Outlets at Anthem

The Outlets at Anthem Shopping Extravaganza benefits nine select, Valley-based nonprofits, offers shoppers exclusive discounts, and gives away $20,000 in prizes and gift cards. (Outlets at Anthem/Submitted)

The Outlets at Anthem is having its 18th annual Shopping Extravaganza retail philanthropy event, which benefits select Valley nonprofits and gives shoppers discounts and the chance to win more than $20,000 in gift cards and prizes Saturday, Oct. 1.

“Not only do participants have a fantastic time, they are helping worthy causes close to their hearts,” said JoAnn Truax, director of real estate operations and marketing for Outlets at Anthem. 

“With the current challenges, charities need more help than ever and we’re thrilled we can still provide this fundraising opportunity.”

Tickets to the event are $15, and all proceeds are donated to one of the nine participating nonprofit organizations based in the Valley. This year’s participating charities are Almost There Rescue, Daisy Mountain Firefighters Charities, Girl Scout Troop 2595, Homes for Heroes, Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG), Musical Theatre of Anthem, Southwest Kids Cancer Foundation, Stepping Stones of Hope and Youth for Troops.

Musical Theatre of Anthem founder Jackie Hammond said the event benefits everyone involved.

“It’s a win-win situation,” she said. “The outlets get business because people are shopping there and taking advantage of the deals, and then the organizations, we get 100% of the proceeds from the tickets.”

Hammond, who participates in the Shopping Extravaganza, also said there are some great sales and the event is a lot of fun. According to Truax, about 85% to 90% of Outlets at Anthem stores participate in offering discounts.

There’s more than just retail shopping, though. Truax said everyone who purchases a ticket also receives a $5 lunch coupon, which can be used at any of the food court restaurants that day. In addition, there will be entertainment at the event, including a DJ and a “lip reader.” There’s also the chance to win prizes. Every admission ticket comes with three prize drawing tickets, and more can be purchased at the event to increase the chances of winning.

“We’re giving away over $20,000 in gift cards to the center,” Truax said. “Then the charities will also provide us with gift baskets to auction in a silent auction.”

The Shopping Extravaganza event was created by Steve Craig, president of Craig Realty Group, owner of Outlets at Anthem, in 2004 to contribute to the community and support local charities. Since its inception, the event has become a go-to charity shopping tradition for people throughout the Valley and a great way to kick off the holiday shopping season.

According to Truax, Outlets at Anthem usually has about 800 to 1,200 people attend. So, with tickets being $15, that’s $12,000 to $18,000 in donations to nonprofits. Plus, 100% of the proceeds of any extra prize drawing tickets that are purchased will also go to the charities. Truax said that amount, which can be anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000, is split evenly among the participating organizations. Then the nonprofits also receive funds from what they offered in the silent auction.

“So, when you factor all of that in, it’s a significant amount of money that is available for these smaller charities at a time when people are maybe giving a little less given the economic condition,” Truax said.

Hammond said the Musical Theatre of Anthem has participated in the Shopping Extravaganza nearly every year, and it has made a huge impact.

“Since we’re a nonprofit, I would say about 35% to 40% of our organization’s budget is based on donations and grants,” she said. “So, we need fundraisers and opportunities like this in order to stay afloat, it’s part of our yearly budget so we can make sure we continue to thrive in Anthem and all of the North Valley.”

Tickets can be purchased from a participating nonprofit, at the Customer Service Center at the Outlets or online at eventbrite. If purchased at the Customer Service Center or online, customers can specify which nonprofit they would like to support.

Ticket holders will receive a wristband that designates them from regular shoppers who are not participating in the event and allows them access to the exclusive discounts and prize drawings.

Shopping Extravaganza 

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

WHERE: Outlets at Anthem, 4250 W.  Anthem Way, Phoenix 

COST: $15

INFO: outletsanthem.com/events