Festival of Lights source for all things holiday
The Festival of Lights is synonymous with the Christmas holidays, existing only because its founders wanted to bring back the holiday lights on Chandler Boulevard that were begun by the developer, Del Webb, nearly 20 years ago. Now they’ve made some additions to their Web site that make FOL the source for all things holiday in and near Ahwatukee Foothills.
• Holiday Happenings Calendar. The community calendar came about as a joint effort with the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce as a way to compile all the events in the community into one place that people can go to for information about things to do during the holiday season. Anyone can submit an event to be added to the calendar online at the Festival of Lights Web site – www.FOLAZ.org.
• Light Display Google Map. Ahwatukee Foothills is home to many elaborate residential displays, with neighbors trying to outdo each other each year. This map is designed to be a resource for families taking that annual two-hour drive around the village to look for cool light displays. Residents are encouraged to let FOL know about their displays by submitting their address information online at www.FOLAZ.org.
Kash for Kujo raffle raises money for resident paralyzed in accident
Keller Williams Sonoran Living, Pioneer Title Agency and Michele Wilkerson with Cadence Lending are currently selling raffle tickets to help a member of their family.
Chris Kujawa, son of Shirley Coomer and Mike Kujawa of Ahwatukee Foothills, is enlisted in the United States Navy. Chris, also known as KUJO, is a medic and has served in Iraq embedded with his Marine brothers and sisters. Just after returning from Iraq he was involved in a car accident, which has left him paralyzed from the chest down. He is currently in a Naval Hospital in California.
The costs are mounting for his family’s trips to California and in preparing their home for his return and transportation to accommodate him. To help with these rising expenses, a raffle is being held and tickets are $10 each. The drawing will take place at 10 a.m. Dec. 16, and the winner will receive a Samsung 52-inch, LCD high-definition, flat-panel television.
To purchase raffle tickets or to make a donation, contact Michele Wilkerson at (602) 740-7283 or email@example.com, Jesse Romero at (602) 614-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Shanda Wimbish at (480) 706-7216 or email@example.com.
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 macys.com/believe for details.
Dream Dinners helps single moms with cancer
Ahwatukee Foothills-based Dream Dinners will have a meal preparation party at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, for the non-profit Singleton Moms’ organization, which provides financial, domestic and emotional support to single mothers with cancer. Volunteers will help prepare nutritious meals for single mothers with cancer and their children. Community members may also donate a meal to Singleton Moms any time they purchase a meal from Dream Dinners, which is located at 3820 E. Ray Road, Suite 28 (www.dreamdinners.com).
Singleton Moms is hosting its inaugural “Guys & Dolls” Charity Ball from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, located at 7700 E. McCormick Parkway in Scottsdale. The festive evening features a cocktail reception, a silent auction, a three-course dinner and dancing to the live music of Rhythm F/X.
Singleton Moms recently launched a “Gimme Five” program, whereby donors commit to contributing a minimum of $5 on the fifth of each month for a year, which in turn will help Singleton Moms support more than 20 Valley single mothers with cancer and their families.
The $55.55 per person ticket price for the “Guys and Dolls” Charity Ball was purposely set to promote the “Gimme Five” campaign. Tables of eight are available for $400.
For reservations or more information, call (602) 743-8873 or visit www.SingletonMoms.org.
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.
Wedding dress raffle benefits Lupus Foundation of America Arizona Chapter
Wendy Mallory is raising money for the Lupus Foundation of America Arizona Chapter by hosting a wedding dress raffle for a minimum donation of $2. The raffle ends Dec. 1.
For complete details or to make a secure donation, visit www.firstgiving.com/billschellhas.
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.
Today’s Dental hosting food/toy drive
Instead of sponsoring one family this holiday season, Today’s Dental has decided to participate in a food/toy drive for the Chandler Christian Community Center. Local charities are struggling to keep up with current demands, and the staff at Today’s Dental wants to help meet the needs of as many people as possible. The goal is to collect 1,000 items by Dec. 23.
Non-perishable food items and unwrapped toys are currently being collected and may be dropped off at the office at 10850 S. 48th St. during normal business hours.
For more information, call (480) 893-1223 or visit www.todaysdental.com.
‘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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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 www.ArizonaGrandResort.com.
Irish Mist Golf Scramble benefits Multiple Sclerosis Society
The fourth 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.
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 email@example.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.
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.