Economy healthcare Town Hall

Congressional District 5 Candidate Eric Wnuck, joined by a panel of speakers, will host a Town Hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Pecos Community Center, 17010 S 48th St., to discuss jobs, economy and healthcare.

Hear about the current economic climate, jobs in Arizona and learn how the passage of HR 3962 will impact you and your future.

For more information, visit or call Mike Noble at (480) 313-1837.


Suns holding auditions for Golden Grannies tomorrow

Auditions for the 2009-10 Golden Grannies dance team will be held Saturday, Dec. 5, with registration beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Casino Arizona Pavilion at US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St. 

The Golden Grannies dance team is comprised of highly energetic individuals who will have the opportunity to perform at select Suns home games during the 2009-10 season.

Performers may park for free in the US Airways Center parking garage, located on the west side of the arena (on First Street just south of Jefferson).

For more details, email Luis “Weezy” Egurrola at or call (602) 379-7626.


Chamber offers golf discount card

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is offering a 2009-10 Golf Discount Card for only $20. The card features hundreds of dollars in savings at courses such as the Ahwatukee Country Club, Ahwatukee Lakes, Club West, The Duke, The Raven, Ocotillo Golf Resort and Arizona Grand Resort, along with restaurant discounts at participating courses. The card is good through Dec. 31, 2010.

For more information or to purchase a card, call the Chamber at (480) 753-7676. Organizations are also invited to sell the cards to benefit the organization and the Chamber. Call for details.


Local Edward Jones offices support Toys for Tots drive

The Ahwatukee Foothills area Edward Jones financial advisors have joined together to support the United States Marines Toys for Tots program by using their offices as drop-off locations for this year’s toy drive, which is under way and continues through Dec. 21.

Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy during regular business hours at one of the following Edward Jones locations: 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 32 (next to Trader Joe’s); 12020 S. Warner-Elliot Loop, Suite 114; 4747 E. Elliot Road, Suite 11 (next to Safeway); 3646 E. Ray Road, Suite B6 (next to Fry’s); 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 4 (next to Safeway); 16725 S. Desert Foothills Parkway, Suite 104; or 4902 E. Warner Road, Suite 1.

For more information, visit


Adventure Play Group getting started

Adventure Play Group is a mom 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 or call (480) 940-3540.


Macy’s Santa coming to town

The one and only Santa from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will be visiting the Santan Macy’s, 2190 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. All kids and those kids at heart are invited to attend and meet Santa.

People of all ages can visit a local Macy’s, fill out a postcard addressed to Santa and drop it in the special “Believe” mailbox. For each postcard received, Macy’s will make a $1 donation to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, helping make dreams come true for young children with life-threatening illnesses. Best of all, 75 percent of all donations stays local, benefiting our local children in need.

A “Tell Us Why You Believe” contest is also under way. Submit a short essay or video telling the world why you believe to win a special VIP trip to the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Go to for details.


PACC 911 hosts annual PAWS For The Holidays Pet-Adoptathon

PACC 911 (Phoenix Animal Care Coalition), in conjunction with Earnhardt Ford/Mazda, will host its annual PAWS For The Holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at Earnhardt Ford/Mazda, 7300 W. Orchid Lane, Chandler (Ray Road just east of I-10).

Cats and dogs of all shapes and sizes waiting to find loving owners and have a second chance at life will be on site at the rain-or-shine, family friendly event. More than 30 rescue groups will be on site with pets that have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and thoroughly evaluated. PAWS will also feature a food grill, pet product vendors, live radio coverage, pet photos with Santa and much more.

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Hartz Mountain Corp., PACC 911 will be donating more than $96,000 worth of Hartz-brand pet products - including toys, supplies, grooming products and food - to animal shelters, pet food banks and animal rescue groups in the Phoenix area this holiday season. Hartz committed to ship up to $3,000,000 in everyday pet supplies to animal shelters and food banks nationally throughout 2009.

PACC 911 will be distributing Holiday “Gifts for the Givers” Hartz pet products at the event to participating animal shelters and rescue groups. With these donations, non-profit animal organizations and shelters may provide shelter pets with much needed toys. The donation also helps animal clinics stock needed supplies. 

For more information, go to or call (602) 992-4779.


