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February 2013

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contents :: contributors 08

Meet the Villandre Family

16

High School Sports :: BCHS Girls’ Soccer

24 Community 34

Let the Hiking Season Commence

38

Bacal Dominates at Baja 1000

42

World-Class Music :: Arizona Musicfest 2013

46

Winter Gardens in Phoenix

50

Phoenix Opera

54

Chamber :: The Carroll Law Firm

56

A Mother’s Love :: A Story of Life

62 Chocolate 68

Every Pet has its Day

72

Dining Guide

75

Marketplace

79

Local Index

Shelly Spence :: Owner/Publisher shelly@imagesaz.com :: 623-341-8221 Stephanie Maher Palenque :: Contributing Writer Amanda Christmann Larson :: Contributing Writer Donna Kublin :: Contributing Writer Paula Theotocatos :: Contributing Writer Jenny Brooks :: Contributing Writer Tom Scanlon :: Contributing Writer Lynsi Freitag :: Contributing Writer Elizabeth A. Medora :: Contributing Writer Bryan Black of Blackswan Photographers :: Photographer Jerri Parness Photography :: Photographer Karen Sophia Photography :: Photographer Pogue Photography :: Photographer Meaghan’s Dream :: Graphic Artist Jeff Penzone :: Advertising Consultant jeff@imagesaz.com :: 623-341-0123

82 Recipe :: Chocolate Baked Brie

ImagesAZ magazine 623-341-8221 www.imagesaz.com

feature staff bio Our featured staff member for the month of February is Jeff Penzone, our ImagesAZ advertising consultant. Jeff is as much of an asset to our team for his ability to create inventive marketing solutions as he is for his great attitude and his quest to help individuals and businesses to capture success. Jeff brings a wealth of experience as an advertising consultant, and can create print or online advertising options that will fit any budget and will produce results. Like the rest of us at ImagesAZ, Jeff believes in our community and wants to see businesses succeed!

Jeff Penzone

Advertising Consultant

623-341-0123 :: jeff@imagesaz.com Picture above of Jeff, Nancy and family.

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Along with his responsibilities to ImagesAZ, Jeff is also the head boys’ soccer coach at Northwest Christian High School in North Phoenix. It’s no wonder that Jeff enjoys and participates in youth activities; he and his wife, Nancy, have been blessed with five children. Jeff is excited to work with our local businesses to help them achieve their goals. Please contact him to find out more of what he and ImagesAZ can offer you.


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welcome O

ur writers are a unique lot. It’s their job to go out and figure people out; to gently delve into

their psyche to see what makes them tick – what makes them happy, what hurts them, who they love and why they do what they do – then perch themselves in front of a computer screen, sometimes for hours upon end, to not only tell a story, but to portray what has changed in themselves as a result. They are part of the community, but more profoundly, the community is part of them. Reading through this month’s stories, it occurred to me how much a part of the North Valley community ImagesAZ has become. Our family is made up of more than just our diverse and talented staff; it’s made up of neighbors and friends who are using their passions to educate us, inspire us and bring us all together. We couldn’t do it without an amazing community full of outstanding people and stories. I am grateful to each and every person and family who has made us part of your life; you truly are a part of ours. Cheers! Shelly Spence ImagesAZ Magazine Owner/Publisher

A Mother’s Love: A Story of Life Photo by Jerri Parness Photography Writer Amanda Christmann Larson P. 56

623-341-8221

ImagesAZ magazine is proud to be a member of:

Local First A R I Z O NA Submission of news for Community News section should be in to shelly@imagesaz.com by the 10th of the month prior to publication. ImagesAZ is published by ImagesAZ Inc. Copyright © 2013 by ImagesAZ, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or part, without permission is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited material.

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Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque Photographer Karen Sophia Photography

Meet the

Villandre Family

“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same - with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa

I

f there is one thing that the Villandre family knows, it is service: service to country, community, and church.

Al and Angie Villandre met while serving in the military and stationed in Alaska. They’ve traveled much of the country and the world, but the Villandres now call Anthem their home, and the community is lucky to have them. Al, a native of San Diego, California, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in projects and systems management from Golden Gate University, and he received his teaching certificate from Indiana University, Kokomo.

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Now the seventh grade math teacher at Anthem School,

Certified Financial Planner™ and currently works as a

Al’s former students say he is known for going beyond

wealth advisor with USAA.

the call of duty and teaching not only math skills, but life skills as well.

The pair met when they were both stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. They have been married

Former student Isabella Mejia said, “Math was not my

for 20 years, and have two children, Megan, a junior at

best subject and Mr. Villandre really helped me do well.

Anthem Preparatory Academy and Tony, a sophomore at

He always gives his students opportunities to do better in

Anthem Preparatory Academy. Angie’s promotion with a

his class and students can tell that he just wants us to do

previous financial services employer brought the family to

the best we can. He loved to talk about his family and his

Anthem in June 2005.

experiences in the military. He doesn’t just teach math – he teaches life values. He definitely helped make seventh

As a retired major in the U.S. Army with 20 years of

grade one of my best years at Anthem!”

service, Al and his family has seen their share of the world, and their share of action as well. They have lived

Angie was born in Hammond, Indiana, but was raised

in Davis, California; Saudi Arabia; Leavenworth, Kansas;

in Ashland, Ohio. She graduated from the University

Williamsburg, Virginia; and Westfield, Indiana.

of Central Missouri (CMSU) with a bachelor’s degree

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in public relations. She was commissioned in the Army

Some of that action may have been a bit too close for

through the ROTC program at CMSU and served one tour

comfort. Angie recalls, “When we were stationed in Saudi

on active duty stationed in Alaska. She started her career

Arabia, Al’s headquarters building was bombed in a

in financial services when she left the military. She is a

terrorist activity. I gave birth to Megan two months later.

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After that, there was a second bombing at the U.S. Air

with at school, or professional sporting events. They are

Force base in Saudi Arabia where we also went to church.

season ticket holders to the Arizona Cardinals.

Megan and I were evacuated from the country and we returned to the U.S.”

Traveling comes naturally to the Villandres, and they love the experience of visiting new places. In fact, Angie keeps

Thankfully, things have been calmer stateside, and the

a list of things she would like to do and places she would

Villandres enjoy the Anthem community for its small-

like to visit. She has been to 49 states and is currently only

town feeling and beauty. They especially look forward to

missing North Dakota! Revisiting favorite places such as

the Music in May program in Anthem Park. Angie shares,

San Diego, where they love to visit the beach and build

“It’s a lovely venue for picnicking, people-watching and

sand castles, is fun as well.

listening to the music.” Megan and Tony take after their parents, and keep active The Anthem Veterans Day Parade also holds special

schedules. Megan enjoys playing volleyball, basketball and

meaning for this military family. Angie notes, “We think it

soccer and she loves being a part of youth group activities

is a beautiful small-town tribute to our local veterans. We

at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic church. She also

both have bricks at the Anthem Veterans Memorial, as do

organizes a team for American Cancer Relay for Life.

Al’s father, brother, nephew and two of his uncles.” Tony, along with his dad, is an active member of Boy

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As a family, the Villandres love attending sporting events,

Scouts. He volunteers in many activities, including placing

whether they are games Tony and Megan are involved

the small American flags at the entrance to Anthem

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for Veterans and Memorial Days and carrying produce to patrons’ cars at Market on the Move at St. Rose. He also enjoys running cross country, playing soccer and baseball, taking mechanical and electrical things apart and building new things. Megan and Tony both are interested in following their parents’ footsteps and becoming officers in the Army. Christmas has always been the Villandres’ favorite holiday. Al explained, “Because we were always stationed away from family, after the kids were born, we asked our families to allow us to stop sending gifts to them and vice-versa. In return, we asked them to do charitable giving in our name and we did the same for them. At first it seemed a little weird, but as the years went by we started cataloging all the gifts. All of us were amazed at how much we had given. Our family had sent kids to camp, granted wishes, served at soup kitchens, donated money to numerous organizations, saved pets and spent numerous hours working with and for others. Our favorite part of Christmas day is opening the white envelopes that our families send that describe what they did throughout the year.” Al and Angie have definitely passed the spirit of service along to their children. As a family, they enjoy being a part of the St. Rose community, and are involved in many different ministries there. They also love being a part of the special community of Anthem they found in 2005, where the spirit of service is alive and well. The Villandre family wishes all of their neighbors and friends a blessed 2013.

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Sports

Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Pogue Photography

BCHS Girls’ Soccer

“Mama, I will Fussball spielen.” Some years ago, a little girl from Eschborn, Germany pleaded to play what her mother considered a “boys’ sport.” The child was relentless, and her mother finally gave in to the athletic, strong-willed little girl. That little girl played fussball (which we Americans call soccer) with passion throughout her young life. She later came to America, started a family and is now coaching the athletic, strong-willed girls of the Boulder Creek Lady Jaguars - fast becoming the pride of Anthem. Natalie Schmidtke’s first season as coach of the Boulder Creek varsity girls soccer team is off to a roaring start. Through the first 16 games of the season, the Lady Jags had a glittering 14-1-1 record. Schmidtke, a 33-year-old mother of three, was the junior varsity girls soccer coach last year, and has unleashed a potential powerhouse as a rookie varsity coach. “When I had players at the beginning of the season ask me who I had hired, they were excited that Coach Schmidtke was the person chosen,” said Matt Hreha, Boulder Creek’s athletic director. While the brilliant

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start by the Lady Jaguars (ranked fourth in the state by the website maxpreps.com) has raised eyebrows around northern Phoenix, the athletic director said, “I am not surprised by the success of the team.” Natalie Schmidtke, born and raised in Germany (Eschborn is outside Franfkurt), came to the U.S. in 1999 and, shortly after, met her man at a California car dealership. Jay Schmidtke was born and raised in Scottsdale; the Schmidtkes settled in Anthem when Jay became general manager of Power Chevrolet. Natalie played soccer until leg injuries forced her to the sidelines. Now, “I just put all my passion into coaching,” she said. While Schmidtke hopes her team will make a deep run into the state playoffs, which conclude with a finals’ match February 9, this should be more than a one-season splash. With a dominating junior goalkeeper behind a potent scoring attack led by three sophomores and a freshman, Boulder Creek may be a dynasty in the making. “We’re a young team, and if everyone comes back healthy we should be a good team for a few years here,” said Schmidtke with typical understatement. Schmidtke stresses to her young players, “Soccer is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle.” She also emphasizes that it is a team-oriented strategy. Indeed, the Lady Jaguars play extremely well together, with crisp passing and near-constant calls of encouragement and direction between players. Though the team concept is strong, there is a clear standout: Kyle (pronounced “ky-lee”) Escobedo, a superstar-in-the-making. Watching the team gathered on the sidelines, it is easy to overlook Escobedo, slender and nearly tiny, barely above 5 feet tall. But when the ball is in play, all eyes often lock on her, as Escobedo has bursts of speed that brings crowds to their feet.

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Such was the case on a cold January night in Glendale, when

bigger margin of victory was key, Schmidtke stressed. “If you girls

Escobedo suddenly shot past two Mountain Ridge High defenders

want to set yourselves up to go far in the playoffs, that score up

and blasted a left-footed shot past the dive of a grimacing goalkeeper.

there isn’t good enough,” Schmidtke said, pointing with disgust at the scoreboard.

The score gave Boulder Creek a 1-0 halftime lead. Though her team had dominated the first half, Schmidtke was clearly not

Pleading with the girls to “settle the ball and play smart,” she concluded:

pleased. With her voice barely above a normal conversational

“Go out there and fix it and put a few balls in the back of the net.”

level, she gave her team a thorough dressing down at the half. “It’s not pretty to watch,” the coach told her huddled players. “Our

The charged-up Lady Jags answered the command. In the opening

passes are so sloppy - it’s embarrassing.”

minute of the second half, fierce pressure led to a goal by freshman Samantha Markey. A few minutes later, Escobedo sprinted past

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A slim win is simply not good enough anymore for Boulder Creek.

a defender and powered another left-footed shot into the corner

With playoff seedings determined by a complex point system, a

pocket of the net.

