A Stepping Stone Foundation Blog

Secret Millionaire, we are so grateful!

August 8, 2013

Local non-profit gets in on the “Secret”

A Stepping Stone Foundation featured on Aug. 11 episode of ABC’s Secret Millionaire

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – When A Stepping Stone Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Gattorna received a mysterious e-mail from a ‘documentary producer’ interested in her Phoenix grassroots non-profit, she admits that she almost instinctively hit “Delete.”

But something made her pause and reply, leading to a unique whirlwind experience for A Stepping Stone, which provides preschool classes for at-risk children, as well as adult education and parenting classes for their parents. This experience culminates at 8 p.m. on Aug. 11 when the next episode of the ABC series Secret Millionaire airs, featuring the Foundation, its students and volunteers, and Seattle-based marketing guru Jay Deutsch.

The producers spent four days filming Deutsch as he met A Stepping Stone students and parents while they attended classes. The show’s concept is to help successful self-made millionaires spend a week in cities around the country, ultimately rewarding unsung community heroes with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money. Deutsch, a co-founder and chief executive officer of BDA, an international promotional products company, spent his week in Phoenix with A Stepping Stone and two other Valley non-profits.

“This was a wonderful experience start to finish,” Gattorna said. “Jay was full of loving energy and so warm to our children and families.  We were all genuinely surprised — overwhelmed really — at the generosity and quality of all the individuals involved in Secret Millionaire.”

Gattorna is not allowed to reveal the amount of Deutsch’s donation to A Stepping Stone prior to the airing of the episode.

“Everyone will have to tune in to find out,” she said. “Let’s just say it’s a significant donation that means so much to our families.”


About A Stepping Stone Foundation: A Stepping Stone Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides tuition free, high quality preschool with mandatory adult education to three- and four-year-olds at risk of school failure due to a variety of literacy connected factors through the public school system.  They have been providing services to children and their families in the Phoenix area for 20 years.