Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers Hosting Sensory-Friendly Social Nights in Celebration of Grand Openings

Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers has expanded into Arizona and its Phoenix-area locations are hosting two open house style events that are open to the public and will include refreshments, arts and crafts, games, and sensory gym play.

Hopebridge was founded in 2005 to serve the growing need for autism treatment services and to improve the lives of affected children and families. Hopebridge says that it is committed to providing personalized outpatient ABA, occupational, speech and feeding therapies for children touched by autism spectrum disorder and behavioral, physical, social, communication and sensory challenges. Hopebridge’s goal is to provide “a trusted place where they can receive the care, support and hope they deserve.”

Open house events will be held at two locations:

  • North Phoenix: Feb. 19, 4:30–6:30pm
  • Hopebridge North Phoenix is located at 3602 East Greenway Road, Suite 102, Phoenix AZ, 85032
  • Glendale: Feb. 20, 4:30–6:30pm
  • Hopebridge Glendale is located at 5859 Talavi Boulevard, Suite 180, Glendale, AZ 85306

For additional information, visit www.hopebridge.com.

Love Is All There Is!

— By Michele Guy Syne

February is the month for Valentines…a time to express our love and appreciation for our partners, our family and our friends.

Love is the Magic that bonds us in our relationships, and relationships are what allow us to discover our true Essence. Here are five suggestions for how to build, maintain, nurture and grow our relationships.

Always Be Gentle and Kind: Do you know that an act of kindness releases endorphins, and oxytocin in the donor, the recipient and anyone watching that act of kindness. Endorphins are the brains natural painkiller, and oxytocin is the hormone of love. Acts of kindness make everyone feel good. And feeling good is good for our mental health, and also our physical health.

Be Considerate and Respectful: Open the door for someone. Bring home flowers. Send a text just to see how someone is doing…let them know we are thinking of them. Smile at a stranger. Take out the garbage (without being asked to). Set the table for dinner. Make someone’s day.

Always Assume the Positive Intent: Everyone is only trying to satisfy their needs, and until we walk a mile in their shoes…we may never know what those needs are. No one does anything intentionally to hurt someone else. So be understanding, and forgiving, and allow yourself and others to be imperfect.

Be Present and Attentive: Take the time to appreciate the contribution that the people in your life make to your quality of life, and to your sense of well-being. When you are with them, really be present with them, and make that time quality time.

Surprise and Delight: The element of surprise wakes us up to our lives. We may get caught up in our day-to-day routine, and pretty soon, we cannot remember what happened yesterday, or the day before. Yet we remember the surprises in our lives. We are delighted with something new, exciting, and different.

Love knows no bounds. And the most wonderful thing about Love, is that the more love you give, the more love you have to give. It never runs out.

So, cherish your loved ones and share your love with those who may not have your blessings and make every day a Valentine’s Day!

Michele Guy Syne is a Professional Engineer and Certified Hypnotherapist. Michele offers private hypnotherapy sessions from her office in Carefree. She also facilitates workshops on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Holland Community Center. Contact Michele at 480.652.6698, michele@uniquelynorthern.com, or visit her website at http://www.uniquelynorthern.com.


Photo: 109924135 © creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com

Celebrate Earth Day All Year Round With ‘I Recycle PHX’ — Next Event is Feb. 15

Join Keep Phoenix Beautiful in celebration of 50 years of Earth Day by participating in an upcoming I Recycle PHX event. Keep Phoenix Beautiful has partnered with co-sponsors Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 850zip and the City of Phoenix Department of Public Works for the 2019–20 I Recycle PHX event series.

Upcoming Phoenix events include Feb. 15 at Happy Valley Towne Center, on the southeast corner of I-17 and Happy Valley Road, and April 4 at Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. Both events take place from 7am to noon.

These one-stop recycling events include document destruction; recycling of electronics, batteries and bicycles; and donations of textiles, school supplies, food and hygiene products. For a full list of acceptable items, visit www.recyclecleanphoenix.org.

Hazardous materials such as CRT monitors, CRT televisions, prescription drugs, oil, paint and chemicals are not accepted at I Recycle events. To dispose of these items, residents should attend the next Household Hazardous Waste event: March 13–14 at Rose Mofford Park, 9833 North 25th Avenue, Phoenix. Visit www.phoenix.gov/publicworks to learn more about hazardous waste collection.

For additional information about recycling and other Keep Phoenix Beautiful activities, visit www.keepphxbeautiful.org.


Photo: 5279857 © Callion | Dreamstime.com

Sip, Savor, Celebrate at Devour the World Feb. 15

Celebrate the international flavors of the Valley Saturday, Feb. 15, at Devour the World, which kicks off the 2020 Devour Phoenix lineup of events. Taste the multicultural cuisines from favorite countries while enjoying cultural music and dance performances from around the world.

