Seasonal fire ban under way

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has banned open fires in city mountain and desert preserves. The ban applies to Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, all areas of the Phoenix Mountains, South Mountain Park/Preserve, North Mountain and surrounding areas, the Sonoran Preserve and the Deem Hills area. The fire ban does not apply to traditional city parks.

In consultation with the Phoenix Fire Department, smoking and charcoal fires again will be included in the ban due to the extreme fire danger created by a combination of heavy plant growth from the wet winter, rising late spring temperatures and dropping humidity levels.

For those using the preserves, the fire ban stipulates the following: open, wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in any part of the Phoenix mountain preserves; smoking outside of enclosed vehicles will continue to be prohibited; and propane or gas grills may be used but only in established picnic areas.

Motorists traveling through or near Phoenix desert preserves should exercise extreme care with smoking materials and use only their vehicle’s ash trays to dispose of smoking materials.

To protect their homes, residents whose property borders the preserves may remove dry shrubs, brush and grasses and trim dead branches from trees within the 10-foot strip of preserve bordering their property. By creating this 10-foot "buffer zone," residents may help to protect their homes from brush fires in the adjacent preserve.

For general information or guidance before removing vegetation, residents may contact a park ranger at (602) 495-5458 or

Preserve neighbors also should check irrigation lines and pool back-flush hoses to ensure that water is not seeping into the preserve. Outside water sources encourage unnaturally dense vegetation growth, which increases fire risk.

The Parks Department has created a webpage with comprehensive fire ban information at The webpage contains an e-mail form residents can use to send questions to park rangers, comprehensive information on brush removal and details on the fire ban.


Golf tourneys support Optimist Club

Desert Divots is producing golf tournaments May 14 and June 4 at the Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave., to support the Ahwatukee Optimist Club. Proceeds from the tournaments will then go to the Kyrene Schools Community Foundation, Kyrene Resource Center and Ahwatukee Little League.

• The Hillside Spot Market & Cafe tournament will begin Friday, May 14, with an 8 a.m. shotgun start, scramble format. The fun-filled day will include an awards banquet and a silent auction immediately following golf, plus prizes for the first three teams, several contest holes, Hole-N-One prize on all par 3s, a "cash bucket" putting contest, long drive demonstrations and more. The cost is $89 per player or $350 per team, and a variety of sponsorships are available. For details, call Doug at (480) 223-8705 or e-mail To sign up, visit

• The Ahwatukee Foothills Optimist Club and Kyrene Schools Community Foundation’s tournament will begin Friday, June 4, with a 8 a.m. shotgun start, scramble format. The event includes prizes, contest holes, an awards banquet immediately following golf, silent auction, prizes for the first three teams, plus several contest holes, Hole-N-One prize on all par 3s, a putting contest, long drive demonstrations and more. The entry fee is $89 per player or $320 per team, and a variety of sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact Jim at (602) 793-1930 or or Tim at (480) 221-3388 or To register, visit


Participate in a free night of camping for a good cause

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) will host the seventh annual nationwide "Come Kamp and Care with Us" event May 14 and 15. Campers who make reservations at participating KOA Kampgrounds pay for only Friday, May 14, and camp for free on Saturday, May 15, at nearly 400 participating KOA Kampgrounds in North America.

A percentage of the weekend’s proceeds will go to KOA Care Camps, a network of 41 independent, specialized camps for children under treatment or in recovery from cancer. In the past two years alone, nearly $500,000 has been raised from all sources during this annual event. Each KOA Kampground holds its own fun, fundraising activities on the campgrounds that include auctions, crafts, games, and more.

A complete list of participating KOA campgrounds is available at


Summer program registration open

Registration is now open for the full schedule of summer programs at the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

In addition to the full-day supervised recreation programs at 12 community center sites, full-day visual and performing arts immersion classes are also offered at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. City golf courses are offering a host of specials for aspiring golfers to learn the game and get out on the courses.

