Chin donates 19 inches of hair to Locks of Love

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Bryan Chin is finishing up his junior year at Desert Vista High School and is looking for a summer job. To better his chances of getting hired, he decided to buy some new clothes and cut his long hair.

Instead of just discarding the hair, he decided to make a difference by donating it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

After an appointment with Tammy at K-Bella Salon & Spa in Ahwatukee Foothills, he had two separate ponytails to donate - 19 inches in all.

Chin had been letting his hair grow out since the beginning of eighth grade.

For more information on Locks of Love, visit


Vasoya honored for volunteerism

The Prudential Spirit of Community reception celebration honoring students from metropolitan Phoenix was held recently in Phoenix. The students are local honorees in the nation's largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteerism. Epitomizing the American spirit of public service, each student has an inspiring history of community involvement.

Charmi Vasoya, a student at Desert Vista High School, volunteers at the Ironwood Branch Library. She shelves books and videos, distributes summer reading programs to children, is responsible for processing holds and completes special projects for the staff to better the environment of the library.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Recognition Program, sponsored by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), was created in 1995 to help make young Americans aware of the importance of volunteerism and community service.


Yoo, Leclerc receive Phoenix Suns Charities scholarships

Eunae Yoo of Mountain Pointe High School and Julia Leclerc of Desert Vista High School were among 16 high school seniors from Arizona that were named winners in the Phoenix Suns Charities' SunStudents Scholarship program. Both will receive a $2,000 scholarship to be used for educational expenses at the college or university of their choice.

The announcement was made at halftime during the Suns-Grizzlies game on April 13 at US Airways Center.

More than 240 applicants from across the state were judged on their community involvement, scholastic performance, letters of recommendation and an essay on the role of community service. In addition to the essay, students were required to submit a list of their community and school involvements, letters of recommendation and transcripts.

The SunStudents Scholarship program is sponsored by Phoenix Suns Charities, the team's foundation that assists the needs of children. Over the past 20 years, the foundation has distributed more than $8 million in charitable grants and scholarships. 


Bon Vivant brings in $200K for E.V. children

The 24th Annual M&I Bank Bon Vivant ~ A Celebration of Fine Food & Drink brought in nearly $200,000 on recently at Rawhide on Wild Horse Pass. The event supports the 30,000 children and teens the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley serve every year.

As part of Bon Vivant, all chefs were challenged to a culinary contest. Best Entrée went to Gilbert-based Whiskey Ranch BBQ. Best Presentation went to Verona Chophouse at Lone Butte Casino, Best Appetizer went to Queen Creek Olive Mill, Best Salad went to BJ's Brewery and Best Dessert went to The Cake Café in Ahwatukee Foothills.

For information on sponsorships, how restaurants can be involved in Bon Vivant 2010 or to make a donation, e-mail Kerri Weiss at, call (480) 820-3688 or visit


Bondurant named Arizona Tourism Alliance 2009 Advocate of the Year

The Arizona Tourism Alliance recently honored Ahwatukee Foothills resident Bob Bondurant as a 2009 Advocate of the Year during its Fifth Annual Arizona Tourism Unity Dinner on April 15.

The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving - one of the largest driving schools in North America featuring a 1.6-mile road course and an 8-acre asphalt pad - is located on the Gila River Indian Community in Chandler. Since it opened in 1968, the school has taught advanced driving skills to more than 250,000 students.

The Arizona Tourism Alliance's Advocate of the Year is an honor given at each Unity Dinner to individuals or organizations within the Arizona tourism industry that have made significant and measurable contributions to the advancement of the tourism industry.

For more information, call (800) 842-7223 or visit


Gymnasts take gold

The level six gymnastics team from Gold Medal Gymnastics Academy in Chandler and Tempe took first place in the 2009 Arizona Spring Championships held recently at Grand Canyon University. Team members Rachel Binkley, Sarah Caswell and Karlee Tumbleson are residents of Ahwatukee Foothills.

Gold Medal Gym is owned by Amanda Borden, Gold Medal winner in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

For information, visit


Brownies deliver smiles

Members of Ahwatukee Brownie Troop 421 raised donations during their recent cookie sale to benefit Children's Rehabilitative Services at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. On April 22, the troop delivered 150 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the hospital's pediatric patients and staff.

Prior to the start of the cookie sale season, the eight second-grade troop members were asked if they would like to choose a local charity to support by asking customers to buy extra packages to be donated. "The girls unanimously wanted to help children with medical issues," stated troop leader Valerie Turner.

