School superintendent to address students, community

As part of the college's ongoing civic engagement initiative, Chandler-Gilbert Community College will host Tom Horne, state superintendent of public instruction, at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 in the CGCC Performing Arts Center.

Horne will speak on general education issues in Arizona, including updates on AIMS testing and the No Child Left Behind initiative.

The event is sponsored by the CGCC Civic Engagement Team and the Leadership Centre and is free and open to the public.

CGCC is located at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler.

For more information, call (480) 732-7030.


Essay contest for Mom's Day

In celebration of Mother's Day, AASK (Aid to Adoption of Special Kids) is hosting an essay contest for children adopted through Arizona's foster care system. The essay contest is an opportunity for adopted children to express their love and appreciation for their adoptive moms and to raise awareness about the need for more adoptive moms here in Arizona.

To enter, children simply need to submit a one page essay (maximum of 250 words) describing "What My Mother Means to Me." The submission must include the name of the child and a parent, age of the child, date the child was adopted, phone number, mailing address and e-mail address. To download a submission form, or see complete contest rules, visit AASK's Website at

The contest will be divided into two categories - one for children ages 6 to 10 and another for children ages 11 to 18. Submissions can be e-mailed to AASK at, faxed to (602) 212-2564 or mailed to AASK Mother's Day Essay Contest, 2320 N. 20th St., Phoenix, 85006. Essays must be submitted along with a photocopy of the Arizona order of adoption for the child by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.

Winning essayists may be published and/or featured on television and win a fabulous prize package including jewelry from Schmitt Jewelers, a box of chocolates and house cleaning from Bella House Cleaning.

For more information, contact Christina Booth at (602) 930-4481 or


DV Softball hosts tournament

The Desert Vista High School Girls Softball program will host its annual golf tournament April 27 at the Ahwatukee Country Club.

Golfers will check in and warm up at 11:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start with scramble format at 12:30 p.m. Dinner guests may view auction items starting at 11:30 a.m. A dinner with a cash bar, awards, raffle and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m.

The cost for golf and dinner is $100 per player if received by April 21. All proceeds will benefit the softball program.

To register, e-mail


Group to hold giving campaign

The Arizona Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ACBVI), founded in 1947, provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive rehabilitation instructional programs and social services for legally blind and severely visually impaired adults in Maricopa County.

ACBVI's annual development campaign is under way and Jay Bell, former Arizona Diamondback standout, and his wife Laura, have volunteered to serve as the honorary chairs of this year's campaign.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit or call (602) 273-7411.


Summer jobs available for young people

Approximately 550 youths 14 to 18 years old will have a job this summer through the city of Phoenix Summer Youth Work Experience Program. 

Participants will be paid an hourly wage of $6.90 for up to 200 hours of work beginning on June 2. Applications are being accepted by the city's Human Services Department Youth Services Division for summer jobs for youth who live in Phoenix.

Applications will be available online at from April 1 to 25. Applications also may be obtained at most schools and locally at the Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.

Applications may be submitted only from April 14 to 25 at the drop-off locations listed on the application form.

The program will select youth through a lottery process. After this process, interview appointments will be scheduled with selected applicants. Applicants who are not selected will be notified and their applications will remain on file throughout the 2008 summer program. 

For more information, call (602) 534-0065 or visit


Recycle your old PC at the 8th annual AZ StRUT Computer Recycle Day

AZ StRUT Computer Recycle Day is an opportunity for you, civic organizations, small businesses and others to recycle their used and obsolete computers and computer parts, while benefiting schools and nonprofits. In 2007, more than 1400 people donated 86,000 pounds of equipment.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 19. The nearest locations are:

• Basha High School, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive

• Gilbert High School, 1101 E. Elliot Road

• The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway

• Tempe High School, 1730 S. Mill Ave.

• Data Doctors (until 4 p.m. - see for locations).

Donations tax-deductible. For your protection, every attempt will be made to scrub the hard drives that are being refurbished by AZ StRUT. However, it cannot guarantee a hard drive's content will be completely erased. Before donating your old computer, it is recommended you reformat your hard drive.

