Scottsdale philanthropist announces M gift | Neighbors

Scottsdale philanthropist announces $1M gift | Neighbors

A Scottsdale philanthropist who with her late sister created a foundation to help women become self-sufficient is donating $1 million to the organization.

Pat Petznick and the late Beverly Stewart founded the Fresh Start Foundation in 1992 by initially offering a day of pampering each month to 20 women at the salon they co-owned. 

“Fresh Start has supported more than 60,000 Arizona women, serving more than 4,000 women each year,” the foundation said in a release, adding that 82% of those women are mothers, 62% are single mothers and 67% are women of color. “These women face a variety of barriers hindering their ability to be personally or financially self-sufficient, including domestic violence, generational poverty, and unemployment.”

Petznick announced her gift during a recent event celebrating the foundation’s opening of the Petznick Education Center and the release of a book an organizational biography called “The Fresh Start Story.”

Petznick said her gift will enable Fresh Start to provide more women with greater access to education and learning onsite and online through the development and branding of a curriculum and courses developed to help women achieve.

 “I am deeply grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey, from our dedicated volunteers, donors, and staff to our community partners and the women whose lives we’ve touched. Together, we are all building a brighter future,” said Petznick. 

“As we look ahead, I am filled with hope, knowing that the incredible women in my family will continue to champion the mission of women’s empowerment through education, ensuring that Fresh Start’s transformative impact endures for generations to come.”

Fresh Start said it “has empowered over 60,000 women on their journeys to build brighter futures for themselves and their children. 

“Through personalized programs focused on critical subjects including health and well-being, computer skills, financial management, resume building and professionalism, to providing job training and scholarships for certifications and college degrees in partnership with educators and employers, education has remained at the core of Fresh Start’s mission,” according to a release.

“Studies show that as women achieve higher levels of education, they improve their families’ living standards. Education and in-demand hard and soft job skills are fundamental to women’s ability to overcome adverse circumstances and lift themselves out of poverty,” said Kim McWaters, foundation president/CEO. 

“The naming of the Petznick Education Center at Fresh Start reflects our commitment to evolving education practices to meet the changing needs of women in their pursuit of self-sufficiency and success.”

The book was written by foundation  board member Marlene Klotz Collins and described as “a heartfelt tribute to Fresh Start’s rich history and the countless lives it has touched over the past three decades.”


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