Jim and Linda Jochim felt that serving the community was the right thing to do after they settled down in Ahwatukee Foothills for their retirement.

Being very active through organizations that give back to the community and promote involvement is their primary goal as Ahwatukee Foothills residents.

The couple is on the board of organizations that have increased awareness of real-world issues and have made a significant difference to Ahwatukee residents of all ages. Jim has been involved with Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children, PARC, for 10 years and is currently the treasurer. The organization aims to eliminate and improve environmental damage in Arizona.

The non-profit organization is focused on eliminating the plan to build the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway on Pecos Road.

If the freeway is built, residents will be affected and local schools and neighborhoods will be displaced by it. Children may not be able to play outside anymore due to the diesel trucks that will be using the freeway, Linda said.

Linda is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the YMCA Outreach Programs for Ahwatukee Seniors. She is in charge of coordinating events, developing relationships within the community and increasing awareness for the program.

Linda is in charge of contacting doctors’ offices and clinics to make sure that they have information about the program Y OPAS.

“Y OPAS is a free program for any senior 62 and over in Ahwatukee, and we provide a lot of transportation to doctors and dentists,” Linda said, “It is a great program.”

“She does a fantastic job informing people in the community about our program, recruiting seniors who need the service and volunteers to help them,” Judy Lewisohn, program manager of Y OPAS said. “Linda always goes above and beyond for our Y OPAS seniors and puts in many volunteer hours on top of her work hours.”

The couple lives in Ahwatukee year round, as opposed to other senior residents who only visit shortly in the winter. This enables the couple to stay active in the community.

“A lot of people our age travel extensively and are here in the winter and someplace else in the summer,” Linda said. “We are here year round.”

This year, Jim and Linda are participating in the 19th annual Ahwatukee Festival of the Lights that includes two parties: A wine and beer tasting party occurring on May 31, which includes a silent auction and a family party.

“All of the homeowners out here are accessed monthly to pay for those lights, so it’s a big deal out here in the Foothills,” Linda said.

Getting involved in programs that have a potential impact for the community is key for the couple, Jim and Linda said.

“We are lucky enough to be able to do exactly what we are passionate about because we care,” Linda said. “It is something we enjoy, we don’t get involved in programs that we don’t really care about,” Linda said.

• Angela Crusco is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is interning this semester for the AFN.

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