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Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015


Neighbors Chandler Center for the Arts brings the best in arts culture page 63

Jewish high holidays a time of reflection, connection page 68

Where Kids Eat Free page 31

Crust opens near resort Italian dining with a focus on pizza ($8 Crust is bringing a nostalgic feel to family to $25). However, the menu is varied. Appetizers run the gamut of filet sliders dining in Chandler. with horseradish cream sauce ($13) to The third to open in the Valley, Crust’s grilled artichoke and burrata ($11). Pasta location next to the historic Crowne Plaza ($10 to $17) and rollatini ($9 to $10.50) are San Marcos Golf Resort boasts vintage booths procured from the iconic Monti’s La also featured. Take-home jars of marinara sauce benefit Casa Vieja and a Kurt Warner’s basement lounge Treasure House that was once a Foundation. speakeasy. “We do halfThe trio price bottles of eateries is of wine every owned by Ryan Monday,” Mitchell and Mike Mitchell added. Merendino, both The restaurant of whom put is open, and the hours into the basement lounge, renovation of the The Ostrich, Chandler space at is expected to 10 N. San Marcos debut in October. Pl. Serving craft “That cocktails and downtown small plates for Chandler area was two, The Ostrich very appealing will focus on to us,” Mitchell live music and said. “We realized industry nights. this is a golden Private bookings opportunity.” will be available Mitchell and Monday through Merendino saw Wednesday. such potential “It’ll be in the space that Crust co-owner Mike Merendino, center, chats with developing a it was worth the customers at the new Chandler location. Submitted Collins concept, months of blood, photo which is a sweat and tears style of cocktails, headed up by Brandon the restaurateurs put into the space. Casey,” Mitchell said. “He is a well-known “We literally turned that space from mixologist in the Southwest.” a construction zone, to an office, to Mitchell stresses that Crust is all about a restaurant, because we had to get being local. everything done,” Mitchell said. “Crust is a local brand,” he said. “We try Mitchell said Crust’s concept is simple: BY TRACY HOUSE

see CRUST page 47

Soft Surroundings comes to Chandler Fashion Center


Dubbed an “ageless store,” Soft Surroundings has landed in Chandler Fashion Center selling apparel, beauty, gift and home decor products for women. Jessica Conick, a Soft Surroundings public relations representative, said there is a lot of excitement about bringing the store to the shopping center’s Nordstrom wing. “We’re still kind of a small, growing company, so every store that we open is a huge deal for us. We really get invested in the community,” she said. Soft Surroundings released its first catalog in 1999 featuring its upscale see SOFT SURROUNDING page 47

Jason Orozco, owner of Salon Orozco, said he is proud to offer his clients an upscale setting where they can relax and feel welcome. Submitted photo

Salon Orozco offers upscale and relaxing setting BY ALISON STANTON

Sixteen years ago, Jason Orozco fulfilled a childhood dream by opening his own hair salon, the aptly titled Salon Orozco. But after cutting and styling hair at his own Chandler location, he moved to a suite inside L’mage Salon Studios on Alma School Road 18 months ago. He has been a hair stylist for 16 years. The move has given Orozco, who does men’s and women’s haircuts as well as color, a much-needed change of pace. “I provide my clients with a low-stress, upscale and professional setting that makes everyone feel welcome,” he said. His clients also like the privacy of Orozco’s fully enclosed suite. “I have been able to grow my client base from referrals from other businesses inside of L’mage,” he said. “The independence of having a dramafree place has been the fresh start I have needed for years.” Orozco said he was initially unsure

about opening a hair salon, so instead studied graphic design. He said his background in art helps him as a stylist. “I’ve been an artist all my life, so it really helps me to visualize things a lot more when someone is telling me what they want,” he said. In addition to using high-quality products, like Goldwell Color, which Orozco said lasts a long time, he also prides himself on his exceptional communication skills. This means Orozco will take the time to ask his clients what they are looking for in their cut and/or color, and listen carefully when they describe their new style. “Experience is definitely important, and after spending 16 years in the business I really do know a lot,” he said. “But communication is really the No. 1 thing— to understand people and to get into their heads a bit to really see what they want.” see SALON page 47

