Page 1


December 1 – 14, 2012


Neighbors Chanukah meals made easy

‘Drumline’ thumps at CCA

Where to eat

Neighbors page 48

Arts page 63

pages 75-80

Subway fare keeps holidays healthy by K. M. Lang

Candy canes, eggnog and fruitcakes – the holiday season abounds with ways to fall off the weight-loss wagon. This year, more than ever, Subway offers hope to the health conscious with its quick, wholesome meals and party subs and trays. “Take our Fresh Fit platter,” explains local franchise owner Christine Blank. “Subway’s healthy anyway, but we’ve removed the cheese and all the

Tumbleweed tree set for illumination

condiments are on the side, so you’re looking at ‘very healthy’ at that point.” Subway party trays serve five to nine people, and can be ready in an hour, says Blank, who owns several SanTan Sun area locations. As with Subway’s other fare, party platters can be customized, allowing hands-on hosts to select from a variety of fresh bread, veggies and toppings. For busy or last minute planners, Subway see Subway page 52

GOING UP: Chandler Parks Division employees attached tumbleweeds to a wire frame before shaping and painting the Tumbleweed Tree. See it decked out and lighted on Dec. 1. Submitted photo

The 2012 holiday season gets its official start in Chandler on Sat., Dec. 1 with the 23rd Annual Parade of Lights, followed by the 56th Annual Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year’s festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. with activities for the kids, musical and dance entertainment, and visits with Santa Claus in Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 3 S. Arizona Ave. in Chandler. The Parade of Lights starts at 7 p.m. and features more than 60 entries including 23 floats. After the parade concludes, the tumbleweed tree will be lighted. More than 12,000 people are expected to attend. Chandler Parks Division employees began constructing the unique tree last month. The crew attaches tumbleweeds to the wire frame and then shapes and paints the tree before installing the lights. The holiday tree tradition dates back to 1957. see Holiday events page 54

Helping those in need Individuals, families, organizations and businesses in the SanTan Sun area are encouraged to touch the lives of those in need, show generosity and spread goodwill by supporting the following charity programs and organizations during the holiday season.

Tasti D-Lite hosts toy

FAST PARTY FARE: Subway employee Michael Wolfe puts together a healthy party platter. Custom platters and giant subs can be ordered online at, and platters can be ready in as little as an hour. STSN photo

Bring in an unwrapped toy through Sat., Dec. 22 to Tasti D-Lite Chandler in Fulton Ranch Towne Center at 4040 S. Arizona Ave., and receive buy-one-getone-free on any menu item, such as seasonal holiday flavors including peppermint bark, salted caramel treats, peppermint fudge sundaes, warm fruit ’n granola cobbler, or a hot chocolate float. All of the donated toys benefit Chandler youth through the see Charity page 56

SWEET: A portion of the proceeds from vendor sales at Santa’s Block Party, sponsored by Tasti D-Lite, will be donated to ICAN. Kids can visit with Santa from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 15. Submitted photo



December 1 – 14, 2012

Chanukah, holiday meals made easy by Chompie’s Pick up a traditional Chanukah dinner to go or dine in during Chanukah, the eight-day Festival of Lights in which Jewish people celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, Dec. 8 through 16 at Chompie’s Chandler location at Chandler Village Center, 3481 W. Frye Rd., south of Chandler Fashion Center. The meals, prepared from scratch, are available after 4 p.m. during all eight nights of Chanukah. The complete Chanukah meal is $15.95 per person and includes: tender sliced beef brisket with gravy, savory roasted chicken or apricot glazed chicken; “famous” matzo ball soup; potato latkes with applesauce; string beans amandine; fresh-baked dinner rolls; and homemade holiday cookies. Traditional Chanukah foods such as crispy potato latkes, brisket of beef, matzo ball soup, Chanukah cookies and more are also available for purchase by the pound, pint or piece. Preorder full course Chanukah to go meal packages serving 12 to 15 people for $169.95 with 24-hour notice by contacting the nearest Chompie’s. Chompie’s is open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. A complete holiday dinner is available for dine-in or to go. Party rooms are also available for large groups. The restaurant also sells Chompie’s gift cards good for the purchase of food for dine in or take out, or in-store merchandise at Chompie’s. Purchase $50

