Summer Edu-Camps at Brilliant Sky

Brilliant Sky Toys and Books, 4929 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 401, is offering Edu-Camps this summer for children 3 to 7. The Edu-Camps are designed and run by a state certified teacher and will  be from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays this summer. The cost is $125 per week. These are drop-off camps with a minimum of four and maximum of 10 students per session. Registration is required as space is limited. Camp will be cancelled if the minimum number of students enrolled is not met by the Thursday prior to the camp start date.

The schedule includes Summer Snowkids: Beat the Heat, June 21 to 25; Backyard Bugs, Not Just for Boys, July 5 to 9; and Birthday Bash: Let’s Plan a Party!, July 19 to 23.

For details or to sign up, call (480) 785-8697.


Flag disposal ceremony

Have you ever wondered what to do with old unserviceable American flags? They should not be discarded with the trash, but retired and destroyed with respect.

The Veterans Club and American Legion Post 64 will host a flag disposal ceremony starting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 14 (Flag Day) at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive. A social gathering will take place after the ceremony.

If you have a flag that is no longer serviceable, please turn it in to the ARC for proper disposal.

For more information, call Rod Green at (480) 234-0755.


Host families needed

The Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) is looking for families to host foreign exchange students from their Academic Year Program (AYP) for the upcoming school year. AYP offers students the chance to be fully immersed in a cultural experience that includes connecting with a host family in the United States, attending an American high school, participating in eco-focused activities through AYP and experiencing first-hand life as a teenager in America. All of the students placed are 15 to 18 years old and are proficient in English.

The deadline for families to apply to host an AYP student is Aug. 31.

CCI needs to place 1,000 foreign exchange students from more than 40 countries around the world.

For more information, visit, e-mail or call (800) 634-4771.


More host families needed

Volunteers - with or without children at home - are needed to share their hearts and homes with international high school exchange students for the upcoming fall semester or school year. The students are part of the SHARE! High School Exchange Program sponsored by ERDT, a global nonprofit educational foundation.

The students are from more than 25 countries and will arrive in August. They need caring adults or families to provide a home and share the experience. The host family will provide a bed and meals, as well as friendship, understanding and a genuine desire to share the American way of life with a youngster from overseas.

The students are between the ages of 15 and 18, speak English, are covered by medical insurance and have spending money for their personal expenses. They will attend the high school closest to their host family’s home.

Families are able to review student applications and select the student they feel is the best match.

For more information, call Yvette at (800) 941-3738 or visit


Donate water to save lives

Valley of the Sun United Way urges local residents to donate water to help individuals experiencing homelessness this summer.

The nearest locations to donate cases of bottled water are St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, 2831 N. 31st Ave., (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday); and United Food Bank, 245 S. Nina Drive, Mesa (7 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Monday – Friday). Additional donation sites are listed at

For more information about the Valley of the Sun United Way, visit


Volunteers needed to pack meals for starving children

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, is opening a temporary site at 7965 S. Priest Drive, Suite 106, in Tempe for volunteers to pack meals. This facility will aid in the production for the millions of meals the organizations sends to starving children all over the world. The goal is to pack 1.5 million meals, enough to feed more than 4,100 starving children for an entire year.

The site opens Thursday, June 17, with an open house from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 19. The open house is free and open to the public. Visitors will see first-hand how meals are packed and learn about the impact of FMSC meals ships all over the world to hungry children.

Each meal only costs 19 cents to produce, and donations are also needed to cover the cost of the ingredients. FMSC’s volunteer program offers groups of all kinds the opportunity to work together in a positive, team-focused environment. Some of the groups who make FMSC an integral part of their service programs include school groups and clubs, churches and corporations.

Packing sessions will be Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Fridays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and 8 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Each packing session has space for 50 volunteers. Volunteers must be at least in the third grade to help pack, and walk-ins are not taken.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit


13 AZ State Park campgrounds open for summer

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of rural communities, the following 13 Arizona State “camping” Parks in Arizona will be open this summer: Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Lyman Lake State Park, Catalina State Park, Kartchner Caverns State Park, Lost Dutchman State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park, Picacho Peak State Park, Roper Lake State Park, Alamo Lake State Park, Buckskin Mountain State Park & River Island, Cattail Cove State Park and Lake Havasu State Park. Ten historic and environmental parks will also be open. Only five State Parks are now closed.

For more information, call (602) 542-4174, visit or follow at


Local author offers writing workshop

Bhira Backhaus is the author of the novel Under the Lemon Trees and teaches writing courses at Arizona State University.

Backhaus is offering Monsoon Writing, A Fiction & Memoir Writing Workshop from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays July 6 to Aug. 24 at the Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd.

This workshop is a call to craft and shape the unfinished stories and chapters lurking in the corners of computer desktops and in desk drawers or to develop persistent ideas buzzing in our heads. Bring your drafts of stories, novel chapters and memoir pieces to the workshop in a supportive environment. Participants will engage in creative exercises, reading and writing. Elements of story will be discussed.