‘Totally Rad ‘80s Prom Gone Bad’

Soft Surroundings opened its doors at Chandler Fashion Center and features upscale women’s apparel, home and beauty products. Submitted photo

Teenagers mingle during “Totally Rad ‘80s Prom Gone Bad,” an event at the Hamilton Library. See page 57 for more photos. STSN photo by Kimberly Carrillo


Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015






Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015

SALON from page 45

But whether he’s cutting someone’s hair or helping a client to have a new hair color and updated look, Orozco is happy he decided to pursue his childhood dream. “The No. 1 thing for me is that I love what I do. It feels good for me to wake up every day and come to work.”


Salon Orozco is located at 2735 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 130, in Chandler. For more information, call (480) 612-5532. Alison Stanton is a freelance writer who lives in the East Valley. She can be reached at


Choose from a variety of pizzas on the Crust menu. Submitted photo

Tasty garlic knots are special treat at Crust. Submitted photo

Tyler Anderson stands by the pizza oven, ready to serve up a Crust pizza. Submitted photo

CRUST from page 45

but is planning on a grand opening later in September. Visit the website at www. for more information and menu offerings.

to source local when possible. Given that space and the history of it, as an original speakeasy, we want to influence that space in the right way. We’re going to keep that feel of a mystery basement bar and tie in as much vintage and decor as possible.” Crust had a soft opening in August,

Tracy House is a freelancer for SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at news@

*map not to scale


PromenadE at fulton ranch

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Costume Jewelry is featured at Soft Surroundings as well. Submitted photo

Soft Surroundings isn’t just about beauty. Store officials get involved locally. “We reach out to the local community and really try to engage,” Conick said. “The charity aspect is the way we target each individual community instead of doing something nationally. We plug into those local charities that our employees and our customers in those areas feel connected to and care about.” Tracy House is a freelancer for SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at news@




lifestyle brand. In 2005, it made its debut as a retail location in St. Louis, Missouri. Chandler is part of this year’s 11-store expansion, which will include a store in Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons. Soft Surroundings carries items from its catalog, found at www.softsurroundings. com, as well as store-exclusive merchandise. “Something that is exciting for women who have never been to one of our stores, and who have never shopped with us, is they are so pleasantly surprised to see that we have items for every age range of woman,” Conick said. “Any woman can walk into our story and find beauty items, apparel, home decor that she likes. We’re ageless.” She explained that many women are pleased to see a beauty department in the store. “We do have our own fragrance collection,” Conick said. “One of the things people are really surprised by is after they get through the clothes and home goods, and get to the back of the store, there’s a beauty department.” The brand was created for Baby Boomer females who do not have time for themselves, but deserve to feel good at the end of the day. The corporate office opened a Chandler store because of the number of area customers, Conick said.

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Arizona Restaurant Week Chamberlain hits Amazon bestseller list with ‘Success Today’ scheduled for September Chandler orthodontist Dr. Tom Chamberlain has joined a select group of entrepreneurs from around the world to co-pen the book “Success Today” with noted speaker and author Brian Tracy. Upon its summer release, “Success Today” reached bestseller status in two Amazon categories. In “Direct Marketing,” it reached No. 14, and in “Sales and Selling,” it hit No. 73. Chamberlain contributed the chapter titled “On Giving and Getting.” To purchase the book, visit Chamberlain founded Chamberlain Orthodontics in October 2002. While his practice has grown to include two offices in Chandler and two affiliate locations in Phoenix, he attributes much of his success to his staff. Since the start of his career, Chamberlain has thrived on educating himself and his staff. They regularly attend continuing education courses and are proficient in all aspects of orthodontic care. His office has advanced the knowledge of accelerated orthodontics, which speeds up the treatment times of braces by 50 percent. Recently, they have incorporated “Sleep Friendly Orthodontics” into their practice, helping patients with snoring and sleep apnea problems. Chamberlain will be recognized by The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading

