Find News and Events


AZ: Gala to Celebrate Community Service

September 12, 2008

by Karen Mattox

Join Midwestern University (MWU) and community leaders for the annual Bright Lights, Shining Stars gala on Saturday evening, October 18th at the MWU Campus at 19555 North 59th Avenue in Glendale. Two West Valley community leaders will receive special service awards, and nine MWU students will receive scholarships in recognition of their "spirit of service."

Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals, is the winner of this year's COMET (Community Outreach: Motivating Excellence for Tomorrow) Award, established by Midwestern University and the City of Glendale in 1999 to recognize exemplary commitment to education, health care, and community service. Mr. Bidwill is extremely dedicated to the community, serving as Chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, and a strong supporter of youth sports. He is also an enthusiastic pilot and volunteer for the Flying Samaritans, helping to provide free medical clinics in Mexico.

The COMET Award will be presented by Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., MWU President & CEO, and the Honorable Mayor Elaine M. Scruggs, City of Glendale.

In addition, a Shooting Star Award will be presented by Dr. Goeppinger to Kristin Parrack, founder of the GIFT (Growth Improvement for Female Teens) program. GIFT was founded in 2003 to empower young women to overcome life's challenges through support groups and leadership development. Ms. Parrack currently teaches special education at the Howard Gray School, which was developed by Banner Behavioral Health for 5th-12th grade kids with academic and emotional difficulties.

Student winners of this year's Spirit of Service scholarship awards include: Omar Chowdhry, Janet Leathers, and Nathan Hale from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM); Sapna Sawhney, Hope Kimura, and Denise Stephens from the College of Pharmacy-Glendale (CPG); and, Zack Gangwer, Marna Haverkamp, and Jamie Mieras from the College of Health Sciences (CHS).

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Karen Mattox