Wells Fargo Celebrates 160-year anniversary with $160,000 donation to local charities

Wells Fargo & Company marked a milestone anniversary this week. In celebrating 160 years of service to customers and communities, the financial company is making a series of donations and participating in volunteer activities across the nation.

Wells Fargo donated $160,000 to local non-profit organizations. Through voting at local Wells Fargo ATMs, eligible Wells Fargo customers in Arizona determined how the $160,000 was divided:

• The American Cancer Society: $100,000
• Association of Arizona Food Banks: $30,000
• Big Brothers Big Sisters: $30,000

The grant are part of a company-wide anniversary giving program that resulted in more than $2.5 million being donated to more than 60 nonprofit organizations across the U.S.

“The celebration of our anniversary includes ways to honor our customers, community members, and team members in Arizona and across the country,” says Pam Conboy, Wells Fargo Arizona regional president. “We’ve been working with our customers and communities to help them succeed financially since 1852, and we’ll continue to do so as we look ahead to the next 160 years of service.”

Wells Fargo will donate, build or renovate 160 homes in the communities it serves over the course of 160 days in celebration of the anniversary. The company also is organizing local volunteer activities for team members across the country. In Arizona, Wells Fargo team members are volunteering for a variety of community service projects, including the Action for Autism Radiothon to benefit Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Project C.U.R.E. Arizona, End Homelessness Project Connect, the WeekEND Backpack Program to help end student hunger, the Arizona Bassett Hound Rescue, serving meals at the Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Kiss Me I’m Irish Run to support prostate cancer research. Wells Fargo Arizona is also training 160 team members to deliver its Hands on Banking® financial literacy curriculum to Arizona schools and community events.

Founded as a banking and express company on March 18, 1852, in New York City, Wells Fargo opened its first western office on the waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco on July 13, 1852, the site of the company’s current headquarters. With the merger of Wachovia, Wells Fargo once again serves customers coast to coast.

Wells Fargo first came to Arizona in 1858 when the stagecoaches of the Overland Mail Company (The Butterfield Line) began their 21-day journeys between Missouri and California. Wells Fargo helped to finance this venture and eventually ran the stage line. The route passed through the Arizona Territory until 1861 when, owing to the Civil War, it was moved north. Wells Fargo returned to Arizona in 1877 with five offices—including Phoenix and Tucson. When railroads began crossing Arizona in the 1880s, settlement, farming and Wells Fargo offices followed.

“In the 1860’s Henry Wells was asked what it takes to succeed in business,” says Conboy.  “He said, ‘There is one very powerful business rule. It is concentrated in the word courtesy.’ Today we call it ‘service.’”

Learn more about Wells Fargo’s 160-year history.

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How to score a FREE Sprinkles cupcake

Sprinkles Cupcakes. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is celebrating new extended baking hours by offering guests a free cupcake from 8 to 9pm today and tomorrow (March 15 & 16). The bakery is now open from 9am to 9pm Monday-Saturday and 10am to 8pm Sunday.

Guests with a valid ID may select one free cupcake of their choice during their two-day celebration. If you decide to go, you might want to consider sharing your cupcake with a friend or family member. The cupcakes have no trans fats or artificial ingredients but each carries a hefty caloric total. The blog Cupcake Activist begins a post with “WARNING: If you love Sprinkles Cupcakes and want to continue eating them, don’t read any further” before she shares nutrition information she found on the livestrong.com website. (She says one Sprinkles red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is 627 calories.)

But calories sure haven’t deterred lines of people that show up each day at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Scottsdale.

We learned something we didn’t know about Sprinkles Cupcakes when Jennifer Kaplan of Evolve Public Relations and Marketing showed up today with a preview of the special Father’s Day cupcakes that will be available June 15 to 17. She told us that Sprinkles also makes doggy cupcakes.

Calendar & Directories Editor Mala Blomquist’s chihuahua Bonnie, our office mascot, was very happy to hear that and can’t wait to check them out.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is located at 4501 N. Scottsdale Rd., on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback in Scottsdale. The company opened “the world’s first cupcake bakery” in Beverly Hills, according to the Food Network, and is credited by the Los Angeles Times as “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze.” It was founded by Candace Nelson, a judge on the Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” and her husband Charles. sprinkles.com.

SRP customers can get free light bulbs

Are you an SRP customer? Could you use some free lightbulbs?

While supplies last, SRP is offering a free six-pack of CFLs to customers. Free bulbs, free shipping, no catch. Bulbs will be in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Simply log on at savewithsrp.com and fill out the form. You will need your SRP account number.

