- The Sun Sounds Foundation was formed in 1998 with Diane Gardiner and founding charter member, Dr. Frank Kells. They had both been members of The Sun Sounders, an earlier friends group. The Foundation began to take over the process of funding and mounting the various beer festivals to stabilize the events, insolate Sun Sounds of Arizona from undue risk, and reduce the pressure on Sun Sounds’ staff of coordinating the events. It became a 501(c)(3) for federal tax exemption on July 26, 2000, which was the 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It then took over full responsibility for the Beer Tasting Festival events for fundraising and introduced the new website: AZBEER.com.
- In 2000, the Foundation helped Sun Sounds increase its state funding. In 2001, it began to apply for and administer grants in partnership with Sun Sounds of Arizona. This made it possible for grantors who require a 501(C)(3) tax exemption to provide funding to Sun Sounds of Arizona through the Foundation. In 2004, the Foundation assisted Rio Salado College in getting the 2004 bond passed which resulted in major funding for Sun Sounds of Arizona’s Sun Dial II system.
The Sun Sound Foundation continues to be the back bone of the Great Arizona Beer Festival, the Great Tucson Beer Festival, Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival, and other fundraising endeavors.
Past Presidents include:
- Rick Scott – 2016 – Present
- Kim Del Barto 2011-2016
- Bill Davis 2007-2011
- Kevin Wright 2004-2007
- Mike Chiricuzio 2003-2004
- John Thomas 2001-2003
- Elizabeth Andres 2000-2001
- Diane Gardiner 1998-2000
For more information about the following fundraising festivals go to www.azbeer.com
- The Great Arizona Beer Festival - in March
- The Made in the Shade Beer Tasting Festival - in June at Coconino County Fairgrounds in Flagstaff
- The Great Tucson Beer Tasting Festival - in October at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium