'Storytelling & Song’ program resumes

The “Storytelling & Song” program that takes place each winter at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa will open this season with a ceremonial blessing on Nov. 17.

The featured storytellers are enrolled members of the Gila River Indian Community and tell a combination of ancient Pima and Maricopa legends based on desert wildlife, typically with a moral lesson, as well as personal stories about their experiences growing up on the surrounding tribal lands. Traditional and social songs are also shared during the hour-long presentation.

“Storytelling & Song” takes place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday evenings through March and is appropriate for all ages. “Storytelling & Song” is open and complimentary to all resort and resort restaurant guests.

For guestroom or dining reservations, call (602) 225-0100. For additional resort information, visit www.wildhorsepassresort.com


Entries due Nov. 24 for Fiesta Bowl Parade tryouts

The 29th Annual Fiesta Bowl Twirl-Pom-Cheer-Tall Flag and Dance Championships will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13, at Sunnyslope High School. Boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 18 may compete.

One thousand dollars in scholarship monies will be awarded to several graduating seniors on a competing squad.

Winners will perform in the televised Fiesta Bowl Parade on Jan. 2. Entries are available at www.arizonatwirlingathletes.com or by calling Director Becky Hewitt at (602) 997-0522. Final entry deadline is Nov. 24.


Pecos Community Center needs instructors

The Pecos Community Center is looking for new instructors to implement specialty classes such as Pilates, art, music, tap or any other classes. Qualified instructors for youth or adult special interest classes should call (602) 534-5252 or visit 17010 S. 48th St. to obtain and submit an “Instructor Application.”

The winter session of classes begins Jan. 4, and registration is under way.

Details are available at www.phoenix.gov/parks/registration.


Komodo dragons make public debut

The Phoenix Zoo has opened “Land of the Dragons,” the zoo’s largest and most highly anticipated animal exhibit in recent years. With multiple viewing areas in a tropical setting, the unique exhibit houses two full-grown Komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizard species.

For more information, visit www.landofthedragons.org.


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.


Families to build memories during robots weekend

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa has partnered with Arizona Science Center to offer a memorable fall family getaway Nov. 21 and 22.

This special engagement was designed specifically for resort guests to have personal interaction with both the Robot experience at the resort and access to ROBOTS: The Interactive Exhibition at Arizona Science Center.

The package is suggested for children ages 5 to 12 and is limited to 35 per workshop. Offered at $149, families receive one night in a luxurious guestroom (Saturday check-in), access for two children to the ROBOTS experience at the resort on Sunday morning and access for two children and two adults to ROBOTS: The Interactive Exhibition exhibit at Arizona Science Center. Spend one morning working with Arizona Science Center’s specialists at the resort to provide hands-on fun from 10 to 11 a.m. Nov. 15 and 22.

For more information or reservations, call (602) 225-0100 and mention the promotion code ROBOTS09 or visit www.wildhorsepassresort.com.


 Car, motorcycle show coming up

The Ahwatukee Community Center at 4700 E. Warner Road will host its sixth annual car show and inaugural motorcycle show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

The registration fee is $10 per vehicle and $5 for each additional vehicle before Nov. 13; after that date registration is $12 per vehicle and $7 for each additional vehicle. Trophies will be awarded in various categories.

Admission for spectators is by donation of frozen turkeys and non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank and new unwrapped toys for the United States Marines Corps Toys-for-Tots drive. Non-perishable food and toys may also be dropped off now through Nov. 21 at the Center.

A Boy Named Sioux and The Line Up will provide live entertainment, and beer, food and concessions will be available for a small fee.

For information, call (480) 893-3431.


National Adoption Day is Nov. 21

National Adoption Day is held one day a year (Nov. 21) and is a collective national effort to raise awareness of children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. Since 2000, the goal of National Adoption Day has been that every community in the U.S. will have an annual, institutionalized, self-driven celebration of National Adoption Day on or near the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which can include finalizing adoptions of children from foster care and celebrating all adoptions. In total, more than 25,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day.

Last year Phoenix was No. 1 in the nation with over 250 adoptions completed.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Durango Juvenile Court, 3131 W. Durango. Children will enjoy hanging out with the Suns Gorilla, face painting, ice cream, and a free family portrait. Volunteers and donations are needed.

For more information, call Gina Meyer at (602) 532-4090, ext. 4261.


Boys & Girls Clubs hosting Bids for Kids Auction & Dinner

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley is gearing up for its 32nd Annual Bids for Kids Auction & Dinner presented by Gila River Casinos and Toyota Financial. The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa.