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“Love you Kyle!” screamed one of the Boulder Creek fans - a group of about 40 that outnumbered the home fans. Boulder Creek might have had three or four more secondhalf goals, but Mountain Ridge’s Rebecca Blachut made fine saves against sophomore Shelby Stewart and freshman Madison Rasimas; through the first 16 games, Stewart and Rasimas each had 12 goals, trailing team leader Escobedo’s 17 goals. Sophomore Natalie Stephens was also in doubledigits, with 11 goals. The 3-0 win over Mountain Ridge was the 12th shutout of the season for junior goalkeeper Meghan Strang. Thanks to senior defenders Kaitlyn Lare, Meghan Rettler and Alexandra Elias and sophomore Angela Boyle, Strang was untested for long periods of the match, but made big saves when challenged. An even bigger win came earlier that week, when Boulder Creek took the short drive from Anthem to Cave Creek to face Cactus Shadows. Their rivals defeated Boulder Creek twice last year, when the Cactus Shadows girls were on the way the state finals. A sign of a power shift in girls soccer came on January 9 of this year, when Stephens and Escobedo buried shots into the net and Strang turned back a dozen Cactus Shadows shots for a 2-0 Boulder Creek win. The Lady Jaguars were to host Cactus Shadows January 24, the regular-season finale. Next to come: the playoffs.

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After the Mountain Ridge win, dynamic scorer Escobedo and powerful defender Strang patiently answered a few questions. While their looks could hardly be more different – Escobedo is a 5-foot-1 brunette, Strang a strong-shouldered, 5-foot10 blonde – the two have striking similarities. Both are 16 years old, started playing soccer at age 4 and benefited from coaching by their fathers. Escobedo’s dad played soccer and gave her instruction on passing and shooting; though Strang’s father was a football player, he helped her on “punts,” teaching her to boot the ball far away from the goal. The shooter and the stopper both hope to make national teams and continue to play soccer long beyond high school. Strang will enroll at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and plans to continue soccer in college and then during the minimum five years of active duty she will serve. As for Escobedo, the blossoming 10th grade star already has accepted a full scholarship offer to the University of Oklahoma. As they walked toward the warmth of an idling bus, the two were asked what their goals were for the playoffs. “Make it to the finals,” Escobedo shot out. Strang didn’t hesitate, either: “I want to win the state!” That would go a long way toward coach Schmidtke’s long-term plan. “We want to put Boulder Creek girls soccer on the map,” she said with confidence. She is hoping Anthem will continue to get behind the Lady Jags. “We’ve been experiencing a lot of support from the community which is so nice to see,” said Schmidtke. “People stop me on the street and say, ‘Oh, your team is doing really well this year!’” As Schmidtke builds the program, there may be many girls around Anthem saying, “Mommy, I want to play soccer!”

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Our Community

Rotary Club of Anthem Grants Scholarships, Taking Applications

Each year, the Rotary Club of Anthem provides $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from Sandra Day O’Connor and Boulder Creek High Schools to seniors with outstanding achievement. All high school seniors living in the Anthem area are eligible to apply. The five outstanding winners of the 2012 Rotary Club of Anthem Scholarships have been announced. Four of the scholarship winners are graduates of Boulder Creek High School; Alyssa Angieri, majoring in physiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson; Kendal Brownsberger, studying viticulture and enology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff; Mollie Kearney, pursuing a nursing career at Arizona State University; and Wes Newell, physiology major at the University of La Verne in La Verne California. Sandra Day O’Connor graduate Christina Totah, is majoring in psychology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. “We were impressed with the commitment each student expressed to their respective career goals after one semester,” observed Scholarship Committee Chair Rick Nollenberger. “Whether they were learning about anatomy or world religions, they all recognized the need for an open, inquisitive mind to meet the challenges required of any academic endeavor.” Do you know a great teen who deserves a scholarship? Selection criteria include academic performance, service to the community, personal merit and leadership. To qualify for consideration for scholarship, students must meet the following requirements: • Be a senior at Boulder Creek or Sandra Day O’Connor High School or a high school senior who is a permanent resident in the Anthem area attending another school in the region.

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• Be accepted for full-time, post-secondary enrollment in the 2013 fall semester/quarter. • Have earned a minimum cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. • Not be related to a member of the Rotary Club of Anthem. • The scholarship committee evaluates applications based on academic merit, community involvement and extracurricular activities. Writing a cogent, concise essay is an integral part of the application process. Application and additional information can be downloaded online. Complete and mail the application postmarked no later than Friday March 1, 2013. www.anthemrotary.org

Cross of Christ Church Receives $5,000 Grant

Cross of Christ Church, 39808 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy. in Anthem has received a $5,000 Lutheran Community Economic Outreach Bridge Grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. Funding was awarded to Cross of Christ based on its effectiveness in addressing basic needs of the local community such as food, clothing or shelter. “Difficult economic conditions and high unemployment rates have caused many Americans to seek support for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter from local non-profits,” said Kathy Larson, grants program manager for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. “This grant program is designed to help effective organizations maintain their financial stability in the face of increased demand on their resources.” Cross of Christ hosts the monthly youth event, Amped Up, for students in six through eighth grades. Once a month, students enjoy dodge ball, concessions, dancing, loud music and a great atmosphere to hang with friends. Admission is $5.00/person. School dress code is enforced and all bags are checked at the door. For the last seven years, Amped Up has provided youth with a safe and fun place for socializing and having fun. Funding from Amped Up has also provided funds for local outreach efforts through various foundations such as Foothills Food Bank, We Care, St. Vincent de Paul, Habitat for Humanity and many more. This year, the church is also participating in a matching grant program that will make those dollars go farther. 602-319-8680 www.anthemcross.org F ebruary 2013

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Salvation Army Bell Ringing Drive Rings in Over $25,000

The Anthem Salvation Army 2012 bell ringing campaign raised nearly $25,000 over the holiday season, and will help hundreds of neighbors in need this year. In addition, over 310 toys, 60 coats, 6 bicycles and numerous hats and gloves were collected during December’s the Fill the Truck toy drive, coordinated through Anthem Giving Circle, at the Anthem Wal-Mart. The money raised will be used to assist local families in a crisis situation with their utilities, shelter and food. The Salvation Army Anthem Service Extension Unit services those in Anthem and New River, as well as some areas just south of Anthem. The items collected from the toy drive were distributed to needy families in the same areas. Tom Leyda and Tim Maki, volunteer co-chairs for the Anthem Salvation Army, and Del Mau, volunteer daily operations coordinator, thank all those who donated at one of the three red kettle locations at the Anthem Safeway, Fry’s and Wal-Mart. “We know these are difficult times for many families in the area,” notes Leyda. “The overwhelming generosity extended by so many proves this Christmas truly was a season of giving.” Approximately 250 individuals, businesses and organizations pitched in to help. “We are grateful to our many volunteers, some who rang three and four times this season,” said Larry Evans, the campaign coordinator for Wal-Mart volunteers. “We could not serve so many families without the volunteers who ring the bell for us each year.”

Anthem Naturopath Dr. Jen Gentry Moves to New Location

Natural healthcare provider Dr. Jennifer Gentry has relocated to a larger office space in an effort to provide a better patient experience. Dr. Jen is still located in the same building on Venture Drive; she’s a just a few doors down in suite C122. Dr. Jen’s naturopathic approach focuses on educating men and women so that they can make informed healthcare choices to reach their individual wellness goals. She blends conventional and natural therapeutics to support these choices and to prevent and treat chronic disease. 42104 N. Venture Drive, Suite C122, Anthem 623-251-5518 www.drjengentry.com

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Your Invited to Nanette McClelland-Millers 10th Annual

Mardi Gras Thank you for being a part of our Louisiana heritage benefiting We Care of Anthem

February 2 Jimmy Webb in Concert at MIM

Critically acclaimed songwriter Jimmy Webb, whose music has thrilled audiences for more than 40 years, will be in concert at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2. Webb’s songs “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston,” “MacArthur Park” and many more have been heard by millions, and he is the only artist to have ever received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration. Tickets are $37.50–$42.50. 480-478-6000 www.mim.org

February 8 Benefit Show Presented by Musical Theatre of Anthem

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Award-winning Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) announces their annual fundraiser benefit show to be held Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at 42323 N. Vision Way, Bldg. 2 in Anthem. Professional Valley performers will unveil the 20132014 season as they sing selections from upcoming shows. MTA is an award-winning, non-profit theater company located in Anthem. MTA trains and educates youth so that they can become the artists, patrons, and leaders of tomorrow while providing opportunities to adults that empower them and foster their creativity. MTA’s principles include casting all who audition in select productions, presenting high quality shows that everyone can enjoy, and providing a positive environment where performers can practice teamwork and communication skills while experiencing the pride of accomplishment. The event features great singing, delicious food, including heavy appetizers, desserts and beverages and a live auction. Benefit performers include MTA’s outreach group and Valley performers Joe Bousard, Sarah Brayer, Lisa Fogel, Rachael Grantham, Jackie Hammond, Sherry Henderson, Laura O’Meara, Ginette Rossi, Scott Schmelder, Terri Scullin, Brian Sweis, Adam Vargas and Shawna Weitekamp. Tickets may be purchased online. Adult tickets are $65, and tickets for students and children are $40. www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org

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February 14 A Very Vintage Valentine’s Day: A Special Valentine’s Event at MIM

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with evening under the stars and embark on a global journey through music at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix, Feb. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Live music for the evening will be provided by the Sugar Thieves, who bring a powerhouse delta sound that will take guests back in time, while the Savoy Hop Cats will get guests grooving with 1920s-style Lindy Hop swing dance performances. While enjoying the sights and sounds of this unique entertainment, guests can also taste a special menu of food and beverages sourced locally, but inspired by culinary traditions from around the globe. Each ticket includes one complimentary beverage of choice with a cash bar afterwards. Ticket cost is $65 per person. *Note: This event is for those ages 21 and older. 480-478-6000 www.mim.org

February 14 Star Party at PVCC

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to gaze up at the heavens and feel the draw of the universe and beyond. Break out your telescope and join Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain and Phoenix Astrological Society for one of their popular star parties Thursday, Feb. 14, 7 to 10 p.m. at the Black Mountain campus, 34250 N. 60th St., just south of Carefree Highway. Bring a chair and a jacket, and catch stunning views of Jupiter and the Orion Nebula. The event is free, and set up as a learning opportunity for students, as well as the rest of the community. PVCC Astronomy faculty and members of the Phoenix Astronomical Society will be in attendance to set up telescopes and assist the community. RSVP requested. 602-561-5398 events@pasaz.org

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Misty Soderberg

February 14 – 17 Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolate and Fine Art

The Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolate and Fine Art will take place at the Carefree Desert Gardens beginning on the perfect day: Valentine’s Day. The four-day-long outdoor festival will feature up to 100 exhibitors of fine art, fine chocolate and other confections. Music and other entertainment will be part of the festival, and 12,000 people are expected to attend. There are up to 100 art and culinary booths and eight food concession booths available for exhibitors. And really, who doesn’t love chocolate on Valentine’s Day? 480-488-2014 www.magicbirdfestivals.com

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Watch Artists Working in Studios Daily! Café, 2-Acre Sculpture Garden with Weekend Music, Garden Parties, Art Classes and More! 10-Week Show

January 10-March 24

26540 N Scottsdale Rd at Jomax • Scottsdale 480-837-7163 • ArizonaFineArtEXPO.com 10-week Expo Season Pass $10; $8 for Military & Seniors Open Daily 10am-6pm; Rain or Shine

3 - D ay Fi n e A r t Fe s t i va l s

Admission to Festivals $3 • Held Outdoors • 10am-5pm

Surprise Fine Art & Wine Festival February 1-3 15960 N Bullard Ave, Surprise

February 15 – 17 Second Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival

The Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Rd. in Scottsdale, will be the beautiful backdrop for the Second Annual Waterfront Fine Art and Wine Festival Feb. 15 – 17. Nationally acclaimed, world-renowned and emerging independent artists will showcase original artwork 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and participating wineries will each have a selection of red, white and blush wines from around the world available for tasting.

Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival February 15-17 7135 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale

Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival March 1-3 101 Easy Street, Carefree

Fountain Hills Fine Art & Wine Affaire

March 15-17 16810 Ave of the Fountains, Fountain Hills

ThunderbirdArtists.com • 480-837-5637 F ebruary 2013

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Live music will fill the air as you browse and enjoy the festivities. The festival features solo guitarist Scott Helmer. Scott uses his music as a vehicle to connect with listeners on the deepest level. His messages are relevant, relatable and real; his music is aligning with fans, both locally and internationally. Tickets are $3 for adults, and for a fee of $10, attendees will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased for $1. Free or valet parking, available for an additional fee, will be offered. 480-837-5637 www.thunderbirdartists.com

February 16, 17 57th Annual VNSA Used Book Sale

It is the greatest treasure hunt you’ll ever experience! What treasured books will you find? The Volunteer Non-Profit Service Association (VNSA) will be holding its 57th Annual Used Book Sale from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is one of the largest two-day used book sales in the nation, and will be held at the Arizona State Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall Building, 1826 West McDowell Road in Phoenix. VNSA will be selling over 500,000 gently used books (primarily hardbacks), video tapes, CDs, DVDs, books on tape and CD, puzzles, and games. The average price of a book is between $1 and $5. Over 14,000 people attend the sale in 2012. You can go green by bringing bags and small suitcases. Funds raised provide financial support to two local agencies: Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, Inc. and Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. Since its inception, VNSA has donated over $6.5 million dollars to charities in Maricopa County. For the first time ever, the sale has changed from the second weekend in February to the third weekend. Admission is free, although the fairgrounds charges for parking. In addition to cash, MasterCard, Visa and local checks with proper identification are accepted. All books are half price on Sunday except those in the “Rare & Unusual” section.

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February 21 – 24 Winnie the Pooh KIDS Presented by Musical Theatre of Anthem

Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) announces performances for Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS, the heart-warming musical based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne and the 2011 Disney animated feature film. Join Winnie the Pooh and the talented cast of area youth in the Hundred Acre Wood in Anthem, Feb. 21 – 24. “If you liked the Winnie the Pooh movie about the “Backson” and all of Pooh’s beloved friends, you will love the live stage version of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS,” said Jackie Hammond, director and vocal director. “It is very similar to the popular movie and follows the fun-loving story line.” Sarah Brayer is choreographing the show, which runs without an intermission. Come early to join in the festive pre-show activities in the lobby like face painting, and cookies and lemonade with the characters. Performances take place Feb. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m., Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. at MTA’s performance space, 42323 N. Vision Way, Bldg. 2, Anthem. Tickets may be purchased online. Adult tickets are $18 and students, seniors and children 12 and under are $15. www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org

February 24 Spring Festival Returns to el Pedregal

el Pedregal’s Carefree Sundays music series begins Feb. 24, featuring lively music, distinctive shopping, and refreshing wines. Guests will enjoy music by Marmalade Skies from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring songs from the Beatles. This seven-piece band’s motto is “No boots. No suits. The magic’s in the music!” Members of the band include Bobby Frasier, Jodi Drew Frasier, Kevin Crum, Mark Aguirre, Keith Rosenbaum, Michael Roe and Steve Golba.

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The Carefree Sundays festival is sponsored by AZ Wines and Clear Channel’s 98.7 “The Peak” Radio. The event is free to attend; food and wine tasting tickets are available for purchase. The Spring Festival will occur every Sunday from Feb. 24 to May 12. 480-488-1072 www.elpedregal.com

February 28 – March 10 Musical Theatre of Anthem Presents Little Shop of Horrors Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) announces performances for the charming, tuneful and hilarious Little Shop of Horrors Feb. 28 through March 10.

One of the longest-running off-Broadway shows of all time, the show features fabulous music inspired by 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown. The story centers around a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon “Audrey II” grows into an illtempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination! The production staff includes director Keith Huff, vocal director Cris Wo, and ariZoni-winning choreographer Shawna Weitekamp. Performances take place Feb. 28 and March 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., and March 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 3 p.m. at MTA’s performance space, 42323 N. Vision Way, Bldg. 2, Anthem. Tickets may be purchased online. Adult tickets are $18. Students, seniors and children 12 and under are $15. www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org

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Creating Life-Changing Conversations

480.249.1413 friendspeak@canyonchurch.org

Additional classes being offered:

34975 N. North Valley Parkway, Building 2, Phoenix, AZ 85086

canyonchurch.org | 623.889.3388

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Let the Hiking Season Commence! Writer Lynsi Freitag Photo below by Bryan Black of Blackswan Photographers

Spring is around the corner, the weather is turning warmer and Arizonans are embarking on one of our favorite outdoor activities: hiking. The area is bursting with amazing hikes of varying experiences and difficulties. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual hike with friends, families or your puppy, or you are looking for an adventure trail run, there are plenty of options. Here are just a few of our favorites, listed from easiest to most difficult. Please share some of your favorites with us via email or on our Facebook page.

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Cave Creek Trail #4 Difficulty: Easy Length: Varies, Up to 20.8 miles round-trip Trailhead: Cave Creek & Spur Cross Location: In the Tonto National Forest at the Seven Springs Recreation Area. To get to the Cave Creek Trailhead, go north on Pima, Scottsdale, or Cave Creek Roads from the Scottsdale/ Phoenix area. Turn right (east) onto Cave Creek Rd. (or continue east if starting on Cave Creek Rd.) until the road turns into Forest Road 24. The Cave Creek Trailhead is on the right shortly after entering the Seven Springs Recreation Area.

Highlights: This hike offers close-up views of the creek with great places to sit and watch the water (when the creek is flowing). Hikers will also enjoy views of the creek and canyon from higher up where the trail ascends the surrounding landscape. Given that the trail is not a loop, hikers can make this as short or long of a hike as they want. It does get more difficult the farther in you hike so if you are seeking an easy hike with some creek views, stick to the first few miles.

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Jewel of the Creek Difficulty: Moderate Length: 4-mile loop Fee: $3 per person Location: From Loop 101, exit at Cave Creek Rd. and drive north for approximately 15 miles to Spur Cross Ranch Rd. Continue north for 4 miles to the dirt parking lot on the left.

Highlights:

Ever since the Desert Foothills Land Trust, an organization committed to

protecting segments of Sonoran Desert in the area, took over this space, hiking on the trails has become a really pleasurable and beautiful experience. The trails are beautiful with dozens of plant and animal species, including more than 20 types of dragonflies. If you are a photographer, bird watcher or nature lover, this is a trail you will want to visit. The Dragonfly Trail leads through the Jewel of the Creek Preserve. It is a wonderfully un-desertlike area with pools of water, towering sycamore trees and, of course, dragonflies.

Go John Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 6 miles round-trip Trailhead: Go John Location: Cave Creek Regional Park. From Phoenix, take Cave Creek Rd. north to Carefree Highway then turn left. Turn right onto 32nd St. and continue into the Cave Creek Recreational Area. There is a fee required to enter the park. Continue along the main park road, just before the horse area; there is an access road for the Go John trailhead on the left.

Highlights: There are two trails that are interconnected: the Go John and Overton Trails. They are right next to one another and can be done together as a counter-clockwise loop trail. However, both trails can be done separately - the Go John Trail is a 4.8-mile loop, and the Overton Trail is a 2.1-mile loop. The Go John Trail begins as an easy hike through the desert that gradually begins to climb. When the trail turns north, hikers cross in and out of washes and the trail continues to dip and climb throughout. It is a less-traveled trail for hikers allowing for a quiet hike in the serene desert landscape. It is a

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popular trail for horses, however, so make sure to follow trail rules. Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 3


JAN 25, 2013 through FEB 10, 2013

Black Mountain Cave Creek Difficulty: Difficult

Length: Almost 2.5 miles round-trip Trailhead: A residential area in Cave Creek. Location:

Black Mountain now has a paved parking lot

Receive this beautiful Fill Your Heart Media Case FREE with a single same day Brighton purchase of $100 or more. While supplies last. See store for details.

at Schoolhouse and Military Road. Walk up the dirt road following signs for the trailhead.

Highlights: A less visited Phoenix area mountain, this is a

3.5”h x 6”w x 1.25”d 24.5” detachable chain and leather strap

great place to go in lieu of the congestion at Camelback or Piestewa Peak. This hike is both beautiful and challenging. At the top, hikers get great views of the area and the surrounding mountains. It’s about an 1100 ft. elevation gain and 2.2-mile round trip.

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Down and Dirty:

at Baja 1000 Writer Amanda Christmann Larson

It’s fast, it’s fun and just a little bit crazy. The Tecate SCORE

passion leads them to paths that are dusty, dangerous and

Baja 1000 Peninsula Run is 1,121 grueling miles from Ensenada

long. Teresa, his wife, is always by his side behind the scenes,

to La Paz on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and is the race

organizing the crew and planning every move not navigated

to win for off-road enthusiasts. It’s the longest continuous off-

from behind the wheel.

road race in the world, and Joe Bacal has won his class – not just once, but twice in the last three years.

Behind the flash of his factory-backed sponsorships, Joe is friendly but intense. He’s known for taking control of all of

Few people know that Anthem is home to a couple who has

the vehicle prep work prior to the race, just to make sure it’s

dedicated their lives to the road … or more accurately, to the

done right. Every move is calculated so that his team, JTGrey

off-road. Joe and his Lexus LX 570 have become renowned

Racing, can continue building a flawless reputation.

in the elite circle of dirt circuit racers and enthusiasts whose

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This year, he has taken sole control of the driving in every

The National Cancer Institute predicts that one in 436 men and

Tecate SCORE series race – including over 38 hours of the

women will be diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his or

45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, insisting on driving every mile

her lifetime. In 2009, there were approximately 175,000 men

himself instead of alternating the way most teams do. It was

and women in the U.S. with a history of the disease. Joe was

rough, but Bacal did it without even having to change a tire.

determined to be among the survivors.

“I underestimated how long it would take,” he says of the

For the first six months of 2007, he endured chemotherapy

grueling November challenge. “I figured it would be 26 to28

and radiation treatment. He and Teresa radically changed

hours, but it ended up being much longer –38 hours and 22

their diet, eliminating hormone and antibiotic-laden meat and

minutes with only eight BFGoodrich pit stops for fuel and any

avoiding processed foods and sugars. They started using the

quick repairs.”

speakers on their cell phones instead of holding them up to their ears and took every measure they could to not only beat

He continued, “The last section of Baja was so damaged

the disease, but to give it no opportunity to return.

from Hurricane Paul that it was really tough. The last 50 miles were the hardest … the ground started to spin; the trees were

For treatment, they quickly became frustrated with their

moving … I was really having a hard time. I was so tired that my

options and sought help from the Cancer Treatment Centers

mind started playing tricks on me. My co-driver led me through

of America. The couple give them full credit for saving Joe’s

each turn, and we made it.”

life while using the most minimally invasive treatment options available in modern medicine. Joe now proudly carries their

However, it’s not just his drive on the course that makes Joe

logo on the side of his racing truck and attached a port that

stand out from the crowd. The same perseverance that pushed

once administered chemotherapy chemicals into his chest to

him to the top on the track got him through cancer just a few

the dash of his race truck, both as testaments to his survival

short years ago.

and as symbols of hope for those who are still struggling.

Late in 2006, he noticed a lump in his neck that seemed to

“Beating cancer is a whole lot like racing,” he explains. “At

come and go. Like many people, he ignored it for a while

times, things can get really rough, but you prepare yourself

before finally asking a doctor to check it out. The diagnosis

with everything you’ve got and just go for it and decide you’re

was Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.

going to win.” F ebruary 2013

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Lexus, KC HiLiTES, Hammer Nutrition, BF Goodrich, King

After his diagnosis Joe could have returned to work, but

Shocks, F-Sport, Head First Media, ARB, and Geiser Brothers

he found he had a new lease on life as well as a whole new

Racing (big in the business and also local) back Joe because

perspective. “After getting sick, I realized I didn’t want to spend

they know he’s good. Joe doesn’t let them down, and has

20 years watching the clock turn,” he explains. “I realized, ‘I’ve

quickly risen to one of the best drivers in the circuit. A quick

got to change this.’ You never know how long you’re going to

internet search of his name reveals dozens of articles and

be around after something like that.”

videos of Joe thundering through straightaways and sliding through curves on some of the continent’s toughest tracks.

