AF residents are state gymnastics champions
Ahwatukee Foothills residents Joselyn Goings, Danica Melosi, Jennifer Vezilj, Ali Myers and Vanessa Davis won the title of state champion for individual and all around events at the USAG State competition March 27 to 29.
Goings took first place in Level 8 beam and floor; Melosi won first in beam and all around; Vezilj took first in Level 9 bars; Myers won first in Level 10 vault; and Davis won first in Level 8 bars, beam and all around.
The gymnastics team from Desert Lights Gymnastics in Chandler earned the title of state champions for the level nine state competition. The only club to field a team in all four levels of the state competition, they also took second place in level 10 and third place for levels seven and eight.
Gymnasts from the team earned an incredible 36 individual and all around state titles. Qualifying gymnasts traveled to Sacramento, Calif., April 17 to 19 for the USAG regional competition.
Danica Melosi, earned one of the six spots from her group to qualify to compete in the Level 9 Western competition which will be held in Bartlesville, Okla., May 8 to 10. This will be her second year that she has qualified. Jennifer Vezilj earned the spot of first alternate and has been invited to the National Invitational Tournament held the day after the National Competition. Joslyn Goings was the Regional champion on Level 8 beam. Level 8 season ends at regionals.
Celebrating their 15th year this May, Desert Lights has accrued 16 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.
AAED promotes Walker
The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) has promoted Bridgette Walker to the position of director of marketing and operations. Prior to her promotion, she served as manager of business operations for AAED.
Walker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she graduated with honors, earning a bachelor of arts in public relations and business.
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Walker is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills.
AAED was originally founded in 1974 as the Arizona Association for Industrial Development (AAID). The organization, which was dedicated to expanding the industrial and economic base of Arizona, changed to its current name in 1991 to better reflect its broader mission.
For more information on AAED, visit www.aaed.com or call (602) 240-2233.
Center Pointe dancers sweep invitational
The Center Pointe Dance Company recently swept the Kids Artistic Revue Invitational qualifying them for National competition in Las Vegas this summer.
Center Pointe brought home more awards and recognition than any other dance studio in attendance at the regional competition held March 21 at Skyline High School in Mesa.
Among the highlights of their awards were the Top Level One and Level Two First Place awards in the categories of Small Group Ages 8 and under, Large Group Ages 8 and under, Line Ages 8 and under, Large Group Ages 9 to 11, Small Group Ages 12 to 14 and Large Group Ages 12 to 14.
Center Pointe also swept the Duet and Trio categories with the following awards: Top Level 1 Duet/Trio (8 and under) first place - Ashley Bultman, Lindsay Mosher and Abby Kozel in "Precious Ones;" Top Level 1 Duet/Trio (9 to 11) first place - Ally Trevino, Danya Matulis and Bella Gutierrez in "I Don't Think We've Met;" Top Level 1 Duet/Trio (15 to 19) first place - Taylor Muelemans and Jessie Evers in "So Krispy;" Top Level 2 Duet/Trio (9 to 11) first place - Cassie Lindsey and Ashley Bultman in "Flaunt It;" and Top Level 2 Duet/Trio (12 to 14) first place - Cassie Lindsey and Nicole Lince in "Le Jazz Hot."
Center Pointe soloists all placed in the Top Level One and Two of their age divisions and the following dancers received the highest honor of Title Awards: Miss Petite Dance, Ashley Bultman; Miss Petite First Runner-up, Abby Kozel; Miss Petite Second Runner-up, Mikaela Hostallero; Miss Junior Dance, Ally Trevino; Miss Junior First Runner-up, Bella Gutierrez; Miss Junior Second Runner-up, Haley Hanson; and Miss Teen Dance, Cassie Lindsey.
Center Pointe Dance Companies also received the following special awards and recognition: "Brilliant Babies" Award, Bingo (Mini and Junior Company); Best Costume, Fever (Senior and High School Company); Most Entertaining, Hello (Senior and High School Company); Outstanding Choreography Award and cash prize/Level 1, Antoine Olds for "Hello;" and Outstanding Choreography Award and cash prize/Level 2, Erica Leedy (guest teacher from California) for "Shakin the Blues."
Members of the Center Pointe Dance Company were also scheduled to perform in the Ahwatukee Easter Parade and Spring Fling Carnival as well as another regional competition before attending KAR Nationals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July.
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.
Jara celebrates 100th birthday
Josefina Jara celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday, April 11, with her family. She is the mother of Ysela Tokatlian and grandmother to Lina Fontaine, all longtime Ahwatukee Foothills residents.
Flanigan honored by Maricopa County Republicans
Donna Flanigan, who has provided 38 years of leadership to the Republican Party, received the coveted Lincoln Bust during the recent Maricopa County Republican Committee's East Valley Lincoln Luncheon.
The Ahwatukee Foothills resident has served as a precinct committeeman and GOP committeeman since 1971. She served a four-year term as chairman for the Maricopa County Republican Committee, a six-year chairmanship for Legislative District 6, seven years as vice chairman for LD6, 12 years as third vice chair for the Arizona Republican party, four years as secretary for LD10 and is currently the first vice chairman and chaplain of the Ahwatukee Republican Women's Club.
She was the LD20 secretary for four years, is a former member of the North Phoenix Republican Club, attended the Western States Republican Club for six years, was a candidate for the LD6 House of Representatives in 1988 and was a delegate to the national GOP conventions in 1992 and 1996.
She was the state co-chairman for Bush/Quayle presidential campaigns in 1992, served on Sen. Jon Kyl's 2006 re-election committee, worked on the Bush/Cheney and Reagan/Bush presidential campaigns and was the Bob Dole Presidential Elector in 1996.
She has served on the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, was a member of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Executive Posse, the Arizona Constitutional Commemorative Committee, Concerned Women for America, was a charter and 12-year member of the Laveen Planning Committee and was involved in Laveen Youth, church and community organizations from 1970 until she and her family moved to Ahwatukee in 1996.
She and her husband have four children, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
MP Strings of Pride perform
On April 17, Mountain Pointe High School's chamber group "The Strings of Pride" performed during the State Farm Insurance Regional Awards Banquet at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.
"The Strings of Pride" have auditioned and performed in Mesa, Casa Grande and Phoenix and were recently rated a 1 in the West Regional group in the ensemble category for high schools.
The next performance will begin at 7 p.m. May 7 in the school's Performing Arts Center, 4201 E. Knox Road. Tickets are $5.
For more information, contact the school or visit www.lionheartsboosters.org/Orchestra.
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 March 29 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.
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 www.bondurant.com.
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 www.goldmedalgym.com.
Surovy, Willman announce engagement
Heather Surovy and Jason Willman are engaged to be married, and the wedding is planned for Feb. 13, 2010, at Villa Siena in Gilbert.
The bride-to-be is the daughter of Cindy and Joe Surovy of Ahwatukee Foothills. She graduated in 2000 from Mountain Pointe High School and in 2003 from Northern Arizona University. She is an elder abuse investigator for the state of Illinois.
The bridegroom-to-be is the son of Frank Willman of Yorkville, Ill., and Laurel Willman of Yorkville, Ill. He is a 1997 graduate of Yorkville High school and attended Southern Illinois University. He is a general contractor for Willman & Groesch.
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.