Volunteers needed to help build Habitat for Humanity home, Nov. 14 golf tourney slated

The Southeast Valley Lutheran Coalition for Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers to help build another house this fall, its 12th home building project. The group, which includes several area Lutheran churches, is building in Habitat’s Oro Vista Development near 13th Street and Vineyard Street in south Phoenix. Volunteers are meeting on Saturdays through January 2010, except holiday weekends, starting at 7:30 a.m. and working until 2 p.m. Volunteers do not need prior construction experience, and tools and instruction are provided. 

The coalition includes Mountain View Lutheran and Esperanza Lutheran churches in Ahwatukee Foothills. The group provides labor for building on Saturdays and also contributes $85,000 to Habitat for Humanity to cover home sponsorship costs. 

The bulk of the fundraising to support this mission comes from individual donors utilizing the Arizona State Tax Credit program that provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for anyone donating to a nonprofit organization that provides direct services to low-income people.

This year the tourney will be on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Ahwatukee Country Club. The format is a four-person scramble with contest holes, raffles and silent auction, as well as dinner afterward in the clubhouse. The shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. 

For more detailed information on donations, work schedules and the golf tournament, visit www.H4HLutheranCoalition.org


 Clydesdales and more mark Keegan’s 20th anniversary

It’s been a great ride for Don Weissmueller and Chef Paul Burdick, owners and founders of Keegan’s Grill, ever since they opened the doors at their original location in Phoenix back in November 1989. They are celebrating 20 years of gastronomical bliss by requesting the honor of your presence at their special anniversary celebration this month at all three restaurant locations. The Ahwatukee Foothills location is at 4723 E. Ray Road.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Nov. 13 through 20, patrons will receive 20 percent off Keegan’s gift cards and 20 percent off Keegan’s anniversary dinner special all week long. Twenty lucky guests will get 20 random giveaways – including commemorative T-shirts, gift cards and/or free meals each day.

Then from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Budweiser Clydesdales will make a special appearance at the celebration. The uniformed delivery team and Dalmation will trot to Keegan’s riding the famous red beer wagon that’s hitched to the eight-horse team.

For details, call (480) 705-0505.


Mitzel named assistant executive director at ABIL

Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), Arizona’s largest center for independent living serving people with disabilities, has announced that Ahwatukee Foothills resident Regina Mitzel has joined the organization as its assistant executive director.

Prior to her position at ABIL, Mitzel worked as the director of program services for Communities In Schools of Arizona (CIS Arizona), where she provided overall supervision and coordination of CISA partner schools related programs and services. Mitzel’s other previous positions include serving as assistant director at Interfaith Cooperative Ministries in Phoenix and as director of a Boys & Girls Club in St. Paul, Minn. Her work with nonprofit organizations spans more than 15 years.

Arizona Bridge to Independent Living offers and promotes programs designed to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. ABIL is located at 5025 E. Washington St., Suite 200, in Phoenix. For more information, visit www.abil.org or call (602) 256-2245.


 Hudson earns Eagle Scout rank

Michael W. Hudson, 17, has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He is a member of Troop 278, led by scoutmaster Alan Moore.

For his Eagle project, Hudson distributed fliers in Ahwatukee Foothills requesting food donations, then collected, boxed and shipped the donated items to a United States military unit stationed overseas. He raised $1,040 to cover the shipping cost of 100 boxes by asking for individual donations and holding a car wash at Taco Bell on Chandler Boulevard. Packages From Home provided the boxes and labels as well as the facility to box the items. The project involved 36 volunteers and took 174 hours to complete.

Hudson is the son of Robert and Connie Hudson and is a senior at Desert Vista High School.


AF students graduate, make Dean’s List

Ahwatukee Foothills residents Kaila Hochhalter and Joseph Paxton graduated from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in May. Hochhalter received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts, and Paxton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

Brooke Johnson and Daniel Liles were named to the spring 2009 Dean’s List.

Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA to qualify for the Dean’s List.


 Sew-In benefits homeless veterans

What do jean squares, pillowcases and homeless veterans have in common? They were the focus of a youth mission project that led to Desert Foothills United Methodist Church’s first Sew-In. The project was part of breaking up Walls’ Jeans, Mat and Pillowcase project, which uses art as a way to connect kids to issues around poverty. The jean squares were used to make mats that may be used as a sit upon, blanket or whatever the need may be. The pillowcases will hold the mat, hygiene items and simple foods.

Before the Sew-In, much work had already been done. The jeans were cut into four-inch squares by youth and adults from the church and community. Next came decorating the jean squares with words and drawings of hope. This was done by the children from DFUMC and the Wesley Center’s Crocodile Doc Vacation Bible School. Middle school students from the Wesley Center decorated pillow cases with their message of God sightings and places of joy.

At the Sew-In, nine youths and five adults came together to pin, sew and iron the jean squares to make the mats. After the squares were sewn together, they were then sewn to a flannel backing. Over 500 squares were used to make nine mats.

The pillowcases will be distributed by the Under the Bridge program of Breaking Up Walls. This program helps homeless men and women veterans.

For more information about Desert Foothills UMC Youth, contact youth director Jamie Willey at jamie@desertfoothills.org.


Community Day at Montessori Educare Academy

Montessori Educare Academy parents recently gathered to promote the school’s inaugural Community Day. The group of 45 parents spent the day repainting playground equipment, bike paths and playground games. They repaired and painted the playground gazebo, planted citrus trees and readied the vegetable garden for planting.

The morning was filled with hard work, community effort and school spirit, and the students, ranging in age from 12 months to six years, were thrilled with their new outdoor environment.

Montessori Educare Academy is located at 1244 E. Chandler Blvd. For information, call (480) 283-8885.


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