As a STARS stakeholder – whether a subscriber of the Shooting Star, volunteer board member, CommunityWork community partner, CIE community partner, parent or guardian, resident or employee of the City of Scottsdale, grant – funding foundation, corporation, individual donor, STARS team member, or advocate for the thousands of individuals with life-long intellectual and developmental disabilities – 2023 should serve as a year to remember for as long as your memory serves you.

Why? Because 2023 is the year STARS reached a milestone of extraordinary significance, celebrating 50 years of providing programs and individualized support for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

View 2023 End Of Year Report

Founded in 1973 by a small group of passionate parents concerned by a lack of services for their adult children, organized by the charismatic Mary King, and generously supported for decades by the grassroots efforts of the godmothers – affectionately referred to as “Las Madrinas” – what was then known as the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped and subsequently named Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services, or simply STARS, this gem of a nonprofit is one of the most sustainable, and perhaps least-known, long-standing organizations in the Valley of the Sun.

Contrary to the lyrics of Barbara Streisand’s song The Way We Were, released as a single in the same year as the organization’s founding, STARS will forever be a memory of the way we are, for since inception STARS has always been – and will always be – a safe, caring and compassionate oasis for people with I/DD who want to improve their self-care, self-advocacy, and economic self-sufficiency.

It’s both an honor and a privilege to serve in leadership at STARS, where the future is bright and the demand for quality services for the needs of our participants and their families abounds. As with any nonprofit, we are faced with many challenges. Our mission to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and each day we seek opportunities to do so.

May I ask you to thoughtfully consider how you might partner with STARS to further our mission? Your future memory begins with a conversation. You can reach me by email at dhenderson@starsaz.org or by calling my direct line at 480.405.9810. There’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing stories about STARS, and your support will help create new memories of the way we are!

David Henderson
STARS President & CEO