Much like other state- and federally-funded medical facilities, St. Joseph's has felt the blow of numerous budget cuts.


MP jazz band welcomes Jersey Mike's

The Mountain Pointe High School jazz band, along with the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce, helped welcome Jersey Mike's to the Ahwatukee Foothills area. The band played at the ribbon cutting ceremony April 21 at the restaurant's new location at 4605 E. Chandler Blvd.


Corbin honored with American Alliance's highest award

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Charles B. Corbin, professor emeritus in the Department of Exercise and Wellness at Arizona State University, was recently honored by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) with the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal, the organization's highest honor in recognition of long and distinguished service to the health, physical education, recreation and dance professions. Presented April 2 at the Alliance's national convention in Tampa, Fla., Corbin was recognized for his leadership, dedication and distinguished career in physical education.

Considered as one of the leading scholars in physical education, Corbin has published more than 200 journal articles and is the senior author, sole author, contributing author or editor of more than 70 books, including Fitness for Life, Concepts of Physical Fitness and Concepts of Fitness and Wellness. His books are among the most widely adopted high school and college texts in fitness and wellness and have won Texty and McGuffey Awards from the Text and Academic Authors Association.

A lifetime member of AAHPERD, Corbin has provided more than 40 years of service to this organization. He has presented keynote addresses at more than 40 state AHPERD conventions and has made major addresses in more than 15 different countries. He is past president and fellow of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. His service, writing and research has resulted in honors from AAHPERD, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education and the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, among others.


James heading to law school

J.D. James has been accepted into the fall 2009 class at Phoenix School of Law. He was on the Dean's List at Northern Arizona University and graduated May 8 with a degree in engineering and construction management. He is also a 2005 graduate of Horizon Honors High School.

James is the son of Mick and Leslie James and grandson of Dean and Bobbie Bowdoin, all of Ahwatukee Foothills.


TOPS announces new chapter officers

TOPS Club, Inc. AZ 396 (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) recently installed chapter officers for the coming year. All from Ahwatukee Foothills, the new officers are Mary O'Brien, leader; Jane Lipinski, co-leader; Becky Lindstrom and Ruth Philliben, co-secretaries; Bette Laatsch, treasurer; Vicky Drake, weight recorder; and Sharon Bytheway, assistant weight recorder.

This local group has been supporting healthy weight-loss efforts in our community for 14 years.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. The local chapter meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Ahwatukee Rec Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive.

For more information, contact Terri at (480) 893-6742 or visit


Victoria's Dance Depot dancers take top honors

Victoria's Dance Depot Junior and Senior Companies received top honors at the New York City Dance Alliance Competition and Convention, held at the Phoenix Convention Center May 2 and 3. 

Some of the highlights included highest scoring routine, ages 7 to 10 - Jump; highest scoring routine, ages 13 to 15 - Slow Me Down; highest scoring small group routine, ages 7 to 10 - Seasons; second highest scoring, line routine, ages 13 to 15 - Magdalena; third highest scoring soloist, ages 7 to 10 - Kelly Molera, Wonderful World; and third highest scoring tap routine, ages 13 to 15.

Numerous Dance Depot routines were also presented special awards for energy, costuming, staging and execution. The Dance Depot was chosen from the 11 studios attending to receive the Sportsmanship Award.

The routine, Jump, received the highest honor awarded in the 7- to 10 year-old age category - the Critic's Choice Award. In each of the four age categories, this Critic's Choice judge's award is given to a routine that they feel is "best of show." As recipients of the Critic's Choice Award, the Jump dancers are invited to attend the New York City, NYCDA Nationals Competition for free.


Garden Club installs new officers

Members of the Desert Pointe Garden Club recently held their spring luncheon and installation. New officers are Judy Tolbert, president; Kathleen Daurio, first vice president; Betty Olson, second vice president; Jan Miner, secretary; and Susan Smith, treasurer.

To find out more about the club, e-mail Judy Tolbert at


JDRF fundraiser helps in search for cure

On April 23, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hosted a gathering and fundraiser at Biltmore's Roberto Botticelli, a boutique featuring luxury handmade men's and women's shoes and handbags and accessories typically found only in Europe. The event, which drew JDRF patrons from the organization and the boutique's faithful shoppers, raised $2,800 to help support the quest to find a cure for Type-1 diabetes, commonly known as juvenile diabetes. The gathering was the first in a series of 10 fundraising events the JDRF is hosting this year, culminating with the Promise Ball in January.