TRADITIONAL SOUP: Chompie’s chicken with matzo ball soup can be enjoyed as part of a complete meal offered Dec. 8 through 16. Submitted photo

in Chompie’s gift cards and receive an additional $10 Chompie’s gift card for free. Gift cards are available to purchase at all four Chompie’s Phoenix area restaurants and online. Chompie’s N.Y. style delicatessen, restaurant, bagel factory, bakery and caterer, has served the Valley since 1979 with breakfast-all-day, lunch and dinner 7-days a week. Chompie’s four

restaurants in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Chandler are individually owned and operated. For more information, contact the Chandler Chompie’s location at 480398-3008, open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. For Chanukah menus, gift card purchases, locations and more information, visit

ACJS hosts winter party Listen to traditional, 1950’s jazz tunes in the style of Lu Watters, Turk Murphy and the Bay City Jazz Band at the Arizona Classic Jazz Society’s winter party 1 to 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2 at Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, 1 N. San Marcos Pl., Chandler. California-based “Cell Block Seven Jazz Band” is featured, and its lineup includes two cornets, as well as three double-bell euphoniums that enable them to produce unique sounds from fast, exciting trios to smooth, mellow blues. ACJS is collecting unwrapped toys or monetary gifts for Salvation Army pickup at the end of the event. Members are $10, nonmembers are $15 and students younger than 18 are free when accompanied by a paid adult. Membership fees begin at $25. Go to or call 480-620-3941 for more details.

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‘Bingo Bonanza!’ Shop Kare Bears ‘Faire’ benefits organizations

Play bingo for a chance at $1000 in cash and prizes at San Tan Crown Rotary Club’s third annual “Bingo Bonanza!” 6 to 9:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 25, 2013 at Holiday Inn Ocotillo, 1200 W. Ocotillo Rd., Chandler. Proceeds of the event support St. Peter’s Mission School, Fans Across America, Basha High School Scholarships, ICAN, Local Veterans Relief and UMOM Abused Women’s & Children’s Shelter. Tickets are $25 and include one adult beverage, snacks, inker and three bingo cards for 10 different games. For tickets, contact Terry Lubsen at 480-699-9649 or, Paul Zimmerman at 480-802-4502 or Jim Kame 480-593-4507.

Find unique holiday gifts and more during the SunBird Kare Bear Faire, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1 in the SunBird Ballroom at SunBird Golf Resort, 6240 S. SunBird Blvd., Chandler. The SunBird Kare Bear Faire fundraiser includes approximately 40 vendors with distinctive art work, festive presents, wood work, lighted wine bottles and decanters, jewelry, crochet items, American Girl doll clothes, Mary Kay products and a “White Elephant” table. The event is open to the public, and the Horizon Room restaurant in the community has coupons available at the Faire for lunch with a 20% discount that day. Contact Shirley Jackson at 480-883-9018 for more information.

December 1 – 14, 2012

Dogs aid Seeking holiday, hearing impaired New Year’s Eve events Hearing dogs is the topic at the next meeting of the Sun Lakes Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America from 1 to 3 p.m. Tue., Dec. 4 at the Ed Robson Branch Library, Lecky Center, 9330 E. Riggs Rd., Sun Lakes. Learn how hearing dogs are trained, how they can help those with hearing loss, the laws impacting service dogs and how to participate in the free training program from guest speaker Kristi Nolde-Morrissey, Hearing Dog Instructor with Happy Tails Service Dogs. Refreshments will be served. Email Liz Booth at, Regina Milgroom at or call Scott Sjolin at 602-652-3000 and ask for Ed Robson Branch for more information.

Senior string players entertain Entertainment by the Sonic Senior Strings, a group of musicians ages 55 and older, is the highlight of the annual Christmas Luncheon of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) The event is at noon Sat., Dec. 8 in Ballroom A of the Oakwood Country Club, 24218 S. Oakwood Blvd., Sun Lakes. Socializing begins at 11:30 a.m. There are 16 members in Sonic Senior Strings including Linda

Miller from Sun Lakes. P.E.O. has six philanthropic projects, and the members strive to make a difference in women’s lives through scholarships, grants and loans. All unaffiliated and visiting P.E.O.’s are encouraged to attend the festive event hosted by P.E.O. Chapter DW. The cost is $20 per person. For more information, call Judi Clement at 480-895-2828 or Shirley Langer at 480-895-1505.

