Dear women of Ahwatukee,
I can’t think of a single better way to honor International Women’s Month in March than by taking the opportunity to tell the women who make Ahwatukee great, that: I see you, I know how hard you’re working and I really appreciate everything you do that, directly or not, makes living in our community special.
I see you in Fry’s dressed to the nines ready to take on any board room – and in your scrubs at Home Goods checking out plates for your next dinner party.
I see you rocking your Lululemon yoga pants at PTO meetings, and in your hijab at afternoon school pickup.
We all look different, wear different uniforms and lead different lives – and yet we exchange knowing glances, watch out for each other and have each other’s backs. That’s what makes me so proud to be one of you.
There are the women leaders you might already know.
Women like Christie Ellis, a mother of twins and a realtor who has worked tirelessly with the Chamber of Commerce and heads its Community Foundation. Sandra Marshall, another mom and author, has kept Ahwatukee's artistic spirit alive with the Be An Artist Studio.
Janyce Hazlett heads up the Festival of Lights Committee and has since its inception more than two decades ago. And Andi Pettyjohn has galvanized the Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club into a force for helping foster kids in group homes.
Then there are also plenty of the women whose names you might not know.
Cynthia Denton, a first-grade teacher at Colina Elementary who over her decades of service has quietly and patiently taken countless numbers of Ahwatukee’s kids and taught them to read and to do that special cough into their sleeve to keep their germs from spreading.
And Stephanie who has worked at Fry’s on Ray Road ever since I can remember, and has watched my baby grow and always asks about my mom.
I could go on.
Ahwatukee is full of women who with grace, beauty and strength take care of our community, keep our neighborhoods safe and beautiful and are always there are ready to lend a hand with a smile. Thank you to all of you.
Yes, I see you. And girl, you look fabulous.