Need more reasons to take advantage of this great offer? CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than regular bulbs — and last 10 times longer. And with lighting accounting for about 10 percent of energy use in Valley homes, CFLs save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime.

What do you think about those cubs?

Bearizona Wildlife Park sent this adorable photo of triplet black bear cubs born in January. The cubs range in color from cinnamon to dark chocolate brown. Bears found in the Southwest are typically lighter in color than their eastern counterparts.

Bearizona triplet cubs. Photo courtesy of Bearizona Wildlife Park.

Visitors to Bearizona, located in Williams, are able to get a close look at captive black bears while learning about their habits and history.

Black bears commonly have two to four cubs per litter and can nurse up to six cubs. Despite high birth rates, only four out of 10 cubs will reach their first year in the wild. The high mortality rate is the result of starvation and depredation by male bears.

Bearizona has a wide variety of North American animals. Its mission is to promote conservation and preservation with memorable encounters of animals in their natural environment.  Visitors can drive in their own vehicles to view animals in their natural habitat, walk through Fort Bearizona to see smaller wildlife and see a High Country Raptors’ Show.

Williams is located west of Flagstaff on Route 66. For more information about Bearizona, call 928-635-2289 or visit bearizona.com.

Erin Saltzman

Extreme Pita provides extremely health meals for kids

Grilled Chicken Pita. Photo courtesy of Extreme Pita.

Extreme Pita in the Scottsdale 101 Shopping Center has joined “Kids LiveWell,” a nationwide initiative to highlight restaurants’ commitment to healthy eating.

Kids LiveWell menu options at Extreme Pita have been adapted to follow USDA Dietary Guidelines. They include:

• BBQ4U Pita with Baked Pita Chips, 290 Calories, 3g of Fat

• Beefosauraus Rex Pita with Baked Pita Chips, 290 Calories, 6g of Fat

• Sweet Chicken Little Pita with Baked Pita Chips, 290 Calories, 3g of Fat

• Fee-Fi-Fo-Hummus Pita with Baked Pita Chips, 310 Calories, 9g of Fat

Learn more about the healthy options.

Kids LiveWell was launched by the National Restaurant Association in collaboration with Healthy Dining, a website that points parents to restaurants that offer healthy menu items.

Extreme Pita, part of the Extreme Brandz family of quick service restaurants, was co-founded by brothers Alex and Mark Rechichi. The first location opened in Waterloo, Canada in 1997; today there are more than 265 locations across North America. Learn more about Extreme Pita.

Erin Saltzman

SRP offers 50 percent off air conditioner checkup

Photo courtesy of SRP.

SRP customers can make sure their AC units are ready for summer with a 16-point checkup for only $29.95 per working unit. Any repairs performed by the certified contractor will result in additional costs.

Without regular maintenance, an air conditioner loses about five percent of its original efficiency for each year of operation. For example, a 12 SEER unit purchased a few years ago may be functioning as well as a 9 SEER unit if it is not properly maintained. S

SRP customers can take advantage of this offer and be referred to a participating licensed, bonded and insured contractor by calling the SRP Certified Contractor Program at 602-274-6808 or visiting savewithsrp.com. The offer runs through April 30.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix area, serving nearly 950,000 electric customers.

A “Mini Murph” for kids

This week, Papa Murphy’s will introduce its Mini Murph™ Make ‘N’ Bake Pizza Kit in Arizona.

Papa Murphy's new "Mini Murph" for kids.

The  kid-sized pizza boxes showcase “Murph,” the company’s new mini chef. Once opened at home, the easy-to-assemble kits will inspire imagination and creativity among the smallest of Papa Murphy’s fans. The kit includes:

• Seven-inch pizza crust rolled out on Papa Murphy’s signature bake ‘n’ serve tray
• Container of pizza sauce
• Generous amount of 100% all-natural, whole-milk mozzarella
• Nearly a dozen slices of real pepperoni – enough to cover traditionally or place creatively
• Temporary “Murph” tattoo
• Baking instructions

A “cheese only” option is also available.

“A lot of time, love and thoughtfulness went into creating this product,” says Jenifer Anhorn, Chief Marketing Officer at Papa Murphy’s. “We wanted to make family pizza night even more fun and we’ve met that goal with the Mini Murph. During the testing process, many parents told us that it wasn’t only fun, the kids actually liked that it gave them a role in the family’s meal preparation process. Others loved using the Mini Murph as an activity at their child’s birthday party.”

As with Papa Murphy’s other pizzas, the Mini Murph bakes in a customer’s 425º oven for 10-14 minutes. The price starts at $3.

For more information, visit papamurphys.com.