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December 2015

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Publisher Shelly Spence

Editor/contributing writer Jenn Korducki Krenn

Contributing writers Donna Kublin Amanda Christmann Tom Scanlon Monica Longenbaker Rebecca Zaner Barb Evans Lara Piu Stephanie Maher Palenque Paula Theotocatos Lauren Strait Peni Long Suzanne Wright Nigel Spence

Photographers Bryan Black Loralei Lazurek Keri Meyers Mike Harvey Karen Hamilton Monica Longenbaker Brandon Tigrett

Graphic artist Sam Paul

Images Arizona P.O. Box 1416 Carefree, AZ. 85377 623-341-8221 // Submission of news for Community News section should be in to by the 10th of the month prior to publication.

Making Their Mark: Anthem’s Inventors Writer Amanda Christmann Photographer Brandon Tigrett P. 44

Images Arizona is published by ImagesAZ Inc. Copyright Š 2014 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.

Local First A R I Z O NA 4

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December 2015

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‘Tis the season to celebrate and give thanks for the health and happiness of family and friends. My spirits are extra bright this year, as my daughter Amanda is feeling much better and getting her energy back. It seems impossible, but she will turn 20 years old on Christmas Eve! It has also been a merry month for my son, Cooper, who recently signed a letter of intent to attend South Mountain Community College to play golf next school year (Go Cougars!). Our whole family is thrilled that he has been given the opportunity to be part of such a great program.

Meet The Friedman Family

Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque Photographer Keri Meyers P. 8

As usual, this month’s magazine is jam-packed with jolly events and activities. From lighting Christmas trees and menorahs to spreading joy through community-wide scavenger hunts, the calendar always manages to fill up quickly. But no matter how many presents you still need to wrap or holiday recipes you still need to perfect, the most important items on your to-do list never change: spend quality time with loved ones, and never hesitate to let them know how much they mean to you. Doing so will result in a warmth that even the tastiest hot cocoa can’t match.

Lacrosse Catching on in Anthem P. 14

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2016! Cheers! Shelly Spence Publisher, Images Arizona magazine 623-341-8221

Carefree Christmas P. 52


Bruce Munro

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P. 30

You didn’t plan on cancer. Fortunately, we did. At HonorHealth’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, we take cancer personally. Your care team works alongside scientific researchers to create a targeted, cancer treatment plan for you. It’s all part of our plan to make healthy personal. 480-323-1339 Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network have merged and are now HonorHealth. We’re still your locally owned, non-profit, healthcare partner. December 2015

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Meet THE


Yossi & Rivky If you know a family you would like to nominate, please email

Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque Photographer Keri Meyers

Rabbi Yossi Friedman and his wife, Rivky, have had a loving marriage for years. Their family has grown quickly to include six children, all between the ages of 10 and 13 months, and they love their time together — especially moments spent around their large and lively dinner table. Yossi was born in California, as the third child in a family that would grow to nine children. His family moved to Kansas City, Kansas when he was 2. During his lifetime, he spent a year in Argentina and a year in Sydney, Australia, before finishing rabbinical college in New Jersey. Rivky Levertov was born and raised in Phoenix, and is also the third child in a family of seven children. She studied at an all-girls Jewish teaching seminary in Israel and completed her studies in New York. The two were paired by a matchmaker, as is customary in Chassidic dating. “Chassidic dating is a little different than traditional dating,” Rivky explains. “We date just for marriage.” But Rivky did know three of Yossi’s sisters before they were matched. When they were married at Chaparral Suites Scottsdale, they had close to 700 people in attendance at their wedding, and 150 of those guests were from out of town. Their wedding was featured in the Arizona Republic and several other local newspapers.


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The Friedman union has been fruitful, and five of the

way. Therefore, we believe in a very healthy family, both

couple’s six children now attend three different Jewish

physically and spiritually. We believe in a family where

private schools in Phoenix: Mussi, 10, is in fifth grade at

parents are involved with their children and children are

Phoenix Hebrew Academy; Mendel, 8, is in third grade at

involved with their parents and grandparents. We teach

Cheder Lubavitch Arizona; Ashee, 6, is a first grader at

our children to respect their elders.”

Cheder Lubavitch Arizona; Chanchy, 4, is in pre-K at Aleph Bet Preschool; and Yanky, 3, is at the nursery at Aleph

They also encourage them to enjoy creative pursuits.

Bet Preschool. Dovi, who is 13 months old, stays home

Mussi and Mendel love to sing, and Chanchy loves ballet.

with his mom.

Ashee is very artistic and takes every opportunity to turn anything into an art project. Yanky loves sports.

The Friedmans were brought to Anthem when they were

Meanwhile, Dovi’s favorite hobby is being held by his mom!

hired by Chabad headquarters to start a Jewish center to serve the North Valley.

Weekends are a special time in the Friedman house; they start with an extended dinner on Friday evenings and

Rivky notes, “Several of the Jewish people up here had

end with a family outing every Sunday. During the winter,

requested a rabbi to come and start a synagogue. We

a Sunday outing might be heading up to Flagstaff for

moved to Anthem in August 2005, and have been here

sledding, one of the family’s favorite activities.

ever since.” The Friedmans are filled with blessings and inspiration, Yossi is the only rabbi in Anthem and is proud to serve

and you can even listen to some of Yossi’s uplifting

as a spiritual leader in his community. Together, Yossi and

messages through weekly videos shared on his new

Rivky co-direct the Chabad Jewish Center of Anthem and

YouTube channel.

the surrounding areas. The center runs holiday programs, Hebrew school and community Sabbath.

A special time of year is drawing near as Chanukah approaches. As they do every year, the Friedmans will

When the Friedmans aren’t working or going to school,

light the menorah together each night of the holiday and

they love to be together.

dance by the candles. They will also rent a limo to ride in for the Car Menorah Parade in downtown Phoenix.

“We have a very large family with grandparents, greatgrandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles,” Rivky says. “Our children have close to 50 first cousins and more on the


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Care Sonoran Health and Emergency Center Emergencies can be frightening. We think it doesn’t have to feel that way. That’s why we honor your right to emergency care that’s personal and focused on your unique needs — 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. On I-17, south of Carefree Highway.

Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network are now HonorHealth.

We are making healthy personal. December 2015

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Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Amanda Hicks

Lacrosse Catching on in Anthem Never played lacrosse? No worries! It’s super easy to learn. All you need to be able to do is run, throw and catch. Then again, maybe it’s not as easy as it sounds. The running part is normal, moving up and down the playing field just as you would do in soccer, football and other sports. But the throwing and catching … ay, there’s the rub. Throwing seems natural enough; it’s something most of us have been doing since we started flinging spoons of applesauce out of the high chair. Which, actually, is a somewhat appropriate metaphor, except rather than a spoon, you will be using a lacrosse stick about the size of a hockey stick, with a cradle at the end instead of a blade. And, unlike the applesauce-flinging toddler of your yesteryears, you’ll need two hands on the lacrosse stick for a good toss. Then comes catching, which requires both physical dexterity and hand-eye coordination. When a teammate flings the lacrosse ball your way, you will often be running as you guide the ball into the pocket at the head of your stick. If you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, lacrosse probably isn’t your sport. But if you can walk and text, as many teenagers seem to be adept at, you have a foot forward on this thing. And Coach Dan wants you. Dan Booth, who also coaches volleyball and basketball and teaches physical education at Desert Mountain Elementary School, has been the lacrosse coach at Boulder Creek High School for eight


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years. The program, he explains, was started by Ray and Ann

Just don’t expect to immediately become the LeBron James


of lacrosse.

“I work with Ann, and she saw I played lacrosse when I was

“The hardest part is throwing and catching,” Booth says.

younger, so I started helping out in 2008,” he says. “I was

“Once that gets picked up, the game is easy.”

the first varsity coach.” Lacrosse — French for “the stick” — moves in a similar For the 2016 season, the first game is at the end of

fashion to hockey and soccer. In lacrosse, players use their

February, so there’s plenty of time for newcomers to try out

sticks to toss a ball back and forth, trying to advance the

for Booth’s team.

ball down the field (while keep it away from the opposing team) to get close enough to fling a shot into the other

“We’re always recruiting,” he says, noting he would love to

team’s goal.

see as many as 40 student-athletes on the junior varsity and varsity teams. Booth is always looking for good athletes, no

“It’s a great sport,” Booth says. “I’ve been involved with it a

matter their lacrosse experience. The message: come out and

long time, since high school and college back in Vermont. It’s

we’ll work with you.

like football is here — lacrosse is huge back east.”

“It’s a fun sport for someone who likes to go out and have

The sport has definitely caught on in Anthem. While

fun,” Booth says. “We’re looking for good attitude and hustle.

it’s certainly not as popular as football or baseball, BC

The skills will come.”

consistently gets more lacrosse players than most high schools around Phoenix.


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“We’re one of the few teams in our league that has one high school,” says Booth. “Other teams have a few area schools. Getting the numbers we have, we’ve had great luck.” BC has also had pretty good luck in having players continue their lacrosse careers beyond high school. Zach Olsen, a member of BC’s first team, went on to play at Aurora University in Illinois. He played varsity four years, the last two as a captain, leading Aurora to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. Olsen graduated in 2014, staying in Illinois as an assistant coach at Augustana College. A batch of BC grads have gone on to play lacrosse at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, including Andy Dauterman, Josh Meyer, Mitch Keener, Cody Essary (a high-flying 40 goals as a freshman) and Brett Benson (a defender who played in all 15 games his freshman year). Defender Tyler Mumford played in nine games as a freshman at Brigham Young University last season, and Cody Miacco played lacrosse for Grand Canyon University. From last season’s BC team that finished 8-7, Zach Averill and Taylor Miller were all-star selections. Pretty impressive for a team that Booth notes is not sanctioned. “It’s a club,” he says. “We pay for the facilities at Boulder Creek.” He is banking on big seasons from returning attackers Tom Dell’Erario and John Doorley; midfielders Murphy Hartmann and Griffin Russell; defenders Zach Krukovsky and Taylor Miller; and goalie Zach Cocuzzo. Helping Booth get the most out of the players are the assistant coaches, Tracy Fuller, Jeff Wilson, Jeff Maurisak, Phil Averill and Tron Brinkmann. After tune-up scrimmages in the fall, the BC season kicks off in January. 602-319-1479 December 2015

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Writer Tom Scanlon Team photo by Kate Caldwell

Great expectations: Jaguars hungry for title

Long before the first whistle would blow and tip-

expectations. Last season’s BC boys’ basketball

off would officially start the basketball season,

team recovered from a slow start in the first

Ryne Holstrom’s chest swelled with pride over

month to finish 18-12 with a section championship

his Boulder Creek High School boys’ basketball

and first round playoff victory.

team. Off the court, the team was there for the community Veteran’s Day parade.