For more information on the AZ StRUT program, visit


Prickly Pair taking donations for cancer walk

Ovarian cancer is the No. 1 killer for women, and employees from Prickly Pair home store, located at 40th Street and Chandler Boulevard, are currently collecting for their walk for the American Cancer Society at Desert Vista High School on April 26. Their goal is to raise $1,000. Luminary bags are available for purchase and will be lit during the walk.

For more information, contact Rosanne Youngblood at (480) 236-8831.


The Body Firm hosts sports equipment drive

To promote physical fitness and activity for children, The Body Firm Fitness Center is hosting a sports equipment drive for the Guadalupe Thunderbirds Branch of the Boys and Girls Club now through May 2. New and gently-used kick balls, hula-hoops, jump ropes, basketballs, soccer balls and volleyballs are needed.

Equipment can be dropped off any time between 5:15 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at The Body Firm, located at 4405 E. Ray Road.

For more information, call (480) 705-9801.


Summer Spaaah Series kicks off May 25

The third annual Summer Spaah Series is breezing back into town to cool off the Valley with a dose of fun and charity. This event series is making its rounds at eight Valley spa destinations starting on May 25. A generous portion of funds raised through these events go to support Fresh Start Women's Foundation, a Phoenix-based organization that empowers women in need.

The series will kick off Memorial Day weekend with a special Summer Spaaah Soirée at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, where guests will be immersed in the Spa Avania experience. Attendees will be invited to change into plush spa robes, take in a 30-minute spa treatment, attend a yoga class, sample treatments in the "sweet suites," indulge in freshly prepared spa cuisine, raise their glasses with a closing tea martini toast and leave with a bag filled with goodies. This women-only experience is for guests 17 and older and is a rare opportunity to experience the spa for only $40.

The seven events that follow are $25 and include mini spa treatments, fitness classes, beauty demos, boutique discounts, raffles, refreshments, goodie bags and a chance to tour the hottest spa destinations Arizona has to offer. Each event has been carefully planned to highlight the essence and unique features of each destination. The 2008 events take place every other Sunday at the following locations:

• May 25: Hyatt Scottsdale Resort & Spa , Scottsdale;

• June 8: The Spa at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, Phoenix;

• June 22: Dolce Salon & Spa of Arrowhead, Peoria;

• July 6: Aji Spa at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, Chandler;

• July 20: Golden Door Spa at the Boulders Resort, Carefree;

• Aug 3: Dolce Salon & Spa at the Borgata, Scottsdale;

• Aug 17: SW Institute of Healing Arts & SW Institute of Natural Aesthetics, Tempe; and

•Aug 31: The Spa at Gainey Village Health Club, Scottsdale.

For times and tickets, visit


ASU graduate schools shine in new rankings

For the first time, U.S. News & World Report has ranked graduate programs in three Arizona State University colleges and schools in its top tier, among the top 25 in the nation. In the new issue of America's Best Graduate Schools 2009:

• The W.P. Carey MBA program is ranked 22nd overall, and eighth nationally among public universities.

• The ASU School of Public Affairs graduate program ranked 25th nationally among nearly 300 schools considered in the report, and among the top 15 publics.

• The Mary Lou Fulton College of Education ranks 25th for its graduate program, and 16th among public universities.

The Carey School is one of only five schools in the West ranked in the top 25, among more than 450 accredited business schools in the U.S. The other Western schools are Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC. ASU's supply chain specialty ranked third nationally.

The School of Public Affairs is also one of only five schools in the west ranked in the top 25, with the others being UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA and Washington. The urban management program ranked sixth and public administration eighth.

Six out of nine specialty education programs within the Fulton College ranked in the top 20 in the nation. These include education policy, educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, secondary teacher education, elementary teacher education and student counseling/personnel services.

In addition, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the College of Human Services ranked 16th in the nation. Other graduate programs ranked include fine arts, 30; Earth sciences, 31; engineering, 45; and law, 52.

While nursing colleges weren't included in this year's rankings, the ASU College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation ranked 32 of 396 graduate programs last year.

Each year, U.S. News ranks professional school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine. The rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators. Surveys of more than 1,200 programs and 14,000 academics and professionals were conducted last fall.

