center.

It was opened in 1954 by Rev. James and Vera Dingman, with the idea of providing a Christian home for children who are separated from their parents. Its programs help them establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures, preparing them for success in adult life.

“We are so fortunate to be selected for the second time as Valley Partnership’s community project,” said Jon Markwell, facilities director at Sunshine Acres.

“As a children’s home, we don’t receive any federal funding and heavily rely on donations and volunteerism,” he added, “so that fact that Valley Partnership is adding on to the original project with a park, garden, football field and playground is such a blessing.”

Valley Partnership makes their selection based off of who can benefit from the skills, efforts and supplies provided by its partners to renovate and enhance facilities for children and those in need.

“Giving back to Sunshine Acres is always a joy, and we’ve created a simple but well-thought-out plan to add to our initial design,” said Kim Kleski, community project committee chair and landscape architect and owner of Kleski & Associates.

“On event day, we’ll have four different sites for volunteers to work at on the 125 acres. By the end of the day, the park, garden, football field and playground will be finished and ready for the community to use,” she added.

Dena Jones, and assistant vice president of Fidelity National Title Agency added, “It is such an honor to work with Jon and Shara Markwell as we plan for event day at what is affectionately called ‘the miracle in the desert.’ They are truly amazing partners to us. I know that the work we do together will help enhance the lives of the children at Sunshine Acres.”

More than five nonprofit organizations in the Valley applied for the 2018 Community Project. This year, Valley Partnership celebrates 31 years of engaging in an annual community project. Over those 31 years, Valley Partnership has contributed more than $4 million to the community.

“Although it is very out of the norm for us to go back to a community project for the second time, we felt that we left something unfinished,” said Cheryl Lombard, CEO and president of Valley Partnership. “Selecting Sunshine Acres for 2018 gives us a chance to not only finish what we started but to add on to it and give these deserving children a place to flourish.”

Several companies have already committed to donate their company’s time and services to this year’s initiative.

Valley Partnership represents the commercial, industrial and master-planned community industries.

Information: and

Comments are closed.