Nick Johnson, a 6-foot-4 guard, led the Jags with 14.5 points per game. Matt Downey, a 6-foot-2

“We wanted to go out and support the veterans,

guard, added 11.5 points per game. Justin Braun,

let them know we appreciate them,” the coach

a 6-foot-4 forward, chipped in 6.7 points per


game. Myles Judon played a pivotal role in the Jags defensive backcourt as well as hitting key

On the court, the Jaguars showed they are hungry


at 5 a.m. practices that started the season. The lanky teenagers may have been growling for

The common thread? They were all juniors. The

breakfast, but more importantly they were hungry

fifth-leading scorer, guard Mitchell Warner, who put

to show last season was no fluke, that BC has a

in 5.1 points per game, was a sophomore.

basketball program that is growing in strength. “We have a lot of guys returning from last year, “The guys did great,” Holstrom says. “They showed

a good veteran group,” Holstrom says, doing his

up — it was early in the morning, but they did a

best to stay low-key.

great job. They really practiced hard.” “I thought we had a very good team last year, but


That is key, as you don’t have to be Charles

we weren’t really known. We kind of flew under

Dickens to know this year’s team has great

the radar.”

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After last season’s strong showing, the Jags will not be surprising anyone. Opponents will be fired up to stop what looks like one of the most solid teams in Arizona. The key, of course, is proving how good they are. From freshmen to seniors, Holstrom has 42 players in the program, including 15 on the varsity roster. The one who will be watched most closely is Nick Johnson, the talented player who has proven to be a highquality scorer. Holstrom is looking for Johnson to finish his BC career in style. “Nick’s a heck of a player,” the coach says, adding the shooting guard does more than score points. “He does all the little things right, along with Matt. I feel both of them are extremely underrated.” The coach is big on his starting guards. “Matt and Nick don’t get as much of the attention in the state media as some of guys in the East Valley,” he says. “Both of those guys I think are going to make a big jump and prove that they are not just solid players but elite talents.” And he thinks both will be playing at the college level, with scholarship possibilities. “Both of them have a shot,” he says. “Both of them have schools that are interested. Both of them are very humble. They love Boulder Creek basketball, that’s really the focus.” The Jaguars have a fairly tall team, overall, though they will be looking up when they go against teams with centers 6-foot-6 and bigger. Holstrom is counting on Justin Braun to take on the big centers. “He plays like a 6-7, 6-8 kid,” he says. “Very strong and he gives us mismatches on the offensive side of the floor with his ability to shoot from the perimeter.” In addition to the aforementioned veterans from last year, Holstrom expects big contributions from a deep

December 2015

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bench, including Kaiden Morton, Marcus Epple, Elijah Kinsale,

“and it’s going to be a great opportunity for the community

Dylan Carroll and Kaler Ruiz. Then there is Tristen D’Angelo,

to come out and not just see the guys program but the

who as a freshman battled against opposing centers.

girls. Our school’s really rallied around the basketball team. The faculty, parents and student body have been very

“He was very impressive,” the coach says of D’Angelo.


“We’re looking for him to continue his development.” D’Angelo is coming off a standout football season as a wide

As he begins his third season here, Holstrom is pleased with

receiver and should fight for minutes on the court.

the big picture, the progression of the program from year to year and, perhaps most important, an overall understanding

For more help, Holstrom can call on newcomers Luke

of the game.

Williams and Anthony Wright, both transfers to BC. “It’s doing the little things,” the coach explains. “Last year, Overall, Holstrom is hoping for big things in his third year

being a young team, we had to start by understanding every

as the coach of BC.

play, every possession is important. I think our guys have really started to zone in to understand that; they don’t take

“We have a senior-led team, four seniors who have been

any possession for granted.”

playing together since their sophomore year,” he says. Add to that a talented batch of juniors, and you can understand

That’s the mentality it will take for the Jaguars to attain this

Holstrom’s excitement about a season that kicks into gear

season’s goal: playing in the state final.

this month. “If we keep our focus on the next team ahead and keep The home opener is on December 1 against Hamilton, and

it one game at a time I think it’s an attainable goal,” says

Holstrom knows the BC gym will be revved up.

Holstrom. “Our goal is to go 1-0 every night. We just want to stay humble and stay hungry.”

“We have a doubleheader with the girls,” Holstrom says,


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December 2015

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community arts // Culture // announcements Writer Barb Evans

Dec. 11-27

Ballet Arizona Presents ‘The Nutcracker’ Renowned artistic director Ib Andersen choreographs this magical production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday tradition with a total of 20 afternoon and evening performances. Check website for times. Tickets start at $15. Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., 602-381-1096,


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community calendar arts // Culture // announcements

Dec. 3 Mindfulness Matters

Dec. 4-13

Dr. Gillian Hamilton, administrative medical director

Starlight Community Theater Presents ‘Mary Poppins’

for Hospice of the Valley, discusses how the relaxation practice of mindfulness can

Everyone’s favorite nanny

ease stress, anxiety, depression

takes the stage in this

and pain. Free. 6:30-8 p.m. Anthem Civic Center, 3701 W.


Anthem Way, 623-742-6020,

Dec. 5

Las Tiendas Holiday Event


Find the perfect holiday gifts while enjoying a festive atmosphere

musical adventure featuring an enchanting mixture

featuring Dickens carolers, hot chocolate, cider, treats, music and Santa sightings. 6-8 p.m. Las Tiendas, 6130 E. Cave Creek Rd.,

of unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stagecraft. Check website for ticket prices. Fridays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sundays, 2

for show times. Musical

p.m. Starlight Community

Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N.

Theater, 1611 W. Whispering

Vision Way, 602-743-9892,

Wind Dr. #9, 623-252-6815,

Dec. 4-6

Dec. 3-6, 10-13 MTA Presents ‘Annie Jr.’ Little Orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts in this musical based on the Tony Award-Winning Broadway play. $16-$19. Check website

Dec. 6

ProMusica Arizona Presents ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

Hanukkah Celebration Join the North Valley Jewish

Start the holidays and make

Webb Blvd.; Dec. 5: 7:30 p.m.,

the season more special

Crosswinds Presbyterian Church,

with this festive musical

20125 N. 15th Ave.; Dec. 6: 3

performance of favorite holiday

p.m., Cross of Christ Lutheran

classics. $12-$20. Dec. 4: 7:30

Church, 39808 N. Gavilan Peak

p.m., American Lutheran Church

Pkwy., 623-326-5172,

of Sun City, 17200 N. Del

Community Association in celebrating Hanukkah with a traditional buffet dinner, candle lighting ceremony and cocktails. $13-$25. 5 p.m. Anthem Country Club’s Ironwood Grille, 41551 N. Anthem Hills Dr., 623-322-0957.

December 2015

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community calendar arts // Culture // announcements recognizes the DAR Chapter Women in American History Award recipient Mary Ann Derryberry, a former Marine and current advocate for Veterans. Free. 9:30 a.m. Outlets of Anthem, Community Room #435, 4250 W. Anthem

Dec. 6

Way, 623-551-3764,

Pinnacle Concert Series Presents ‘Celebration of Christmas’

The magic and promise of

Dec. 11-13

the Christmas season come alive with this beloved annual

Carefree Christmas Festival

holiday concert featuring a

Illuminate your holidays with this three-day festival featuring

mixture of bells, brass, strings,

an electric light parade, fireworks display, live music, dance

winds and voices, Free. 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, 25150 N. Pima Rd.,

Dec. 10

Black Mountain Star Party Come view the night stars through high-powered telescopes and learn about constellations, meteors and other celestial events. Free. 7-10 p.m. Paradise Valley Community College at Black Mountain, 34250 N. 60th St., 602-493-2600, paradisevalley. edu/blackmountain.

performances, real snow, gift market, food court and more. Free. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St., 480-488-2051,

Dec. 11, 15

Upscale Singers Present ‘Songs of the Season’ The Upscale Singers, along with the Upscale Kids and winners of the ninth annual Upscale Student Scholarship competition, sing their favorite songs of the season, from fun jingles to beautiful carols. $7-$17. 7 p.m., Dec. 11; 5 p.m., Dec. 15. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, 34605 N.


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Tom Darlington Rd., 480-5750188,

Dec. 13

Dec. 12

Pinnacle Concert Series Presents Handel’s ‘Messiah’

DAR Remembers Pearl Harbor

and the Phoenix Symphony

Daughters of the American Revolution, Ocotillo Chapter, honors Pearl Harbor Day with guest speaker Joan Sisco, founder and CEO of Veterans First and former sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps, and

Music Director Tito Muñoz return to present the fulllength version of Handel’s oratorio and are joined by the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and soloists. $49. 3 p.m. Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, 25150 N. Pima Rd.,

community calendar arts // Culture // announcements donor sign-up form, contact

Dec. 18-31


Christmas Break Fine Arts Camp

com, or visit the food bank at 6038 E. Hidden Valley Dr.,

Children in grades K-8 can be

Cave Creek.

stars in this four-day camp that includes acting, singing,

Linda’s W.I.S.H. Nets $15,000 Donation

bells, puppetry and a field trip to the Musical Instrument Museum. Register by December

Leaders of Junior Air Force ROTC Receive Pavers

18. $10 per child. 9 a.m. to

The Anthem Veterans Memorial support team recently presented

noon. Desert Mission United

United States Air Force Lt. Col. John “Bart” Simmons and United

Methodist Church, 7373 E.

States Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Shimkus with veteran pavers,

Dixileta Dr., 480-595-1814,

each inscribed with their names, ranks and years of service.

Following a paver laying ceremony at the memorial, the senior members of Sandra Day O’Connor High School’s Junior Air Force ROTC learned about the memorial’s importance and reviewed responsibilities for the Veterans Day ceremony. Under the direction of Simmons and Shimkus, the Junior ROTC has assisted every one of the Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at the memorial since the dedication ceremony on November 11, 2011.

Dec. 19, 20 MIM Presents ‘Hear Them Ring!’

Chimes and jingles fill the halls as the Musical Instrument Museum celebrates instruments that ring with performances featuring hand bells, vibraphones and more. Included with paid museum admission. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., 480-478-6000,

Foothills Food Bank Seeks Donors for Adopta-Family Program The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center seeks donors to provide gifts, holiday meals and hope for families in crisis for this year’s Adopt-a-Family program. Interested donors determine the size of family they are willing to adopt and donate gifts according to the family’s shopping guide.

Linda’s W.I.S.H. president Frank Kacmarsky recently presented HonorHealth Breast Health and Research Center with a check for $15,000, the amount raised from proceeds of the 2015 Linda’s W.I.S.H. run/walk held September 26, an annual event that supports the fight against breast cancer. HonorHealth will use 50 percent of the funds to provide no-cost patient services such as transportation, wigs

The gifts will be given to the families Saturday, December 12 at High Desert Park in Black Canyon City, and Sunday, December 13 at the Holland Community Center in North Scottsdale. Individuals and groups such as businesses, homeowners associations, churches and schools are encouraged to participate. All gifts and donations are tax-deductible. For more

and prosthetics, special support groups, nutritional education and financial assistance to those who might otherwise be unable to afford them. The remaining 50 percent will go into research for the cure. Planning has already begun for the 2016 run/walk, named for Frank’s wife Linda Kacmarsky, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010. For more information, visit

information or to request a

December 2015

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Writer Tom Scanlon


“If you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound

“Where Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins has a whiff of

precocious,” reads a tweet from Mary Poppins.

saccharine magic, the original is excitingly frightening,” the paper writes.

You knew she had a Twitter account, right? @MaryPoppins, anyone? This is one umbrella-wielding

Sign Lindsey Martinez up for the movie version, please.

nanny who is right up with the times, apparently. The woman with the lead role in the Starlight play says, Eighty-one years after she made her book debut, and

“The opportunity to play Mary Poppins is my childhood

51 years after Julie Andrews and Walt Disney took

dream come true. Two words: Julie Andrews.”

her to the big screen, Mary will “pop in” to the North Valley. Starlight Community Theater re-launches “Mary

Unlike spinster Poppins, Lindsey is married to

Poppins” on December 4-13 (7 p.m. on Fridays; 2 p.m.

Christopher Martinez and has her own children,

and 7 p.m. on Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sundays).

daughters, Caitlyn and Malena, and son, Colin.

P.L. Travers wrote the story about a family at 17 Cherry

Very much like Poppins, however, Lindsey is charged

Tree Lane, whose precious lives are thrown into a tizzy

with the upbringing of children not her own. She is a

when the nanny of the four Banks children storms off

special education teacher at Gavilan Peak School in

and quits. Enter Mary Poppins. On the downside, she’s


strict and tough as nails. “My students don’t have any idea that I perform,” she On the upside, she’s got magic.

says, “but the teachers who know are very supportive and encouraging.”

The Telegraph notes that there are huge differences between Travers’ and Disney’s Poppins. The British

Before becoming a teacher, she started acting in high

newspaper describes the book’s Poppins as “snippy,

school and did a few shows in college.

eternally vain, sniffs a great deal and certainly ‘never wasted time in being nice.’”


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“I took a long time off while raising my babies,” she

have made the conscious decision to not be in a show

says. “I have been teaching for seven years on and off in

at the same time.” As for breaks at school, the teacher

between having my children.”

spends her lunchtime chewing on lines.

Now that the kids are older, she has decided to feed

Assignment for the teacher: compare and contrast,

her acting hunger. She jokingly blames her offspring for

Lindsey Martinez and Mary Poppins.

her return to the stage: “My oldest daughter started performing with Starlight Community Theater when we

“Mary Poppins has a strong sense of duty to do right by

moved here, and I got the bug to audition for a show!”

the children, as I do with my school kids and my own children,” Lindsey decides. “As a teacher, I do try to put

Indeed, returning to acting has been a family affair.

an element of fun in every lesson. It is not uncommon for me to sing or dance in my classroom to engage

“My all-time favorite role thus far is Rhetta Cupp in

the kids. I share her strict standards in developing

‘Pump Boys and Dinettes,’ in which I was able to let

well-mannered children, but she is more concise

loose and belt a few songs with my husband sharing

and straightforward in her approach. I have a rather

the stage,” she says. “All of our family has been on the

harmonious nature when I communicate.”

stage, and I feel that it has made us closer. My two daughters are in ‘Mary Poppins’ with me while the boys

Alas, no tricks up the Anthem teacher’s umbrella.

are getting their own time.” “I do wish I had the special snap to make magic,” This is one Anthem family that has found a second home

Lindsey laughs. “It would come in handy, for sure!”

in the theater. Starlight’s “Mary Poppins” is directed by Janette Wyatt “Any time I get to perform with my family, it is a

and Nena Rippenkroeger, choreographed by Lindsay

precious experience,” Lindsey says. “I know they feel

Tejera, with musical director Peter Wilson. The show

the same. We are very fortunate to have these shared

also features James Wilson, Ian Kerr, Victoria Fricker,


Jessica Reed, Maya Lai, Janette Wyatt, Logan Juncaj, Holly Erickson, Thomas Graca, Christian Graca, William

Teaching, being a mom and taking on a lead role in a

Rippenkroeger, Corrie Wilson, David Wilson, Eric Gibson,

show — is that crazy, or what?

Savoy Graca, Niah Nieuwenhuis, Falin Ossipinsky, Brianna Horstmann and Ria Vir.

“It is a huge time commitment,” she admits. “I wish I could say that I have found the perfect balance, but I do

the best I can. My own children have learned to be more

independent and my husband is a huge help since we

December 2015

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ACTS Team pictured left to right: Pat Drapac, Deb Rice, Rae Scott and Sarah Gutek


Writer Peni Long

It’s the time of year when Anthem Holiday House Tour

“I always lived in towns with tours, and I have always been

attendees can get a major dose of holiday spirit, ideas

involved with fundraising, so it just kind of came together

for their own homes and feel-good vibes for supporting

for me,” she says. Since she would never ask anyone

a local charity. Held on December 8 and 10, the tour

to do what she would not do herself, her home was on

features six homes decorated in different styles, with

the first tour and continues to be decorated in October,

decor guaranteed to awe and in some cases, perhaps, to

November and December to raise funds for local charities


and sell tickets to the house tour.

Each featured home is opened to the public by local

Decorating for Doing Good

residents, who share their style and treasures for the

Starting in September, Pat and Dan’s house becomes a

enjoyment of others and raising funds for a good cause.

hub of activity inside, with 12 trees of different sizes and

For the 2015 tour, Anthem Cares Through Service (ACTS)

creative new ways to decorate almost every wall, table,

will again be the beneficiary of funds raised.

shelf — and even a ceiling or two. Pat is quick to point out that while she is devising ever-new ways to use her

“Last year, we had more than 450 people buy tickets

stash of goodies and lights, using one’s own home as

for the tour and we raised $9,000 for ACTS,” says Pat

a fundraising and ticket-selling site takes a lot of work,

Drapac, the inspiration, originator and chair for the event.

organization and storage space (in their case, one small

“We hope to do even better this year.”

garage), which she backs up with a sense of humor, enthusiasm and an ever-present smile.

For Pat, the house tour was in some ways part of her heritage when she and her husband, Dan Meiller, moved

This year’s festivities officially began on October 24 with

to Anthem.

Pat and Dan’s annual “spooktacular” Halloween home tour. The event raised $751 and collected an estimated


Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

154 pounds of goods for St. Vincent de Paul’s Anthem Food Pantry so that hunger would not stand a “ghost of a chance.” By November 16, the home was completely redecorated for Christmas, just in time for the one-night open house to sell tickets for the December house tour. (Sadly, the Thanksgiving decorations remained in storage this year, but all for the cause.) Staging the House Tour Fortunately for the December tour, Pat has three cochairs from ACTS this year. Deb Rice, Sarah Gutek and Rae Scott are helping with the many necessary tasks, including getting donations, mapping routes and designing, printing and selling tickets. The more donations and sponsors, the more ticket money goes to ACTS. Getting ticket sales ahead of time is key. “We need to keep alternating routes so that an even number of people show up at each homeowner’s door throughout the evening,” says Pat. “That’s why we have different tickets with routes printed on them.” It’s a traffic management issue for sure when your goal is to sell more than 500 tickets. It’s also why the addresses of the homes on tour are not publicized ahead of the event. “We want homeowners to know that we value their privacy and security and we will do everything we can to ensure that homes on tour are only advertised to those who have bought tickets,” notes Pat. Your Home on Tour? Finding and arranging for the homes on tour can sometimes be a challenge. Some people may not think their homes are good enough or large enough. But size really doesn’t matter, and every room doesn’t need to be decorated. “It’s as little or as much of the home as the homeowner wants,” says Pat. There is also no application or qualification process. “It’s just about the true spirit of the season. If you decorate for the holidays and would like to share with others while raising money for ACTS’s helping hands programs, we welcome and thank you so much.” The tour team also does its best to ensure that homes December 2015

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are treated with respect. There is a volunteer in every

back of the card with contact information and leave the

room being shown, and attendees are provided with

card at the last home on tour so that it can be entered

disposable shoe coverings to wear while inside the homes.

into a drawing for donated goods.