To publicize seasonal events and activities, the SanTan Sun News will run a holiday listing article, as well as New Year’s Eve celebration listing. To have an item considered for either, submit the following: • Holiday events and activities: Send event name, brief description, times and dates, venue and address, if reservations are required, publishable phone number and website address. • Charity collections: Name of charity being benefited; name of organization doing collection; brief list of items being collected; locations and addresses of drop-off sites; times and dates to donate. Items are due by noon Dec. 5 for the Dec. 15 issue, which is the last paper for 2012. Submissions must include daytime phone number and contact name for verification. Photos are encouraged; submit 300 dpi jpegs. Send all to; submission does not guarantee inclusion.



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December 1 – 14, 2012

Chandler author holds Chandler author headlines writers’ conference ‘S.E.L.F.’ care class Learn how to add zip to your step in a class about practicing “S.E.L.F.” care in 2013 with Chandler resident Syd Hoffman from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 or Sat., Dec. 29. Two out of every three Syd Hoffman Americans are exhausted, according to Hoffman, who insists it does not have to be that way. Hoffman is an international health and wellness educator and the award-winning author of “All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now!” In the class, students learn that S.E.L.F. stands for sleeping soundly, exercising sanely, lots of gratitude and fabulous nutrition. Hoffman shares simple tips to enhance those four areas to help participants create a lifetime of optimal health and vitality. One of her favorite strategies is to carry mini-meals in a portable insulated food bag. “It’s a fabulous way to avoid vending machines. And, you will be able to use the extra cash to spend on smaller-sized clothing,” says Hoffman. Each class is $20, which includes a paperback copy of her book, “All-Day Energy.” Classes are limited to 10 people. To preregister, contact Hoffman at 480-814-1780 or

Multi-award winning author and American Night Writers Association (ANWA) Executive President Elect Janette Rallison is a featured speaker and the Emcee / Hostess at the 21st Annual ANWA Writers Conference: Time Out For Writers, scheduled Feb. 21 through 23, 2013 at the Hilton Phoenix / East Mesa, 1011 W. Holmes Ave., Mesa. Rallison, a Chandler resident whose 19 novels have sold more than a million copies, also writes under the pen names C. J. Hill “when the mood strikes her,” and Sierra St. James in Janette Rallison the sweet romance genre. Her latest book is a time travel dystopia called “Erasing Time.” Her books have also been on the IRA Young Adults’ Choices lists, Popular Picks and many state reading lists. She presents frequent writers workshops throughout the United States. At the conference, Rallison will present a class about romance writing, teaching attendees the do’s and don’ts for making a romance sellable, how to avoid pitfalls like “insta-love” and the ever-dreaded sagging middle, and how to make sparks fly and keep the tension going. ANWA, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to support LDS women writers; however, registration for the conference is open to the public.

Teachers, authors and writers, whether novice or published, are invited to develop writing and teaching skills, marketing knowledge, a networking base and creativity. The “Time Out for Writers” Conference offers 36 classes to choose from for all stages, genres and platforms; query and pitch workshops on Thursday night; nationally recognized presenters including New York Times bestselling authors, agents, editors and publishers teaching the classes; pitch sessions for authors to pitch manuscripts to national editors and publishers; contests; the Protagonist Ball, where attendees can come dressed as their favorite protagonist to mingle, network and have fun with faculty and other attendees; and an All-star Breakfast with the faculty for the first 25 attendees who register for the full conference and hotel room. Two new features for this year’s ANWA Writers Conference offer teachers up to 17 professional development hours that can be applied toward the renewal of their Arizona educators licensing, and all authors who attend may sell their books at the onsite conference bookstore. The cost of the conference varies depending on registration date, if a member or not and whether critique sessions are included or not. To learn more about author Janette Rallison, visit or For fees and to register for the conference, go to



