Never one to rest on her laurels, Lisa Bayless, Long Realty’s legendary serial philanthropist (and #1 sales agent with the company’s Oro Valley office) adds to her largesse with a pair of new donations, one to feed the mind and one to feed the body.
The two gifts will augment STEM education in elementary schools by expanding a pilot program that launched an in-class, hands-on robotics curriculum in six area schools; provide more than 100 ready-to-cook Thanksgiving meals to families; and offer nutritional support to food-insecure area seniors.
Bayless announced the gifts October 27 at the Oro Valley State of the Town meeting, held at Hilton’s El Conquistador Tucson resort.
Part of Bayless’ “Community First” program, which returns to community causes at least $500 from each commission she earns, the two donations—$35,000 for the robotics program and another $20,000 for nutritional assistance—raise her 2022 giving total past the $100,000 mark.
If her name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. Bayless made news in 2019 when she donated K-9 Diesel, a Belgian Malinois patrol dog, to the Oro Valley Police Department. In 2020 K-9 Risu, another Belgian Malinois, joined the force—again, as a donation from Bayless.
And in 2021 her $25,000-plus grant to the STEMAZing/SARSEF Elementary Edison Robotics Pilot helped kickstart the innovative robots-in-school program. The pilot project brought more than 500 Edison educational robots, plus supporting materials and two days of training for participating teachers, to three area school districts.
STEMAZing is a Pima County Schools initiative to improve STEM education in Southern Arizona; SARSEF is perhaps best known, at least to the public, for hosting the local science fair.
The new donation extends that funding. This years’ recipients include three schools in the Amphitheater district (Innovation Academy, Wilson K-8 and Copper Creek Elementary—for the second time) plus Immaculate Heart School, a private Catholic school in Oro Valley. Decisions are pending on two additional schools.
The nutritional donation goes to IMPACT of Southern Arizona, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit—and Arizona tax-credit qualified—community-service organization. IMPACT’s programs and services, from food and clothing banks to community education and workshops, span the region. The meals will be assembled by the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge and distributed by the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke.
A native Tucsonan, Oro Valley resident and head of the Lisa Bayless Team, Bayless ranks among the top one percent of all U.S. REALTORs®. She is active with numerous nonprofits and is a past president of the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. Even the United States Air Force has taken notice of Lisa’s community involvement and philanthropy appointing her as an Honorary Commander of the 68 Rescue Squadron Wing at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base Tucson
“Talk about giving back to the community!” said Reneé Gonzales, Long Companies CEO. “Lisa is so generous, with both her time and her financial support. She shows what active, practical leadership looks like, and sets an example that is a challenge to us all.”