independent bestseller lists. A portion of the royalties earned from “Success Today” will be donated to Entrepreneurs International Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating unique launch campaigns to raise money and awareness for charitable causes. Chamberlain Orthodontics believes in giving forward. Over the course of a year, its office staff has donated to soccer and baseball teams, candidates in talent and beauty pageants, cheer squads, school music programs, community boys and girls clubs, Boy and Girl Scout troops, high school football teams, volleyball teams and dance teams. Chamberlain Orthodontics has teamed up with Smiles Change Lives, a nonprofit group that places those who can’t afford braces with an orthodontist who is willing to treat them at no cost. Chamberlain also gives free treatment to those in need through the local schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs. The Reno, Nevada, native graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in musical theater. In his younger years, Chamberlain’s vocal performance and theater experience sent him around the United States and Europe. He is married to Tamara (Marshall) Chamberlain, from Merced, California, and they have four children—Kohler, Kelsey, Spencer and Hailey.

Arizona Restaurant Week will offer foodies the chance to order from special menus and to eat their way across the Valley from Friday, Sept. 18, to Sunday, Sept. 27. During Fall ARW, participating restaurants, many of which are located in Chandler, offer a three-course prixfixe menu for $33 or $44, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. ARW menus allow food lovers to experience the height of culinary talent of chefs statewide. Some of the Chandler restaurants include Ocotillo Golf Resort and The Keg. “Arizona’s food scene continues to thrive,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We’re fresh off the success of our inaugural Arizona Breakfast Weekend, and preparing for another wildly popular restaurant week. Our local chefs and mixologists are incredibly innovative and continue to delight taste buds around the state.” More than 75 restaurants have already signed up to participate in this highly touted culinary event, produced by the Arizona Restaurant Association. In all, over 200 restaurants are expected to participate. Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will have something from every palate: J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician, Binkley’s Restaurant, Southern Rail, Salty Sow

The Arizona Restaurant Association is holding Fall Arizona Restaurant Week from Friday, Sept. 18, to Sunday, Sept. 27, at participating restaurants. Submitted photo

and Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Chelsea’s Kitchen, El Chorro Lodge and Marcellino Ristorante. Check out updates and menus at www.


Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015


Arizona Off-Road Expo returns this month BY TIM J. RANDALL

The Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will feature Ballet Folklorico dancers at El Palacio of Chandler. Submitted photo

Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to El Palacio of Chandler

El Palacio of Chandler’s Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to the restaurant from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Highlights include a newly expanded kid’s zone with more water play activities, a taco eating contest, a chance to win a trip to Ensenada and more live entertainment including steel drums, reggae, Ballet Folklorico dancers and a DJ. Admission is $5 and includes one raffle ticket for a chance to win a trip to Ensenada, Mexico. Families can enjoy street taco stations, a margarita hut, tequila tasting, cold beer, games, vendors, entertainment and more. The event will also feature salsa and taco competitions. “I’m excited to bring this fun community event back again this year. It’s a lot of fun celebrating Mexican Independence with our customers, friends and families,” said Anthony

Serrano, owner and head chef at El Palacio Restaurant & Cantina of Chandler. The Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will be held at El Palacio of Chandler in the Crossroads Shopping Center, 2950 E. Germann Rd. Children 12 and younger will be admitted for free. Tickets are available at El Palacio, online at www.rockintacoaz. com or at the door on the day of the event. A percentage of the proceeds from El Palacio’s Mexican Independence Day Fiesta will benefit Ballet Folklorico Quetzali-AZ, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the awareness and education of Mexican culture through folkloric dance. The organization is located at 3016 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 16, in Chandler. For more information, visit

The Arizona Off-Road & Sand Expo is returning to the Valley, and a Chandler businessman is responsible for the comeback. Last held in 2008, the event drew 265 exhibitors and nearly 23,000 patrons. This year Andy Meyer, president at CA International and a Chandler native who owns and operates the expo, is hoping for an even larger turnout. “We were the second-largest national Off-Road Expo in 2008, but the recession hit and the draw just was not there,” said Brian Schreiner, marketing manager for the off-road expo. “Now we are back in 2015 and ready for a huge event.” Held at WestWorld of Scottsdale from Friday, Sept. 25, through Sunday, Sept. 27, the attraction will actually house two expos: the first the off-road event inside WestWorld, and an RV-trailer one outside on the grounds. Attendees to the Off-Road Expo will see the newest and most innovative vehicles, equipment and accessories for their adventures. “We will have anything and everything that off-road enthusiasts could want on display,” Schreiner said. Sponsors are numerous and include such well-known companies as: Monster, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Sanderson Ford. Mesa-based TMW Off-Road is one sponsor that cannot wait for Sept. 25. “It is great to see the expo back in Arizona,” said Doug Tylor, owner of TMW Off-Road. “We are missing these kinds of