The University of Arizona had no top 25 colleges in the new ranking of graduate schools. The UA garnered top-10 rankings in audiology, analytical chemistry, Earth science, geology, information systems, pharmacy, rehabilitation counseling, social psychology and speech-language pathology.


AARP Arizona seeks Andrus Award nominees

AARP in Arizona is seeking nominations for its 2008 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors individuals who are sharing their experience, talent and skills to enrich the lives of their community members.

The screening of nominees will be performed by an AARP Arizona selection committee and involves a range of criteria, including positive impact on the lives of individuals age 50 and over, improvement of the community in or for which the work was performed and inspiration of others to volunteer. The award recipient will be announced on or about Sept. 1.

AARP Andrus Award for Community Service nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

• Nominees must be current AARP volunteers or AARP members, or must have been AARP volunteers or members during 2007.

• The accomplishments, achievements or service on which the nomination is based must include the year 2007, but it need not be exclusive to 2007.

• Couples or partners who perform service together are also eligible; however, teams are not eligible.

• The accomplishments, achievements or service on which the nomination is based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay.  

• The accomplishments, achievements or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP's priority issues of health, livable communities and/or economic security.

Nominations can be entered online by visitng and typing in "Andrus Award."  The online nomination will automatically be recorded in the roster of nominees. Or individuals may contact the AARP Arizona State Office at (602) 262-5180 for further information and a nomination form. Nominations must be received by June 2.

The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service is an annual awards program developed to honor individuals whose service is a unique and valuable contribution to society.  Last year, AARP recognized 53 outstanding individuals from around the country.


Pool party for Pearson's patients

Dr. Joe Pearson's patients and their families are invited to a pool party at Pecos Pool from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 7. Patients may also bring a friend. This is the fourth year in a row that Pearson has hosted a party at Pecos pool.

Pearson's office is located at 4350 E. Ray Road, Suite 112.

For more information, call (480) 759-7575.


Mommy Perks offers savings

Mommy Perks is a free online savings program for moms in their area and nationwide. Each business offers members a "perk" such as 10 percent off, free shipping, buy-one-get-one-free and more.

Mommy Perks has joined forces with Dr. Sally Goldberg of Dr. Sally Parenting, Inc. to bring members free advice from this parenting expert. Goldberg is the author of seven parenting books.

Affordable advertising for small- and mom-owned businesses is also available.

For more information, visit or send an email to


Foster parents needed

The Crisis Nursery is constantly looking for families who want to give back to the community through its involvement in the foster care system. This can be done in a few different ways. First, families can become licensed foster and/or adoptive parents.

If getting licensed is not an option for you, a second way to help is for businesses or individuals to become community sponsors willing to help families who are working on becoming licensed. There is no fee for getting licensed for foster care, however, there are expenses that a family may incur during the licensing process

For more information about Crisis Nursery's foster care program or other programs, contact Rachel at (602) 412-8861,Veronica at (602) 358-5166 or e-mail


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 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 the Y OPAS office at (602) 212-6088 (note that the phone number has recently changed).


MPHS Grad Nite tickets on sale

Mountan Pointe High School 2008 Grad Nite, an after graduation all-night party intended to keep grads safe, will be held at Castles and Coasters. Tickets are $30 if purchased in April and $40 in May. Students may purchase their tickets on Mondays and Tuesdays in the cafeteria during lunch. Permission slips can be picked up at that time, or downloaded from the Web site. Permission slips must accompany the payment.

For more information, contact Amy Falk at


Swimming lessons important part of summer safety

Swimming safety begins with swimming knowledge. As spring begins and summer is fast approaching, it's time to enroll in swimming lessons. Participation helps with safety, building self esteem, and having fun in the water. 

The city of Tempe's Kiwanis Recreation Center, located at 6111 South All America Way in Tempe, offers a wide variety of swimming lessons for people of all ages. Classes are offered throughout the year, and the next session is set to begin mid-April. The full list of classes offered can be found online at Advanced registration is required, so visit or register in person. 


Hot laps for the troops

Phoenix International Raceway and the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving are hosting "Hot Laps for the Troops" April 9 to benefit PIR's annual "Salute to Military Families."

