Kinder Prep at Pecos Community Center
Parents, grandparents, caregivers and others who care for children ages 3 to 5 are invited to attend the free, play-based “Kinder Prep” pre-literacy program taught by the New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development.
“Kinder Prep” will run 10 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays Feb. 12, 19 and 26 at the Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.
New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development, a member of Arizona’s Children Association family of agencies, provides parents and caregivers with training and tools to help every infant, toddler and preschooler in Arizona develop a healthy brain and enter school ready to learn.
For more information or to register, call (602) 371-1366 or visit www.newdirectionsinstitute.org. Space is limited, and child care will not be provided.
Local Optimist Club sponsoring contest for students
The Optimist Club of Ahwatukee is encouraging area students to contemplate the question “The Internet: Today’s Evolution or Tomorrow’s Menace?” as part of the Optimist International Essay Contest for 2010. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 12.
The Optimist Club will determine the top winners, who will receive awards. The winning essays will then be sent to the district level for judging, and each district will send top entries to the international level. College scholarships are available for top winners at the district and international levels.
For more information, visit www.Ahwatukeeoptimist.org.
Summer swim team sets informational meeting
Parents interested in having their child on the Ahwatukee Tidal Waves Summer Recreational Swim Team are encouraged to attend an informational meeting from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Road.
Topics will include pre-evaluation workouts, the evaluation process, fees, workout schedule and the meet schedule for May, June and July.
For more information, call (480) 893-3431.
Free Women’s Attack Avoidance Class
Be more aware, trust your instincts and be prepared to protect yourself from danger by attending a free Women’s Attack Avoidance Class from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Curves, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 74. The speaker will be Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dr. Ron Marek, a former narcotics detective and martial arts expert.
Marek has been teaching this “Hands-Off!” class to students for more than 20 years and has hundreds of testimonials citing how helpful and useful the information is for females 12 years and older.
This is a free community education class. Due to limited seating, RSVPs are appreciated to Christine at (480) 456-3700 or Christine@ChristineMarek.com.
PetWalk benefits Arizona’s homeless pets
The annual PetSmart Charities PetWalk presented by Purina Pro Plan will take place Sunday, Feb. 21 at Tempe Town Lake. Activities begin at 1 p.m., followed by the walk at 2:30 p.m.
The event will feature 5K and one-mile walks, plus contests and pet-themed events for the whole family (two- and four-legged alike)!
Humans and their animal companions are welcome to walk, or you can walk on behalf of a pet who cannot attend or in memory of a pet. More than 40 local animal-welfare agencies, rescue groups and shelters are also participating.
Funds raised will support Arizona’s animal-welfare organizations and help save the lives of homeless pets. Participants may walk on behalf of the participating animal welfare organization of their choice or for nonprofit PetSmart Charities, which provides millions of dollars in funding every year to animal-welfare organizations and shelters across North America, and right here in Arizona.
The registration fee is $25 fee for walk registrants in advance online or $30 the day of the event. Participants are also asked to collect pledges to support the participating Arizona animal-welfare agency of their choice or PetSmart Charities.
For details, visit www.mypetwalk.org or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).
Networking meeting for special needs families
Are you looking for networking opportunities with other families with children with special needs? And conveniently located special education related trainings?
The join SEPACK (Special Education Parents Advisory Council of Kyrene) for a free meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at St. Benedict Church, 16223 S. 48th St. A representative from Raising Special Kids will discuss the purpose of Individual Education Programs and how to actively participate.
Ahwatukee Citrus Program
Community members are invited to take any excess quality fruit left over when picking fruit from their citrus trees to the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive. This citrus program will benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank.
Parks and Rec offering 4-week class session in March
The Phoenix Parks and Recreation has opened registration for a special four-week special interest class session that will run in March.
The four-week session may be supplemented with a late spring session running in April and May when operating hours are finalized following City Council adoption of the budget for the coming year. The new center operating hours are determined in early March, and the April/May session classes will be available and registration will begin at 6 p.m. on March 11.
Additional information is online at phoenix.gov/parks or by calling (602) 262-6862.