Comprehensive information is available online in the "Classes and Programs" link at Registration is available online or in person at any community center.

The full-day supervised recreation programs range from $280 to $350 for seven-to-eight week programs. Some centers offer shorter duration program options at a reduced price. Many centers also are offering programs for teens.

The Phoenix Center for the Arts arts visual and performing arts classes are available in three-hour blocks in either the morning or afternoon. You can choose from dance, music, voice and visual arts samplers that expose students to photography, painting, ceramics and glassmaking.

Additional information is available by calling (602) 262-6862.


Registration open for city aquatics programs

Registration for the following city of Phoenix summer aquatics programs has begun. Early registration is recommended (online or walk-in) as spaces are limited.

• The Cub Club program is available at all city pools and is free for children ages 7 to 9.

• Children ages 10 to 12 will discover the fun of boating safety in the Discovery Guards program, free and available at all city pools.

• The Junior Lifeguards program is free to youths 13 to 15 years old at select pools. Gain insight into the skills needed to be a Lifeguard from a certified lifeguard. Participants will learn water safety skills, be exposed to lifeguard training techniques, leadership, responsibility, first aid, pool operations and CPR/AED for the professional lifeguard.

For more information or to sign up, visit or call (602) 262-6541 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.


Community Center offers Golf, Swim and Tennis Camp

Golf, Swim and Tennis Camp at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center is available all summer for kids 6 to 14 years old.

Camp activities include instruction in golf and tennis in a non-competitive environment with an emphasis on recreation to allow each camper to participate at his/her own level. Camp swimming is designed as a fun, leisure time for the campers to enjoy the great pool.

Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays weekly throughout the summer, and the cost is $190 per camper each week.

For more information, visit or call (480) 893-3431, ext 0.


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.

During the months of May and 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.

City pools open for Memorial Day

City of Phoenix swimming pools are scheduled to open from 1 to 7 p.m. Memorial Day weekend, May 29 to May 31, and will reopen for the full 2010 season from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 5, to Sunday, Aug. 1. All of the pools operating this summer will be closed on Fridays.

For more information about the 2010 pool season and swim programs, contact the Aquatics Office at (602) 262-6541 or (602) 262-6713 TTY or go to


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.


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 May 23, June 27, July 25, Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.

For information, call (602) 495-5811.


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.


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.


Creative career-themed classes get kids painting and thinking

As You Wish Pottery believes in encouraging kids to follow their dreams and be everything they imagine they can be. So this summer As You Wish is helping their imaginations along with a career-themed summer class program that is sure to be the colorful cure for boredom!

Whether kids want to shine on the silver screen, build skyscrapers or protect our citizens, they will explore different career options as well as creative art techniques while they paint pottery as part of their on-the-job training. A dedicated instructor teaches the class about the profession they are focusing on for the day and then they paint a pottery piece that signifies the career.

A new career is explored every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting on June 7 and running through July 30. Classes are for kids five and up and run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Fees are $20 and include studio time and pottery. Advanced registration is strongly suggested.

Kids can also learn about helping other kids at As You Wish through the Tiles for Smiles program, which sends children with serious illnesses to camp. Come in to paint a happy inspirational tile that becomes part of a custom mirror for Camp Soaring Eagle. The cost is $10 per tile, with $7 going directly to the Camp.

As You Wish Pottery is located at 4905 E. Ray Road, Suite 103.

For more information, call (480) 753-9500 or visit


Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center summer programs

The Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Road, is offering a variety of summer programs, including swim lessons for parents and tots (6 to 36 months) and ages 3 to 8; private swim lessons; a weekly (Mondays to Thursdays) golf, swim and tennis camp; pre-school tumbling and a back handspring clinic for ages 6 and up; summer junior tennis two-week camps; adult stroke technique swim class; aquatics masters group and a triathlon swimming and endurance class.

For details, call (480) 893-3431 or visit


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 five 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


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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