Each house on tour is identified with a Holiday Home Tour sign in the driveway, along with a volunteer greeter

“The local businesses in Anthem have contributed more

at the door. Given the spirit and nature of the event, any

than 35 gift certificates for goods and services (including

homeowner showing a home is the recipient of gratitude

restaurant certificates) worth more than $1,000,” says Rae

for their generosity and smiles from touring guests.

Scott. “Everyone who buys a ticket will be entered into the drawing held after the event, so good odds to win!”

Pat is rightfully happy that the ACTS team is taking responsibility for many of the tasks associated with the

This year’s tour is on December 8 and 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

tour. It signals an ongoing commitment to an event that

Tickets are $20 each ahead of time or $25 on the day of

celebrates our community, the season and the spirit of

the event.

giving that inspires it. When you purchase your ticket to the tour, the addresses

Pat Drapac: 623-703-5621

and specific route of your tour are printed on the back.

Deb Rice: 425-894-4345

You will be asked for contact information just in case something happens prior to the tour date that could alter

the tour. At the end of the tour, guests may fill out the

Barbara Birdseye:


Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

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Writer Rebecca Zaner


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His art has been displayed around the world in famed locations such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. This holiday season, British artist Bruce Munro will showcase his new series, “Desert Radiance,” throughout


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Scottsdale. This art show is comprised of four unique light-based exhibits at different locations across the Valley. To capture the beauty of the desert through his artwork, Munro has created individual works that are locationspecific to truly represent their surroundings. His art installations can be enjoyed throughout the season at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront, the Desert Botanical Garden and the Lisa Sette Gallery. Munro creates large light-based works of art inspired by his interest in the shared human experience. He has 30 years’ worth of ideas in his sketchbooks and portrays his unique views of music, literature, science and the world through his artwork.

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Munro received a fine arts degree in England in 1982 and then began working in design and lighting in Sydney, where he found inspiration in Australia’s natural landscape. He then returned to and settled in England to raise a family. His father’s death in 1999 was a major turning point in both his personal life and career. Munro suffered from anxiety, fear and a loss of confidence for a year and started to rethink simple experiences of connection to serve as the basis of art. He felt the need to continue his artistic passion, and has been creating worldwide artistic extravagance ever since. Current works displayed at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will run through April 24, 2016. Munro’s special exhibit at this location features “Ferryman’s Crossing.” This work is inspired by Hermann Hesse’s novel, “Siddhartha,” a story about a man’s spiritual journey, guided by a ferryman. In this exhibit, Munro transcribed a passage from the book into Morse code and turned it into light. There are extensive rows of reflective compact discs that are lit by spotlights to evoke sunlight bouncing off water. Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, Munro’s art is also on display at the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront. This location features the exhibit “Blooms,” December 2015

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and will run through March 2016. Seven large circular formations are created out of 100 multi-colored fiber-optic fishing rods. Together, they will float on the canal. The fishing rods are meant to represent the ecosystem of Arizona’s canals where fishing is permitted. The circular works represent blossoming water lily flowers. At night, these displays are lit by LED fiber optics. At the Desert Botanical Garden, Munro’s works will be on display through May 2016 in a special exhibit called “Sonoran Light,” designed to represent the Sonoran Desert landscape. His “Field of Light” features more than 30,000 spheres aglow throughout the Garden Butte and Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail. “Saguaro” is a staggering fiber-optic cactus display nestled within the garden. “Temperate Zone” is Munro’s interpretation of the cooling pots created by the Southwest indigenous population hundreds of years ago. “Water-Towers” will feature 58 glowing towers, while “Chindi” will suspend elegantly from the Sybil B. Harrington Succulent Gallery. Finally, “Beacon,” “Eden Blooms” and “Fireflies” will further engage visitors amidst the desert landscape. The last of the “Desert Radiance” series is found at the Lisa Sette Gallery, which features smaller-scale versions of the large outdoor exhibits, in addition to other gallery art by Munro, all through digital animations, pedestals and suspension. After visiting Scottsdale for the first time, Munro stated, “It reminded me so much of the outback in Australia. There’s a similar topography, geography and climate. It’s obviously got its own charm. The Desert Botanical is a particularly beautiful garden. It’s very different from all the other gardens in North America, I think. It’s got its own identity, and that for me was very exciting. You are able to use the garden more than any other garden because it’s got that wonderful dry heat in the winter. I’ve never actually been in the winter; I’ve only been during the hot months, but I can imagine it’s cooler and it must be a lovely experience. So it’s really made for light, and the landscape in light, so that was really exciting. The other thing is the flora and fauna is very different to all the other spaces I’ve been to. So that was an inspiration. The climate is very different. So all those things, plus a number of other unique features of the garden, have created the exhibition. And also, with December 2015

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Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

this opportunity in Phoenix for me, it’s the first time we’ll be doing four installations almost parallel. I feel very privileged to have an opportunity to be able to express a lot of different ideas in a lot of different mediums.” Admission for each exhibition varies by location. Exhibits at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art cost $7 for adults, $5 for students and are free for children 15 and under. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m. are also free admission to all. The Desert Botanical Garden has a separate night-only admission at $25 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under 3. For both day and night admission, the cost is $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under 3. The Lisa Sette Gallery and the Arizona Canal at the Waterfront have free admission. Both are open to the public with differing hours of operation. The Arizona Canal is a public outdoor venue that is open during all hours. The Lisa Sette Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. While these Bruce Munro special exhibits are only on display here in Phoenix for the season, his art can also be found in many other locations around the country, as well as internationally. Munro currently has an exhibit running in Houston, Texas through February and will also be featured in South Korea later in 2016. scottsdale-desert-radiance-2 December 2015

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Writer Amanda Christmann

No one truly prepares us for parenthood, simply

But for Krystal, parenthood has also meant facing a lot

because there is no way to tell a person who has never

of difficult times. Landon was diagnosed with autism years

experienced it what it will be like to be so incredibly

ago, and she used to think that was a challenge. He also

in love with another human being. Parenthood means

had seizures occasionally, but that was nothing this tough

sleepless nights, endless days and countless sacrifices

mom couldn’t handle. Now, she sentimentally remembers

made with no expectation of praise or reward. Parenthood

the days when those were the only issues.

is giving our heart to another living creature and watching vulnerably as he or she navigates the world’s joys and

At first, Landon just got sick a lot. He seemed to catch

hurts without our control.

every illness that came around, from colds to the flu to infections big and small. By the time he was 7 years old,

As much as parenthood changes our lives, there is no

Krystal recognized that the doctors’ visits had become far

more compelling vision of it than watching a mother or a

too frequent. With the support of Landon’s local doctor,

father love a sick child.

he was tested and found positive for an immunodeficiency problem. His body was simply not capable of handling

Krystal Schripsema is a 30-year-old Anthem mom who, like

an immune response, so when germs came knocking,

any single parent, struggles to balance work and home.

Landon’s body couldn’t fight them off.

Her son Landon, 10, is her life; she takes great pride in talking about his accomplishments and strengths, and is

Krystal and Landon learned to deal with the diagnosis

quick to dismiss any sacrifice or inconvenience being a

through bi-monthly infusions, but then things took a turn

parent can bring.

for the worse. Landon suffered frequent stomachaches and eventually ended up in the hospital — more than once.


Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

Each time, he had serious bowel obstructions, and nothing the doctors could do helped him as expected. After several long hospital stays, the list of medical enemies Krystal and Landon would battle together became longer and more complicated. She took him to a special clinic in Ohio where they discovered that the lower 40 centimeters of Landon’s colon doesn’t work at all. Added to his IgG primary immunodeficiency problem, CFTR dysfunction (a condition related to cystic fibrosis) and malabsorption issues, it’s been tough. Landon now has a cecostomy tube connected directly to his colon to help it work. And, after years of injections into the same fragile veins, a central line was attached to Landon’s heart so that he could be given medication without puncturing a vein. While all of his procedures were difficult enough physically, they also meant an even bigger blow for Landon. Because of his critical port lines, he is no longer able to attend play football with his team the Sabercats. He has also been hospitalized more frequently and for longer periods of time than before, and was recently released from a 30-day stay at Banner Children’s Hospital. Last year, Landon was only able to attend school for 18 days and was held back as a result. Many of the social support programs he has been enrolled in have had to drop him from their rosters because he can’t attend; he’s simply in the hospital too much, and spots are limited. Emotionally, for both of them, it’s taken its toll. “We were in the emergency room today,” Krystal explains matter-of-factly. “Landon had surgery a month ago because his old central line broke. There were some problems with it, so we sat in the ER for about four hours. It never settles down.” “A month is the longest he’s been out. I just bought a house here in Anthem in May. We’ve spent more time in the hospital than in my own house. This last 30-day stay, he was really struggling and I was really struggling. Without somebody to hang out with, it’s hard for him to be in the hospital.” Yet they still try. “I’ve got Landon enrolled in High Desert Little League Baseball, but he missed the first part of the season and the practices,” she says. “Still, it’s good for him to get out and do that when he’s out. It just seems like he’s never really out. That part’s been hard.” On top of it all, Krystal is holding down a full-time job to support the two of them and provide the insurance Landon needs. She’s a risk consultant at Wells Fargo, which allows her to work remotely. It’s been a blessing to have the job she does, but it’s still work.

December 2015

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“I’m in hospital a lot with him, running in and out with my

are hoping Dr. Nurko, who is probably the top physician in

laptop and my headset on,” she laughs. “I have meetings

the United States dealing with disorders like Landon’s, can

all day. My world is very meeting-driven, and it is a lot of

provide answers for a long-term solution. The paperwork


has been submitted; now they wait as patiently as they can for an appointment.