events here in Arizona.” A one-day pass can be purchased for $20, a three-day pass for $30 and free passes for kids 12 and younger. Hours for the expo are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Additional activities for attendees include two after parties—Friday at Tilted Kilt and Saturday at Twin Peaks. Both restaurants are nearby in Scottsdale. According to Schreiner, there will be $5 off coupons in participating locations throughout the Valley for the 2015 Arizona Off-Road Expo. Schreiner is confident that there will be plenty of 2008 returning fans visiting the expo as well as a whole new group of excited off-road enthusiasts. “This will be a great event with a lot of fun for everyone. Find more details of the event at: activities. Tim J. Randall is a freelancer for the SanTan Sun News. He can be reached at

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Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015

Fitness challenge raises funds for Children’s Cancer Network

Burger 21 creates classic steakhouse experience

A fitness challenge returns for a good cause to The PITT, in conjunction with Pulse Fitness, beginning Monday, Sept. 28. In a typical challenge format, a participant’s weight and body fat is measured before and after the eight-week program. Meanwhile, participants will collect pledges, which will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Network on Saturday, Nov. 28, during the annual AfterThanksgiving Workout. “This eight-week program is designed to give participants a running start into leading a healthier lifestyle,” said The PITT owner Brian Clark. “Through the course of your entire life, eight weeks is not very much time; however, these eight weeks provide the participants with all the tools necessary to change eating and exercise habits going forward into their new life. The friendly competition between The PITT and Pulse Fitness is perfectly designed, so that everybody wins. Participants learn to achieve their fitness

Burger 21, an award-winning “beyond the better burger” fast-casual franchise, is continuing to raise the bar for the better burger industry with the rollout of its loaded spud burger and white chocolate raspberry shake, both of which are available for a limited time. As part of its concept, Burger 21 offers a different chef-inspired burger and handcrafted shake on the 21st of every month. In addition, the brand donates 10 percent of its restaurants’ sales to a local charity or school in the communities it serves on that day. Through Sunday, Sept. 20, guests can enjoy Burger 21’s loaded spud burger, which features a certified Angus beef patty on a layer of scallion cream and topped with cheddar cheese, chopped bacon and potato crisp served on a toasted brioche bun with a side of its house made cheese and ale sauce. Burger 21’s white chocolate raspberry shake is a sweet blend of creamy vanilla ice

and/or weight loss goals, and the Children’s Cancer Network benefits from everyone else’s generosity.” As a survivor of childhood cancer, Clark knows how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle, and knows how important it is to support the Children’s Cancer Network. The dates of the challenge are Monday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Nov. 21. The cost for participants through Sept. 11 is $275 and $350 afterward. The PITT is located at 2150 E. Germann Rd., Chandler. The PITT offers athletic performance enhancements for youth ages 8 to 18, college and elite athletes, and adults through customized training programs, individual attention, trained and certified coaches, and effective and safe training with guaranteed results. The training methodology is unique and delivered in a state-of-the-art facility. To contact The PITT, call (480) 855-3145 or visit

cream, Ghirardelli white chocolate sauce and Monin raspberry puree topped with whipped cream and raspberry drizzle. “We wanted to recreate the classic steakhouse experience in a gourmet burger format using only the highest quality ingredients to create a flavor profile that our guests can relate to,” said Mike Remes, corporate chef for Burger 21. “Burger 21 is the only fast-casual concept that goes beyond the better burger to deliver the ultimate dining experience. Our fans continue to inspire us to develop unique burger and shake creations and we are confident they will be raving over our latest featured combination.” In addition to the loaded spud burger, Remes is the mastermind behind several of Burger 21s best-selling featured burgers of the month, incluing the bayou, turducken and fried green tomato burgers. For more information, visit www.

