A New Covered Arena at Reigning Grace Ranch
William Phipps, whose stage, movie and TV career spanned over a half century, has left behind $635,000 to Reigning Grace Ranch to build a multi-purpose covered arena. William starred in many 1950’s sci-fi films and most notably, was the voice of Prince Charming in Disney’s “Cinderella”. William passed away on June 1, 2018, in Santa Monica, California at the age of 96.
William’s generous donation will allow RGR to be able to build a covered arena with a classroom which will catapult our rescue and mentorship program! Currently, we are only able to offer our programs 8 months a year and this will allow us to run 365 days a year! Not to mention, this facility will also allow us to cater to wheelchair accessibility for the physically challenged and veterans. This will truly be a game changer for RGR and will definitely be making dreams come true! At the completion of the project, this arena will be named The William Edward Phipps Cowboy Arena “Believe In Dreams.”
Our children are our future. Every child deserves to be loved and children deserve to play no matter what their story or age. To allow a child to grow into a functional and productive member of society they need confidence and we are all about giving that to them. They need to know that they are worthy, that they are loved, that they belong and that they matter. They need to know that their decisions make an impact on those around them and that they are responsible and need to be accountable for those decisions. We help children and families believe that they are a “worthwhile somebody” by bringing horses, children, mentors, families, and volunteers together in an authentic working ranch environment. We offer equine-guided mentorship and equine-guided experiential learning to youth, families, and veterans. Having the ability to now offer these programs during the summer when they are most needed is a dream come true and we expect the Ribbon Cutting/Fundraiser to occur on January 15th, 2019. This is precisely why William Phipps loved RGR as much as he did and why he made his extremely generous donation to us because he wanted to give these Foster Kids a second chance just like he was able to accomplish.
William Phipps loved children and he loved acting. Prior to his long career in acting, William enlisted in the Navy. During World War II, William was a radioman aboard six ships between 1942 and 1945. After his discharge, William returned to Hollywood and used the G.I. Bill to enroll at the Actors Lab, a theater company-acting school. William was best known for his many roles in the 1950’s science fiction films, where he was one of the genre’s pioneers. William spent the better part of his life, almost 70 years, in Southern California, but always considered himself a Midwesterner at heart. In the 1950s, Hollywood churned out scores of sci-fi films and Phipps was cast in a slew of them, including “War of the Worlds” and “Invaders from Mars.” He had a prolific TV career as well, appearing in shows from as wide a range as “The Walton’s” and “Little House on the Prairie” to “Hill Street Blues,” “Santa Barbara” and “Murder, She Wrote,” among many others. Phipps even played Franklin Roosevelt in a television movie.
Bill had a great career and a wonderful life. He was in over 200 movies and numerous TV shows. William donated to RGR because of a “commitment he made while he was alive.” He loved all of the stories that were shared with him about what Amanda and Christopher have built and wanted to help support the future plans going forward. Bill grew up in poverty, the depression, and he lost his brother during WWII as a US Army fighter pilot. His parents divorced when he was 6 and he lost his mother to an illness when he was 16. So, he knows what it is like to grow up poor and without much family. This is why he fell in love with RGR and their love for Foster Kids. He wanted to help the kids so that they can “realize their dreams” just like Bill did in Hollywood. Also, his love for RGR had to do with the rescue of animals and the “cowboy” spirit. RGR had a special place in Bill’s heart, and his gift reflects this.
YOU can be someone’s hero. Whether your heart is for children in need of help or rescued horses, you can change lives here by your financial gifts. Reigning Grace Ranch needs your help. We have a variety of programs that you can donate to but we also have a variety of daily operating costs that are in need of your help. When you donate, 98% of your donations go directly to the ranch.
Your donation is also eligible for the Arizona State Tax Credit if you file in Arizona! Visit our website at www.azrgr.org/az-tax-credit for details.
We are profoundly grateful for your kindness and support! It is an honor to have you shouldering with us!