Silent Sundays return to South Mountain Park
Cyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users and stroller-riding tots will get to call the roads of South Mountain Park their own one day each month when the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department continues its popular Silent Sunday at South Mountain on the fourth Sunday monthly. Starting at 5 a.m. the park’s roadways past the Central Avenue gate, 10919 S. Central Ave., will be reserved for non-motorized use.
Silent Sunday dates for 2010 are Feb. 28, March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, July 25, Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.
For information, call (602) 495-5811.
The search is on for huggable heroes
Build-A-Bear Workshop has taken a leading role in recognizing efforts of young people to help those in need through its Huggable Heroes program. Huggable Heroes are young leaders who Build-A-Bear Workshop recognizes, honors and cele-bear-ates each year for providing extraordinary service in their communities and around the world.
The seventh annual search for these special people, ranging in age from 8 to 18, is now on. Anyone and everyone in that age group is eligible to nominate a candidate (and kids can nominate themselves) by visiting buildabear.com/huggableheroes or by picking up an entry form at a participating Build-A-Bear Workshop store. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 26.
EV Tour launches 1st amateur golf tournament season
East Valley Tour, a start-up golf tournament league, will open its membership to all amateur golfers every other Sunday beginning Feb. 28. The series of tournaments will be held at 15 premiere championship courses throughout the East Valley.
Handicaps will be used to determine final scores in each division, making it competitive for golfers of all levels. Post-game events are open to all participants, and special prizes will be drawn from the pool of non-placers.
EVT offers $50 memberships and low entrance fees for play (discounts are available for police, firefighters and veterans). Registration is available by calling (480) 988-1104 or online at www.EastValleyTour.com. A full schedule of events is listed on the Web site.
Tickets available for Fergie & Friends Celebrity Baseball Game
Tickets are now on sale for the third annual “Fergie & Friends” Celebrity Baseball Game, presented by PhxMesa Gateway Airport, to be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
Baseball fans join Hall of Fame ‘91 pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and other Hall of Famers and all-stars for an evening full of fun – an exhibition baseball game for charity, plus autograph session and on-field meet and greet with the players. Check www.fergieandfriends.com for an up-to-date roster.
The game will begin at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at Mesa HoHoKam Stadium, 1235 N. Center St. Gates open at 4 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 and include a souvenir game program. The $25 VIP ticket includes admission, souvenir program, VIP meet & greet and on-field photo opportunity with the celebrities prior to the game and seating in a reserved VIP section. Group tickets are available. Proceeds support the Ferguson Jenkins and the Mesa HoHoKam Foundations.
For information or tickets, call (480) 491-BALL (2255) or visit the HoHoKam box office.
Ahwatukee AARP Tax-Aide program begins Feb. 2
AARP Tax-Aide provides free tax assistance and tax preparation for low to moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older. This service will be available to Ahwatukee Foothills residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays starting Tuesday, Feb. 2, and continuing every Tuesday and Wednesday morning through April 14 in the Fire Station Community Conference Room at 4110 E. Chandler Blvd.
AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service and offer help with personal income tax returns. Completed returns are filed electronically to expedite any refunds. E-filing is also more efficient for the taxpayer, and refunds are received much sooner.
This free tax service is available by appointment and to walk-ins. To make an appointment, visit the fire station during the hours listed above and talk to one of the volunteers at the registration desk.
Tasting Ahwatukee here again
Tasting Ahwatukee, an annual event showcasing local businesses and restaurants, will take place Saturday, Feb. 20, at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th St. Doors open at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Ahwatukee Foothills News, Thrivent Financial and Verizon Wireless.
Participating restaurants include Arrivederci Trattoria, AZ Bread Co., Babaloo’s Cuban Cafe, The Cake Café, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Cupz and Crepes, Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fired Up Grill, Florencia Pizza Bistro, Honey Bear’s BBQ, Jamba Juice Ahwatukee, Los Taquitos, Macayo’s, My Big Fat Greek Express, Niro’s Gyro’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sweet Tomatoes, Thai Basil Ahwatukee, That Italian Place, Von Hanson’s Meat Market and Waffle House.
Tickets are $7 at the door, and proceeds will support the church’s youth programs.