This dynamo single mom doesn’t complain, though, and she doesn’t quit. She even finished her business administration

There have been a few bright spots along the way. Team

degree (with emphasis in technical information) online

Impact, a nonprofit that gives kids with life-threatening

through Grand Canyon University in October.

illnesses an opportunity to be “drafted” to college sports teams, has arranged for Landon to be part of the Grand

“It was good to finally get that done,” she says. “Eventually,

Canyon University baseball team. Players on the team gave

my goal is to go to law school, but I’m going to wait until

him a uniform, and he gets to hang out with them on and

things settle down with Landon.”

off the field. We Care Anthem has also been supportive, providing Landon and Krystal with VIP passes to this year’s

She is single-handedly navigating murky insurance byways,

tree lighting ceremony. Other organizations have been

holding down a career and caring for her child, whose

helpful, too.

needs would be overwhelming to any parent. She has been trying to find nursing care to help while she works, but

“We’re trying to give him as normal a life as possible,”

even that is more difficult than it seems. Insurance will pay

Krystal says.

for it — that’s not the problem; the issue is that insurance requires that a registered nurse care for him because of

And although she will never say so, like any parent who

his central port, but there is a severe nursing shortage.

loves their child fiercely through medical challenges, it’s

Very few RNs do homecare, and she can’t find one to care

clear that she, too, struggles.

for Landon. “Sometimes I feel all alone, especially because I’m a single But together, they are moving forward. Landon’s specialists

parent,” she confesses. “I’m really trying to find a support

at Banner Health have been some of his biggest advocates.

system of people. Some days, it feels like I’m enough, but

They have paved the way for him to be seen by Dr.

other days, I’m not enough.”

Samuel Nurko, director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. They


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Parents like Krystal need caring support, but often people

don’t know how to do that, or what to say, when a neighbor or a friend is consumed by their child’s illness. You can help by sending cards, gifts, notes, drawings and fun stuff to Landon at We Care c/o Landon, 3655 W. Anthem Way, Ste. A-109 PMB280, Anthem, AZ 85086. He especially likes Minecraft, Pokemon, dragons, football, baseball, soccer and the Seattle Seahawks. You can also volunteer to help prepare meals when they are home. It has been difficult for Krystal to keep up with grocery shopping because every time her refrigerator is full, they end up in an extended hospital stay and the groceries go bad. The kindness of offering a warm meal goes a long way, and also would help Krystal bear her heavy load. And, even though Krystal’s insurance is good, gift cards for gas and other necessities would be very helpful. They, too, can be donated through We Care. There are several local children currently sponsored by We Care. This holiday season, your kindness can go a long way by reaching out to these local families. Like Krystal and Landon, so many of them do not seek publicity or ask for help, but they need it. And they need community support — the kind that our community is becoming so well-


known for. After all, as Krystal has learned, in spite of the sacrifices we all make — as parents, as neighbors and as friends — love is always worth it.

December 2015

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Writer Tom Scanlon


“And now, the award for Best Opportunity for Young

The Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) was honored with

People to Grow Positively goes to….”

seven Zoni awards at the 25th Annual AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence this fall. Just a few miles south

There’s no real award for that one, but if there was, two

of Anthem, Starlight Community Theater took home six

arts groups in the North Valley would be up for it, as

youth/adult Zonis. Starlight had 28 Zoni nominations,

they continue to rake in real awards. These are badges

while MTA had 31.

of honor for individuals and for the groups — proof that they are providing high-quality environments for youth to

“We are honored and proud to have a number of our


actors and production staff recognized,” says Jackie Hammond, MTA’s producing artistic director. Hammond


Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

was thrilled that “The Diary of Anne

Additionally, Sherry Henderson

Frank” took a Zoni for Best Overall

was honored with an Artistic

Play, noting it was “executed

Specialization Zoni for leading the

flawlessly by the very talented cast

acrobatics of “Cats.”

and led by Outstanding Director award-winner, Laura O’Meara.”

For Starlight Community Theater, Pat Drapac took a Zoni for Actress

For her powerful work in the lead

in a Major Role in “The Curious

role, Zoe Tanton was named

Savage.” The Anthem resident, wife,

Outstanding Lead Actress.

mother and veteran adult performer says she was “shocked and thrilled”

“I am so incredibly honored to

to receive the award.

have received this award,” she says. “This show changed my life forever

Jesse Pike was awarded a Zoni

and I cannot thank everyone at

for Actress in a Supporting

MTA enough.”

Role (Youth Musical) for her performance as Mammy Yokum in

Also from “Anne Frank,” Ann

“Li’l Abner.” Jesse is a student at

Emilie Tjorhom won a Zoni for

Arizona Conservatory for Arts and

Outstanding Supporting Actress.


“It is such a gift to be recognized

Starlight technical folks received

for a show that had such a huge

several awards: Samantha Utpadel

impact on me,” she says. “The

received a Costume Design Zoni for

whole cast is indebted to Laura

“Miracle on 34th Street”; Thomas

O’Meara, who pushed us until the

Graca was awarded a Sound Design

show did justice to the material.”

Zoni for “Li’l Abner”; Susan Tejera took one for Property Design in

Ava Tyson also received a Zoni for

“Miracle on 34th Street”; and Mike

Outstanding Supporting Actress in

Rippenkroeger scored an Artistic

“Anne Frank.”

Specialization Zoni for “Curtains, The Musical.”

“I am incredibly humbled and thankful to have been awarded,”

Next up at Starlight is the comedy

she says. “It was such an honor.

about a royal family, “Haphazardly

I will always cherish ‘The Diary of

Ever After,” from November 13-14.

Anne Frank’ above all shows I have

It’s a busy month for the theater,

been a part of.”

as auditions and callbacks for “Seussical” start on November 14.

For “The Wizard of Oz,” TJ Rossi took home a Zoni for Outstanding

MTA started its eighth season this

Supporting Actor in a Musical.

fall with “Shrek, the Musical Jr.” The story of a china rabbit and his

“When I am performing, it feels like

mistress, “The Miraculous Journey

I’m over the rainbow every time I

of Edward Tulane,” plays at MTA

step foot on the stage,” he quips.

November 12-15. “Annie Jr.” will

“It was an honor to receive an

follow, beginning December 3.

award for something that I simply can’t live without.” December 2015

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Maria Estrada

Dennis Jones

Josh Rogers

Justin Simons

Writer Barb Evans


The Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to once again name its Business Person of the Year. Though under a new name and leadership, the chamber continues its mission to honor those who make Anthem great by recognizing the community contributions of local business owners. This year, four nominees were proposed: Maria Estrada from Tortas Chano Authentic Mexican Food; Dennis L. Jones from D.L. Jones and Associates Real Estate; Josh Rogers from Sweat Fitness Center; and Justin Simons from State Farm Insurance. A committee of business peers and prior award recipients will select from the nominees the best person based on community involvement, innovation, integrity and business accomplishments. The winner will be announced December 1 at the Business Holiday Reception and Awards Ceremony, hosted by both the chamber and Anthem Community Council.

Maria Estrada - Tortas Chano Authentic Mexican Food (Formerly Roberto’s Mexican Food) Maria Estrada grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico and learned the restaurant business by working in her family’s restaurant. She brought the family’s cherished recipes stateside in 1988 when she and her former husband, Roger Amaya, opened Roberto’s Mexican Food in a Phoenix gas station. News of her tasty burritos and delicious salsa soon spread, and the restaurant found national fame in 2008 by being featured on celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Later that year, Maria and Roger moved Roberto’s farther north to Anthem, where they became involved in the community by supporting Girl Scouts and the local fire department. Maria regularly hosts loyal customers’ children in the kitchen, teaching them the art of creating authentic Mexican cuisine, and she is honored to cater the retirement celebrations of both the Daisy Mountain and Phoenix Fire Departments personnel, proudly donating the cake as a way of saying thank you for their service. Maria and Roger have two adult sons and the entire family, including cousins, uncles and aunts, lives in Tramonto. Earlier this year, they decided to go back to their familial roots and rename the restaurant Tortas Chano, the original name of the family restaurant in Mexico. Maria plans to expand Tortas Chano in Anthem in the upcoming year.


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Dennis Jones - D.L. Jones and Associates Real Estate

Justin Simons - State Farm Insurance

Dennis L. Jones is a native of northeastern Ohio, but has

Justin Simons and his wife, Nicole, moved to Anthem

called Arizona home for almost 30 years. He moved to

from Illinois in 2001 to open a State Farm Insurance

Anthem 15 years ago after starting in real estate as a

Agency. Although they didn’t know a single person here, it

salesman for Del Webb Corporation at Anthem Country

soon became apparent to them that the small, close-knit

Club’s model home center, where he won numerous

community would become their home for many years to

awards. In 2006, Dennis ventured out on his own as an


independent real estate broker and launched D.L. Jones and Associates with his wife, Lisa.

Justin has always lived by the motto “support those who support our office,” which has led to many opportunities

D.L. Jones and Associates has grown to be the largest real

for him to give back to the community. A father of two, he

estate brokerage in Phoenix, with more than 80 licensed

enjoys supporting his children’s local schools and sports

agents serving the North and Northwest Valley. Dennis

teams, knowing how hard teachers and coaches work. And

supports several local charities and organizations, including

each year, he serves as a sponsor and field announcer for

Linda’s WISH, the Foothills Food Bank, Boys and Girls Clubs

the community’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

of America, Boulder Creek High School’s sports programs, Boulder Creek High School’s homeless teens, ProMusica

Justin credits his parents, grandparents, in-laws and office

Arizona and more.

team with being a tremendous positive influence, helping him and his business through the years.

