Giving high fives to professional basketball players is just one reason to participate in the Phoenix chapter of the BYU Alumni Association. Mark F. (BS ’86) and Margaret Bohn Wright (’81) head the group, which is the largest domestic chapter outside of Utah, and keeping it humming requires a broad range of activities.
“We want to cater to as many people as possible,” Mark says. The chapter has had good participation, for example, in sporting events. “I contacted the Phoenix Suns and offered to buy 500 tickets,” Mark says. “They were excited to work with us and offered some unique opportunities.”
Chapter members who attended the game were invited to the tunnel where fans can greet players and were allowed to play on the court a few hours before the game. “One of the kids met a Suns player and received a jersey and basketball,” Mark says. The chapter also sponsors an “LDS Day” with the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team, and a golf tournament helps raise funds for the chapter’s scholarship program.
“In 2006 we collected $10,000, and we are increasing that amount significantly for 2007,” Mark says. Since the Wrights have been chapter chairs, more than 30 students have been awarded scholarships.
The Wrights also bring BYU performing groups and guest speakers to the Phoenix area. “We had hundreds attend a fireside with David A. Nelson (BS ’95), from the School of Family Life,” Margaret says. “What makes an event successful is getting the word out.”
“The Phoenix chapter is one of the best at correlating with other constituencies,” says Roy A. Brinkerhoff (MFA ’84), assistant director of alumni activities. “The Wrights keep in touch with the law and management societies, the Cougar Club, and even the Tucson chapter, as well as many other organizations.”