Just prior to the events of the April NASCAR weekend, the track is offering race enthusiasts the chance to visit PIR and ride around the track for one hot lap at $50 per person, with the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

All proceeds from "Hot Laps for the Troops" will benefit the Salute to Military Families program, helping to provide tickets and race day entertainment for the many men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Without the military's support and commitment to the liberty and freedom of the American population, the entertainment of NASCAR racing at PIR and venues across the country would not be possible.

"Hot Laps for the Troops" is scheduled for three sessions on April 9: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Prize giveaways are scheduled for each session.

Tickets are currently available as a print-at-home option via the "Hot Laps for the Troops" tab at

While the $50 ticket to "Hot Laps for the Troops" does not include race admission, tickets for the April 12 SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 are still available by calling 1-866-408- RACE (7223) or by visiting


Goodwill to host Earth Day Recycle Drive

Goodwill is holding an Earth Day Recycle Drive from April 11-13 at each of its Valleywide locations - giving Arizona residents the chance to remove their clutter and clean up the environment.

Individuals are encouraged to bring in all unwanted clothing, household and electronic items to Goodwill stores and donation centers. Hazardous and controlled substances are prohibited.

The drive will be held at all 39 Goodwill store and donation center locations throughout central Arizona, including Goodwill's newest location in Ahwatukee Foothills at 15633 S. 32nd St. For a complete list of Goodwill locations, visit


Kids experience publishing thrill through free contest

Kids stay on the "write" track with Kids Can Publish University, an organization that promotes literacy and a love for writing and illustrating through free monthly contests that reward winners with a published byline.

Children can enter writing or drawing assignments they've already done for their classrooms or create something new for the contest, and they can enter as often as they wish. Entries are broken down into age categories and genre, including editorials, nonfiction articles, fictional stories, poems, cartoons, photos, etc. Each month, Kids Can Publish selects the best pieces in each age divisions to publish online. Only the very best entries are published, making it an honor to be chosen. Winners also receive a Kids Can Publish: Write on! wristband.

Children must send their entries in with an official submission form that requires a parent's permission to submit. The submission form and entry instructions can be downloaded from Kids Can Publish University, a division of Five Star Publications, also offers teachers resources, workshops and grant-writing information.


Wave pool theme days at Kiwanis Recreation Center

Whether you're part of an organization, a good student, a good parent or serving our country, Kiwanis Recreation Center wave pool theme days are set to honor your achievements in a fun and special way.

Wave hours are 1 to 5 p.m. every Saturday at the KRC, located at 6111 S. All America Way in Tempe. Regular admission to the wave pool is $6, $3 for those 2 to 12 years old. Children under the age of 8 must have an adult with them at all times. Mid-day hours are 3 to 5 p.m., and regular admission is $4, or $2 for those 2 to 12 years old.

• Girl Scouts Day: April 19. Girl Scouts wear your shirt or uniform and get one free admission to the wave pool.

• Reading is Fundamental Day: April 26. Donate a book and receive one free wave pool admission.

• Happy Birthday: April 26 (for birthdays April 1-30). Get free admission to the wave pool with proof of birthday.

• Mother's Day Weekend: May 10-11. Mothers get in free with a youth's paid admission.

• Armed Forces Weekend: May 17-18. Show your current military ID and get in free.

• Report Card Day: June 7. Bring in your last report card and get half off. A report card with straight A's gets you in free.

• Father's Day Weekend: June 14-15. Fathers get in free with a youth's paid admission.

For more information, call (480) 350-5201 or (480) 350-5050 TTY, or visit


Moonlight hikes return to Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park offers hikes, walks, talks and much more in April.

• On Sunday, April 6 at 2 p.m. in the park theatre, Dr. Douglas Kupel, a historian for the city of Phoenix, will present "Fuel for Growth: Water and Arizona's Urban Environment." Reservations to (928) 282-6907 are recommended as seating is limited.

• On Sunday, April 13 at 2 p.m., visitors can join a volunteer on a guided geology hike through the park. Learn why the rocks are red, where they came from, where they are going, and more. This hike includes the Eagle's Nest Trail for a view of the park and surrounding area.

• The Moonlight Hike will return on Saturday, April 19. Includes a naturalist-led interpretive presentation along the park's beautiful trails. Enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon.