The cost is $120. Space is limited. For more information or to sign up, e-mail


Seminar provides tips for high school success

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Shauna Cahill, The Successful Tutor, will present the seminar “What It Takes to Succeed at High School: Organization and Study Skills” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the Grace Inn, 10831 S. 51st St.

The experienced tutor will show seventh to twelfth grade students and their parents how to use school websites effectively, study efficiently with proven tools and techniques, improve time management skills, manage multiple classes and due dates, prepare for semester finals throughout the school year and compute quarterly and semester grades.

The registration fee includes one parent and one student (additional family members are $20). The cost is $40 if forms and fees are turned in before June 15, $55 before July 15 or $70 before July 31.

For more information or to request a registration form, call (480) 794-0177 or e-mail


VNSA wants your books

VNSA (Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association) is a local, all-volunteer nonprofit corporation requesting donations of gently used books, paperbacks, videos, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, books on tape or CD, and any other book-related items for its 55th Annual Used Book Sale scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13, 2011. VNSA is conducting a summer book drive to help overcome lagging book donations.

Tax deductible donations of books can be made at VNSA book collection boxes located in shopping areas around the Valley. Home or business pickups may be arranged by calling (602) 265-6805. More information, including specific drop box locations, is available at


Win the ultimate bridal getaway

A designer wedding gown and luxurious honeymoon on a private island in paradise may sound like a wedding only afforded by the rich and famous, but, and St. Regis Bora Bora Resort have teamed up to make this A-list fantasy a reality for one lucky couple by entering the Wed Like a Celeb Sweepstakes.

Through June, visitors to that are planning a wedding may enter for a chance to win one of five David Tutera by Faviana wedding gowns plus a six-day honeymoon at St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Complimentary round trip airport transfers to and from the resort will also be provided by Air Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Tourism from Los Angeles to Bora Bora. The Giveaway, valued at over $17,000, has it all: luxurious accommodations, a romantic dinner, spa treatments and a bridal emergency gift basket from Dove Deodorant for the bride on her wedding day.

At the top of every page of is a Wed Like a Celeb banner that leads directly to a promotional page. Here, consumers will see an outline of the details of the package. Consumers simply need to fill out the form with contact information and wedding details to be entered to win the trip of their dreams.

Kids golf for free at city 9-holes this summer

Junior golfers ages 17 and under may play for free every day, all day at any of the three Phoenix nine-hole courses from June 1 to Aug. 31, when accompanied by a paid adult. The program is designed to encourage families to enjoy golf together and to promote junior golf in Phoenix.

The special is good for one youth per adult. If only one adult is present, additional kids’ rounds are only $5 each. Junior participants will also receive a free PING hat while supplies last.

The “Kids Play Free” program is offered at Aguila Par 3, 8440 S. 35th Ave. (602) 237-9601, Encanto Short 9, 2300 N. 17th Ave. (602) 262-6870 and Palo Verde 9, 6215 N. 15th Ave. (602) 249-9930. Tee times may be booked online at or by calling 1-866-865-GOLF (4653).

This program is an extension of the Phoenix Youth Golf Program that offers affordable golf lessons year-round to young golfers between the ages of 5 and 17 and the $30 Junior Play Pass good for 30 days at all Phoenix golf courses on a space available basis.

For more information, call (602) 262-5088 or visit


Christmas in July raises money for MCACC

The Kokopelli Winery & Bistro at 35 W. Boston St. in Chandler is teaming up with the 12k’s of Christmas to celebrate Christmas in July and raise money for Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC).

From July 12 to 16 just mention MCACC and Kokopelli will donate a percentage of your tab to help the animals.

For more information, visit or call (480) 792-6927.


Nominations open for Girl Scout World Awards

Do you know a woman who you want to recognize as the best in female leadership and service for the community? Then nominate her for the Girl Scout World Awards.

The World Awards recognize Arizona Girl Scout alumni and current Girl Scouts who exemplify the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

In making distinguished contributions to their communities and professional careers, Women of Distinction are honored as outstanding role models for girls and young women. As a testament to the power of our youth and hope for the future, Young Women of Distinction represent strong youth leadership and display the utmost commitment to their communities.

Seven categories are available for nominations: World of Learning, World of Future, World of Arts, World of Community Service, World of Humanity, World of Courage and the Leadership Award.

Nominations will be accepted through September, and nomination forms are available at

For information on sponsorship opportunities, call Leslie Friedman at (602) 452-7003.


Grand Canyon adventure

A two-night, three-day hiking retreat to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is scheduled for Aug. 1 to 3. The all-inclusive cost of $599 covers transportation, hotel, el Tovar dinner, accommodations and food at the bottom.

For details, contact Donna DiNunzio at (480) 330-2015 or


Sunday 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. Hours are 8 to 11 a.m. July to mid October, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. mid October to April and 8 a.m. to noon May to June.

Admission is free. The market is family friendly, and canine good citizens are welcome.

For more information, visit


Farmers’ Market at Wild Horse Pass

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 or call (480) 705-2936.