Holiday party ideas

• Caffe Boa can take care of all of your holiday party plans this year. If you have a company event or private function, call (480) 893-3331 and ask for Scott or e-mail For more information, directions, hours or to view the full menu and wine list, visit

• Fired Up Grill, 7313 W. Ray Road, Suite 45, Chandler (southwest corner at 56th Street in the Casa Paloma Plaza) is accepting reservations for holiday parties. For details, call (480) 940-4040 or visit

• At the restaurant or your home or office, let Havana Caf be your holiday party solution. The restaurant will design a menu for you, your guests and your holiday party budget to be delivered to your location or hosted at the restaurant, 4232 E. Chandler Blvd. To plan your holiday party, call (480) 991-1496.

• The Radisson Hotel Phoenix-Chandler, 7475 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, has space for up to 220 party guests, and some prime dates are still available. Book any holiday gathering or event through the end of December and receive a special sleeping room rate. Call Amy Lees at (480) 961-4444, ext. 520 for catering information and menus.

• Heidi’s Events and Catering offers three holiday party ideas - Breakfast with Santa, Winter Picnic and Happy Hour Bus Tour. For details, call (480) 491-5254.


JFCS Center for Senior Enrichment to temporarily close once a week

Dr. Michael Zent of Jewish Family and Children’s Service and Adam Schwartz of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix have agreed that the Center for Senior Enrichment (CSE) be temporarily closed on Mondays, beginning Dec. 7, until additional funds can be raised to support the programs.

By temporarily closing the center one day a week, JFCS will be able to provide a frozen kosher meal for seniors to take home with them on Fridays and deliver an extra frozen meal to home-bound clients so that everyone will have meals for the Mondays the CSE is closed.

Anyone wishing to help fund the Center for Senior Enrichment or any other of the many JFCS programs are encouraged to donate online at or call Frank Jacobson at (602) 567-8329.


KopyKids offers personalized dolls

Photo Arts Boutique is launching a new era of paper dolls with KopyKids, a doll/action figure that is hand-crafted locally from a photograph of your child. KopyKids are recommended for ages 4 and up.

For details, visit or call (888) 398-6236.


U.S. EPA calls for green innovators

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting nominations for the 15th annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards recognize innovative chemical technologies that incorporate green chemistry into the design, manufacture and use of chemicals and that have broad applications in industry.

Nominations must be submitted no later than Dec. 31 to be eligible for the 2010 awards, which will be presented in June.

More information is available at


Boys & Girls Clubs celebrate Thanksgiving with $60K contributions

Toyota Financial Services, as part of its Making Life Easier for Youth initiative, is providing Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley a $60,000 contribution to support the clubs’ invaluable after-school programs including academic support, recreational activities and life skills programs in a safe and supportive environment for underserved youth and families in Guadalupe.

The clubs provide after-school programs for 1,500 youth every day ranging in age between 6 and 18 years old. Programs include academic support, career enrichment, character and leadership development, health and life skills, the arts, sports and fitness and family support resources. In a safe, culturally sensitive, fun and caring environment, Boys & Girls Clubs offer youth a much-needed opportunity to develop a sense of belonging, usefulness, influence and caring. 


Friday night 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.


‘Gifts of Hope’ kick-off begins annual holiday drive

Arizona’s Children Association invites you to bring your organization, office or family together to celebrate the holidays with a “Gift of Hope” for children and families in Maricopa County who need your help. The “needs” list is long and includes the wishes of children from birth to 18 years and requests from their parents for groceries and grocery gift certificates.

For more information or ways to participate, contact Leah Stegman at (602) 234-3733, ext. 111, e-mail or visit


Kai receives Forbes’ and AAA’s highest honors

Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide) has announced its list of 2010 award winners, and Kai Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa was awarded the highest rating with the Five-Star Award.

For resort or Kai information, call (602) 225-0100 or visit


Gingerbread Village and more at Arizona Grand

Arizona Grand Resort is commemorating the holiday season with the re-invention of a treasured holiday tradition – the Grand Gingerbread Village.

The classic gingerbread village in Fountain Circle will showcase a signature 8-foot gingerbread house, plus featured houses from one local fire department, Kyrene elementary schools and a replica of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The Grand Gingerbread Village is on display through Jan. 3.

Every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas (Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 19) the Village will feature family photos with Santa from 5 to 8 p.m. Photos will be available for $10 each and a portion of the proceeds go directly to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for future children’s feature developments.

Additionally, through Dec. 22 the new Marketplace Café is offering desserts to-go described as “classics with a twist.” Ongoing traditions include Thanksgiving brunch buffet (Nov. 26), “Tamales to Go” (Nov. 27 to Dec. 31), Christmas brunch (Dec. 25) and New Year’s Eve celebration (Dec. 31). 

More information is available at


IKEA happenings

IKEA, 2110 W. IKEA Way, Tempe, is offering a variety of events.