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December 1 – 14, 2012


Local author publishes fat loss book Lower stress with tai chi Nutritionist and fitness expert Paula Owens “reveals the secrets behind weight gain and empowers readers with realistic solutions to achieve permanent fat loss without dieting, counting calories or deprivation” in her second book, “Fat Loss Revolution: 12 Weeks to a Hot ‘n Healthy Body at Any Age,” to be released January 2012. Owens holds a Master’s degree in nutrition and is the author of “The Power of 4,” an best seller. She is a certified fitness professional who has taught classes in Chandler and a holistic health practitioner with more than 20 years of experience with a private health coaching practice, consulting with clients all over the world, including from Gilbert and Chandler. She is also a health, nutrition and fitness columnist for several national health publications. Her latest book contains practical knowledge about fat loss and covers topics such as: learning the difference between fat loss and weight loss; balancing hormones for long-term fat loss; eliminating symptoms associated with common health disorders; secrets to looking and feeling younger; learning how intolerant foods sabotage fat loss; discovering solutions to rev up metabolism; overcoming food

Reduce stress, enhance mood, clear the clutter and increase peace of mind after the holiday season with a series of classes that explores gentle exercises to restore health and harmony. The “Hello Tai Chi, Goodbye Stress” series, facilitated by certified Tai Chi-Qi Gong Practitioner Kim Kubsch of Sun Lakes, runs from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 4 p.m. on Mon., Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28. The classes take place in an outside garden in Sun Lakes. Tai Chi is a series of low-impact movements that help relax the mind and the muscles, and does not require equipment. Based on nature and

addictions, mindless eating and sugar cravings; menu plans with easy-tomake recipes; how to maximize fat loss with smarter workouts and complete instructions including 60 illustrations; and incorporating a 12-week checklist for personal accountability. For more information, visit or call 480-706-1158.

YIN YANG: The interconnected nature of body and mind, and concept of balance is symbolized by the yin-yang symbol traditionally associated with Tai Chi. Submitted photo


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harmony, it can be done sitting or standing by people of any physical condition. For centuries, the gentle flowing movements and deep breathing have helped improve mental balance, release physical tension and bring better health and harmony to people’s lives. The workshop costs $50 per person and includes Kubsch’s DVD “Hello Tai Chi, Goodbye Stress.” RSVP early, as space is limited. To register, email Kim@SafeMovements. com or call 480-392-3436.


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LESS STRESS: Kim Kubsch, certified Tai Chi-Qi Gong practitioner and fall prevention specialist, presents a series of Tai Chi classes in January 2013. Submitted photo

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December 1 – 14, 2012


Subway from page 47

Subway owner Christine Blank STSN photo

offers their Classic Combo, Flavor Craver or Fresh Fit platters, sure to please any palate, and customers can now place their orders online. “That’s something we’ve gotten into just during the last six months, and we continue to get more and more orders that way,” says Blank. “We can get a sandwich platter to customers quickly.” For larger gatherings, Subway makes three- and six-foot giant subs. The sandwiches, which can be cut into manageable portions, require 24 hours’ notice, and serve from nine to 25 hungry revelers. If dessert is a must, hosts can order one of Subway’s cookie platters with a choice of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or white chocolate macadamia nut. “There’s something for everybody,” Blank explains, adding that even if a party isn’t on the menu, Subway can help keep the holidays healthy with its

FRESH FROM THE OVEN: Subway diners can build their healthy meals on 9-grain whole wheat, 9-grain honey oat, Italian and Italian herbs and cheese breads – all of which are baked fresh daily. STSN photo

made-to-order sandwiches and soups, including the ever-popular chicken noodle and broccoli and cheese. For early-bird shoppers, the restaurant offers made-to-order breakfast sandwiches. “We get a lot of compliments on our breakfasts,” says Blank, pointing out that not many fast food restaurants give diners the ability to customize their morning meal. “We really do focus

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Gilbert skies fill with balloons

December 1 – 14, 2012


the new Holiday Food and Fun Festival, where attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite retail and food vendors. Tickets are $10 per person, per event, at the gate or online, with children 12 years old and younger free. Parking is also free. Note that all balloon events are dependent on weather conditions, and pets are not allowed. Visit, or arizonaballoonclassic for more details.