Join a book club

Like to read? Looking for adult members of all ages!

For details, e-mail


Donations needed for Red, White and Boom fireworks

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is inviting community members to make donations of $5 or more to help keep the Red, White and Boom fireworks show in Ahwatukee.

For a donation of $25 or more, be a “Friend of the Fireworks” and display a commemorative decal in your home, business or car.

This year’s fireworks will be on Saturday, July 3, at the Ahwatukee Country Club.

For more information or to make a donation, call (480) 753-7676 or visit


Hot weather supplies needed for homeless

Southwest Behavioral Health Service’s Homeless Outreach, a non-profit program to help homeless individuals with mental illness, is requesting donations of hot weather supplies.

The Homeless Outreach program is not a traditional shelter or food bank but a mobile program that delivers supplies to the homeless where they live – on the streets, in alleyways, riverbeds, parks and near deserted buildings. The program covers all of Maricopa County. With homeless populations growing to record levels, the need for donations is greater than ever.

Items that are requested include water, sunscreen, hats or caps, lip balm, hygiene kits (including toothpaste and toothbrushes), lightweight T-shirts, shoes, socks, underwear and monetary donations.

Supply donations may be dropped off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the front office of Southwest Behavioral Health, 3450 N. Third St., (602) 265-8338, or 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at SBH’s Homeless Outreach offices at the Day Resource Center, 1125 W. Jackson St., Suite 448, (602) 393-9930, ext. 3444. Please call before making any drop-offs to the Day Resource Center. Monetary donations to purchase supplies are greatly welcomed and may be dropped off at either location. 


Gently-used bras being collected for reuse at women’s shelters

In the spirit of recycling and community service, Phoenix-based manufacturer OmniMount has partnered with The Bra Recyclers, an Arizona-based textile-recycling firm, to collect gently-used bras during May for reuse at women’s shelters throughout Arizona. The goal is to collect 1,000 bras.

Appropriately coined The BRAvo Event, this month-long textile recycling effort is a unique spin on the company’s ongoing corporate commitment to recycling.

Gently-used bras may be dropped off during normal business hours at the Bra House in the OmniMount parking lot or mailed to OmniMount, 8201 S. 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044. As a thank you to for donating, your name will entered to win prizes.

For more information, visit


Members encouraged to enroll on Foothills Community Association’s website

The Foothills Community Association covers about 20 square miles between 24th and Second streets and Pecos Road up Desert Foothills Parkway until you reach Foothills Club West Community.

This Association has decided to take advantage of a new community website available through Rossmar & Graham to assist you in getting access to important information regarding your community.

Information available includes Board minutes and community news; the community calendar; downloadable association documents such as CC&R’s Bylaws, Architectural Guidelines, CPA annual report, monthly financial report, reserve study, etc.; your account balance and account history; and the ability to update your emergency contact information, communicate with your manager and receive community information e-mails.

Accessing the website is easy - all you need to get started is an Internet connection. Log onto and enter your personal registration code (you may obtain this code by calling Rossmar & Graham at (480) 551-4300). Then follow the on-screen instructions.


LEGO mini-build workshops offered

The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa has again partnered with the LEGO Store and Arizona Science Center to offer a fun-filled and memorable summer family getaway, featuring four swimming pools, a huge waterslide, Cinema Splash, watermelon eating contests and family access to the amazing world of science at Arizona Science Center. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort (5594 W. Wild Horse Blvd., Chandler) is bringing out a professional LEGO builder from the LEGO Store at Chandler Fashion Center to lead a weekend workshop for a limited number of guests. 

Offered twice, June 18 and 19 (Father’s Day weekend) and again July 16 and 17, these packages provide the ideal way to build not only a commemorative LEGO model but also lasting family memories. 

This package is suggested for children ages 5 to 12 and is limited to 60 children per workshop on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information or reservations, call (602) 225-0100 and mention the LEGO2010 promotion code or visit  to book online.


Silent Sundays at South Mountain Park

Cyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users and stroller-riding tots get to call the roads of South Mountain Park their own one day each month when the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department continues its popular Silent Sunday at South Mountain on the fourth Sunday monthly. Starting at 5 a.m. the park’s roadways past the Central Avenue gate, 10919 S. Central Ave., will be reserved for non-motorized use.

Remaining Silent Sunday dates for 2010 are June 27, July 25, Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.

For information, call (602) 495-5811.


Backpack drive benefits less fortunate

Ahwatukee Foothills orthodontist Dr. Joe Pearson and his staff are hosting a backpack drive from May 24 to July 30 to help those less fortunate.

If your child’s present backpack is in good shape and you know he or she will be getting a new one for the next school year, please donate it. New backpacks are also welcome. 

Students at Frank Elementary School in Guadalupe will be the recipients of these backpacks. According to the school’s staff, 98 percent of their students start school without a backpack and supplies.

If you are interested in donating, please call (480) 759-7575 or e-mail Dr. Pearson’s office is at 4350 E. Ray Road, Building 3, Suite 112.

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.


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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