• A toy drive is taking place through to Dec. 14 for the Tempe Community Action Agency’s “Holiday Toy Shoppe” program. Donation bins are located at the exit doors.

• For every IKEA soft toy purchased through Dec. 24, IKEA will donate a $1 to UNICEF and Save the Children to support children around the world.

• The Annie Win Your Dream Room “Tomorrow” Contest runs through Dec. 13. Register for your chance to win tickets to an Annie performance at Arizona State University Gammage and a show gift pack, plus a $100 IKEA gift card.

• Become a hero and donate blood from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in the parking lot. To register, visit

• Enjoy a traditional, all-you-can-eat Swedish Christmas Smorgasbord from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. The cost is $15.99 for adults and $2.49 for kids 12 and under.

• On Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, customers can enjoy 10 mouth-watering Swedish meatballs for $1 (includes 10 meatballs, mashed potatoes and cream sauce). Limit one per customer - while supplies last.

• Get organized with professional organizer, Charlotte Steill of Simply Put Organizing, as she gives tips for “Tips for Holiday Storage at Home” at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the restaurant. All attendees will receive free breakfast for participating.

• From Dec. 26 to Jan. 3, customers can stop in until 11 a.m. for a tasty free breakfast which includes a small breakfast plate and a cup of coffee. Limit one per customer - while supplies last.

• Kids 12 and under eat free in the restaurant from Dec. 26 to Jan. 3. Parents can choose any three kid-sized items to create a meal. No adult purchase necessary.


Farmers’ Market at Wild Horse Pass now open

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 or call (480) 705-2936.


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 or


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 For more information about the program or to become a community partner, call Koni Gould at (602) 663-0350.


Food drive at The CoffeeBuzz

The CoffeeBuzz, 4804 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 110, is hosting a food drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank through Jan. 1. Non-perishable foods (pasta, canned food, cereal) and donations are being accepted.

For information, call (480) 393-3430.


Bondurant School of High Performance Driving offers gift certificates

Give the gift of a lifetime this holiday with a gift certificate to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Gift certificates are available in any denomination and can be redeemed for all racing and driving courses, as well as Bondurant merchandise. 

To purchase a gift certificate, visit or call 800-842-RACE (7223). Course dates are not required at the time of purchase, and gift certificates are valid for one year from date of purchase.


Applications now being accepted for 2010 Master Gardener training

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Maricopa County Master Gardener Program holds certification classes throughout the Valley twice yearly. The classes teach future Master Gardener Volunteers the details on how to successfully garden in the Valley.

Topics that will be covered in the Master Gardener class include Basic Botany, Propagation, Cacti and Succulents, Turf, Citrus, Plant Diagnosis, Soils and Fertilizer, Vegetables and Herbs, and much more.

In 2010, classes are being held on the following dates and locations: Tuesdays Jan. 12 to May 4, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Desert Breeze Police Substation, 251 N. Desert Breeze Blvd., Chandler, application deadline is Nov. 30; and Tuesdays July 13 to Nov. 2, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, application deadline is May 31, 2010.

The Web site will acquaint anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer with all the information needed to apply to the program.

For more information, contact Debbie at (602) 827-8200, ext. 308 or or Kristen at (602) 827-8200, ext. 311 or


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. Summer hours are 8 to 11 a.m.

Admission is free. The market is family friendly, and canine good citizens are welcome.

For more information, visit


VNSA wants your books

VNSA (Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association), a local, all-volunteer nonprofit corporation, needs donations of gently used books, paperbacks, videos, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, books on tape or CD and any other book-related items for the 54th Annual VNSA Used Book Sale scheduled for Feb. 13 and 14, 2010. Proceeds from the book sale will benefit Valley nonprofit agencies that serve families and children in need.

Tax deductible donations of books can be made at the VNSA book collection box at Bashas’ at 4855 E. Warner Road (look for cream colored box featuring the VNSA owl). Home or business pickups can be arranged by calling (602) 265-6805.

More information is available at


Get the 4-1-1 on summer camps

Raising Arizona Kids Magazine’s Seventh Annual Camp Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Tesseract Middle and Upper School at 3939 E. Shea Blvd. in Phoenix The event is free and open to the public.

Day and overnight camps from around Arizona, throughout the Southwest and across the country will be represented. This fun, informative and free event gives families a chance to meet with camp staff and directors, pick up registration information, ask questions and figure out which camps are best suited to their child’s interests and their family’s budget.

For more information, call (480) 991-KIDS (5437) or visit


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


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


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 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


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.

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