The hike leaves promptly from the Visitor Center at 6 p.m. For more information, call (928) 282-6907. Red Rock State Park is located on the Lower Red Rock Loop Road off Hwy 89A, southwest of Sedona. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Firebird offers monster weekend of motor fun

Firebird International Raceway and Tire Pro's have announced that the biggest truck show in the southwest just got bigger. The 10th Annual Tire Pro's Monster Truck Nationals scheduled for April 26 and 27 will combine with the Opening IHBA Drag Boat event, making for a MONSTER Weekend of Motor Fun.

Along with the Truck Show-N-Shine, Toyota Truck Drags and truck aftermarket expo, the event will feature a Test Drive Experience with Ford, Jeep, Dodge and Toyota all participating. Whiplash will be providing the off-road racing again this year, with over 600 racers on the dirt track. During the day the IHBA Drag Boats and the Unlimited Light Hydroplanes will be providing speed and excitement on the water. The eight Monster trucks will not be the only excitement on the Drag strip come night fall, once again Firebird will have Jet Dragsters to fascinate the crowd before the Monster Trucks take over the drag strip.

"Adding the boat races to this year's event will just add to the excitement of the weekend.  This will be a weekend where everything with a motor will be at one location," said Franki Buckman, Vice President, Firebird Raceway.

Firebird Raceway is home to more than 25 events each year, including NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen National Drag Races, IHBA World Finals Speed Boat Races and Santa's World. Located in Chandler off of I-10 and Wild Horse Pass, Firebird Raceway is a member of the Gila River Indian Community.

For more information, call (602) 268-0200 or visit


Income tax too high?

The Arizona Kidney Foundation is reminding "Kidney Car" donors that while they are working on their 2007 tax returns, it's not too early to start thinking about 2008 tax deductions and if you have not donated your vehicle to AKF, now is a great time to begin - you could have a tax deduction in 2008. All vehicle title and paperwork must be received by the Arizona Kidney Foundation no later than Dec. 31 to qualify for a 2008 tax deduction. .

There are three ways to participate in the AKF Kidney Car Donation Program. First, a donor can visit the Arizona Kidney Foundation Web site at and register online. Second, a donor can call (602) 840-1644, the Arizona Kidney Foundation, and ask that a Kidney Car Donation Program information packet be mailed to their home address. Or third, a donor can call for an appointment and visit the AKF headquarters at 4203 E. Indian School Road, Suite 140, to complete their donation. In all cases, the process requires a donor to submit the original MVD vehicle title as well as completing an odometer disclosure statement and a limited power of attorney form. The Foundation has two notary personal at their headquarters to assist in completing the power of attorney form.


Phoenix Public Library cardholders get Phoenix Art Museum discount

Phoenix Public Library has partnered with Phoenix Art Museum so library cardholders can receive a $2 discount off admission for the following exhibits:

Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence, now through April 13.

Masterpiece Replayed: Monet, Matisse and More, now through May 4. The discount is for Tuesday through Friday entry times only.

Chado Ralph Rucci: Infanta Gown, spring 2003, Silk Faille, now through Aug. 17.

All library customers need to do is present their Phoenix Public Library card at the Phoenix Art Museum visitors' desk to receive the discount. The discount is for a maximum of four people per household.

For more information, call (602) 262-4636 or visit


Leadership Council looking for teens

Pecos Community Center is looking for young men and women who enjoy a challenge, love to organize and want to see their work come to mean something in the community. If this sounds like you, Teen Leadership Council may be exactly what you are looking for. Teen Leadership Council (TLC) meetings are held Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in classroom 4 at Pecos Community Center. TLC activities include volunteerism, field trips, social gatherings and city-wide networking.

For information, contact Jimi Vargas, teen coordinator, at (602) 534-5234, noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


‘Pass It On' basketball camp offered this summer

An overnight "Pass It On" basketball camp is being offered Thursday, July 10, through Monday, July 14, in Prescott, Arizona, for boys and girls entering fifth through ninth grade. The fee is $350 and includes room, board, T-shirt, basketball, water bottle and more.

