Sister Cities to honor world humanitarians


Tempe Sister Cities volunteers participate in fundraising for humanitarian effort both locally and internationally.

The 11th annual “Making a World of Difference” event is planned Thursday, Oct. 12, to honor world humanitarians whose work brings help and hope to thousands of people around the globe. They are changing lives … daily. Wells Fargo is the presenting sponsor.

This year there are four honorees. Kathi Juntunen, from Scottsdale, founded Chances4Children in 2005 to help the abandoned and starving children of Haiti. Today this organization serves more than 5,000 children.

Also honored will be Dr. Suresh Kumar who heads Harvest India, a program that reaches out to the “lowest of the low” in India with food, medical help, and education programs.

Michael Veitenhans, originally from Phoenix, serves as Director of Global Partnerships for World Bicycle Relief. This organization has furnished some 350,000 specially manufactured bicycles to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. With a bicycle more children can attend school, farmers take their goods to market, and medical help can reach remote villages.

Mark Huerta is a graduate engineering student at Arizona State University. He heads a team that is developing technology to provide water filters so that more of the world’s population can have clean water to drink.

He states “To see those kids drink clean water for the first time is the most rewarding feeling you can ever have. I wanted to change the world. The thing I never would have expected was how the world changed me.”

The public is invited to attend. The event will be held at Tempe Mission Palms Hotel with social hour beginning at 6 with dinner to follow. Tickets are $80 and reservations may be made online at or by calling Hackett House at 480-350-8181. A portion of each ticket goes to the honorees.


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