Joe had always wanted to race. He followed his passion and started JTGrey Performance Driving. The name came about

So how did this clean-cut LA native get into getting down and

when he and Teresa combined their initials with their son

dirty? Joe started out as a test driver for General Motors – a job

Greyson’s name.

he took just to get through school and earn a degree in criminal justice. “I never thought of it as a career, it was just a great job

He fought his way into the exclusive stunt driving world and

that gave me the money I needed to get through school.”

shot scenes for commercials and television shows like Dexter and Flash Forward, and more recently, renewed his Lexus

That job turned into a bigger opportunity, and he soon found

contract for 2013. But it was his skill and salesmanship that

himself evaluating for Nissan, then Toyota. Bacal sharpened his

convinced Lexus to launch its first off-road racing sponsorship

skills through intense training and making a name for himself on

– a move that has proven wise for everyone involved.

test tracks. Training gave him knowledge, but he also honed an instinct that couldn’t be taught. When he was diagnosed with

In 2010, his second year of racing, he won his first Baja 1000 in

cancer, he was at the top of his career, traveling internationally to

the Stock Full class. He went on to win every SCORE race that

advise Toyota on some of its most sensitive technical decisions.

season except the Baja 500, where he took second place, and won the Stock Full class championship.

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In 2011, the team struggled with electrical challenges and Joe suffered a harrowing crash down a steep cliff during a nighttime mountain segment of the Baja 500, giving up a 70-mile lead and losing the race. In 2012, determined to “Ironman” the series by driving every mile of every race, Joe trained his body and mind for victory. He began working out at Sweat in Anthem, and took nutritional supplements

and

guidance

from

Hammer

Nutrition, a sports nutrition specialty company Joe says had a big effect on his endurance. For the 2012 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the king of all off-road races, he prepped his vehicle by hand-grooving his BFGoodrich tires for improved wet performance in a strategy to overcome expected wet weather during the race. He also had a plan for beating his opponents, and it worked. With co-drivers Brian “Woody” Swearingen, Paul Williamsen and Joe Nolan in the passenger seat, the team methodically clicked off the miles without incident – a feat in itself since over 300 vehicles to begin the race and only about half finished. Joe Bacal is a testament to the power of human will. He has endured some of life’s most difficult challenges, then made some challenges of his own, only to come out on top every time. He is an inspiration to every child who dreams of making something of themselves, and to every adult who has forgotten that dream along the way. ImagesAZ congratulates Joe on his victories. Thank you Bacals for making us all proud. We know we’ll see you at the finish line for many years to come.

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World-class Music

By World-Class Musicians Arizona Musicfest 2013 Writer Donna Kublin

Maestro Robert Moody, artistic director of Arizona Musicfest, is very excited about this year’s festival. “We are set to present great music experiences with a wide range of musical offerings by worldclass musicians,” said Moody. “Over the past seven years, we have worked very aggressively to create America’s premier winter music festival, and the programming this year not only achieves it, but the output is coming up to long established festivals held at cities such as Indio, California and Edinburgh, Scotland.” Arizona Musicfest, held January 28 through March 4, presents top artists, including many Grammy Award winners and nominees. Classical, chamber, Broadway, jazz, pops and country artists perform in exceptional programs created especially for Arizona Musicfest at venues throughout the scenic desert foothills of Scottsdale and Carefree, Arizona. Country music superstar Michael Martin Murphey, Metropolitan Opera star Denyce Graves; Jazz Week’s “Vocalist of the Year” and four-time Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton are among the headliners this year.

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At the heart of Arizona Musicfest 2013 is the Arizona

“Operatic superstar of the 21st century” [USA Today],

Musicfest Orchestra conducted by Robert Moody.

mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves is the Arizona Musicfest

Sixty musicians hand-chosen by Maestro Moody

2013 Artist-in-Residence. Ms. Graves appears with the

from the nation’s finest orchestras (Chicago, Boston,

orchestra in two thrilling concerts: Denyce Graves as

Detroit, National Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra,

Carmen, Dalilah & Shéhérazade; and, Dvorák & Denyce:

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra,

New World Symphony & Prokofiev with the 100-voice

New York Philharmonic, and many more) perform in four

Arizona Musicfest Chorus.

extraordinary concerts February 19, 21, 22 and 24. The Vienna Philharmonic’s Christoph Koncz will perform Asked how he selects the musicians, without hesitation,

Beethoven’s The Violin Concerto. Koncz, a brilliant

Moody explained, “There are two criteria and they have

violinist who starred in the Academy Award-winning

equal weight: they must be world-class musicians, and

movie “Red Violin,” surmounts the technical difficulties

they must be world-class people. We have a ‘no diva’

of this piece to reach your heart.

rule,” said Moody with a chuckle. “We have a lot of camaraderie and we want interesting people with open,

Arizona Musicfest Chamber Players, an ensemble

wonderful personalities in our all-star orchestra.”

comprised of members from the Arizona Musicfest

Feb. 5 Fire & Ice: Jennifer Koh & Shai Wosner

Orchestra, create a dramatic sensory experience of music, the spoken word and multimedia in a live performance at the Musical Instrument Museum’s Music Theater February 16. In addition to Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, they will perform the Arizona Premiere of Brett William Dietz’s Headcase, which is a powerful work that transforms a personal story into a universal one, capturing the composer’s dramatic recovery from a devastating stroke at 29 years of age. Arizona Musicfest jazz advisor, the

Feb. 8 A Night in New Orleans with the Tremé Brass Band

irrepressible musician/composer Chris Brubeck, son of Dave Brubeck, a Library of Congress “National Treasure,” has guided the 2013 jazz offerings. These are “can’t miss” epiphanal jazz events on February 8, 12, 13 and 22. Contemporary blues artist Keb’ Mo’, a three-time Grammy Award winner who also was nominated for five additional Grammys, makes his orchestral debut with Arizona Musicfest Orchestra February 22. F ebruary 2013

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Feb. 10 Grammy Winners: The Parker Quartet

“From a musician’s point of view, great music is great music no matter what the classification,” said Moody. “We encourage people to look at the whole schedule, go to performances they would normally attend, and then try something out of the box, something they have not experienced. The dazzling 2013 Arizona Musicfest festival affords people the opportunity to do that.”

Arizona Musicfest Schedule Jan. 28 Doo-Wop Pops! with The Diamonds Feb. 5 Fire & Ice: Jennifer Koh &

Feb. 12 Power Jazz: The Taylor Eigsti Trio

Shai Wosner Feb. 8 A Night in New Orleans with the Tremé Brass Band Feb. 10 Grammy Winners: The Parker Quartet Feb. 12 Power Jazz: The Taylor Eigsti Trio Feb. 13 Pure Jazz: Tierney Sutton & Shelly Berg Feb. 14 A Perfectly Elegant Valentine with Tierney Sutton & Shelly Berg Feb. 15 Bob & Friends (two shows) Feb. 16 Tragedy & Triumph: The Soldier’s Tale & Headcase

Feb. 15 Bob & Friends

Feb. 19 Beethoven! The Fifth & The Violin Concerto Feb. 21 Denyce Graves as Carmen, Dalilah & Shéhérazade Feb. 22 A Night of Blues with Keb’ Mo’ and the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra February 24 Dvorák & Denyce: New World Symphony & Prokofiev March 1 The Piano Men – The Music of Billy Joel & Elton John - starring Jim Witter March 4 Michael Martin Murphey with the Rio Grande Band

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Ticket prices range from $40 to $85. The Valentine’s Gourmet Dinner & Concert is $125. Special ticket packages are available: the season ticket package offers a 20 percent discount; the Arizona Musicfest

Feb. 22 A Night of Blues with Keb’ Mo’ and the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra

Orchestra package offers a 15 percent discount. Not all the concerts are included in each package, so call the Arizona Musicfest office for details. A limited number of student (K-12) tickets are available: $5 for selected guest artists and FREE for Arizona Musicfest Orchestra concerts. Please note: Students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets for college students (current school ID required) are $10 for selected guest artists and Arizona Musicfest Orchestra concerts. Call 480-488-0806, toll free 866-488-0806 or visit www.azmusicfest.org for tickets and detailed concert information. Complimentary valet parking is available at most locations. Robert Moody has served as artistic director for Arizona Musicfest since 2007. Over the past decade, he has established himself as one of America’s most engaging and sought after conductors. With new conducting opportunities in Europe, and broadened leadership of America’s major orchestras and orchestral musicians in classical concerts, he now embarks on the beginning of a fully international career. Moody has had the honor of serving as music director for the Winston-Salem Symphony in North Carolina since 2005, and music director for the Portland Symphony Orchestra

in Maine, since 2008.

Moody is a frequent guest conductor with orchestras across the United States and in March 2013 he will

Moody also founded the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and built upon that experience to help create the magnificent Arizona Musicfest Chorus led by UCLA’s Dr. Rebecca

make his European debut in Slovenia.

Lord, Chorus Master.

Moody served as associate, then resident conductor of

Maestro Moody has conducted many of the world’s

the Phoenix Symphony (AZ) from 1998 through 2006. There, he conducted a wide variety of concerts, including classics, chamber, pops, family, Handel’s Messiah, and the New Year’s Eve gala. His casual manner and ability to speak with ease from the podium helped novices and enthusiasts alike gain a greater appreciation for orchestral music, and made him a Valley favorite.

greatest performing artists in concert. These have included: Yo Yo Ma, Itsaak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Van Cliburn, Andre Watts, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Robert McDuffie, Lynne Harrell, Midori, Time for Three, Zuill Bailey, Ryan Anthony, Alexander Gavrilyuk, Joshua Roman, Chris Botti, Chris Thile and many more.

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Phoenix GARDENS

IN the winter Baby, it’s cold outside! Although Phoenix area residents may enjoy the warmth of the desert sun during daylight hours, as soon as the sun goes down, temperatures can plummet as much as 30 degrees in a few hours. We have gardening advice for homeowners who are perplexed by this trying winter climate. Some of the coldest temperatures each year occur in February. Those of us who garden in the Valley of the Sun can learn much from professional horticulturists, such as those at the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park. According to Scott McMahon, manager of the cactaceae collection at the Desert Botanical Garden, “The worst frost we have ever experienced at the garden was in 2007. We lost many large saguaro cacti; a number of ficus palmeria, and some of the succulent and cacti collection suffered. What this shows us is that we have to plant trees, succulents, cacti, shrubs and flowers that grow naturally in the Sonoran Desert, and try not to divert from that selection.” According to Jaime Toledano, head gardener for the Writer Jano Nightingale Photos courtesy Desert Botanical Garden

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wildflower collection at Desert Botanical Garden, says the plants that grow at the garden are just as susceptible as the plants that grow outdoors at homes throughout


the Valley. “There are over 10,000 plants here, and thousands of those plants must be covered before we can go home at night. All of the horticulture staff and all available volunteers stay at the garden until all the plants that are at risk are covered, and this can take all day.� An important tip for homeowners to remember is that once the frost cloth has been laid over the plants, you must secure the material with stones or metal clips, so that it cannot blow away. Also, if the insulation is fully covering the plant material, the warmer soil temperature will protect the plant from the freezing temperatures. While selecting plants for our gardens, we have all be lured into garden centers that feature magnificent passion flowers, natal plum, rose hibiscus, cape honeysuckle, and a variety of citrus trees. Tender annuals such as geranium, petunias, and snapdragons look wonderful in the nursery until the heavy freezes hit our area. Only purchase plants that will be frost-tolerant down to 20 degrees, – or be prepared to cover them or move them. It is possible to keep our vegetable and herb gardens growing throughout the winter if they are planted in large window boxes or five-gallon planters. Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, Swiss chard, spinach and onions are all frost-tolerant. An herb garden can include parsley, basil, dill, nasturtium and thyme to spice up our winter recipes, but these mobile vegetable gardens must be moved out of the backyard and into a warmer environment if there is a frost warning. Keep window boxes and large container gardens in a warm sunroom or garage until the threat of frost has passed. When planning a garden in the Phoenix area, try to look at your yard in terms of microclimates. Even in a small garden, conditions such as temperature, humidity and wind are not the same on all sections of your property. F ebruary 2013

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Place your frost-sensitive plants near the south or west sides of the property; and close to rocks, the pool, or near dark concrete walls. All of these hardscape materials can help plants retain heat and stay and be protected from harsh winds. Citrus trees, for example, do well in the narrow spaces between houses because the close proximity of the walls will protect them from the cold evening temperatures. Remember that citrus trees that have not yet reached maturity need frost protection, whereas older trees can withstand the cold. When the local weather station issues a frost warning, plants must be covered before dark. Protect all frostsensitive plants, trees and shrubs with insulated plant fabric, burlap, sheets, or old blankets. Be certain that all coverings are securely fastened to the ground. However, if trees, shrubs and cacti do suffer damage, it is best not to prune them right away. According to McMahon, “After the damaging storm in 2011, we waited until April to prune the large trees that were damaged. If a homeowner prunes too soon after the storm, any new growth could be damaged again if another cold spell occurs. The plants might look ugly, but it is better to be safe than sorry later on.� The best advice for homeowners is to be constantly aware of weather conditions. Official readings from Sky Harbor Airport may be as much as 5 – 10 degrees colder or warmer than other parts of the Valley.