For more information or to register, visit


CHW offers free children's vaccinations

Free children's vaccines are offered by Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) East Valley Community Outreach to all children, ages six weeks through 18 years. CHW will be administering the following vaccinations: Td (tetanus), DTaP (diphteria, tetanus, whooping cough), Tdap (tetanus, diphteria, whooping cough) for adolescents, Hib (hemophilus influenza type b), IPV (polio), HPV (human papillomavirus), Rotavirus vaccine, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella or German measles), Hepatitis B, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis A, Prevnar (pneumococcal conjugate), Meningococcal (meningitis) and Flu (only seasonal).

Vaccinations will be given at these locations:

• May 3 and 17, 9 to 11 a.m., Chandler Kid Care, Morrison Building, 1875 W. Frye Road, Chandler;

• May 6, 3 to 5 p.m., Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School, 11820 S. Warner Elliot Loop;

• May 20, 3 to 5 p.m., Chandler Fashion Mall, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd.

• May 27, 9 to 11 a.m., Ahwatukee Health Center, 4545 E. Chandler Blvd.

For information, call the Vaccine Hotline at (480) 728-3777.


ABC15 launches state's 1st travel channel

GoAZ.TV is Arizona's first travel channel, broadcast over the air on digital channel 15.2 and Cox Cable channel 95. It's Arizona's only channel dedicated to bringing the Valley, real time traffic information to get travelers around faster and safer.


Fund offers low-income families statewide emergency help

Low-income families experiencing extreme financial hardship now have a new resource to help pay overdue utility bills and prevent potential electric or gas shutoffs.

The Home Energy Assistance Fund, which will be administered by the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA) through Community Action Program (CAP) offices in every county, may provide eligible individuals annual one-time financial assistance of up to $500 to restore utilities to avoid disconnections. Individuals may only apply once in a 12-month period for funding.

The Home Energy Assistance Fund, the nation's first CAP-driven statewide fuel fund, also is available to members of Arizona's tribal communities.

Approximately $250,000 is available for distribution by June 30.

For information about the Home Energy Assistance Fund and the Arizona Community Action Association, visit or call (602) 604-0640.


Catholic Foundations make Catholic education possible

Several Catholic Foundations in the Diocese of Phoenix, headed by The Catholic Tuition Organization of the Diocese of Phoenix (CTODP), are making it possible for many students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to afford a Catholic education.

CTODP is the Catholic fundraising organization that is solely dedicated to allocating the contributions it receives toward scholarships for students attending the schools owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. The organization was established in 1998 pursuant to certain Arizona tax credit legislation that now enables individuals and corporations to contribute money in support of those students who wish to attend private schools and need financial assistance to be able to do so.

CTODP has awarded a record number of 6,517 tuition scholarships for students attending Catholic schools for the 2007-08 school year.

The tax credit allows the contributor to utilize his or her tax dollars otherwise payable to the state of Arizona towards student scholarships up to a maximum of $1,000 for married filers and $500 for single filers. Because the tax credit allows for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, the contribution ultimately does not cost the contributor anything, and students are able to receive the private education they desire.

More information is available at


Velcro launches student competition

For 50 years, Velcro brand hook and loop fasteners have inspired innovations that have taken astronauts to the moon, helped young children keep their shoes on and saved lives with artificial heart equipment. Now, Velcro USA Inc. is offering students the chance to come up with their own designs.

Engineering and design students enrolled at four-year, degree-granting universities in New Hampshire, Michigan and Arizona are invited to participate in the Student Design Challenge during this school year. To enter, students must create and submit a product design concept using one of three new technologies from Velcro USA Inc. Entries will be judged on the design's creativity, commercial appeal and aesthetics, functionality and the overall presentation.

Three grand prize-winning students will each receive a $3,000 scholarship and a trip to the corporate offices in Manchester, N.H., to tour the production facilities that are home to one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

The contest is now open, with entries accepted through June 2. For complete rules and requirements, submission details and design specs, students can visit the Student Design Challenge Web site at


Abrakadoodle classes forming now

Abrakadoodle remarkable art education is currently enrolling students at the Ahwatukee Swim and Tennis Club. Classes will begin in March.