Sweets to hold grand opening The Marquez family has opened their dream restaurant, Sweets, providing great food and exceptional service. Although formerly known as Dairy Queen for 24 years, Sweets still offers great ice cream, said Bertha Marquez, one of the owners. “We want the community to know it’s the same owners and we want them to

try our new ice cream,” she said. A grand opening will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Sweets is located at 900 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. For more information, visit www., or www.facebook. com/mysweetsaz. Stop by Sweets Saturday, Sept. 5, for the grand opening celebration. Submitted photo

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Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015

Nomination accepted for Mayor’s Neighborhood Excellence Awards

Rawhide Western Town opens for 2015-2016 season

The City is accepting nominations for the 2015 Mayor’s Neighborhood Excellence Awards. Now in its second year, the awards recognize neighborhoods and leaders for their dedication to creating community, increasing neighborhood involvement and developing the next generation of leadership. Chandler residents are encouraged to submit their nominations by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Applications are available at www. “Chandler has an outstanding quality of life because of its strong foundation of connected and involved neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The Neighborhood Excellence Awards support and honors those individuals and groups who timelessly work to improve our community.” There are four award categories: • The Best Neighborhood Event Award: (one-time or ongoing) recognizes a neighborhood that helps strengthen its community through a one-time or ongoing neighborhood event that encourages participation and promotes ongoing communication. • The Most Active or Engaged Neighborhood Award will recognize a neighborhood where neighbors are actively engaged in activities that promote neighborliness and communication structures in place. • The Best Revitalization Story Award will acknowledge a neighborhood that was diminished either socially or physically, but where residents collaborated and took positive actions to unify and

Residents and visitors alike are invited to experience the new old west Rawhide Western Town and Event Center. It opened for its 2015-2016 season on Friday, Sept. 4, and features new town hours and steakhouse menu items, as well as exciting attractions. Admission and parking are free, excluding special events and holidays. New general public hours for Rawhide Western Town and Event Center are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays, excluding special events and holidays. Rawhide is open to the public every weekend for three action packed days of fun and excitement for adults and kids. Rawhide is also available daily for private event bookings. From the moment the gates open, guests are sure to have New this season is the Rawhide Express train ride, which a memorable experience with loops and winds through the desert terrain alongside Rawhide’s enhanced, interactive, the new Riverwalk and lawn area. Submitted photo western-style welcome as they’re greeted by cowboys and take part In addition, Rawhide’s new Pizza in an authentic Rough Rider Shoot Out. Tavern will feature quick and easy grabThe nonstop entertainment continues and-go food options while guests enjoy with new additions to Rawhide’s famed the town attractions and entertainment. sites and attractions, including new stunt New, too, is the Rawhide Express train shows by the Rough Riders in the Six ride, which loops and winds through Gun Theater. Also new is the Rawhide the desert terrain alongside the new Honky Tonk, a bar and indoor bull ride. Riverwalk and lawn area. Kids can hop Guests can grab a drink and try their luck into their favorite animal cart as they go on The Widowmaker Mechanical Bull. for a spin on the Barnyard Express Kiddie

rejuvenate their neighborhood. • The Neighborhood Leader of the Year Award will honor an individual that has inspired positive change, both social and physical, in the neighborhood through his/her leadership. It recognizes individuals who have sought out resources through education and have encouraged leadership in others. To apply for the Neighborhood Award, or Neighborhood Leader Award, the neighborhood must be registered with the City of Chandler’s Neighborhood Registration Program. To register a neighborhood, visit neighborhoods. Award submissions must be provided in essay form and not exceed 500 words. Specific criteria and requirements are listed on the award application. Completed applications may be submitted in person to City of Chandler, Neighborhood Resources Division, 235 S. Arizona Ave., or as a PDF document to judy. A panel of judges, led by the mayor, will review applications and the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorites online from Monday, Dec. 14, through Monday, Jan. 22. Winners will be announced by the mayor in the spring of 2016. Winners will be awarded a $500 Neighborhood Jump Start Grant, to be used for eligible projects, and be featured in the City’s News for Neighbors newsletter, www. and the Chandler Channel. For more information, contact Chandler’s Neighborhood Programs office at (480) 782-4354.