Get the 411 on summer camps
Raising Arizona Kids Magazine’s seventh annual Camp Fair has everything parents need to plan their child’s summer. The 2010 Camp Fair will run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Tesseract Middle and Upper School, 3939 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, call (480) 991-KIDS (5437) or visit www.raisingarizonakids.com.
AAA begins search for Crossing Guard of the Year
AAA Arizona is accepting nominations for its third annual Crossing Guard of the Year Award.
School administrators, faculty, staff, parents, students and community members are invited to describe why they believe their candidate deserves the Crossing Guard of the Year designation. Self-nominations will also be accepted. AAA Arizona staff will evaluate nominations to select finalists for the award based on dedication, friendliness, professionalism and safety.
Once finalists are selected, their performance and duties will be evaluated by AAA Arizona traffic safety staff. Two finalists, one from Maricopa County and Pima County, who demonstrate the best example of the procedures and responsibilities outlined in AAA’s Handbook for Adult Crossing Guards, will be awarded the honor. The winners will be announced on April 30, Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.
Nomination forms are available at all Maricopa County school district offices or may be downloaded at www.aaaaz.com/news/CrossingGuardoftheYear.htm. Completed forms may be mailed to AAA Arizona, Attn: Public Affairs, 3144 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85013, faxed to (602) 776-0466 or e-mailed to email@example.com. Nominations must be submitted by March 12.
Entries, sponsorships available for chamber golf tourney
The 2010 Chamber Masters Golf Tournament will begin with a 7 a.m. shotgun start on Friday, April 16, at the Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave.
Fees are $100 per person or $375 a foursome, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ahwatukee Fourth of July Fireworks. Every golfer will receive lunch and a sporty windbreaker.
Teams and sponsorship opportunities for the tournament are now available. Contact the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce at (480) 753-7676 or committee chairperson Wes McLaughlin at (480) 234-7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Hikers special added to Grand Canyon rafting schedule
Arizona River Runners is offering three new spring trips in the Grand Canyon, each allowing more time for additional side-canyon hiking and discovery in the milder temperatures of the desert in April.
A 12-day motor powered trip is scheduled for April 3 to 14, a six-day motor powered trip runs April 3 to 8, and a seven-day motor powered trip will go from April 8 to 14.
For details, go to www.raftarizona.com and click on “Browse Our Specials,” or call 1-800-477-7238.
Indie Excellence Awards accepting submissions
The 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards are accepting submissions through March 31 for books published from 2007 to the present.
Submissions of books by self-published authors, small press and independent publishers will be judged in the categories of their choice, and winners and finalists will be announced nationally in mid May. All winners and finalists will receive extensive media coverage and are in the running for the Sponsor’s Choice Prizes, valued in excess of $12,000. These include sessions with outstanding media and PR consultants, marketing experts and others in a position to assist authors and publishers in creating greater success with their books.
For information about the contest including how to submit books, visit www.indieexcellence.com. The deadline for entries is March 31.
Help turn an ordinary teenager into a princess
As the economy continues to grow tighter, extras like a beautiful dress for the prom may not be a reality for some girls this year. A fairy godmother-like program is waiting in the wings to help make sure these girls have a fairytale evening.
“The Cinderella Affair,” now in its ninth year, offers high school juniors and seniors a chance to choose a dress for free to wear on their special night. The event is an all-volunteer project put on by the East Valley Women’s League (EVWL) in collaboration with the Tempe Community Council (TCC).
The EVWL and the TCC will hold their annual dress drive from Feb. 8 to 21 to collect gently-worn dresses for the event. Drop box locations will be placed at Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools, Centennial Middle School, the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, Kimberly Lewis School of Dance, Derma Health Institute and East Valley Bible Church (for addresses, visit the Web site below).
The dress selection event will be held March 26 and 27 at the Pyle Adult Recreation Center in Tempe. On Friday, the program will be open to all girls attending school in the Tempe Unified High School District. On Saturday, it will be open to schools Valleywide. Girls will be required to check in and show their high school ID in order to participate.
For more information or to volunteer, visit www.cinderellaaffair.org.
