The 100 Club of Arizona has been a fixture in the Arizona public safety community for nearly half a century as the nonprofit organization that supports officers and firefighters when they are killed or critically injured in the line-of-duty. Yet, less known is the significant expansion of assistance programs and financial support programs the 100 Club of Arizona has integrated in their continual effort to perform their mission to “stand behind the men and women that stand behind the badge.”
Over the course of the last 15 years, the 100 Club of Arizona has grown their benefit programs with additions including a Safety Enhancement Stipends (SES) program which was designed to help public safety agencies purchase equipment that directly enhances the safety of their officers and firefighters; a scholarship program for public safety families; and, a HEROS fund established to provide assistance to first responders when they experience a life-altering event, not duty related, such as a serious illness or loss of a spouse or a child.
“We are so fortunate, we receive a continuous and generous outpouring of support,” said executive director, Sharon Knutson-Felix. “Arizona has always had such an amazing philanthropic heart. There are so many partnerships and fundraising opportunities that will allow us to continue growing and expanding the assistance programs we can offer our public safety families as thank you for their selfless service to our community.”
Supported by membership and community-based fundraising, the 100 Club of Arizona recently introduced Ashley Slechta as the corporate development manager to expand the stewardship of donor relations.
“Ashley has an infectious enthusiasm for empowering those around her to support and better their community,” said assistant director of the 100 Club of Arizona, Patti Ballentine. “Her ability to align with businesses that support public safety and working with Sharon to find mutual beneficial programs to invest their corporate giving funds will allow us to grow and continue supporting the men and women in public safety.”
Slechta, an Arizona native, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Hugh Downs School of Communications at Arizona State University. During her time at ASU, Slechta interned and worked as a promotions assistant at News- Talk 92.3 KTAR and Sports 620 KTAR. After graduation she was promoted to community relations coordinator at KTAR. Prior to joining the 100 Club of Arizona staff, Slechta worked with Gambo & Ash to facilitate Holiday Heroes, a 12- hour radiothon that would benefit the 100 Club of Arizona and public safety throughout the entire state of Arizona and would raise more than $750,000 in five years.
She is the former vice president of marketing for Republican Professionals, head coach and counsel for Run the World, and branch board member for Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley.
Slechta is active in her community and an advocate for “A Door To Hope” supporting Haiti. She also volunteers with political campaigns and charity events. She focuses primarily on strategic communications, nonprofit development, public and donor relations, and event sponsorships.
“It is amazing to me that when I became the executive director in 2001, it was a small operation I ran out of my home,” said Knutson-Felix. “To think today we serve 50,000-plus public safety officers and firefighters in the state, providing more than a million dollars in direct support is mind baffling.”