Dennis and Lisa live in Anthem with their three daughters, Ashley, Brittany and Lindsey. Their son, Daniel, recently moved to Anthem from Ohio, and joined Dennis, Lisa and Dennis’ brother, Ron, in the family business.

Josh Rogers - Sweat Fitness Center Josh Rogers and his wife, Laura, opened Sweat Fitness Center in 2005, using his fitness background as a Division 1-A football player at the University of South Carolina to become a personal trainer in order to help others achieve their sports and fitness goals. He has helped thousands of clients change their lives by improving their health and helping them reach fitness milestones.

Business Holiday Reception and Awards Ceremony Tuesday, December 1 5:30-7:30 p.m. Anthem Golf and Country Club, Ironwood Clubhouse

Josh is actively involved in the community and contributes thousands of dollars in services each year to charitable

The Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce and the

organizations. He often gives free training to clients simply

Anthem Community Council join together to celebrate

because he wants them to reach their health goals, even

Anthem area businesses. Nominees for Business

if they can’t afford personal training. Every holiday season,

Person of the Year, Excellence in Community Service

Sweat collects new toys for the Smile Train to help families

and Commercial Property Improvement awards will be

in need, and Josh dresses up as Santa to offer a free boot

recognized, and the winners of the awards announced.

camp to anyone who donates. He has helped plan donation

Special thanks to event sponsors: Anthem Community

drives to help homeless families, and has created events to

Council; EPCOR Water; Whitman and Jackson, CPAs;

raise money for families and clients with medical needs.

and VIP Mortgage, Inc.

Josh also enjoys inspiring youth to make fitness a priority

by volunteering as a coach for Boulder Creek High School’s varsity football team and his son’s sports teams. He and Laura live in Anthem with their four children, Rhett, Rossilyn, Reese and Rielle.

December 2015

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Writer Amanda Christmann Photographer Brandon Tigrett


Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5


If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a kid

the White House, Joey has launched a high school career

inventor extraordinaire, all you’ve got to do is ask Anthem

that includes becoming the youngest Intel intern ever hired.

brothers Reagan, Carson and Keane Gillespie. The trio have conceptualized, created and sold their first invention — a

These outstanding youths are not alone in their passion;

cool 3-D maze kit called the CubeRinth — before they’re

in 2014, the Bay Area Maker Faire attracted 130,000

even old enough to drive.

attendees and more than 900 Makers. The Make Company has now launched and developed getting started kits and

The Gillespie brothers, who are homeschooled by parents

books that are created by and for Makers.

Debbie and Michael, have always loved Legos, but their passion for inventing was stoked by the discovery of the

Reagan, 14, is the oldest and most technically minded of

Maker community here in Phoenix and worldwide. Like their

the group. Behind his dimples and Opie Taylor looks, his

Anthem friend and mentor, Joey Hudy, whose marshmallow

mind is always turning. Well-spoken and polite, he is as

cannon invention took him all the way to the White House,

passionate about 3-D printing and computer-aided design

people are beginning to notice that these kids are up to

(CAD) as some boys his age are about girls and playing

something good.

football. His priorities are well in line with the bright future this whiz kid clearly has in store.

Makers are part of a growing group of do-it-yourself inventors, young and old alike, who are redefining

“Before I got into Making I was involved in FIRST LEGO

innovation by combining resources and exchanging ideas.

League with two other people,” he says. “One of the ways

Here in the Valley, there are a growing number of Maker

I got introduced to Making was through Legos. From the

spaces, including Local Motors Labs in Phoenix , Heat

ages of 9 to 11, I did three Lego Mindstorm competitions,

Sync Labs in Mesa, Tech Shop in Chandler, and the new

and on the last one, I went to state.” They participated in

CREATE science and technology center at the Arizona

Google X Challenge, as well.

Science Center. These spaces offer cool tools like 3-D printers, laser cutters, soldering irons and more to anyone

His brother Carson, 11, is also involved, as is Keane, 9. All

interested in science, art and technology. They also often

three boys have different interests: Carson enjoys creature

offer creative and technical support so that anyone can

design, art, special effects make-up and animation, while

turn their ideas into reality.

Keane likes 3-D design, art, animation and game designing. Put the three together, and they’re a collaborative crew

Worldwide, the Maker movement has gotten big, to say the

capable of incredible creation.

least. In 2005, it began with Make magazine and makezine. com, a startup by science-minded entrepreneur Dale

For the Gillespies, who have always been an engineering-

Dougherty. A year later, the first Maker Faire was held in

minded bunch, it all began when they read an article in

San Francisco. Today, Maker Faires are becoming wildly

Images Arizona magazine about Joey and went to an

popular, primarily among 40-somethings who have longed

event called MakerFest in Mesa.

to use their technology and science skills to be creative. It’s also a launching pad for a growing number of young

“The boys read the article and my wife saw Maker Fest,”

people, like the Gillespies and Joey Hudy. Since his trip to

says Michael. “We took the kids there and met [Joey’s December 2015

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Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

mother] Julie at Joey’s table. Two weeks later, we were at

“We started going to Maker spaces in our area,” Michael

Maker Faire in San Francisco. It was very, very cool. They

says. “These places are so incredible, as far as finding

came home just fired up.”

support goes. Everybody becomes very interested in what the boys are doing. It’s very cool from that standpoint.”

Meeting Joey was a turning point for the Gillespies. In addition, the Hudys introduced Reagan to Canadian “He was an Anthem kid, and my boys really got inspired

robotics engineer Erin Kennedy, who is also a Maker. She

by his story,” Michael explains. Friendship and kinship

helped him with the CAD portion and continues to be a

between the two families quickly blossomed. “We just sort

mentor today. Heat Sync Labs and Tech Shop Chandler

of all hit it off. We went to Maker Faire and were kind of

gave them space to work, and they also met people from

floored by what was there. It lit a spark in them, and they

companies like Autodesk, SparkFun and Two Bit Circus, all

came home and started doing stuff.”

of which would help the boys design and implement their plan. When they finished, they’d designed a kit called the

Then last summer, at Julie’s suggestion, Michael enrolled

CubeRinth Kit that could be sold to anyone interested in

the boys in Maker Camp, an online summer camp put

creating their own fun labyrinth.

on by Make magazine that provided the boys with weekly project kits and assigned projects. Several other children in

After a lot of hard work, the Gillespies took their

the community joined them, and they had a blast.

CubeRinth Kit back to the Bay Area Maker Faire. What they thought would be the end point of their invention then

During the last week of camp, a company called Two Bit

became just the beginning; Brent Bushnell, son of Atari

Circus, which reimagines traditional games with modern

founder Nolan Bushnell, and CEO of Two Bit Circus was so

technology, gave campers an online tour of their Los

impressed by what they’d done that he asked if they could

Angeles factory. They gave the boys the assignment of

come up with a super-sized version.

creating a labyrinth made out of scrap wood, but the boys would take it much further.

The next days were a blur. Michael explains, “CREATE at Arizona Science Center had just opened and believed in

“They were just going crazy with stuff,” Michael says. “It

our project. With the help of Victor Surovec and Director

really ignited them.”

Steven Weiner, CREATE gave us access to the Shop Bot CNC Mill. Over the course of three days, Reagan machined

The Gillespie brothers first developed the MakeyRinth,

the eight sheets of 4-foot by 4-foot, half-inch thick acrylic

a 24-inch-by-24-inch wood, pegboard, rubber band and

into what is now the CubeRinth Maximus cube.

marble game piece labyrinth. It was fun and original, but not quite creative enough.

“We also used the laser cutter to cut over 400 pegs we used to make the mazes. We then went to Arizona Plastics

The three boys put their heads together and came up

and finally Local Motors Labs in Chandler, where the entire

with the idea of turning the maze into a 3-D labyrinth. The

base steel support structure was constructed. Then we

idea was to make an 8-inch acrylic cube with pegboards,

finally did the assembly and testing.”

a hinged door, and three removable shelves. Instead of one customizable maze, their new CubeRinth would provide

Within six short weeks, the boys had conceptualized,

eight mazes in one.

designed and created the CubeRinth Maximus, a giant 8-foot-by-8-foot production with four-and-one-half-inch

Reagan, who had just turned 13 at the time, had been

thick acrylic and three customizable, removable shelves

introduced to CAD, and he used his skills to engineer the

all suspended by a large steel frame. Their nearly

project. Carson and Keane put in their time and input, too.

1,000-pound structure (480 pounds of which is acrylic

But just as important as the work they put into it was the

cube) can be rotated and manipulated like its smaller

support they received from both the local and extended

brother, but its size alone is perhaps most impressive.

Maker community. The CubeRinth Maximus will now travel the world, on December 2015

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display through Two Bit Circus’ STEAM Carnival, a traveling

the powder where the object you are printing is. Each

showcase for technology-infused games that challenge and

successive layer of powder is swept by a roller, and the

inspire people to creatively engage in the acronym STEAM:

process is repeated until the object is printed. This printer

science, technology, engineering, art and math.

is capable of printing at mush faster rates than traditional 3D printers.”

As for the Gillespie boys, they have started their own company, Mx3 Designs, to not only sell their cool

He admittedly lost me a little in his explanation, but that

CubeRinth Kits, but also to inspire others to keep Make-ing.

was only a testament to the brilliant mind of this young

They, too, plan to keep up the good work.


“I think, in a nutshell, Make has opened up some really

The future looks incredibly bright for these local kids.

great opportunities,” Michael says. “It opened a lot

While Carson and Keane are still developing their passions,

of doors to meeting a lot of creative people — very

Reagan has his career path planned out.

encouraging people — and it has really enhanced their educational possibilities.”

“I’ll definitely be an entrepreneur with some business that I have yet to think of,” he says.

“My next project is an SLS 3-D printer called Rayven


One,” says Reagan. “Imagine it to be like a sandbox,”

And indeed he will. All of the Gillespie boys will. There is

he explains patiently, “To create layers, a laser melts

no doubt about that.

Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

December 2015

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Writer Barb Evans

Andrew Zychowski is all about spreading Christmas cheer,

“The gifts are always wrapped and recognizable,” says

one gift at a time.


For the past eight years, the patriarch of Andrew Z’s

What started as a unique way to lift spirits during a

Fine Jewelry has been spreading joy with his “Gift-a-Day

recession-laden holiday in 2007 has since turned into a

Giveaway,” a unique community-wide scavenger hunt that

community tradition.

takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “We started it as a way to give someone an unexpected Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing every

smile when the economy was down,” he explains. “But it

day until Christmas Eve, Zychowski and his “elves” hide a

just caught on like wildfire!”

special gift ranging in value from $25 to $200 or more


somewhere in Anthem and the surrounding community.

In the early days, some would return the gifts, thinking

They post clues about its location on the store’s Facebook

a customer had left them behind, but word about the

and Instagram pages, and a mad scramble to find the

giveaway soon spread, thanks in part to social media.

gifts, which could be a bracelet, necklace, watch or any

Now hundreds of people wait for the clues and join in on

other piece of fine jewelry, ensues.

the hunt.

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“When we started posting clues on Facebook, it just took it to a whole different level,” he says. Each year, Zychowski and his family look forward to the event and try to find new ways to enhance the experience and keep it fun. “With this year’s gifts, we’re including ProMusica Arizona tickets,” he says. “We’re also encouraging everyone to spread the cheer by posting their pictures, videos and stories with #AndrewZgift. The more people post, the more fun it becomes.” And it’s the stories that really give the Zychowskis the most joy. “We’ve heard of people becoming friends when meeting each other on searches,” says Zychowski, “and how whole families will go out searching together. One year, a recently divorced woman found a gift and came in the next day with tears to thank me, saying this was the first Christmas gift she had gotten in five years.” Zychowski’s oldest son, Scott, recalls a time when he hid a gift and waited to see who would find it. “Within 15 to 20 minutes of posting the clue, about 50 people showed up with flashlights, searching for the gift,” he says. “I love the fact that it brings the community together. It’s meant to make you feel good.” The Zychowski family has been in the business of making people feel good with bejeweled gifts since Andrew’s father opened his first jewelry and watch store in New York in 1949. That one store quickly grew to four, expanding into New Jersey, where Andrew took over from his dad and ran the business for 26 years. But the promise of sun and warmer weather called Andrew and his young family to Arizona in 2004. This month, they’ll celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Anthem location. These days, it’s Andrew’s sons who are learning the ropes of the jewelry business. The third generation of Zychowskis — Scott and his younger brother, Kyle — are happily spreading cheer next to their mom, Beth, and associates Stephanie and Amy, who are considered family. The crew says they love how the Gift-a-Day Giveaway brings them closer to the community, and can’t wait to hear everyone’s gift-hunting stories this year. #AndrewZgift

December 2015

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Writer Amanda Christmann


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It wasn’t so long ago that the North Valley was a little more, well, sparse than it is now. Dirt roads criss-crossed desolate desert stretches, and save for a few ranches tucked between the silver-blue leaves of acacias, there wasn’t a lot of life of the human variety in our desert foothills. Red-tailed hawks gazed down atop saguaros, standing guard as coyotes burrowed below thickets of bursage, sleeping off their nighttime feasts. It was all very peaceful in the desert, except for one time of the year. At Christmastime on the ranch, the chores were tended to early, a hearty feast was carefully prepared and excitement filled the air. By late afternoon, guests would begin to arrive from homesteads near and far. Cowhands, ranch owners and their families mingled as equals, and there was plenty of music and dancing to be had. The Christmas story was re-enacted, poetry was read and plays were performed to cheers and jeers of an audience dressed in their Sunday best. And of course, there was food. Here in the Southwest, tamales and pozole often accompanied roast beef, Christmas ham and rosemary potatoes — a nod to the strong Mexican influence in the area. Pies, cakes and cookies were the true hit of the night, as they were a special treat. As night breezes brought a chill to the air, the sound of jingling bells signaled the time for gift-giving, and simple packages carefully wrapped in paper and bows were greeted with eager whispers. The revelry would sometimes go on for days, and it was anticipated all year long. Times may have changed, but the spirit of Christmas that brought friends and neighbors together in these desert mountains more than a century ago revisits us every year. It is alive and well at the annual Carefree Christmas Festival, in its eighth year this December 11-13. We may have more neighbors than the first pioneer residents of the area did, but that only makes for a bigger celebration. The festival’s signature Carefree Christmas Festival Electric Light Parade and its brilliantly decorated floats, as well as the festival’s evening fireworks display are certainly a bit more dazzling than cowboys and ranchers could have imagined, but we think they would have approved. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! We may brag to our Midwest and East Coast friends about our sunny December weather, but let’s face it: There’s nothing like a white Christmas. Little cowpokes (and big ones, too) will love the large Kids’ Zone with 35 tons of real snow, a snow slide, Santa’s Grotto, train rides, nighttime carriage rides and other fun. The music of yore is still around; it’s just a little more lively and loud. This December 2015

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year’s event features live musical performances by the Salvation Army Brass Band, Kelso Brothers holiday jazz group and Dickens Carolers, as well as community church choirs. And, if you haven’t met your neighbors at the Desert Foothills Theater, now is the time. Their incredible talent is part of what makes our community unique. They’ll be showcasing a traditional live nativity scene, and your family is invited to be photographed with the cast of their production “The Holy Night,” including Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus and Pepper the Donkey. And oh, the dancing! Even after decades, boot-stomping fun is still part of our desert Christmas. Throughout the weekend, local dance troupes will take center stage at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. The Adage Dance Company, AZ Dance Group and the Radio City-worthy Desert Cactus Kickers will be kickin’ it up Carefree-style for everyone to enjoy. The Carefree Christmas Festival is also a perfect excuse to finish up a little last-second shopping for that perfect holiday gift. Shop the lighted holiday village throughout the day and munch on plenty of treats offered by vendors throughout the festival. It’s also a great time to check out local restaurants and bars. Cowdogs and kitties have never looked so cute as they do on a Carefree Christmas. On Sunday, dress your pets in their holiday best for a pet parade and pictures with Santa. Hosted by Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR), you can also share joy with FAR pets who still need homes. If you have a hankerin’ and a commitment beyond the holidays, adoptions will be available on site. There is no better place to enjoy an Arizona Christmas than Carefree’s stunning, four-acre Desert Gardens, where winding paths showcase thousands of beautiful native plants specially decorated for the festival. Located at 100 Easy St., the event will be free and open to the public December 11-13, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. From the ranches of the days of old to today’s communities and subdivisions, Christmas in the desert is

December 2015

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special. Visit the Carefree Christmas Festival to make new

brightly illuminated and decorated for the upcoming

holiday memories and to celebrate a tradition of joy.


Favorite Carefree vocalist and local celebrity Kevin Glenn


will emcee the event, which includes an address from the mayor of Carefree, a special appearance by Santa Claus,

A Special Preview

Foothills Animal Rescue dogs and free hot chocolate for

This year, follow the lights to Carefree Desert Gardens


from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on December 3 for a special Community Preview Night. The gardens will be bright

Don’t miss this fun evening! Among the entertainment will

and decorated for the festival itself, which takes place

be the Horseshoe Trails Elementary School Choir, Sonoran

December 11-13.

Trails Middle School Choir, Black Mountain Elementary School Choir, Phoenix Ballet Youth Theatre and local

A free festive winter celebration, the event offers a sneak

musical soloists.

preview of the Carefree Christmas Festival for residents,


neighbors, friends and local school children. Attendees will

have the opportunity to see the Carefree Desert Gardens


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CAREFREE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: Friday, December 11, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Gift Market and Holiday Food Court 10 a.m. – noon Kevin Glenn Chorus Noon – 2 p.m. Salvation Army Brass Band 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Dickens Carolers, Christmas Around the World 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Rock the Holidays Performers from Rock the District 4 – 9 p.m. Kids’ Zone with Real Snow 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Kelso Brothers Holiday Jazz Music 6 – 9 p.m. Lighted Carriage Rides around Carefree 7 – 8 p.m. Community Choirs from Local Churches

Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Gift Market and Holiday Food Court 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Kids’ Zone with Real Snow 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Adage Dance Company, “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Dancing all the Way” 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Desert Foothills Theater, Medley of Theater Performances 1:15 – 2 p.m. Storytime with Mrs. Claus 2 – 3:30 p.m. Kevin Glenn Singers present, “Sing, Sleigh Bells Ring” 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Desert Hills Presbyterian Church presents Nativity Story and Community Sing-Along 5 – 9 p.m. Holiday Party with DJ Robin Sherman 6 p.m. Electric Light Parade and Fireworks Extravaganza, sponsored by APS

Sunday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 9 a.m. – noon Pet Parade presented by Foothills Animal Rescue 10 a.m. – noon Pet Photos with Santa 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Gift Market and Holiday Food Court 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Kids’ Zone with Real Snow 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Kiddie Train Rides 12:30 – 2 p.m. Desert Cactus Kickers and AZ Dance Group 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. “Elf on the Shelf” Arizona Dance Artistry 3:30 – 5 p.m. “Nutcracker” Excerpts by Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre

December 2015

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Writer Rebecca Zaner

The Desert Botanical Garden marks its 76th year this

the increasing development of the Valley and wanted to

season, opening its doors for the first time in 1939 as

set aside a piece of land to truly preserve and represent

a nonprofit museum established by a group of Arizonans

the desert.

within the Phoenix community, who wanted to showcase the desert’s natural beauties.

