City to hold ‘traffic circles’ meeting Tuesday
The Phoenix Street Transportation Department is holding a neighborhood meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School to discuss the temporary traffic circles on Equestrian Trail at Appaloosa Drive and 36th Street at Coconino Street. City staff from the department will offer information about the background of the traffic circles, traffic study results, and the petitioning requirements residents will have to achieve before the City makes the circles permanent. The meeting is open to the public. For more information contact Kerry Wilcoxon at (602) 262-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festival of Lights looking 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.
Pecos Community Center offers open house
The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is inviting residents to attend free open houses at full-service community and recreation centers at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, including Pecos Community Center at 17010 S. 48th St.
The open houses give visitors a chance to register for winter classes and use the centers for a day without a recreation membership. Residents also can try out fitness rooms, enjoy open gym and game rooms and meet some class instructors for upcoming winter classes, which run from December through February.
Visitors also can use the open houses to register in-person for winter session classes. Winter registration opens at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 14. Residents can register online in the “Classes and Programs” link of the department Web site at phoenix.gov/parks, or they can register in person at any community or recreation center with Saturday operating hours.
For more information, call (602) 534-5252.
‘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.
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, located at 5700 W. North Loop Road in Chandler, 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 (six years 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. 14 and 15 and again 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.
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.
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.
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. National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.
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.
Tempe holiday events schedule
Downtown Tempe will offer the following holiday events:
• APS Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade, Presented by Kiwanis Club of Tempe, Nov. 28, 5 to 9 p.m., Mill Avenue District, free admission. Features Light-Up-A-Luminaria sales and special exhibitors, the parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.
• 41st Annual Fall Tempe Fall Festival of Arts, Dec. 4 to 6, Mill Avenue District, free admission. Features original fine art and crafts, the Arizona Wine Festival, Kids Innovation Station Presented by APS and other activities and entertainment.
• APS Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Dec. 12, Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake, free admission. Features free hands-on kids activities, special “Town Lake Turns 10” birthday celebration displays and activities, live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, Santa’s arrival, a concert by as many as 85 tuba players who comprise “Tuba Christmas,” Light-Up-A-Luminaria display throughout the park, METRO Light Rail’s grand illumination of the Tempe Town Lake bridge and the Lighted Boat Parade showcasing dozens of festively-decorated and lighted boats.
• Mill Avenue Holiday Lighting Display, Nov. 28 to Jan. 1, free viewing. Features festively-lighted trees along Mill Avenue and adjacent streets for pedestrian holiday enjoyment.
Fiesta del Tlaquepaque holiday events
Tlaquepaque, an arts and crafts village nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona, will host the following holiday events:
• Festival of Trees, 10 a.m. to close Nov. 27 through Dec. 6. Area artists and galleries will have over 30 Christmas trees on display fully decorated in fun and exquisite ways. Kick off your holiday season with a beautiful themed tree already pre-decorated by making a bid on the silent auction bid sheets. Bids may be checked through 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Proceeds from will benefit Toys for Tots, Camp Soaring Eagle and the Waldorf School. For additional information, call (772) 643-2742.
• Festival of Lights, 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. The cherished tradition involves the lighting of 6,000 luminarias in the courtyards and walkways. Dozens of entertaining events, including performances by carolers, musicians and dancers, will take place, along with a visit by Santa. Hear the River of Life Tabernacle Choir at 5:30 p.m. Specially designated luminarias honoring cancer survivors and victims may be purchased in advance. For details, call (928) 282-4838.
To learn more about Tlaquepaque, visit www.tlaq.com.
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.