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September is library card signup month

The Steakhouse was recently featured on “Craziest Restaurants in America.” Submitted photo

Train. At either train, guests can pick up the new Rawhide Town Passport—an interactive adventure collecting free stamps for a variety of locations around Rawhide to redeem for an exciting gift. Guests can kick back at Rawhide’s Steakhouse, which was recently featured on Food Network’s “Craziest Restaurants in America” hosted by Graham Elliot. Enjoy daily live music, hometown hospitality and authentic western fare, including Rawhide’s famous fried rattlesnake and Rocky Mountain oysters prepared by Executive Chef Jonathan Scott. Steakhouse reservations are recommended by calling (480) 502-5600, or email Rawhide’s specialty shops and boutiques have also been stocked to the brim for the season offering a myriad of western themed gifts, leather goods, jewelry, apparel and home décor— making perfect gifts for friends and family. Rawhide is located at 5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler.

Chandler Public Library would like to remind all Maricopa County residents that September is Library Card Signup Month. There is no fee associated with getting a library card, and yet, cardholders can: • Check out books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, and place a hold on popular titles; • Use the job center with trained staff and volunteers to provide assistance; • Use computers and access free Wi-Fi; • Reserve study rooms and meeting rooms; • Attend programming for youth of all ages, including story times for young children and science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics workshops for youth; • Participate in adult classes and programs; • Take citizenship workshops; • Print or photocopy documents for a nominal fee; • Send a fax anywhere in the United States • Get expert advice on the next read, research paper or anything library related.

The list above is long, but it is only some of the activities and services a person can access in person at one of four Chandler libraries. Cardholders also have access to an entire library of resources online 24-7. These resources include e-books and e-magazines; music downloads through the Freegal app; language-learning programs; consumer reports; Chilton auto repair manuals; reference USA list generation database; business database; genealogy database; elementary school-age resources for learning; online course on a variety of subjects and legal forms. “Libraries have changed with the times,” said Brenda Brown, the City’s cultural affairs director. “We are not your grandmother’s library. Chandler libraries are technologically modern and offer more electronically based services than ever before. Our

offerings are modern and have evolved to meet our cardholders where they are, whether that is inside one of our library branches, at their home, in their favorite coffee shop, or wherever their mobile lifestyle takes them. We also offer free access to expert libraries who are ready to help every step of the way, no matter a person’s age or learning level.” To sign up for a Chandler Public Library card, stop by any of the four library locations, or visit

9/11 memorial event to be held at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park The Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series Arizona presented by ADS Racing Shocks, will host a 9/11 memorial event with rounds seven and eight of the 2015 season on Friday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 12. At the venue, patrons can honor the country’s police officers, firefighters and military, all of whom will be admitted for free with a photo ID. Come out and experience Arizona’s best trucks, buggies, UTVs and trophy karts racing on the Lucas Oil Short Course off-road track at Wild Horse Pass

Motorsports Park in Chandler. The National Guard will have a helicopter on display for spectators to view. There will be plenty of additional activities for the entire family to enjoy, such as fire trucks, bounce houses and a rock wall. There will be free monster truck rides with donation, with all the proceeds going toward the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Fund and Vettix. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults; $9 for children ages 6 to 12 and

free for children 5 and younger. There will be a fireworks display on Saturday at the end of the racing activities at approximately 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.






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Pei Wei launches ‘Pei It Forward’ initiative to combat hunger

Learn about the outdoors at San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Arizona has one of the highest percentages of child hunger in the nation, with one in four children facing food insecurity statewide. As September is national Hunger Action Month, Pei Wei is partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank, to fund more than 70,000 meals for Arizonans in need. The Arizona-based fast casual restaurant is kicking off its “Pei It Forward” cause-related initiative in Phoenix as the presenting sponsor of St. Mary’s “30 Ways in 30 Days” campaign. In addition to making a monetary donation to the food bank, Pei Wei will fund one meal for a local family in need for every Kids Wei meal purchased at Phoenix-metro Pei Wei locations during the month of September. “The food insecurity statistics in Arizona are staggering, especially concerning children,” said Siobhan Richards, Pei Wei spokeswoman. “Since Phoenix is our home base and food is our business, partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance was a natural fit to help alleviate hunger locally and generate awareness for such an important cause.” To celebrate national “Go Orange Day” on Thursday, Sept. 3, Pei Wei donated 500 Kids Wei meals to a Title I elementary school in Phoenix with a high percentage of children on the free and/or reduced lunch program. Additionally, Pei Wei employees volunteered their time at St. Mary’s that afternoon, assembling emergency food boxes for those in need. “Hunger Action Month helps food