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P R E S E N T S

Also, take into consideration the elevation of your area which can range from 1,000 feet in Phoenix to 2,500 feet in Carefree and Anthem – higher elevations are always affected by the frost. The most accurate and informative weather conditions are provided online by the National Weather Service in Phoenix, recorded by the local ASOS (Automated Surface Observation Systems) and located at various sites within 100 miles of Phoenix. A homeowner can find the exact weather conditions in their local area by visiting

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www.nws.noaa.gov/climate When considering temperature data, it is important

to

understand

the

difference

between a frost and a freeze. A light frost, caused by a combination of low temperatures and high humidity occurs at 32 degrees. The frost will appear on the surface of leaves, soil

B. ZINK B. COLLIGEN

and card windshields and will not severely damage large plants, but frost-sensitive plants should be protected. The “killing frost,” occurs when the temperature drops below 32 degrees for an extended period of time (or for extended evenings in a row). This condition is life threatening for the plants, and all frost-sensitive plants must be covered. For information on frost sensitive plants visit www. desert-tropicals.com. Many thanks to our friends at Desert Botanical Gardens for their photographs and expert advice: Jaime Toledano, head gardener, Wildflower Garden; Scott McMahon, manager Cactaceae Collection; John Sallot, marketing director, and to Austin Jamison, from the National Weather Service/Phoenix.

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Wigwam Festival of Fine Art February 15–17, 2013 Wigwam Resort

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Indian Market January 11–13, 2013 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd

Sonoran Festival of Fine Art March 15–17, 2013 101 Easy St, Carefree F ebruary 2013

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Jonas Kaufmann performing Sunday, February 24


phoenix opera we’re lucky to have them Writer Paula Theotocatos Several years ago, mezzo soprano Gail Dubinbaum and conductor/composer John Massaro’s newly-founded Phoenix Opera was just learning to take its first baby steps. Until that time, the only opera company around was the Tucson-based Arizona Opera, which gave several performances a year in Phoenix, but which we could not call our own. I am happy to report that the Phoenix Opera is not only going strong but also attracting a devoted following of opera enthusiasts. The Phoenix Opera is a non-profit organization, with all donations going exclusively to support their fine performances. Not only did Gail and John co-found the opera company, but Gail functions as creative director and development director and John as general director, artistic director and principal conductor. I asked Gail how their opera company has grown during the past several years. She replied, “Phoenix Opera has spread its wings across the Valley, with sold-out performances at the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, the Mesa Arts Center, Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Prescott’s Elks’ Opera House, Wild Horse Pass Casino and the Orpheum Theatre, our ‘home’ for all our major operas and gala events and many other concerts in churches, community centers and country clubs all over the city.” They have done full-scale performances of Aida, Carmen, Madame Butterfly, The Magic Flute, La Boheme,Tosca, and La Traviata at the Orpheum Theatre – all world-famous and fan-favorite operas. In addition to opera performances at theatrical venues, Phoenix Opera has partnered with some great restaurants in the Valley to host social events featuring fine dining and extraordinarily talented musicians and singers. “It gives young up-and-coming ‘stars’ the chance to shine right here in their own home town, and it brings people together to celebrate the good things in life and it also creates a community of music lovers,” Gail shared. Phoenix Opera has also been very active with the student community. The organization has received many grants to expose young listeners to live productions such as The Magic of Opera for All – an age-appropriate adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. In addition to directly involving the students in the actual production, they mentored them in all aspects of producing an opera. “The mission of Phoenix Opera is two-fold: to do classic Grand Opera in a traditional form, honoring the genius of the composer, and offering an authentic view of the beauty and magnificence of opera,” Gail explained. Not only have Gail and John discovered and nurtured local operatic talent by giving young people the opportunity to develop their careers, they have also brought world-class international opera singers to perform in Phoenix for the first time ever. “Last season we had Russian Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and people came from all over the world to attend a classical performance here in Phoenix,” Gail exclaimed. “Wow, that was certainly special! I have to

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say that I have never seen an audience in Phoenix respond

also on Facebook and their volunteer organization, “The

as they did to this magnificent artist! I thought they were

Friends of Phoenix Opera” promises fun social interaction in

going to rip the seats out. They were screaming ‘Bravo’ and

addition to rewarding volunteer work. They have a dynamic

applauding so loudly; they would not let him leave the stage!

board of directors, chaired by the energetic and hard-working

It was incredible!”

opera-lover Bob Stump, who has also been recently elected chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

This season includes a February 10 production entitled “Come Away With Me” – a Valentine’s Day remembrance at the Mesa

Even if you have never attended a live opera performance

Arts Center. On March 5, a performance by Los Tres Tenores

before, here is your unique opportunity to do so without

and One Hot Soprano will be held at Sun City Grand.

having to travel out of the Phoenix area. Gail Dubinbaum and John Massaro have made it possible.

But, the piece de resistance this season is the February 24 performance by the “Greatest Tenor of our Time” – German-

“We have been true to our mission,” Gail said. “Our audiences

born tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Internationally recognized as one

are appreciative of the stunning productions we have done and

of the most important artists in the world, Kaufmann will sing his

they have been thrilled by the amazing young talent we have

personal favorite Italian and French operatic arias. (Please see

here at home, as well as by the extraordinary opportunity to

our sidebar for more information on this sensational performer.)

hear some of the true ‘Gods’ of Opera – live here in Phoenix!”

Phoenix Opera’s website lists all upcoming events and

602-262-7272

performances several months in advance, and you can join

www.phoenixopera.org

their patron mail list by logging on to their website. They are

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New York City, the Royal Opera Covent Garden in London, the Opera-Bastille in Paris, the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, and many other famous opera venues. Kaufmann released his first solo album, “Romantic Arias” in January 2008, which became an

international

best-seller.

Now,

Jonas Kaufmann will be performing at the Phoenix Opera, singing the greatest tenor hits from Tosca, Carmen, Pagliacci, Werther, Andrea Chenier and La Gioconda, accompanied by the Phoenix Opera Orchestra Sunday, February 24, at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $35 to $125. Orpheum Theatre box office 602-262-7272 www.jonaskaufmann.com F ebruary 2013

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C hamber Profile

Carroll family: Candy, Jim, Paul Flores (Amanda’s husband), Abigail (Amanda’s daughter) and Amanda Chamber Contributor Jenny Brooks, Special to ImagesAZ

Creating a Legacy

Carroll Law Firm supporting the local business co mmunity by cosponsoring the Bu siness Person of the Year Award .

“Right place, right time” is what comes to mind after talking to James L. Carroll III, Esq., owner and managing

Upcoming Chamber Events Business for Breakfast Thursday, Feb. 14 from 7 - 8:15 a.m. Topic: How the 2013 Tax Changes Will Impact Your Small Business. Hampton Inn: 42415 N. 41st Dr. Anthem

After 5 mixer

partner of Carroll Law Firm in Anthem. Carroll’s story hits some familiar notes, but his timing has been everything. After coming from New Jersey to visit family here in Arizona, he and his wife bought a second home. The plan was to retire to Anthem someday. They spent a few years visiting Anthem, and eventually found themselves spending more time in Arizona than in New Jersey.

Thursday, Feb. 28, 5 - 7 p.m.

Carroll never intended to open a law firm in Anthem. In fact, he maintained his New Jersey firm and commuted on

It’s Casino Night! Celebrate the Grand

a weekly basis for a couple of years before committing to starting a business in Anthem.

Reopening of the Hampton Inn Hampton Inn: 42415 N. 41st Dr. Anthem, AZ 85086

“I took the bar in 2007 so that I could help my neighbors and fellow community members with wills and estate planning,” said Carroll. “Then the recession hit and it hit Anthem hard. I was getting a lot of calls for help with bankruptcy and at the time, no one else locally was practicing in that area of the law.” Carroll says he never thought he’d be promoting himself as a bankruptcy attorney in advertising, but the need was there.

Anthem North Gateway Chamber

Fred Struss Sam Tyler Realty, LLC 40216 N. Noble Hawk Ct. Anthem, AZ 85086 480-227-2536 www.azhomes.net

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New Members

Sondra Wendt EZ Insurance Solutions 42927 N. Courage Trail Anthem, AZ 85086 623-297-1475 www.ezinsuranceaz.com

Emily Griffin Desert Foothills Accounting and Tax 4122 W. Innovative Dr., Ste. 101 Phoenix, AZ 85086 623-551-3100 www.desertfoothillscpa.com

Kirstin Young Daisy Mountain Veterinary Hospital 39508 N. Daisy Mt. Dr., Ste. 126 Anthem, AZ 85086 623-551-8387 www.daisymountainvet.com


“As soon as I started saying yes, the floodgates

comes to see us without help. It’s part of being

opened and things got really busy,” he said.

a community law firm.”

Carroll says the turning point was when he

When it comes to launching a business and

hired fellow attorney Wayne Carroll, who is not

getting your name out in the community,

related, despite the fact the two share the same

Carroll can’t say enough good things about

surname.

membership in the Chamber of Commerce.

“At that point I was committed to opening and

“As a law firm we work with a lot of new

operating a business,” he said. “When my

businesses. When starting a business, it’s

daughter Amanda expressed interest in working

important to get your name out there, but you

with me, then I had a legacy, something to pass

must be careful with marketing dollars,” he said.

on to her.”

“I tell people the Chamber is a great opportunity to get your name out there for a modest

I love hearing the stories of business owners

expense. You definitely get the most bang for

when writing these member profiles for

your buck. Chamber leaders understand that

the Anthem North Gateway Chamber of

for a community to succeed, the businesses

Commerce. As a business owner myself, I

need to succeed, so they do all they can to

enjoy the different philosophies I hear about.

support growth.”

In Carroll’s case, he is a big supporter of

Carroll and his wife Candy have four children:

developing the talents of younger attorneys.

James Carroll IV, who practices law in

He concentrates on helping the attorneys in

Charlotte, N.C.; Amanda, who practices law

his firm find areas of specialty. Since he’s

with her father and also has a one-year-old

practiced in a variety of areas of law, he says

daughter, Abigail; Allison, who is a junior

he concentrates on “passing on the benefits of

studying accountancy at Arizona State

my experience.” As a result, his law firm is able

University; and Kathleen, who is a freshman

to handle a broad range of legal issues, from

studying electrical engineering at Arizona State

patent law and intellectual property to personal

University. Allison and Kathleen both have

injury, and everything in between.

scholarships and are part of the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State.