Classes, which will meet for 45 minutes to one hour, include Twoosy Doodlers (ages 20-36 months), Mini Doodlers (ages 3-K) and Doodlers (grades 1-6). These classes are designed to ignite a child's imagination while teaching artistic techniques, art vocabulary, art history and art styles with wonderful tools and a wide range of materials.

The cost is $90 for a nine-week session and $80 for an eight-week session. Space is limited.

Contact Abrakadoodle at (480) 279-1555 or for more information or to reserve your spot.


Pueblo Grande Museum looking for volunteers

Pueblo Grande Museum needs a variety of volunteers to work as tour guides or docents, gift shop attendants, collection aides, library aides and exhibit aides. Volunteers are also needed to help in special events like the Farmers Market and the annual Indian Market.

Volunteers will receive free on-the-job training, continued education classes and the opportunity to attend a recognition luncheon, dinner and lecture series.

Museum staff will arrange on-the-job training for all interested volunteers, and a structured training class also will be available in March.

For more information, call (602) 495-0901 or visit Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, a Phoenix Parks and Recreation facility, is located at 4619 E. Washington St.


Holy Yoga experiencing continued growth

Holy Yoga, internationally registered yoga school and the leading style of Christian Yoga, has added instructor training to begin in March in response to continued demand for classes and instructors nationwide.

The spring 2008 instructor training will begin March 22. The internationally registered yoga school will offer both a 200-hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification for new yoga instructors as well as a 20-hour CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) certification for existing RYTs interested in becoming certified as a Holy Yoga instructor. The Holy Yoga training and certification, fully accredited by the Yoga Alliance, consists of a rigorous program with training in technique, teaching methodology, anatomy, philosophy, ethics, lifestyle and an instructor practicum. Training is available to local, national and international students via Web cast and teleconference, and concludes with a mandatory instructor training retreat.

Registration is currently under way, and applications are being accepted at


Santan Financial offers free seminars

Santan Financial is offering free seminars to the community.

The seminar "How to Use Your Mortgage as a Financial Tool to Create Wealth for You and Not Your Bank" is held the third week of each month. Learn how traditional loans limit your ability to meet your financial goals and keep you living in the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

Discover "How to Beat the High Cost of College" the fourth week of each month.

Registration in advance is required. For location, dates, more information or to register, call (480) 776-1699 or visit


South Mountain ‘Silent Sundays' return

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department will continue the popular Silent Sunday events at South Mountain Park/Preserve in 2008. For each monthly event, the park's main Central Avenue-access roadways will be closed to motor vehicles from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., reserving them for the entire day for non-motorized uses.

The Silent Sundays for 2008 are scheduled for April 27, May 25, June 22, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 23 and Dec. 28. Each Silent Sunday also features free drop-in park ranger guided interpretive programs and hikes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, located adjacent to the park's main entrance.

Silent Sunday promotes awareness of alternative modes of transportation and recreation and gives the Preserve a day of rest from motor vehicle traffic. All roads past the main gatehouse at the Central Avenue entrance, including the Summit Road, are closed to motor vehicles for the day. Visitors can park in the free public lot adjacent to the Environmental Education Center.

Only roadways accessible from the preserve's Central Avenue entrance are closed for Silent Sundays. All other access points and parking areas, including trailheads at Pima Canyon, Desert Foothills, Beverly Canyon and the Mormon Trail, will remain open.

Information: (602) 534-6324.


Homeless Outreach program sends plea to community

Southwest Behavioral Health's Homeless Outreach, a program to help homeless individuals with mental illness, is requesting donations of cold weather supplies now through March. SBH's Homeless Outreach is a mobile program that delivers supplies to the homeless where they live - on the streets, in alleyways, riverbeds, parks and deserted buildings. Requested items include blankets, hats, gloves, warm shirts, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, thermal and regular underwear, hygiene kits (including toothpaste, toothbrushes), shoes and socks.

Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Day Resource Center, 1125 W. Jackson, Suite 448. Please call (602) 393-9930, ext. 3226, before making any drop-offs.


Submit photos for ‘Leave No Child Inside' contest

Photos of nature and children enjoying outdoor environments are being sought for Arizona Parks and Recreation's "Leave No Child Inside" photo contest. Entries must be postmarked by May 1.