UP AND AWAY: Spectators marvel as colorful hot air balloons inflate and ascend at the Arizona Balloon Classic, coming to Gilbert this Dec. 7 through 9. Submitted photos

View as many as 25 hot air balloons, including special shapes, at the Second Annual Arizona Balloon Classic from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 7 and Sat. Dec. 8, and 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sun., Dec. 9 at Gilbert Civic Center, 90 E. Civic Center Dr., southwest of Warner and Gilbert roads. Spectators can walk among the balloons as they are inflated and ascend in “Hare & Hound” races, where one “Hare” balloon leaves first to lay a target on the ground where it lands, a big yellow “X”. The rest of the balloons, the “Hounds,” chase the “Hare” balloon.

The “Hounds” toss their markers at the “Hare’s” yellow “X”. The markers are small beanbags with a streamer that identify the “Hounds.” Whichever beanbag hits the center or comes closest to the center of the target wins $1000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Friday and Saturday evening showcases “Desert Glows.” Tethered hot air balloons light up the night sky while glowing and swaying in time to music. Photographers are encouraged to capture the spectacular sight of mass and color as the


Now open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

balloons rise from the earth. Live musical entertainment features High Hat Blues from 6 to 7 p.m. and Arrowheart headlining from 8 to 9 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the band Trailer Park plays from 6 to 7 p.m. and again from 8 to 9 p.m. Also among the attractions are fireworks on Saturday night; skydivers; a family fun zone with kid’s activities; exhibits, samples and more than 50 food and retail vendors who will be competing for the title of “People’s Choice Winner” and cash prizes during




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December 1 – 14, 2012

Holiday events from page 47

The parade route begins at the corner of Arizona Avenue and Frye Road, heading north on Arizona Avenue and continuing through the downtown area before turning right on Buffalo Street and then right onto Arizona Place, and ending at Boston Street. Arizona Avenue closes from 4 to 10 p.m. on event day between Chandler Boulevard and Frye Road. Frye will also be restricted from Arizona Avenue east to Delaware Street from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A map showing street closures and parking options is available at Info: 480-782-2735.

Santa’s House music, photos

Tumbleweed tree ornaments

Holiday Fun Walk

Meet two artists who have their work at Sibley’s West: The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop, 72 S. San Marcos Pl., downtown Chandler. In conjunction with the tree lighting ceremony, Tucson artist Diana Madaras, whose original works appear on prints, notecards and tiles, will be at the store from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1 to meet with customers. Then, from 1 to 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2, Chandler ornament artist Brenda Schodt will be on hand to discuss her limited edition Tumbleweed Tree designs made for Sibley’s. Schodt has decorated ornaments with unique designs since the 1990s, and has a variety of glass ball decorations available at the gift store, which boasts items from more than 170 Arizona artists and businesses. Info: 480-899-4480,

Have free family photographs taken with Santa from noon to 5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 and hear barbershop music at 3 p.m. at the Santa House next to the Tumbleweed Tree at A.J. Chandler Park in downtown Chandler. The East Valley Lamplighters Barbershop Chorus and quartets will entertain for the first time, and other activities such as face painting will also be provided. Chandler Lion’s Club members, who also built the Santa House, are hosting the photographs for the 10th year. Photos with Santa will also be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thu., Dec. 6 and noon to 5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15. Gather up friends and family and enjoy the cool December air from 9 to 11 a.m. Sat., Dec. 8 during the 2012 Holiday Fun Walk at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. Participants in the 1.5-mile walk are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys for charity. Proceeds from the event benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Chandler CARE Center, Chandler Chamber Community Foundation, Chandler Christian Community Center, Chandler-Gilbert Family YMCA, Chandler Service Club, Chandler Unified School District Schools, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and ICAN. Chandler Compadres host the event. Entrance fees are $10 per person or $25 per family, which includes a T-shirt, food and prizes for each participant. The park is at 745 E. Germann Rd. Info:

St. Nick at SWIMkids

Santa Claus makes a stop at SWIMkids USA in Mesa from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 8. The jolly old elf arrives in style on a fire truck at the free event, which also features firefighter gear to wear and firefighting-themed games. An optional photo package is $12. SWIMkids is at 2725 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa. Info: 480-820-9109,

Dine with Santa

Father Christmas arrives at St. Steven’s Church in Sun Lakes for the annual Breakfast with Santa event. The Knights of Columbus serve pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice, coffee and hot chocolate from 8 to 9 a.m. on Sat., Dec. 8, and St. Nick is on hand from 9 to

10 a.m. with gifts for the kids and time to hear their wish lists. The cost is $8; ages 3 and younger are free. The church is at 24827 S. Dobson Rd. Info: 480-895-9266, ext. 107.