In 1936, the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society (ACNFS) was formed to sponsor a botanical garden that


Among the original founders was Swedish botanist Gustaf

would promote an understanding and appreciation of

Starck, who posted a sign, “Save the desert,� with an

the unique Sonoran Desert. Their goal was to give the

arrow pointing to his home, to encourage other residents

community a landmark where they could learn about

to join his cause. These residents were concerned about

plants and conservation. Gertrude Webster later joined

Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

the ACNFS and offered financial support to establish the botanical garden in Papago Park. A group of volunteers brought the vision to life. Today, the garden features 140 acres of scenic landscape, more than 50,000 plant displays, 821 volunteers dedicating more than 66,000 volunteer hours, 107 staff members and more than 630,000 visitors each year. The Desert Botanical Garden is also one of only 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums). Las Noches de Las Luminarias is an annual winter tradition at the Desert Botanical Garden, featuring walkways lined with hundreds of paper bags aglow with candles. It began in 1978, when garden staff and volunteers wanted to find a way to capture the glow of the holidays with a Southwestern flair while showcasing the beauty of the garden. It was also a unique way to fundraise for the garden’s upkeep. They began work and preparations in the summer leading up to the holiday season, assembling 50 traditional Southwestern luminarias for their first promotional photo shoot. The event’s first year featured 700 glowing luminarias and more than 500 volunteers. More than 600 guests were present that night and enjoyed cookies and hot cocoa provided by the staff. The first year was so popular that a second night of Luminaria festivities was added the second year, and even more in the years following. By 2003, the Luminaria festival had grown to 12 nights, and by 2005 it was up to 22. This year, 24 nights proved most appropriate for the balance of available resources and ticket demands. A limited attendance is required for guests to truly enjoy the garden’s intimate beauty. For staff and volunteers, this event is special because of the sense of togetherness their mass efforts provide. Marcia Flynn, director of event services since 2000, has had the pleasure of working on this event for at least 12 years during her time with the garden. “It started as the garden’s way of giving back to the community,” Flynn shares. “It is one of the oldest holiday events in the Valley. We start planning in January each year and find trends in our surveys to improve our guest experience and satisfaction.” Today, the garden celebrates the Southwest and shines with more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights that line every trail. Guests can enjoy a warm cup of cider or hot cocoa along with various food options. There will be stargazing opportunities as well as wine and cheese platters. New to this year’s festivities are s’mores kits. Staff will be providing marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers to guests who can sit by the fire pit and roast s’mores amidst the glow of the light. There is live entertainment each night; this year there are 10 different acts, including handbells, mariachi, Spanish guitar, classical strings and jazz.

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This year, the garden will also be featuring a special exhibit titled, “Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden.” This British light artist has various exhibitions occurring throughout the Valley during the holiday season and into spring. The Desert Botanical Garden showcases eight of his large-scale, light-based structures composed of various different materials and hundreds of miles of glowing fiber optics. These site-specific exhibits will reflect the artist’s interpretation of the Sonoran Desert and are on display throughout the Luminaria experience. The garden can hold 2,400 guests each evening to ensure a positive experience for all. “The garden always provides a compelling attraction,” says Flynn. “Luminaria brings people to the garden during the holidays to experience the garden in a different light. We draw a huge audience and are anticipating around 57,600 attendees this year over 24 nights, many of whom are faithful return guests who have been coming to Luminaria for over 20 years.” Guests have the option to sponsor a luminaria bag. Tribute bags can be purchased as memorial tributes, wedding proposals or any form of personal messages. Photos and words are added to personalize each tribute bag. The garden generally sells 125 tribute bags each year. They are then set in the historical area of the garden and glow with personal memories and stories. “It’s difficult to get into that holiday spirit sometimes,” says Flynn. “Living in Phoenix, we don’t have that color change of the leaves or that crisp fall air. The warmth and glow of the luminaria bags and the twinkle of the lights really gets you into the holiday spirit.” For more than five years, Desert Botanical Garden has partnered with Season for Sharing, an organization that funds agencies that help at-risk children and families, improve education, aid victims of domestic violence and serve the elderly. This is another way for guests to donate to those in need during the holidays. Generous members and garden guests have individually donated as much as $6,000 to the organization each year. “Having come from the Midwest with snow, the cold was always that signal that the holidays were upon us,” recalls Flynn. “I enjoyed those reminders. With Luminaria, I love the excitement that builds while setting up for the main event. When the bags are lit, the lights are on and the guests come in with smiles on their faces, we’re making their holiday special.” Luminaria runs from November 27 through December 31 on select evenings. Don’t miss out on this Southwestern holiday tradition.

December 2015

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December 2015

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Desert Foothills Gardens Nursery 480-488-9455 33840 N. Cave Creek Rd. Massage Hand and Stone Massage 623-551-6602 Therapeutic Massage by Maura 623-824-1663 Naturopathic Medicine Dr. Jen Gentry 623-251-5518 42104 N. Venture Dr., C-122 Outdoor Lighting Let There be Light 480-575-3204 Orthodontics Wood Orthodontics/Wyatt Wood 623-792-7323 3618 W. Anthem Way, Suite D108 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 Photography Keri Meyers Photography 425-419-3999 Physical Therapy Harper Physical Therapy 623-742-7338 41818 N. Venture Drive, Suite #120 Plumbing Canyon State AC and Plumbing 602-996-1818


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Proskill Services 623-551-7473

Creative Castle Preschool 602-740-9561

Realtor RE/MAX Professionals Linda Rehwalt 602-249-SOLD

Desert Mountain School Main Line 623-445-3500 Attendance 623-445-3590

Remodeling Rise Above Remodeling 623-551-2013 42302 N. Vision Way Restaurants Dara Thai Cafe 623-551-6676 3655 W. Anthem Way Ste B-127 Harold’s Cave Creek Corral 480-488-1906 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd. Ocho Locos 623-551-8580 3655 W. Anthem Way Screens C&S Screens 623-582-8592 Schools Anthem Elementary School Main Line 623-376-3700 Attendance 623-376-3790 Anthem Preparatory Academy 623-465-4776 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 Canyon Springs Elementary Main Line 623-376-5200 Attendance 623-376-5290 Caurus Academy 623-551-5083

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 and Preschool 623-551-3454 Sunset Ridge Elementary Main Line 623-445-7800 Attendance 623-445-7890 Westwind Prep at Northern 602-864-7731 Spa Services Hand and Stone Massage 623-551-6602 Therapeutic Massage by Maura 623-824-1663 41818 N. Venture Dr., Suite #120 Termite Treatment Titan Pest Control 623-879-8700 Urgent Care John C. Lincoln Urgent Care in Anthem 623-434-6444 Veterinary Arizona Animal Hospital 480-686-8083


Advertising: 623-341-8221

Desert Hills Animal Clinic 623-581-1558 Water Softener & Filtration Rayne of the North Valley 623-234-9047 Weed Control EST Enterprises, Inc. 623-742-6923 Titan Pest Control 623-879-8700 Website design Fox Designs Studio 623-340-7455 Window Treatments Carefree Coverings 602-617-2920 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 100B Worship Arizona Hills Community Church 623-465-0202

Christ’s Church at the Crossroads 623-466-7964

North Valley Assembly of God 623-516-8734

Christ’s Church of the Valley 623-376-2444

North Valley Jewish Community Association 623-322-0957

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2503 W. Anthem Way Meeting times 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Cross of Christ Lutheran Church 623-551-9851 Crossroads Christian Fellowship 602-740-5964 42425 N. New River Rd.

Pioneer United Methodist Church 623-551-0802 Pureheart Christian Fellowship 602-866-8850 Spur Cross Cowboy Church 623-556-7935

Deer Valley Worship Center 623-582-1001

St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church 623-486-8665

Desert Hills Presbyterian Church 480-488-3384

Sun Valley Baptist Church 623-986-1687

Desert View Bible Church 623-298-4900

Valley Life Church 623-850-8777

Calvary Chapel Desert Hills 623-434-5060

Grace North Church 623-551-0007

Chabad Jewish Center of Anthem 42302 N. Vision Way Suite #106 623-551-8348

Hosanna Christian Fellowship 623-512-6213

Chapel Bellavista 480-502-0707

New Creation Community 623-261-6904

Canyon Church of Christ 623-889-3388

New River First Assembly of God 623-465-7455

Carefree Vineyard Church 623-551-1133

Northgate Church 34835 N. 7th Street Phoenix, AZ 85086

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

North Ridge Community Church 480-515-4673

December 2015

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Twice-Baked Potatoes Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

These foolproof Twice-Baked Potatoes are the perfect solution to devoting less time in the kitchen and more time with family this holiday season. The potatoes are baked until fluffy, then scooped from the skins and loaded with ingredients that would comfort even the pickiest palates. The filling is then returned to the hollowed shells and baked again until steaming. These beauties can be stuffed a day ahead of time and warmed in the oven right before serving. Pipe the filling into the shells with a pastry bag for a more polished presentation or simply scoop the filling for a more homestyle approach. Either way, your guests will swoon.

Twice-Baked Potatoes Yield: 8 servings

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat each potato with olive oil, then pierce them 4-5 times with a fork or knife. Place potatoes onto a lined baking sheet and bake until tender, about one hour.

4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 tablespoons butter ½ cup onion, minced 2 cloves garlic ¼ cup whole milk ½ cup bacon, chopped ½ cup sour cream 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons green onion or chives,

Meanwhile, melt one tablespoon of butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside. When potatoes are finished baking, allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Cut each potato in half length-wise and scoop out the center with a spoon, transferring the soft flesh to a mixing bowl. Leave about ½-inch border on the potato shells and reserve. Place onions and garlic back onto heat and add milk and remaining two tablespoons of butter. Once butter is melted and milk is hot, pour them into the mixing bowl over the flesh of the potatoes. Stir in bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese. (Reserve some of the bacon and cheddar cheese for the top). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

chopped (optional garnish) Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells or use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the filling. Top with reserved cheddar cheese and bacon. Refrigerate potatoes overnight or bake immediately in a 400 F oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with green onion or chives.


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December 2015

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Ima g e s A Z . c o m D ecem ber 2 0 1 5

Images Arizona: Anthem December 2015 Issue