The purpose of the "Leave No Child Inside" theme is to encourage parents to take their children to national, state, county and city parks to enjoy nature and recreate in Arizona's natural areas.

Prizes will be awarded for the best photos. Categories for photos include Urban Experience, Leave No Inner Child Inside, Kids and Critters and Most Unique Experience.

Photos will be displayed at the 2008 Arizona Parks and Recreation Conference at the Camelback Inn in August. Submitted photographs must be 4-inch-by-6-inch and may be either color or black and white.

For additional details, visit or call (602) 335-1962.


AF Concert Band in 17th season

The Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band was founded in 1990 as an opportunity for adults to continue their musical performance experience. Since then, the band has attracted some of the Valley's top musicians and today is recognized as one of the finest community concert bands in the nation. Under the guidance of music director and conductor Brendan Anderson, the band performs a full repertoire of classical, pop, Broadway, big band and patriotic selections.

Two performances are offered each year at its home venue in the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, as well as concerts from Apache Junction to Sun City. Concert dates are available in February and March, and the performance schedule for the 2008-09 season is currently being developed. 

If you would like to schedule a performance, want additional information or would like a CD recording of the band, contact Larry Arthington at (480) 612-1621 or More information is also available at


Video collection of Holocaust testimonies available at library

Phoenix Public Library customers now have access to the video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses through a collection of more than 100 DVDs from the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive.

The testimonies in the collection are from people who live, or have lived, in the Phoenix area. The DVDs, part of the library's circulating collection, were donated through the generosity of the Benjamin Goldberg Trust.

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute grew out of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, founded by director Steven Spielberg to document the experiences of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive includes nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses in 32 languages and from 56 countries. The Institute's mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance and bigotry - and the suffering they cause - through the educational use of the institute's visual history testimonies.

For more information about the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, visit For more information about the library collection, call (602) 262-4636 or visit


Older children and larger sibling groups need adoption, too

November is National Adoption Month, and 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


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.


Pecos Senior Center offers lots of activities

The Pecos Senior Center, formerly known as the Ahwatukee Foothills Senior Center, is now located at 17010 S. 48th Street in the Pecos Community Center and offers a variety of programs and activities for residents. A sampling of daily activities follows:

• Coffee social, 9 a.m. daily.

• Lunch, 11:30 a.m. daily (reservations requested one week prior, $2 for those over 60, $5 for guests under 60); soup and salad bar offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

• Crafty crafters group, 9:30 a.m. Mondays.

• Gentle yoga class, 9:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. Thursdays.

• Pinochle, 9 a.m. Tuesdays.

• Indoor walking in gym, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays.

• Healthy breakfast, 9 a.m. Wednesdays.

• Computer class, 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays.

• Big screen movie and popcorn, 1 p.m. Thursdays.

• Bridge club, 9:30 a.m. Thursdays.

• Bingo for prizes, 10 a.m. Fridays.

• Bunco, 12:30 p.m. Fridays.

The Center also offers special activities, such as field trips to the Herberger Theatre, shopping trips and the out-to-lunch club. Home-delivered meals are available, as well.

Pecos Community Center amenities include a computer lab with Wi-Fi wireless Internet, fitness center, dance room, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, soccer fields, bark park and skate park.

For more information, call (602) 534-5366.


MOMS Club of Ahwatukee has five chapters

The MOMS (Mothers Offering Mothers Support) Club of Ahwatukee is a national non-profit support group for at-home moms and their children. There are 5 chapters serving the Ahwatukee area. 

• East chapter: south of Chandler Boulevard, north of Pecos Road, East of 32nd Street , West of I-10. Contact Michelle at (480) 704-6609.

• North chapter: north of Warner Road to Baseline Road. Contact Michelle at (480) 229-9323 or

• Central chapter: south of Knox Road, north of Chandler Boulevard, east of 36th Street. Contact Sara at (480) 540-2339 or

• Northwest chapter: 32nd Street and Ray Road to Pecos Road and 24th Street, including Thunderhill Park Area to 18th Street. Contact Stephanie at (480) 751-7570.

• West chapter: north of Pecos Road and West of 24th Street. Contact Linda at or (602) 571-4393.


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