Cookies & cocoa with Santa

Enjoy a treat of hot chocolate and cookies with Santa Claus at the Chandler YMCA. The free event is from 9 to 11 a.m. Sat., Dec. 8 at 1655 W. Frye Rd. in Chandler. Info:

Train tracks

Fifteen homes throughout the Valley, including two in Chandler and one in Gilbert, as well as the Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, will have G-scale garden railroads on display for

BEAUTIFUL DISPLAYS: Train fans can see amazing displays like the one at Rich Hull’s home in Sun Lakes during the Arizona Big Train Operators Annual Open House Tour. Submitted photo

Neighbors the Arizona Big Train Operators (ABTO) Christmas Open House. Self-guided tours are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun., Dec. 8 and 9, 15 and 16. Donations are accepted and used to support ABTO activities. Information and a map are available at

Starlight tunes

Take in the Sonoran Sunset Series’ holiday concert while relaxing near Veterans Oasis Lake from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thu., Dec. 20 at the Environmental Education Center, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler. Presented by Chandler Recreation Division, the free event features live entertainment ideal for families. Bring blankets, chairs and food, and dress warmly. Info: 480-782-2889,

Avenues of art

Enjoy the beautiful work of local artists while walking around downtown Chandler and shopping for last-minute holiday gifts during the Chandler Art Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 21. Listen to live music performed by local musicians at this free event while browsing through a plethora of art. Info: 480-855-3539,

Time to give

A winter wonderland filled with snow, games and colorful bounce houses and games are all part of the holiday-themed Arizona Giving Challenge, a three-day

HOLIDAY SMILES: Children enjoy the games and other activities that are part of the Arizona Giving Challenge. Submitted photo

community program that supports nonprofits and individuals’ charitable missions across the state. The event, which takes place in the Power Ranch Community Park in Gilbert, also includes hot air balloon and train rides, vendors, artists, crafters and entrepreneurial young people. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2. The park is at 4444 E. Haven Crest, Gilbert. Info:

Balloons and snow

A variety of holiday activities and events take place at SanTan Village. Every night from 5 to 9 p.m. at the top

of the hour watch a festive 10-minute light show set to holiday music. The lights are in the Children’s Play Area through Christmas Eve. Also in the Children’s Play Area, enjoy a snowfall at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., Thu. through Sun. through Dec. 23. Story time with Mrs. Claus takes place at 7:15 p.m. Thu. through Sat. and at 5 p.m. Sun. through Dec. 23 near Dairy Queen. Santa is ready to pose for pictures through Christmas Eve at Santa’s Lane, west of Harkins Theatres Courtyard. Kids who visit with St. Nicholas get a free gift. Twenty hot air balloons light up the evening sky at the 2nd Annual Holiday Balloon Glow from 5 to 9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8. Enjoy free horse and carriage rides, live holiday music, food vendors, a skydiver finale and more. Admission is free. Info: 480-899-1878 or

December 1 – 14, 2012


Proceeds from the event benefit Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and Phoenix Animal Care Coalition. The 1.2K “Santa Sled” run / walk is ideal for kids and families, a 6K run / walk and 12K run are also scheduled. Carolers and performers provide entertainment at every “K” marker. Attendees can also support more than 30 local animal rescue groups in Santa Pet’s Village. The cost is $35 to preregister for the 6K or 12K, or $40 on event day. Preregistration for the 1.2K is $30 for a team of four or $35 on event day. Onsite registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Freestone Park is at 1045 E. Juniper Rd., Gilbert. Registration, info: 480-609-3978,

Visit with Santa

Children of all ages are invited to visit with Santa Claus in the lobby area of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center from 9 a.m. to noon on Sat., Dec. 8. Kids receive a free digital photo that may be downloaded, and personal cameras are welcome too. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is located at 3555 S. Val Vista Dr., Gilbert. Info: 877-728-5414,

Run, walk for animals

Humans and their four-legged friends run or walk in the 12K’s of Christmas event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 15 at Freestone District Park in Gilbert.