As an Anthem-based business owner, Carroll is very attuned to growth in the North

As a parent of three children myself, I asked

Gateway area. He says he’s excited to see the

Carroll how he was able to encourage such

expansion of the area and the potential impact

success in his four children. He said he thinks

it will have on the businesses and community.

the secret is reading. He and his wife always

He specifically pointed out the development by

encouraged reading and, when they couldn’t

John C. Lincoln.

buy books for the kids, they made sure they went to the library often. Another interesting

“As a community we should be encouraging

fact: neither of Carroll’s parents had high school

this kind of growth because it’s great for

diplomas, yet they raised three children who all

businesses,” Carroll said.

became attorneys.

Carroll says the Anthem North Gateway area

After interviewing Carroll, my guess is there is a

is perfect for practicing law because it’s small

lot of support and encouragement in the Carroll

enough to know everyone and be involved, but

family line. That’s quite a legacy indeed.

big enough to sustain a business like his. “In a smaller community you have to work extra hard to provide satisfaction to your customers,” he said. “We try never to leave anyone who

The Carroll Law Firm PLC 42014 N. Venture Drive, Ste. C 623-551-9366 www.carrolllawfirm.com F ebruary 2013

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A Mother’s Love:

A STORY OF LIFE Writer Amanda Christmann Larson Photographer Jerri Parness Photography

We’re all hearing about more and more local parents who have to wake

up and dole out pills and pain meds, juggle doctors’ appointments and homework assignments, tackle helplessness with positivity, worry about mounting medical bills, then go to bed thinking how lucky they are that

they made it through another day with their child. It’s impossible to not think, “That could be me.”

It could be me. And it could be you, too. That’s why it’s so important to get these stories out, drop by drop,

because there are lessons to be shared about life, love and what’s real. When I last spoke to Desert Hills mom Ginger Gabster, it was March of last year. I was getting ready for a trip, so I’d hurried her through a telephone interview about her then-15-year-old son Kyle, who was on dialysis after a shocking diagnosis of kidney failure. He was big kid – a linebacker on his high school football team – and doctors would have never pegged him as a candidate for his diagnosis of Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis. Last spring, Kyle’s body was attacking his kidneys, and his only hope was a kidney transplant. Ginger took leave from her job as a teacher’s aide at Desert Mountain to take care of Kyle. She was tireless. She taught herself how to cook a “kidney diet” by searching the internet, learning what would help him and avoiding the many things that would hurt him. She doggedly advocated for him while they navigated through a mire of both competent and clueless medical professionals. Her days were spent researching, driving, cooking and waiting. Kyle’s 10-year-old brother Kobe still needed to be cared for. With her husband working hard in California to support the family, Gabster struggled to divide her time and seemed to function on fumes, finding energy where there was none, and feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. At times, it was the kindness of friends and strangers that kept her going. Being strong wasn’t a choice, she’d told me. “I’m a mom.” F ebruary 2013

57


At the time, she reminded me of another local mom, Lisa Nordstrom, whose son Bennet (who, ironically, played on the same football team as Kyle) had a different shocking diagnosis and had undergone a heart transplant. When I heard the cracks in Ginger’s voice and sensed the tears in her eyes, I thought of Lisa and the graceful but fragile strength she drew from. Her mantra was “Keep calm and carry on”. At the time it was all she could do. Last fall, I received a pleasant surprise in my inbox. “Good morning,” it read. “I am Ginger Gabster. You did an article about my son and our family last spring. I wanted to let you know that Kyle is having a kidney transplant on Oct. 24. Thank you for the wonderful article you wrote about us. Have a great day.” So much emotion must have gone into those few sentences. I imagined the excitement, the fear, the hope. There are no words for things like that. I thought about her the day before the transplant … the anxiety and excitement that must have been going through her as she tried to wrap up last-minute preparations. I thought about her again the next day and hoped everything was going well. Then I heard nothing. Not a peep. Sometimes I wondered if maybe things hadn’t gone as well as we all wanted them to go. It wasn’t until the holiday season that I received another message from

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Ginger: “Kyle is recovered and actually going back to school January 7. Let me know when we can talk, I have some awesome ideas. Happy New Year.” We arranged to meet at Peaks and Valleys, a local restaurant that has been a great support to the family. I hadn’t met them in person before, so I almost looked past the healthy looking, sandy-haired teen sitting at a table with his mom and younger brother. I expected Kyle to look, well, sick. He didn’t. We sat down together to talk. Kyle, now 16, looked uninterested in much of the conversation. To him all of this was old news. Nowadays, he’s focusing on his future. “It made me into a lot more mature of a person,” he told me. “I look at things differently than other people my age. Some people don’t see the bright side of things, and some people don’t see the dark side of things. I see things like they are.” “You look at things in a positive way and you don’t look at things in a negative way,” now-11-year-old Kobe said matter-of-factly, his looks and mannerisms reflecting a smaller but otherwise nearly identical version of his older brother. Ginger caught me up on the details of recent months: how her sister had volunteered to donate a kidney in a match program that paired her with a more suitable recipient, in exchange for another donor’s gift to Kyle. On the day of Kyle’s transplant, four donors and four recipients, many of them strangers, gave and received each other’s kidneys. F ebruary 2013

59


Ginger is still taken back by the generosity of Kyle’s donor, a healthy 25-year-old stranger who selflessly decided to donate one of her kidneys, with the only caveat being that she wanted it to go to a child.

At this very moment, there are thousands of mothers just like Ginger and Lisa. Thousands of families hoping for a miracle. Every year, 20,000

She talked about the days after surgery when Kyle was too dazed and medicated to know the pain his body was going through, but she won’t forget. “To see your child suffering like that is just … hard,” she told me. The helplessness and fear she’d felt went unspoken, but they made their way out in the form of a tear that rolled partway down her cheek before she wiped it away. Another tear snuck its way into her eyes when Kyle talked about the days leading up to the surgery. “My friends thought about it more than I did,” he said. “The whole time leading up to surgery, I told my friends ‘Don’t bring it up.’ I knew I was going to be recovering for a long time, and I wanted to share every moment I had until then.”

people need someone to

Kyle’s best friend, Kyle Church, came to the hospital the night before surgery, then came back

donate a kidney so that

the next morning to be there for him. “He said he was scared for me,” Kyle said. “I wasn’t

they can live. Only

scared at all.”

5,000 of those people

Kobe bounced through the conversation like any 11-year-old would, except with a great dry

– husbands, wives,

sense of humor that let me know that, not only is he a funny kid, but he is smart and thoughtful

fathers, mothers, and someone’s child – get their life-saving wish.

enough to fully understand the situation. “The waiting rooms were probably the hard part for me,” he told me. “It was hard a couple of times, too, when Kyle got real sick. I wouldn’t really think about football at all.” He shrugged his shoulders at this fact, but the mom in me knew there were a lot of feelings hidden in that short statement. “The stress isn’t on me; it’s on my parents, mostly.”

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Kyle will be on medication the rest of his life, but is now back in class at Boulder Creek High School. He aspires to be an engineer, and thinks he may want to go to the University of Alabama to pursue that goal. “My friends are basically my life right now.” Kyle said. “And my family. Those are the things that are important. If you have your friends, your family and your health, that’s really all you need in life. The rest of it doesn’t matter.” And the message to the woman who gave of herself, quite literally, to save a stranger? “Thank you for the new lease on life,” Kyle said. “Thank you for making my brother’s life go back to normal,” Kobe added. I looked at Ginger and knew that any words she said could not come close to saying how she felt – how any mother would feel, toward a stranger who sacrificed so that her son could live. I felt the simple humanity of what it feels to be both broken and whole at the same time. “Especially when somebody doesn’t even know us, to donate something like that …” she paused, closing her eyes for a moment. “It’s incredible. Thank you for being so selfless and for changing my son’s life back to normal.” At this very moment, there are thousands of mothers just like Ginger and Lisa. Thousands of families hoping for a miracle. Every year, 20,000 people need someone to donate a kidney so that they can live. Only 5,000 of those people – husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and someone’s child – get their life-saving wish. Kidneys are unique because most of us only need one to function normally. Live donors, like Kyle’s aunt and his own anonymous donor, make up 47 percent of today’s donations. Because of medical breakthroughs in anti-rejection drugs, donors no longer have to be a close genetic match to their recipients. Over 100,000 more people are waiting for a heart, lungs, a liver and other organs so that they can smile again, walk again and live again. Every day, 18 people die waiting, yet just one donor can save up to eight lives. All you have to do is register to be an organ donor and make your family aware about your wishes. The gift of knowing a mother can watch her child grow up or that a child can live out their dreams is one of the biggest legacies you can leave behind. www.azdonorregistry.org F ebruary 2013

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Chocolate “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” - Charles M. Schulz Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque

When one thinks of the desert Southwest, artisanal chocolates may not be the first things that come to mind, but that may be changing. With the flourishing business and growing popularity of Valley resident and “Chocolatier to the Stars” Julia Baker, and chocolate festivals such as the Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolate – planned just in time for Valentine’s Day – the Valley of the Sun may break some age-old stereotypes!

History Even though the popularity of chocolate in the Valley seems relatively recent, the discovery of chocolate dates back roughly 2000 years when it was discovered in Latin America. The Maya and Aztec elites infused cocoa beans with water to form frothy chocolate drinks – possibly the first frappuccino? These drinks were used for special occasions and as sacrifices to their gods. Aztec ruler Montezuma believed chocolate was an aphrodisiac and routinely drank it before entering his harem, thereby increasing chocolate’s popularity and its association with love and romance. Christopher Columbus witnessed how the Aztecs revered cocoa when he entered the picture in the 16th century, and immediately took the luxury product back to Queen Isabella of Spain. The first “chocoholics” sprouted up all over Europe, sharing the legend of their new obsession’s alleged powers. At one point in time, chocolate was believed to be so potent that nuns were forbidden from eating it and French doctors used it to treat “broken hearts.” The creation of solid chocolate is a relatively recent event, as it wasn’t until 1828 when a Dutch chemist found a way to make a powdered chocolate by removing about half the natural fat (cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, pulverizing what remained and treating the mixture with alkaline salts to cut the bitter taste. His product became known as “Dutch cocoa,” and it soon led to the creation of solid chocolate. The creation of the modern chocolate bar wasn’t far behind when, in 1847, Joseph Fry discovered that he could make a moldable chocolate paste by adding melted cacao butter back into Dutch cocoa. The commercial market capitalized on this decadent treat, and in 1868 the Cadbury company was marketing boxes of chocolate candies in England. Milk chocolate was then pioneered by Nestle.

F ebruary 2013

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Americans have always known the great value in chocolate, but possibly never so much as during the Revolutionary War when it was included in the soldiers’ rations and used in lieu of wages. It is doubtful that Americans would settle for a chocolate paycheck today, but statistics show that the humble cacao bean is still a mighty economic force. Chocolate manufacturing is a more than $4 billion industry in the United States, and the average American eats at least half a pound of it per month. Eating dark chocolate may be one of the few good habits that are easy to keep. This age-old treat offers more than just a romantic connection with the heart: it is tied to multiple benefits for the physical heart, including lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and a lower overall risk of heart disease. Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, which can improve blood flow and circulation. Because of its ability to improve blood flow, researchers in a 2011 study hypothesized that dark chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, which may result in a boost in vision. It is also full of fiber, so may make those who enjoy chocolate feel fuller for longer periods of time. An Italian study in 2005 also indicates that regularly eating a small amount of dark chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the risk for diabetes. Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin as it has a type of antioxidants called flavonoids that offer some protection from UV damage.

Are all chocolates created equal? Often, when an item of value is sought after, there are many companies who will find a way to profit from a cheaper, watered-down version of the good stuff. Such was the fate of chocolate. In the 20th century, the word “chocolate” expanded to include a range of affordable treats with more sugar and additives than actual cacao in them, often made from the hardiest but least flavorful of the bean varieties. More recently, with the advent of handmade artisanal products and a return to sustainable, responsible farming and harvesting, there has been something of a “chocolate revolution.” Even major corporations like Hershey’s have expanded their artisanal chocolate lines by purchasing smaller producers known for premium chocolates, such as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba, while independent chocolatiers continue to flourish as well.