Sunday Farmers Market
The Arizona Community Farmers Markets Group hosts a farmers market on Sundays in the Ahwatukee Swim and Tennis Center parking lot at 4700 E. Warner Road, just west of 48th Street. Hours are 8 to 11 a.m. July to mid October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. mid October to April and 8 a.m. to noon May to June.
Admission is free. The market is family friendly, and canine good citizens are welcome.
For more information, visit www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com.
Farmers’ Market at Wild Horse Pass
The Gila River Farmers’ Market at Wild Horse Pass, located at Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Road in Chandler, is now open and will run from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday year-round.
Support the Arizona-grown and Arizona-made garden market while enjoying a morning of fun for the whole family. The market features produce from the Wild Horse Pass garden, community farmers, artisans, vendors, kids activities, cooking classes, breakfast and story telling in Akimel Basho, the newest frontier attraction. Breakfast and brunch are also offered, as well as college football on many big screen TV’s in the Casual Cowboy Saloon.
For information, visit www.rawhide.com or call (480) 705-2936.
Lender’s Bagels launches $1K contest
From now through March 31, Lender’s Bagels invites anyone ages 18 and up to enter the “Now That’s A Bagel That ...” contest by submitting a sentence that completes that phrase, along with a photo that illustrates what the brand brings to your family’s life, whether at breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time of day.
To enter, go to www.lendersbagels.com, click on the “Now That’s a Bagel That...” banner and follow instructions.
This year’s grand-prize winner will receive $1,000 and a year’s supply of Lender’s Bagels. All entrants will receive one free package of Lender’s Bagels.
Bull riding at Rawhide
Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass, 5700 W. North Loop Road, is offering bull riding at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Fridays through January. Fees are $60 for open bull riding, $40 for novice riding, $20 for calf riding (10 years and under) and $1 for sheep riding (6 and under).
Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under. Tickets are good for both shows.
For information and entries, call RC Mercer at (602) 237-3000.
Suns, AAA Arizona hosting fan celebration cruise
The Phoenix Suns and AAA Arizona are offering a Suns Fan Celebration Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning Saturday, July 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Vacationers will have the opportunity to see three of the Eastern Caribbean’s most beautiful islands, as the cruise liner will stop at ports in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. The seven-night, round-trip cruise will also include one pre-departure night of accommodations at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, July 16.
For details, visit www.Suns.com.
IHOP’S free pancake giveaway returns Feb. 23
IHOP restaurants nationwide will celebrate National Pancake Day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, offering a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes to each guest. In exchange for the free flapjacks, IHOP will ask guests to consider making a voluntary contribution to Children’s Miracle Network or other local charities.
This year marks IHOP’s fifth year of offering free pancakes on National Pancake Day. To date, the company has raised almost $3.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network and other local charities nationwide through the family-friendly National Pancake Day philanthropic effort. This year, IHOP hopes to reach a milestone by raising a cumulative total of $5 million in five years and has set the 2010 National Pancake Day goal of raising over $1.5 million.
The nearest IHOP is at 5020 E. Ray Road.
To learn more or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.
Adventure Play Group getting started
Adventure Play Group is a moms and baby play and support group that meets on a drop-in basis from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays in the nursery at Adventure Community Church, 4633 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 112.
Moms are provided support and affirmation through relationships with other moms, and children ages 0 to 5 enjoy the fully equipped nursery. Snacks and beverages are provided, and older siblings are also welcome.
For more information, contact Erin at email@example.com or call (480) 940-3540.
Designated Drivers Foundation comes to Valley
The Designated Drivers Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization designed to create awareness about the perils of drinking and driving, educate the public about available driving programs and fund sensible alternatives to drinking and driving.
The program also offers a designated driver service, which provides drivers to transport clients in their own vehicle, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information or to take advantage of the free ride service, bar owners and restaurateurs may call 1-877-456-RIDE (7433) and request a free ride card or visit www.designateddriversinc.com or www.designateddriversfoundation.org.
Food distributor launches food drive benefiting Ariz. residents
The Treasure Box, an economical meal program developed by San Diego-based Good Source Solutions, provides quality, nutritious food for everyone trying to stretch their food dollars. Treasure Box can feed a family of four for almost a week or an individual for nearly one month!