CHRISTMAS TAILS: Four-legged friends get into the action at the 12K’s of Christmas event Dec. 15 at Freestone Park. Submitted photo



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ICAN Adopt-a-Youth program. Tasti D-Lite also hosts Santa’s Block Party from noon to 4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15. This outdoor festival features local vendors selling holiday crafts and fun activities for children to enjoy. Santa Claus makes an appearance at the Block Party from noon to 2 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress up for pictures and bring Christmas wish lists. A portion of the proceeds from any vendor sales will be donated to ICAN. “This is such a fun and wondrous time of year, we’re looking forward to teaming up with ICAN to help spread holiday cheer to the children of our community,” says Kellie Threadgill, owner of Tasti D-Lite Chandler. ICAN operates with a mission to provide free, comprehensive programs that empower youth to be productive, self-confident and responsible members of the community. Some of the programs offered at ICAN include substance abuse and gang prevention, homework and academic assistance, leadership and job skills development and a wide range of classes on topics like health, nutrition, fitness and parenting. ICAN is located in the Lon E. Hoeye Youth Center at 650 E. Morelos St., Chandler. Visit for more details on available programs, find ICAN on Facebook and Twitter. Tasti D-lite is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10

p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Visit, and twitter. com/tastichandler for information, details on upcoming promotions and a full menu.

Santa Hustle Fun Run, 5K

Runners of all ages are invited to take part in the first “Santa Hustle: Making Wishes Come True” Fun Run and 5K Sat., Dec. 15 at Kiwanis Park, 5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, sponsored by New Horizon Youth Homes, Inc. (NHYH). Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the first race at 9, and medals will be presented to the top three finishers in different age divisions for 5K participants. The event is capped off with post race giveaways, raffles, and the awards ceremony. Vendors and sponsor booths will be at the event to benefit the nonprofit that provides outpatient mentoring and counseling services as well as providing safe and secure homes for at-risk youth. The first 150 participants will receive a T-shirt, goody bag and race bib, and a registration form is available at with more information by calling 480-722-2730 and at

Saturdays with Santa

Meet Santa, donate a toy to Toys for Tots and browse fresh produce at the Saturdays with Santa at The Promenade Farmers’ Market events 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 1, 8, 15 and

22 at The Promenade at Fulton Ranch, 4950 S. Alma School Rd. at Chandler Heights Road near AmTrust Bank, Southern Chandler. The first 50 people to see Santa each week receive a goodie bag full of special offers, a holiday craft and other treats. Check out produce, breads, jams, honey, olive oils, jewelry, soaps, candies, salsa, nuts, dog treats and many holiday gift items. Vendors interested in being part of The Promenade Farmers’ Market can contact Chris of Ray’s Market at 602-214-1653 or visit raysmarket. net. Free and open to the public. Info:

Cruisin’ with Santa

It’s a special holiday edition of the weekly East Valley Car Show from 6 to 9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 7 at Fulton Ranch Towne Center, 4040 S. Arizona Ave. on southwest corner at Ocotillo Road, Southern Chandler. Check out classic oldies, “smoking ‘vettes” and everything in between in the parking lot near Big 5 Sporting Goods. No registration is required to participate or attend this free event, sponsored by Red Development. Meet Santa, donate a toy to Toys for Tots and enjoy holiday music, a bounce house and free holiday face painting with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies while supplies last. Free and open to the public. Info:,

Toys for Tots drop-off

Take new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots program to SanTan Honda Superstore, 1150 S. Gilbert Rd. in Chandler to “help kids have a memorable holiday season.” In addition, SanTan Honda Superstore is also accepting nonperishable food such as canned vegetables and fruits, tuna fish, peanut butter, rice, dry beans and pasta for the Chandler Food Bank. Info: 480-285-2800,


Sponsor a deserving family in need this season through the Adopt-A-Family program at St. Steven’s Catholic Church. Purchase items from a gift guide, such as toys, clothing, household items and food items, for a Christmas dinner. Many adoptees are referred by clergy from the Catholic Church or members of St. Vincent de Paul, who help complete an application during required home visits. Visit the parish office at 24827 S. Dobson Rd., Sun Lakes to pick up a sponsor application. Call 480-895-9266, ext. 200, for more information.