Julia Baker, Local Cocoa Cutie One might not immediately be able to draw a line between Julia Baker’s initial chosen career as a statistician and the road she ultimately took as a chocolatier, but what is instantly evident is that both careers would take precise attention to detail, as well as passion to be successful. Thankfully, Julia has both, and she has not only been successful at her chosen career, but she has risen to the top in her field as a “Chocolatier to the Stars” since she started her business in 2006. Her moniker was not chosen randomly. Singer/songwriter Alicia Keys has called Baker, “breathtakingly talented” and she has made chocolates for many of today’s top talents and celebrities including Bono of U2 fame, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears.

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Her meteoric rise to the top started as soon as she followed her passion for food and chocolate. She enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and graduated first in her class when she obtained the Grande Diplôme de Cuisine & de Pâtisserie. She was granted a prestigious internship under famed Alain Ducasse protégé, Jean-Louis Nomicos. She continued her studies with Sue MacMahon, famed sugar-paste flower artist and chef of the Queen Mum’s 100th birthday cake. In 2006, Julia became squarely focused on delivering the luxury chocolates and custom cake creations that are made from scratch without any preservatives or artificial ingredients. Her cakes are ordered up to two years in advance of special events, and are available for ordering online and through select high-end boutiques. In December Julia Baker Confections opened its flagship boutique and wine bar in Biltmore Fashion Park. Julia is excited to bring her handmade confections to a whole new area. She said, “I’m thrilled to unveil our flagship location right here in Phoenix. It’s the ultimate destination for chocolate lovers – whether you’re shopping for the perfect gift, hoping to enjoy an indulgent afternoon escape, a sweet date night, or looking for the perfect location for a celebration.” As one might expect, Julia left no detail unexamined when creating a space to house her gourmet chocolates. She enlisted top design professionals to create an intimate space in which guests will be able to enjoy fine wines with a menu of Julia’s signature chocolates and desserts. The wine bar is a perfect venue for private events such as bridal celebrations, birthday parties and corporate gatherings and can accommodate parties of up to 30 guests.

Feed your craving Don’t wait an extra minute … put the Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolate and Fine Art on your family’s calendar. The second annual festival takes place over a four-day period beginning on Valentine’s Day, from Thursday, February 14, noon to 5 p.m., and February 15-17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Held at the Carefree Desert

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Gardens, the event will feature up to 100 exhibitors of fine art, fine chocolate and other confections. Bring the entire family, as there will be food, music and other entertainment, and admission is free. This year’s event, which is part of a new series of events taking place in the town’s new park set against the backdrop of Black Mountain, will feature an extensive culinary marketplace, providing easy one-stop shopping for Valentine’s Day shoppers who are looking for something special to give their valentine. According to Carefree resident and area businessperson Laura Shutt, the event is ideal for the community. “As a local resident, it gives me great pleasure to see how these new events add life and vitality to our close knit community. I love what is happening in downtown Carefree,” Shutt said. If the festival whets your appetite for more chocolate and wine pairings throughout the year, visit Julia in her new central location at Biltmore Fashion Park between Williams-Sonoma and White House|Black Market and enjoy a chocolate excursion beyond any other you have ever experienced.

www.magicbirdfestivals.com www.juliabakerconfections.com

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Anthem Animal Extravaganza and Adopt-A-Thon Saturday, February 9 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anthem Community Park 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway in Anthem 68

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T E P Y EVER S T I S HA DAY


The Anthem Community Park is going to the dogs – as well as cats and other critters! On Saturday, February 9, the Anthem Pet Extravaganza is coming. Rescues from all over Arizona will be bringing animals available for adoption, and local businesses will have informational booths there. Everyone is welcome to attend and meet the furry guests of honor. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phoenix Animal Care Control 911 is the main participant in the pet extravaganza. PACC, as it is often referred to, operates as an umbrella organization, bringing animal rescues together and helping them work as a team. “PACC was started in 1999 because there was no rescue community,” explained founder Bari Mears. “I took on a mission and decided it was a good thing to try to bring the organizations together. We all have the same goal!” Every year, PACC sponsors an average of 10 adopt-a-thons like the Anthem Pet Extravaganza. Each event showcases 40-80 of the over 100 rescue organizations partnered with PACC. Best of all, every adopta-thon averages 100 adoptions of homeless pets. As well as sponsoring adopt-a-thons, PACC helps provide emergency pet medical care for their pet partners and has established an endowment called Lulu’s Angel Fund for animals that have been victims of extreme cruelty. They also provide a school program to encourage kids to recognize and help animals in need. To help fundraise, PACC has opened a thrift store at 40th Street and Thunderbird in Phoenix. For rescues, the Anthem Pet Extravaganza is one of the most soughtafter venues for PACC yearly events. “There was a waiting list last year!” said Vicki Capps, president of the Arizona Boston Terrier Rescue, one of the featured rescues at this year’s event. AZBTR joined the pet extravaganza for the first time last year, and their volunteers are excited to be returning. “It’s such a beautiful location. I wouldn’t want to miss Anthem,” Capps added. Last year’s extravaganza matched two dogs with happy homes, and Capps is hoping for more success stories like those. Since rescues never know just when a needy animal will be coming their way, Capps couldn’t say how many Boston terriers would be up for adoption in February. “We’ll have as many available dogs as possible, but with rescue, you just never know,” Capps explained. “We’ll always take adoption Writer Elizabeth A. Medora

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applications, though.” Like most pet rescues, AZBTR asks for potential adopters to fill out an application noting some information about where the animal will be living, whether they have other pets, and other details. When an available dog that fits the adopter’s request comes into the rescue, a casual home visit is set up to make sure the new dog will fit well into the home. The Anthem Pet Extravaganza will also be hosting local business booths, including local clinic, the Animal Hospital at Anthem. “We’re excited to promote the community’s awareness of the importance of rescues by participating in the PACC event,” said veterinarian Dr. Brian Waller, who has worked at the pet hospital since it opened in 2000. “Our hospital currently works with a limited number of rescue organizations, and we are looking to increase our involvement. We are proud to have the opportunity to help.” Waller offered some tips to potential adopters: “It’s important to keep your new friend as healthy as possible, and early detection of disease is crucial to a long and healthy life. The first step in ensuring good health is a thorough physical examination by a veterinarian. Another vital step in disease prevention is making sure that dogs and cats receive the recommended vaccinations.” Many adoptable pets are approaching doggy or kitty retirement age and are looking for a comfy home to kick back in. As a vet, Waller recommended that these older pets have regular exams just like younger ones, and that these pets have a regular routine of vet visits so that common ailments of older pets can be quickly detected and treated. “If you’ve rescued a senior pet, you have helped even more by providing a home to a pet who might never have otherwise found human companionship,” Waller emphasized. He invited everyone to stop by the clinic’s booth while at the event and added that adopters will get some extras from the animal hospital to help them with their new arrival. “If you adopt a pet through this event, we will give you a certificate for a free physical exam,” he added. “We are open seven days a week, including Saturday evenings and Sundays.” This pet event showcases dozens of different dog rescues, most of them breed-specific. It’s not all just pooches, though – PACC works with all kinds of organizations, including general and breed-specific cat rescues, and even a rat rescue! Working together for the good of all needy pets is what the pet extravaganza is all about. “We have accomplished a lot and still continue to work on coming together as a community,” said Mears of the work PACC and its partners have done. Events like these share needed information about the plight of homeless animals. “We want to improve the life of every animal in this valley,” Capps emphasized. The best thing for the pet rescues at any adoption event? Seeing a lonely pet find their perfect human buddy. As Capps puts it, “Miracles happen!” F ebruary 2013

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Dining Guide Spotlight

Two Brothers Kitchen 3655 W. Anthem Way C-137

In the Safeway Shopping Center 623-551-2276 www.twobroskitchen.com

If you haven’t tried Two Brothers Kitchen, you’re missing something delicious! Located in Anthem’s Safeway Plaza, we’re easy to find and hard to forget. Healthy never tasted so good! At Two Brothers Kitchen, you can feel safe about where your food comes from, and can enjoy consuming good quality food with fresh quality ingredients. All of our produce is either certified organic or grown locally in greenhouses. Our pork, chicken and beef are sourced from the most sustainably minded producers in the business, all top quality and free of hormones and antibiotics. Our eggs are from Glaum Egg Ranch, which are 100 percent cage free brown organic eggs. The chickens are fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones, antibiotics and animal by-products. With all of these considerations, the proof is in the taste! Our diverse breakfast and lunch menus is full of tasty delights, with large portions that are sure to please even the most finicky of eaters! Hours are Monday to Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. From our kitchen, we hope you enjoy.

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SAT - SUN 9 am - Close

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Welcome to Young Again Med Spa! Here in the Valley of the Sun, it is essential that you take care of the largest organ in your body – your skin. The key to maintaining your beauty and youthful appearance is avoiding the harsh chemicals and preservatives that are often added to your daily facial products. We are a full-service spa using all-natural, organic lines including Bellanina and Rhonda Allison. We believe everyone is unique in their own special way, and so is their skin. We customize every treatment to your skins needs. Our highly trained staff members listen to our clients and strive to provide blissful rest and relaxation for the mind and body throughout every treatment. Call today to schedule an appointment. Young Again Med Spa 623-853-5483 www.youngagainmedspa.com

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Freeman Income Tax Service Kerry Freeman is your hometown enrolled agent, and has been handling taxes and tax issues for our Anthem neighbors since 2005. We offer hometown service with integrity and knowledge. According to the Internal Revenue Service, enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years. My staff and I all carry the status of enrolled agent. This means we can handle the most common of taxes returns to the most complex of issues with privacy and accuracy to give you the peace of mind that you deserve. We are open year-round because we know that tax issues do not go away on April 15. We save you money, and we are proactive when it comes to service. We contact every client and provide the information and tools needed to better prepare your taxes and save more of your hard-earned money. We are the local tax expert who is always available to answer your quick phone call or have a sit-down meeting without the worry of being overcharged.

Meet the Marketplace

Freeman Income Tax Service 39510 N Daisy Mountain Rd #168 Anthem 623-518-2157 kerry@freemanincometaxservice.com www.freemanincometaxservice.com

Pogue Photography Following a family move from Minnesota, Pogue Photography opened its new studio in Cave Creek in October 2011 – just in time for the holiday portrait rush – and have been going strong ever since. Jamie specializes in children and family portraiture. As the mom of two young children, she has knowledge and patience for working with youngsters that is reflected in her portraits. She loves having children, from newborns to teens, come to the studio. Parents are often stressed on photo day, but Jamie loves to entertain and play with children, giving Mom and Dad those pictures they thought were impossible to get. Families often choose to do a combination session with her, capturing both studio and the ever-loved outdoor shots. Pogue Photography sessions are available by appointment. Reach the studio at 480-7489100. Be sure to ask about their current portrait specials or promotions, and check out their Facebook page for fun updates and photo peeks. Pogue Photography 480-748-9100 www.poguephoto.com

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Sonoran Tax and Accounting At Sonoran Tax and Accounting, we deliver results. For 20 years, we’ve developed the business experience and education to apply tax law to real world situations. We keep each client compliant with the law while taking advantage of every tax savings opportunity allowable. Whether you are an individual or small business, we take the time to understand your needs and apply the proper accounting and tax preparation solutions to benefit you most. We are unique in that we are able to deliver all of this in a down-to-earth format speaking a language that you understand, not in arrogant accounting jargon. The singular focus of our firm is to provide an outstanding level of service and convenience, coupled with high value and reasonable costs. With our unique approaches and refreshing views, we serve a limited number of clients well within our capacity, and avoid making the mistake of over-promising and under-delivering – the most common accounting firm mistake. Our 98.7 percent client retention proves our client satisfaction. Call us today to schedule a free one-hour consultation to discuss any concerns at hand, including tax preparation, IRS audits, or accounting service. Sonoran Tax and Accounting LLC 42104 N. Venture Drive, Suite D122, Anthem 623-738-4TAX (4829) www.sonorantax.com

Your dream is out there. Go Get it. We'll protect it. John E Kovach, Agent 39510 N Daisy Mountain Dr Suite 168 Anthem, AZ 85086 Bus: (623) 551-7900 JKOVACH@AmFam.com