The goal is to raise $530,000 to continue offering after-school and summer programs for youth living in East Valley communities.

The evening will feature dinner, entertainment and silent and live auctions.

Bids for Kids sponsors and auction items are being accepted. Table and individual seating reservations are available, and discounted hotel rates are offered to guests. Individual seating is $300.

For more information, contact Kerri at kerriw@clubzona.org or (480) 820-3688 or visit www.clubzona.org.


'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 lstegman@arizonaschildren.org or visit www.arizonaschildren.org/giftsofhope.htm.


 Book your holiday party with Caffe Boa

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 caffeboa1@msn.com.

For more information, directions, hours or to view the full menu and wine list, visit www.caffeboa.com.


 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. Kai now stands alone as one of only 17 Five-Star restaurants in all of North America and the sole restaurant in Arizona to receive this prestigious commendation.

In addition, AAA announced its list of 2010 Five-Diamond Award winners, and Kai was the only restaurant in Arizona to be named to this venerated list.

These recent announcements mark Kai’s second Five-Star rating and fourth Five-Diamond designation.

For Resort or Kai information, call (602) 225-0100 or visit www.wildhorsepassresort.com.


 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 eight-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. Guests can also enjoy music, caroling, cookie decorating, cider and food samples from Arizona Grand Resort’s culinary team.

Additionally, through Dec. 22 the new Marketplace Café is offering a new selection of mouth-watering 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 www.ArizonaGrandResort.com.


 Irish Mist Golf Scramble benefits Multiple Sclerosis Society

The 4th annual Irish Mist Golf Scramble will take place Saturday, Dec. 5, at Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with a noon shotgun start. The event also include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, live auction, check presentation and dinner.

Donations of items or certificates are being sought to include in the raffle and silent auction. Donations are tax deductible. 

The cost is $125 per player or $500 per foursome, which includes green fee, player pack, range balls, dinner and entertainment. Sponsorships are also available.

MidFirst Bank’s coin van will also be onsite collecting donated spare change. The foursome with the highest coin deposit will win four Phoenix Suns tickets and a parking pass in the MidFirst suite.

Proceeds will benefit Camp Hope through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

For more information, to sign up, sponsor or donate, visit www.irishmist4ms.org.


 Festival of Lights shout out for volunteers

Volunteers are needed for the 14th Annual Festival of Lights Kick-Off Party at Desert Foothills Park on Nov. 28. Three shifts are available during the day of the event – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Volunteers may work one, two or all three shifts, if able. Help is also needed setting up before the big day or breaking down from 7:30 to about 10:30 p.m. after the party. If anyone needs community service hours, this is a great opportunity.

To sign up, visit www.folaz.org or contact Vicki Witt at vikkita@cox.net or (480) 460-6169.


 IKEA happenings

IKEA, located at 2110 W. IKEA Way in Tempe, is offering a variety of events in November, including a toy drive 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 now to Dec. 24, IKEA will donate a $1 to UNICEF and Save the Children to support children around the world.

Professional organizer Charlotte Steill of Simply Put Organizing will present “Clutter Buster Strategies for Getting Your Home Organized for Holiday Guests” at 10 a.m. Nov. 20 in the Living Room department.

A free flooring demo with Quality Assembly will run from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Work IKEA department. 

From Nov. 27 to 29, stop in until 10:30 a.m. for a tasty free breakfast which includes a small breakfast plate and a cup of coffee ($1.98 value). Both specials are one per person, while supplies last.


 Feed My Starving Children event needs donations 

Arizona’s first Million Meal Event will take place Nov. 19 to 21 at Esperanza Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee Foothills and three other valley churches.

One million meals will be packed during the event, enough to feed more than 2,700 starving children for an entire year! All the sites have enough volunteers for packing, but donations are greatly needed to pay for the meals. At 17 cents per meal, every donation makes an impact. A donation of just $62 will feed one child for a year!

To make a donation, visit www.fmsc.org/mobilepack/az. For more information on how to host a packing event or get involved with the AZ Development Team, contact Janine Skinner at tableofhope@gmail.com


 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 www.rawhide.com 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 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.


 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 www.bondurant.com 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 http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/mgclass.htm 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 dmauldin@cals.arizona.edu or Kristen at (602) 827-8200, ext. 311 or krwagner@cals.arizona.edu.


 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 www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com.


 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 www.vnsabooksale.org.


 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.


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