Send holiday cheer to soldiers

Through Dec. 7, mail holiday cards and messages of support to members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families through the American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Address cards to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456. Pitney Bowes screens,


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Neighbors packages and ships the cards, which are then sorted and delivered by Red Cross volunteers across the country and on overseas installations. Learn more at get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes.

Holiday boutique

Handmade items are part of a Holiday Boutique to benefit CTA Humphrey Elementary PTO from 5 to 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 7 at the school, 125 S. 132nd St., Chandler. The fundraiser includes a kids’ corner for children to complete their holiday shopping. Info: Andrea Vaughn at

Bear hugs

Give the gift of a teddy bear hug to a local child this holiday season by donating a new, unwrapped toy to the U.S. Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots Foundation” at any Build-A-Bear Workshop Fri., Dec. 7 through Sun., Dec. 9 during store hours. Locations: Chandler Fashion Center, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd.; San Tan Village, 2795 S. Market St. in Gilbert.

Santas for seniors

To “Be a Santa to a Senior,” visit a participating Walgreens store in Chandler, choose an ornament with the name and gift request of a senior and return it with the unwrapped item to the store by Mon., Dec. 10. On Sun., Dec. 11 hundreds of the presents will be wrapped at a community gift-wrapping event. Info:, 480-827-4343.

Free tattoos for toys

Through Fri., Dec. 21, bring in new toys with a receipt to Rebellious Addiction Tattoo Studio at 1111 N. Gilbert Rd. in Gilbert, and they will match up to $50 in value, or bring in $25 worth of new toys and receive a tattoo valued at $50 for free, during the studio’s third annual charity event, Toys for Tatts. All toys will be donated to Arizona Adoption of Special Kids (AASK). A $50 gift certificate is offered in lieu of a service for those who prefer not to get a tattoo or piercing to give to someone who does. For information, visit, or call 480-343-3513.

Lend hand to needy families

Help families in the community by adopting a family in need through the Black Family and Child Services of Arizona Adopt-a-Family Program. Wish lists, consisting not only of toys and electronics, but also blankets, warm clothing, food and other basic survival items, are submitted by families such as single moms, fixedincome grandparents raising grandchildren and others who have been out of work for a year or longer. Donors can choose the families they help by providing information about

December 1 – 14, 2012

the kind of situation they would like to assist, or by giving a price range of how much they can afford to spend to purchase wish list items. Donors who adopt a family are asked to purchase wish list items and bring them to the BFCS Family Service Center at 1522 E. Southern Ave., Phoenix on or by Mon., Dec. 24. For more information or to select a family to adopt, contact BFCS at 602-243-1773 and ask for the Adopta-Family Program. The agency is also accepting cash contributions on line at


Make the season brighter by fulfilling a wish list for a low-income, homebound and / or disabled senior in Gilbert during the fifth annual “Adopt-A-Senior” program, sponsored by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and the Gilbert Senior Center. An average list costs $25 and may include a number of needed items. Also in need are items that would be useful or appreciated by a senior in quantities of 50 or more to make up bags that will be distributed to low-income seniors at a holiday party hosted by the Chamber. Contact Sara Clifton at 480-9416350, ext. 115 or AdoptASenior@ to request a wish list or donate a larger quantity of items. Also, a check to purchase gift cards for unfulfilled wish lists can be mailed to the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 527, Gilbert, AZ 85299.


Socks For Seniors

Host a sock drive by decorating a box, finding locations for collection boxes, collecting new socks and then distributing the socks to a local nursing home, assisted living center or other senior community through Dec. 25 through the Socks For Seniors Campaign. The program is an annual community service project that collects new socks to be given to elderly in local nursing homes around the holidays. Socks For Seniors can also help promote and connect a local sock drive with a local senior community for distributing the socks at the end of the sock drive. Go to html to learn more.

Art show aids veterans More than 80 vendors sell paintings, crafts, handmade items, food and more at the “Boulevard 35” show from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9 in the backyard of American Legion Post 35, 2240 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. A portion of the proceeds benefits the American Legion and its veterans’ programs. Admission is free, and leashed, wellbehaved dogs are welcome. Ample parking is available. For more details email or call 800-603-3213, ext. 4.


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