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Local Index

ImagesAZ Magazine 623-341-8221 www.imagesaz.com Aesthetic Medicine All About Me 623-518-0255 www.allaboutmeaz.com

Young Again Med Spa 623-853-5483 www.youngagainmedspa.com

Accountant

Freeman Income Tax Services 623-518-2157 39510 N. Daisy Mountain Rd.,#168 Hasslacher Tax & Financial, LLC. 623-551-2332 42104 N. Venture Court, B130 Northridge Financial & Tax Accounting 623-551-0552 623-877-3016 42302 N. Vision Way, Suite 113 Sonoran Tax and Accounting 623-738-4TAX 42104 N. Venture Drive, Suite D122 www.sonorantax.com

Advertising

ImagesAZ Magazine 623-341-0123 www.imagesaz.com

Air conditioning/Heating Priceless Plumbing Heating & Air 623-444-0611 www.pricelessplumbing.com Proskill Plumbing 623-551-7473 www.proskillplumbing.com

Animal Services Sonoran Desert Pet Resort 623-551-5299 www.sdpetresort.com

Pet Spa Desert Oasis Pet Spaw 623-551-5299 www.sdpetresort.com

Attorney

Boates Law Firm 623-551-5457 www.anthemlaw.com

For Advertising Information Jeff Penzone :: 623-341-0123 jeff@imagesaz.com

Carroll Law Firm 623-551-9366 www.anthemlawfirm.com

Automotive Sales Sanderson Lincoln 602-375-7500 www.sandersonlincoln.com

Automotive Repair

Meineke/Econo Lube and Brakes 623-551-0033 42410 N. Vision Way Sanderson Lincoln 602-375-7500 www.sandersonlincoln.com

Beauty

Hair Care Dollyrockers 623-879-6969 www.dollyrockersaz.com Shalimar Salon and Spa 623-551-9000 www.shalimarsalon.com Skin Care Merle Norman Cosmetics 623-551-9502 www.merlenorman.com Shalimar Salon and Spa 623-551-9000 www.shalimarsalon.com

Boutique

Fans and Fashionistas Shops at Norterra 623-587-1400 Nothing in Moderation Located in Merle Norman 623-551-9502 Shalimar Salon and Spa 623-551-9000 www.shalimarsalon.com

Business Center Post Net Business Center 623-551-1305 www.postnet.com/az115

Business Groups

Anthem/North Gateway Chamber of Commerce 602-495-6483 www.northgatewaychamber.org Preferred Business at Anthem 623-551-0523 www.pbanthem.com

Charity Network

Network of Anthem Area Assistance Providers (NAAAP) www.anthemnetwork.org

Cigars

Havana Cigars 623-551-6431 www.havanacigaraz.org

Cruise/vacation

Cruise One Feiner & Associates 623-551-2042 www.cruiseone.com/hfeiner

College

Paradise Valley Community College 602-493-2600 my.maricopa.edu

Community Theater Musical Theatre of Anthem www.musicaltheatreofanthem.org 602-743-9892

Starlight Community Theater www.starlightcommunitytheater.org www.starlightcommunitytheater.com

Dentist

Daisy Mountain Dentistry 623-551-5250 4205 W. Anthem Way, Suite #106 Dentistry at Westland 480-585-5215 www.dentistryatwestland.com North Valley Family Dentistry 623-551-9200 42104 N. Venture Drive, Building E www.myanthemdentist.com West Valley Pediatric Dentistry 623-935-9873 3618 W. Anthem Way, Suite D104 F ebruary 2013

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Dry Cleaners

Landscape Design

Financial Planning

naturopathic

Spots Dry Cleaning 623-466-6788 www.spotsdrycleaning.com Edward Jones - Doug DeMuth 623-551-0523 www.edwardjones.com

Hasslacher Tax & Financial, LLC 623-551-2332 42104 N. Venture Court, B130

Hauling/Rubbish Removal

Rubbish Works Local Junk Removal & Recycling 480-545-1220 Ext. 711 800-501-9324 www.rubbishworks.com/phoenix

Health & Fitness

Sports Conditioning Harper Physical Therapy 623-742-7338 41818 N. Venture Drive, Suite #120 WOMEN’S WEIGHT LOSS and WORKOUT CENTER Curves of Anthem/New River 623-551-5100 42302 N. Vision Way, #115A www.curves.com

insurance

Auto/home/life/renters/health/retirement/Auto Loans & refinancing

Allstate - Randy Morris 602-298-6168 www.allstate.com Farmers Insurance Glenn Grossman 480-588-9310

Maki Insurance 623-551-3585 www.makiinsurance.com State Farm - Nanette Miller 623-742-6866 nanette@nanettemiller.com

Investing/Retirement Edward Jones - Doug DeMuth 623-551-0523 www.edwardjones.com

Jewelry/gold buyers AndrewZ 623-551-6892 www.andrewzdiamonds.com

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Iddings & Sons Landscaping, Inc. 623-465-2546 623-297-7584

Dr. Jennifer Gentry, NMD 623-251-5518 42104 N. Venture Ct., Suite C-126

Orthodontics

Cordon Orthodontics 623-465-5478 42201 N. 41st Dr., # 102 Wood Orthodontics/Wyatt Wood 623-792-7323 3618 W. Anthem Way, Suite D108

Painting

Premier Commercial Painting 623-551-8640 www.premier-commercial.com

Pavers

Phx Pavers 623-434-5908 www.phxpavers.com

Pediatrics

Angel Pediatrics 623-551-0442 3654 W. Anthem Way Suite B-114 Twin Pediatrics 623-551-9825 42211 N. 41st Dr. Suite 153

Pest Control Titan Pest Control 623-879-8700 www.titanpest.com

Photography

Karen Sophia Photography 480-543-7526 www.karensophiaphotography.com Pogue Photography 480-748-9100 www.poguephoto.com

Realtor

AZ Unique Homes 602-402-6556 www.azuniquehomes.com Coldwell Banker Daisy Mountain RE Gary Drew 623-512-0828 www.drewazrealestate.com RE/MAX Professionals Linda Rehwalt 602-249-SOLD www.azrealty.com

Recreation

Bartlett Lake Marina 602-316-3378 480-221-0503 www.bartlettlake.com

restaurants

Café Aroma 623-551-1500 4220 W. Summit Walk Ct. #1202 Café Provence 623-551-1313 www.cafeprovenceaz.com Carefree Station 480-488-8182 www.carefreestation.com Dara Thai Cafe 623-551-6676 3655 W. Anthem Way Ste B-127 Ocho Locos Mexican Restaurant 623-551-8580 3655 W. Anthem Way Q-to-U BBQ 623-465-7800 www.q-to-u-bbq.com The Station 623-465-7290 46202 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Two Brothers Kitchen 623-551-2276 www.twobroskitchen.com

Physical Therapy

Screens

Plumbing

Security Doors

Harper Physical Therapy 623-742-7338 41818 N. Venture Drive, Suite #120 Priceless Plumbing Heating & Air 623-444-0611 www.pricelessplumbing.com Proskill Plumbing 623-551-7473 www.proskillplumbing.com

C&S Screens 623-582-8592 cssreens@cox.net Steel Shield Security Doors 623-581-DOOR www.steelshieldsecurity.com

Schools

Anthem Elementary School Main Line 623-376-3700 Attendance 623-376-3790


Anthem Preparatory Academy 623-465-4776 www.anthemprep.org Barry Goldwater High School Main Line 623-445-3000 Attendance 623-445-3090 Boulder Creek High School Main Line 623-445-8600 Attendance 623-445-8690 The Caepe School Main Line 623-551-7808 www.thecaepeschool.org The Caepe Preschool Main Line 623-551-7808 www.thecaepeschool.org Canyon Springs Elementary Main Line 623-376-5200 Attendance 623-376-5290 Caurus Academy 623-551-5083 www.caurusacademy.org Creative Castle Preschool 602-740-9561 www.creativecastlepreschool.com Desert Mountain School Main Line 623-445-3500 Attendance 623-445-3590 Diamond Canyon Elementary Main Line 623-445-8000 Attendance 623-445-8090 Gavilan Peak Elementary Main Line 623-445-7400 Attendance 623-445-7490 New River Elementary Main Line 623-376-3500 Attendance 623-376-3590 North Valley Christian Academy 623-551-3454 www.northvalleyca.org Northwest Christian School 602-978-5134 www.northwestchristianschool.org Ridgeline Academy CFA 623-223-1335 www.ridgeline.teamcfa.org Sunset Ridge Elementary Main Line 623-445-7800 Attendance 623-445-7890 Westwind Prep at Northern 602-864-7731 www.westwindacademy.org

Termite Treatment Titan Pest Control 623-879-8700 www.titanpest.com

Urgent Care

John C. Lincoln Urgent Care in Anthem 623-434-6444

Water Softener & Filtration

Priceless Plumbing Heating & Air 623-444-0611 www.pricelessplumbing.com Proskill Plumbing 623-551-7473 www.proskillplumbing.com Rayne of the North Valley 623-234-9047 www.raynewater.com Soft Water Plus AZ 623-465-4873 www.softwaterplusaz.com

Weed Control Titan Pest Control 623-879-8700 www.titanpest.com

Worship

Arizona Hills Community 623-465-0202 www.azhills.com Chabad Jewish Center of Anthem 42302 N. Vision Way Suite #106 623-551-8348 Chapel Bellavista 480-502-0707 www.arizonaministers.com Canyon Church of Christ 623-889-3388 www.canyonchurch.org Carefree Vineyard Church 623-551-1133 www.carefreevineyard.com Christ’s Church at the Crossroads 623-466-7964 www.thecrossroadsaz.com

Deer Valley Worship Center 623-582-1001 www.dvworship.com Desert View Bible Church 623-298-4900 www.desertviewbible.org Fellowship Church 623-551-1144 www.fellowshipanthem.com Grace North Church 623-551-0007 www.gracenorth.com New Creation Community 623-551-2622 www.nccconnect.com New River First Assembly of God 623-465-7455 newriverag@yahoo.com Northgate Church 34835 N. 7th Street Phoenix, AZ 85086 North Ridge Community Church 480-515-4673 www.northridge.org North Valley Assembly of God 623-516-8734 www.northvalleyag.com North Valley Jewish Community Association 623-322-0957 Pioneer United Methodist Church 623-551-0802 www.pioneerumcaz.org Pureheart Christian Fellowship 602-866-8850 www.pureheart.org Spur Cross Cowboy Church 623-556-7935 www.spurcrosscowboychurch.com St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church 623-486-8665 www.stharalambos.org Sun Valley Baptist Church 623-986-1687 www.sunvalleybaptist.org

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2503 W. Anthem Way Meeting times 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.

Catholic Community of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne 623-465-9740 www.diocesephoenix.org

Cross of Christ Lutheran Church 623-551-9851 www.anthemcross.org

Valley Life Church 623-850-8777 www.valleylifeaz.com F ebruary 2013

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Recipe Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque

Chocolate and cheese: perfect together!

While chocolate is a perfect stand-alone treat, it lends a special brand of magic and romance to almost any dish it’s added to. When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, it is hard to beat the decadence of a rich, creamy wheel of Brie cheese … except maybe when one layers it with rich chocolate, sweet preserves, and wraps it in a buttery baked pastry dough! This treat is the definition of luxury, and will make your brunch guests feel extra special. Try it at your next party, and it will surely become a favorite.

Chocolate Baked Brie Serves 10 or more.

Ingredients: 1 (6 inch) round of Brie 4-5 sheets of phyllo dough, defrosted 4 tbsp. butter, melted 34 cups raspberry or strawberry preserves 2 (2”x2”) squares of premium quality chocolate French bread

Directions: Butter each sheet of phyllo dough and place in a pie plate or quiche dish, with the ends hanging over the edge. Spread half of jam in center of dough. Top with Brie and place squares of chocolate on the Brie. Top with remaining jam. Bring edges of the phyllo dough up over the top and seal well using most of the remaining butter. Turn package over and brush the top well with remaining butter. Bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving with slices of French bread.

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ImagesAZ Magazine :: Tramonto, Anthem, Desert Hills and New River