The Treasure Box is able to leverage its buying power through partnerships with more than 500 well-known and popular food brands to provide a pre-assembled, frozen box packed with $75 to $100 worth of food offered to individuals and families for just $30 per week.
The program has partnered with churches across the Valley to offer this unique opportunity. Pickup locations include Tempe Nazarene Church, 3929 S. Rural Road, and First Baptist Church of Tempe, 4525 S. McClintock Drive, in Tempe. Deliveries are made monthly.
Individuals and families may place their orders online at www.thetreasurebox.org. For more information about the program or to become a community partner, call Koni Gould at (602) 663-0350.
2010 Real Gardens for Real People Garden Tour
The Master Gardener volunteers from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County will host the Ninth Annual Real Gardens for Real People Tour to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 13.
The public is invited to view the home gardens of certified Master Gardeners in the historic vicinity of the Central Corridor in Phoenix.
Guest speakers will be onsite at the various gardens to give talks and answer gardening questions on many different topics, from soil and irrigation basics to attracting wildlife and growing edible treats in your garden.
For information or tickets, visit www.maricopamastergardener.com/gardentour.htm.
Support domestic abuse awareness, recovery
Sunsational Cruises and Bravery Project are partnering to offer a journey of recovery. An escape to sea supporting domestic abuse awareness sets sail June 6, 2010, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The 2010 Bravery Project Cruise is a seven-night cruise to the eastern Caribbean with rates beginning at $979 per person for double occupancy. For each confirmed booking made through Polly Waln at Sunsational Cruises, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to support Bravery Project.
While enjoying the scenery from the deck, travelers will also be treated to original artwork exhibited by creator Florschuetz.
For details, visit www.braveryproject.org.
Classes offered for un- and under-employed
Training to YOU, a computer technology center located at 2200 N. Central Ave., Suite 100, is offering local un- and under-employed persons a unique opportunity to update their Microsoft Office skills. A number of half-day classes are available each week, and empty seats are available on a “pay-what-you-can” basis.
Class size is limited to 12, and each student receives instructor-led classroom training and a manual for ready reference. Fees are normally $120, but un- or under-employed people are only asked to pay what they can afford.
For more information or to register, visit www.trainingtoYOU.com or call (602) 266-1500.
Woodworkers looking for projects
The Ahwatukee Woodworkers Club gets together on Thursdays to work on charity projects and is currently looking for more projects to take on.
Past projects have included making plaques for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, building tables and chairs for preschools and even making model MRI machines for doctors to explain the procedure to children to ease their fears. A model doll house kit was donated to the group, so members built it and held a raffle to raise money to support the club. In another project, models of homes in Tempe were built for the Tempe Historical Society that were raffled in a fundraiser for the society. The group is currently busy making cubbies for a local preschool.
The club is located near the Ahwatukee Recreation Center and is part of the Ahwatukee Retirement Community.
Projects are needed, and organizations such as schools, hospitals, churches or other charities in need of something built or made are asked to contact president Tom Rosenthal at (480) 275-6631.
Older children and larger sibling groups need adoption, too
Christian Family Care Agency hopes to draw attention to two very special groups of kids who need adoptive homes – children over the age of 10 and children from larger sibling groups (three or more children).
Louise Gonzales, of Christian Family Care Agency’s Phoenix office, said while progress is being made in these two areas, the need for loving parents willing to adopt these kids is still tremendous.
Gonzales said parents willing to adopt children from these two areas often will move through the adoption process more quickly. She added that a parent’s age isn’t usually as big an issue when it comes to adopting an older child.
An adoptive parent’s bank account also isn’t necessarily a barrier. For more information, call (602) 234-1935 or visit www.cfcare.org.
YMCA’s OPAS program
Y OPAS (Outreach Programs for Ahwatukee Seniors) is a volunteer program of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA providing support services for seniors, 62 years and older, who live in Ahwatukee Foothills. Transportation, shopping and errands, friendly visiting, caregiver relief, business help and household assistance are some of the services provided by Y OPAS volunteers.
If you, or someone you know would like to use its services, or if you are interested in volunteering, call (602) 212-6088. Volunteers that can help seniors with transportation and friendly visiting are especially needed.