San Tan Mountain Regional Park offers individuals of all ages with the opportunity to learn about the outdoors, while also witnessing first-hand what the outdoors has to offer.

Pei Wei will fund one meal for a local family in need for every Kids Wei meal purchased at Pei Wei locations in September. Submitted photo

banks across the country raise awareness for hunger and encourages the community to join in the fight,” said St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance president and CEO Beverly Damore. “We thank Pei Wei for sponsoring Hunger Action Month and helping us ‘go orange’ to assist the one in four children in Arizona at risk of hunger each day.” Pei Wei offers a menu of fresh, highquality Asian cuisine featuring 35 flavorful hand-cut ingredients. The restaurant provides a lively, casual dine-in experience and the flexibility, speed and convenience of take-away service to provide guests tasty options for a quick, light lunch or relaxing dinner. Pei Wei serves freshly prepared, wok’d-to-order dishes with Asian inspiration in a comfortable, modern diner environment. Pei Wei owns and operates 195 restaurants in 25 states and licenses the Pei Wei brand for use by partner restaurant operators in airport and international locations. For more information, visit www.

Nathan Marten Memorial Join San Tan Shredders for a Beginners Ride where participants will learn some basic skills that every aspiring mountain biker should know. The group will cover topics ranging from proper riding position to braking and how to navigate uphill and downhill climbs. A helmet is required for safety reasons. Bring plenty of water and an extra tube. All riding athletes are welcome. Meet at the main trailhead west of the Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. Desert Walk ‘n’ Talk Join Park Host Robert for an easy 1-mile walk and talk program about the beautiful desert. Participants will learn how to identify plants while learning some interesting facts. Do you know how to identify a cholla cactus? And do cholla cactus really jump? How many seeds do saguaros produce and why don’t we see more of them? For all the answers to your questions, meet Robert at the flag pole at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8. Bring extra water and wear closed-toed shoes. Just for Kids: Volcanoes Let’s take a journey to the center of the earth as attendees explore volcanoes.

Participants will learn some amazing facts about the world’s fire topped mountains as well as some fascinating stories about Arizona’s volcanic past. Then participants will have a little fun making an oozy goopy mess with an epic eruption at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Meet inside the Nature Center. Full Harvest Moon Hike The Harvest Moon occurs before the fall equinox. In the days before light bulbs, farmers relied on the moonlight to help them harvest their crops, allowing them to work well into the evening. It’s also at this time the moon appears as a giant pumpkin ascending above the horizon. Participants will be hiking an easy-moderate 2.2-mile loop trail at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water and a camera and meet at the main trailhead area. San Tan Mountain Regional Park is located at 6533 W. Phillips Rd., Queen Creek. For a complete listing of programs, visit

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Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015


As You Wish Pottery celebrates 20th anniversary Twenty years ago this September, As You Wish Pottery opened its doors as the state’s first contemporary “paint your own pottery” studio. During the last two decades, As You Wish’s dedication to customer satisfaction, strategic Valley location planning and steady growth makes it a recognized leader in the pottery painting industry. To celebrate the milestone, the business recently conducted a contest asking customers to share their favorite memories, called “Dish on the Wish.” Hoping for a few special entries, the management team was amazed at the volume they received. Nearly 150 people entered the contest, sharing stories about birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as well as other special moments in their lives. The entries were so compelling, some bringing them to tears, or causing them to laugh out loud, that the company added extra winners during the judging, adding first through third prizes—gift cards of $150, $100 and $50, in addition to the $200 grand prize and 20 runners up who received $20. The grand prize winner, Heather Webster, recounted a story titled “The Magic Cup,”

