As part of the Phoenix Suns’ “Rise Together” giving campaign, the Suns announced today a $1 million donation to the Valley of the Sun YMCA that will create an endowment fund to support programs and activities for children and families in need.  To commemorate the gift, the Suns commissioned the talented Tato Caraveo to create a mural at the Watts Family Maryvale YMCA that honors Horacio Llamas, who became the NBA’s first Mexican-born player as a member of the Suns.  The mural celebrates breaking barriers and hopes to inspire future generations that dreams are possible. Caraveo, a downtown Phoenix-based local artist and musician, has several whimsical works throughout the Valley that celebrate local arts and culture.

A check presentation and mural unveiling were held this morning at the Watts Family Maryvale YMCA. Video and images from today’s event can be downloaded HERE.

“As one of the oldest non-profits in Arizona and a founding partner of the Jr. Suns youth basketball league, the Valley of the Sun YMCA has been a tremendous teammate in assisting the community,” said Phoenix Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley.  “We’re proud to continue our support of the youth and families they serve and celebrate the opportunity to commemorate the donation with a historic and inspirational symbol of our team’s rich history.”

In January, the Suns committed to providing $10 million in community benefits to local non-profits and city programs in partnership with the City of Phoenix and as part of the “Rise Together” campaign, the Suns are funding and collaborating with vested community partners in education, social services, special needs, hunger-relief, housing, healthcare, elderly care, and public safety to address needs, engender positive change and elevate the quality of life in our community.

“We are incredibly pleased and honored to accept this remarkable gift from the Phoenix Suns organization,” said Bryan Madden, president and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA.  “With their support, we will be able to further serve the needs of our communities across Phoenix and assist hundreds of children and families with the ability to participate in our extensive variety of programs.”

In September, the Suns became the first professional sports team to assist Head Start, which was founded in 1965 and is the biggest preschool program in the country, with a $2.6 million donation.  The Suns have also previously announced major donations to the Back to School Clothing Drive, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff Office Animal Safe Haven Unit, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Fire Foundation, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, among others, plus funding for an additional 100 plus non-profits throughout the Valley.

Since its inception in 1988, Phoenix Suns Charities has been focused on making our community a better place through its mission of supporting children and family services throughout Arizona and has distributed more than $32 million to local non-profits and organizations in need. The entire Suns organization has embedded itself locally by supporting community efforts through hundreds of player appearances and thousands of volunteer hours by Suns players and staff.