To find out more, visit


Brewers team wins chamber golf tourney

The Brewers AC foursome won the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce's annual golf tournament April 24 at the Ahwatukee Country Club. Tom Van Tress and the SRP team took second and the Lennox team came in third.

New Chamber President/CEO Terri Kimble put her own touch on the tournament with the addition of the pink jackets. She looked long and hard to find a whimsical jacket of distinction for the "Chamber Masters."


Brownies now Junior Girl Scouts

On Saturday, April 25, Horizon Community Learning Center Brownie Troop 1250 hosted a bridging ceremony and reception. The troop's Brownies bridged to Junior Girl Scouts and then celebrated with a dinner at Bridgeway Community Church with their families.


Pangrazio honored at Phoenix City Council policy session

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Phil Pangrazio, executive director for the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), was honored at a policy session at the Phoenix City Council Chambers by Vice Mayor Tom Simplot and Councilwoman Thelda Williams.

ABIL was recognized during National Community Development Week for its CHAMP program - a home modification program that increases home accessibility, independence and safety for Phoenix residents with disabilities.


AF gymnasts qualify for National Gymnastics Competition

Danica Melosi has qualified for the second time to compete at the USAG Western competition for Level 9. Fellow teammate Jennifer Vezilj is first alternate.

Level 9 qualifiers from the regional competition advance to the National and Western competitions, the final meet for their season. Held in Sacramento, Calif., the regional meet was the final competition for level 8 gymnasts. Joslyn Goings was the regional champion on beam. Melosi, Vezilj and Goings are residents of Ahwatukee Foothills.

Celebrating their 15th year this May, Desert Lights has accrued 16 state team titles, hundreds of individual and all around champions and more than 40 gymnasts have attended college on gymnastics scholarships. Desert Lights is owned by Lisa Spini and John Spini, who has been Arizona State University's Women's Gymnastics head coach for 30 years.


DV students in All-State Musical Festival Orchestra

Desert Vista High School was represented by Booyeon Han, Daniel Chou, Andrew Ma, Hannah Jiam, Anes Sung and Jennifer Wu in the April All-State Music Festival Orchestra.

Han was the concertmaster for the Arizona All-State Orchestra for the second time. Han and Ma were also honored as four-year members of the All-State Orchestra. 


Summit students participate in poetry contest

Kindergarten and third-grade students from the Summit School of Ahwatukee were recently presented certificates for participation in a poetry contest project sponsored by the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs (AFGC). The purpose of the project was to encourage students to gain an appreciation for and to think about the beauty of nature that surrounds them.

Two students from the Summit School were selected as the first place winners by AFGC and the Pacific Region.

During a recent school assembly, Susan Smith from the Desert Pointe Garden Club presented certificates to Kendall Turk, a kindergartner who took first place with her poem titled "The Clouds" and to Maura Eckard, a third-grader who took first place with her poem titled "Nature." Also receiving certificates were the first runner up from kindergarten, Meghan Perales and the first runner up from third grade, Alaina Mencinger.


Alzheimer's caregivers get a little TLC

A "Pampering the Care Partner" event for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients was held May 12 at the Toni & Guy Academy in Ahwatukee Foothills. Offered free of charge, caregivers received complimentary hair makeovers and a manicure.

The caregivers all have ties to the Banner Alzheimer's Institute, where their spouses and/or family members are being treated for Alzheimer's disease.


 Perez performs at Dbacks game

Ahwatukee Foothills Jazzercise instructor Amy Perez performed in the Arizona Diamondbacks Mother's Day pre-game show to promote Jazzercise and demonstrate a fun way for mom to stay in shape. The show was performed to Britney Spears' Circus.


Preschoolers celebrate moms

For Mother's Day, Primrose School of Ahwatukee's students celebrated moms at their annual Muffins for Mom event on May 8. Students served muffins to their moms to show them how much they care. The muffins were a special treat provided courtesy of Mimi's Cafe on Ray Road.

This program is part of Primrose Schools Balanced Learning Curriculum which blends child-initiated and teacher-directed activities and places special emphasis on character development.


AF residents start journey, surpass $1M goal

A 24-year journey that began with a couple guys in Ahwatukee Foothills and eventually evolved into the largest outside fundraiser for the Child Crisis Center has reached its goal of surpassing $1,000,000.

This year the Fiesta Invitational Committee raised $91,000 for the Child Crisis Center and in doing so brought the tournament's total cumulative contribution to $1,039,638. This year the tournament committee chose the slogan "March to a Million," and under the leadership of tournament chairman Mike Wells, they did just that.

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