about her very young son who had a disease that made his lungs fill with painful fluid each time he drank any beverage. After medications, surgery and therapy, her son no longer wanted to drink even though it was safe to do without mixing in thickening agents. When he saw a tiny shot glass at As You Wish that he could make his own, it was a breakthrough in getting him to try different liquids in his therapy. “Father’s day approached and I took my children to As You Wish Pottery to paint a mug for their dad,” Webster said. “My son immediately fell in love with a shot glass. Getting down on my knees, I took the glass in my hands and looked it over. ‘You know I think this might be a magic glass.’ My son’s eyes immediately looked back at the glass, his face full of hope. ‘I’m pretty sure that whoever paints this glass can drink from it without feeling any pain.’ I

smiled as my son grabbed the tiny glass with both hands and uttered just one word... please.” The first-place winner, Erin Litchfield, is an active duty service person and incredible artist serving with the Air Force in the Middle East. Her entry shared how As You Wish has become a treasured mother/ daughter tradition for her and her mom every time she is deployed and returns home to the United States safely. “Two years later, I embarked on another great adventure and joined the United States Air Force,” Litchfield said. “Since then the time I have to spend with my family has become increasingly limited. However, we continue to find time to get together and paint, especially before and after my deployments. The happiness I feel that comes while painting with my mother before I leave is something I carry with me the entire time I am away. I am currently

serving my second deployment in the Middle East and I look forward to the moment I will be able to return home and paint once again with my family.” Other strong entries include As You Wish Pottery’s involvement in a wedding proposal, a family designing their kitchen’s backsplash using hand-decorated tiles detailing the growth of their kids, stepparents who were able to otherwise connect with stepchildren, the death of loved ones who left behind a treasured piece and a painting memory and so many more. “We appreciated the outpouring of entries,” said owner Lori Neff. “It reinforced that this business is so much more than just painting pottery. It is creating an experience, a lasting memory for our customers that has made the studios so successful. If people want to come and escape their troubles, or celebrate with others, there is something for every event, every person. Painting pottery can have a very soothing and therapeutic effect. Then the pleasure of seeing a completed creation a few days later brings happiness back all over again.”

Free neuropathy/neuritis seminar set for Chandler More than 20 million Americans suffer from damaged and degenerating nerves, a term called peripheral neuropathy, neuropathy or neuritis. The main causes are diabetes with more than 60 percent, cancer treatment side effects, vitamin deficiencies, inflammation, failed back

surgery and low back and neck herniated discs. Learn about alternative treatment approaches to current medical treatments, and leave with nutrition and lifestyle tips to begin decreasing symptoms immediately. Learn about

FDA approved laser therapies designed to treat foot pain that can decrease symptoms in as little as one to two weeks. Attendees will learn the steps to take if they are living with neuropathy and want to improve their quality of life. Food

will be served and the seminar is free. It will be held at Arizona Chiropractic Neurology Center, 3800 W. Ray Rd., Suite 12, Chandler. Call (480) 756-2600 or visit www. to RSVP. Space is limited.

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Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2015


‘Totally Rad ‘80s Prom Gone Bad’ Teens took part in a murder-mystery while they danced to 1980s music at the Hamilton Library during the “Totally Rad ‘80s Prom Gone Bad.” The event was free and included music, dancing food and “murder.” STSN photos by Kimberly Carrillo

Xavier Valdez poses as Larry Lefty, the left fielder.

Friends, Rebecca Lozano and Amanda Wiley, pose between asking their “classmates” interrogation questions.

The library was decked out in ‘80s decorations.

There were rad candies and snacks available.

This ‘80s event featured “graffiti.”

The teenagers mingle.

There was a table of snacks and drinks for the teenagers.

All the teenagers study their parts and ask each other questions.

Molly Sassatelli and Nicole Durazo are excited to start the mystery game.

Kiki Perry and Micah Corporaal are excited to be prom queen and king

There were ‘80s word bubbles for kids to use in the photo booth.

Lauren Gagnon and Kayla Beltran play cheerleaders in the murder mystery.

Kiki Perry acts stunned as she plays the distraught girlfriend.

Santan Sun News; 9-5-15: Neighbors  
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