Honoring a Daughter: Angelita's Amigos Gives Back to St. Joseph’s

Bob and JoAnne Olivas(May 2015) -- For 20 years, Valley golfers have gathered on the Sunday after Mother’s Day to remember a 4-year-old girl and raise money for patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. This year’s Angelita’s Amigos golf tournament is scheduled for Sunday, May 17, at the Wigwam Resort and Spa.

The little girl was Angela Grace Olivas. She died in her father’s arms after a long battle with leukemia. Her parents, Joann and Bob Olivas of Glendale, Ariz., stayed at her bedside 24 hours a day during several lengthy stays at St. Joseph's. Because of that experience, the Olivas family decided to honor their daughter by helping other families in similar situations.

“It was our time spent here at the hospital in a very, very small room that brought about the idea for family-friendly rooms,” said Bob Olivas. “Every night that we stayed here, the room got smaller and smaller. After a while, you find it hard to breathe.”

When Angelita’s Amigos was officially incorporated as a nonprofit foundation, the group partnered with St. Joseph’s Foundation to fund family-friendly hospital rooms for children. Later, when St. Joseph's pediatric services moved to Phoenix Children's Hospital, Angelita's Amigos began creating home-like rooms for women hospitalized with high-risk pregnancies. 

Angela Olivas“When we started thinking about creating these rooms, we weren’t thinking about a hospital room. We thought, 'Let’s pay more attention to the families, the people who are really stressed out,'” Olivas said.

In the years that have passed since the first Angelita’s Amigos’ room debuted, hundreds of families have benefited from the group's family-friendly rooms. These rooms offer a chance for families to easily be together during an extremely difficult time.

“Every dollar we raise from the golfers goes directly to the rooms at St. Joseph’s. I’m very proud of that,” said Olivas. “When you sign up for Angelita’s Amigos, you know where your money is going, and you can see the impact.”

If you are interested in supporting Angelita’s Amigos, sponsors for the golf tournament luncheon and tee boxes are still needed. You can also sign up to play in the tournament. The entry fee of $90 per person includes golf with a cart, lunch, a prize bag, shirt and awards.

More information, including registration, is available online at AngelitasAmigos.org, or you can call Bob Olivas at 602.290.1063.