Presented by the City of Peoria, Phoenix Magazine, Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance and Local First Arizona, Devour the World moved to Peoria this year to make this unique cultural festival more accessible to West Valley residents.

Some of this year’s culinary participants include Chef Azeb Getahun, Abyssinian Restaurant and Café; Chef Daniele Lombardo, Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante; Chef Danielle Leoni, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar; Chef Yesenia Ramirez, Salvadoreño Restaurant; and Chef Kamal Singh, Tandoori Times; among many others. Libations will be available from Baja Brewing Co., Hoegaarden Beer, Kirin Ichiban, Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine and more.

Tickets, which are $55, include food and libation sampling from regional restaurants, food trucks, wineries and breweries. The event takes place 11am–3pm at Centennial Plaza, Peoria City Hall Complex, 9875 North 85th Avenue. For additional information, visit www.devourphoenix.com.

Sprouts Farmers Market to Open Cave Creek Store Feb. 19

Sprouts Farmers Market will open in Cave Creek Wednesday, Feb. 19 to “expand access to affordable, healthy choices.” Sprouts is known for its welcoming store layout inspired by farmers markets that features fresh produce at the center of the store, an expansive bulk foods section, and an extensive vitamin department focused on wellness.

More than 100 new team members will be led by store manager Tom Critz who has been with Sprouts in various leadership positions since 2011 and most recently managed the store at Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak Roads.

“Tom is a enthusiastic and dedicated leader whose knowledge of the fresh and healthy products throughout our stores inspires team members and creates lasting relationships with our guests,” said Sprouts regional director, Gary Dahl.

To celebrate the new store, Sprouts is giving away a classic beach cruiser to inspire one lucky fan to get outside and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Customers can enter to win through Feb. 18 by visiting sprouts.com/cavecreek.

Grand Opening Details:

  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held before doors open at 7am.
  • The first 200 shoppers will receive 20 percent off their initial total purchase.
  • Every customer on grand opening day will receive a free reusable bag with purchase.

As part of Sprouts’ commitment to “zero waste,” the new store will donate unsold and edible groceries to Foothills Food Bank through the grocer’s Food Rescue program. In 2018, Sprouts stores and distribution centers donated 27 million pounds of product, equivalent to 23 million meals. Food that is not fit for donation is provided to local cattle farms and composting facilities. Sprouts’ evolving “zero waste” initiatives help minimize food waste while reducing the impact of hunger and the company’s environmental footprint.

Explore the Ninth Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival: Feb. 7–9 in Scottsdale

Thunderbird Artists will bring its 9th Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival to Scottsdale Feb. 7–9. The event features mixed media sculptor Gary Moser and more than 125 world class artists from across the globe. This event also features live musical entertainment, optional wine and micro-brew tasting, spirit sampling, giveaways, delectable food, sweet treats and so much more.

Patrons can stroll throughout spectacular paintings, bronzes, glass, stone, copper, clay sculptures, photography and jewelry, while listening to live musical entertainment and sipping fine wines. The Scottsdale Waterfront is a superb backdrop, which adds romance to the event with reflections across the waters.

Gary Moser doesn’t follow the typical formula for a metal artist. He had never welded previously; he was a husband, a dad and a masonry contractor. Outside of enjoying Western art, a popular genre in the Southwest, it never really occurred to him to take up welding until he took his family on a trip to Sedona. While exploring local shops, Moser recalled his kids randomly pointed out piece after piece, none of which looked particularly difficult to make. He said to them, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ Well, one Christmas they bought him some clay and said, ‘Here you go, make one.’ So, over the weekend he made a horse lying down with a cowboy lying on his back with his feet up on the horse. His kids were like, ‘Oh my gosh, dad!’

Gary Moser sculpture

Moser’s first metal art creation was a life-size donkey made from discarded barbed wire. His first sale was a tree sculpture, giving him his first taste of gratification that comes from seeing someone connect with his work. His work transitioned into tables and eventually he developed his lady sculptures, or “his ladies” as Moser refers to them. He uses 10- or 12-gauge sheet steel that he cuts into strips, welds them, grinds the welds down until they are smooth, and, if necessary, adds texture in places. He also inlays turquoise or coral to make the steel pop. He makes bronze versions of his ladies too but enjoys the steel work most.

The 9th Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival takes place at 7135 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, just south of Nordstrom’s on the South Bridge pedestrian walkway, and is handicap accessible with free parking. The hours are 10am–5pm daily. Admission is $3 for adults; wine tasting ticket with souvenir glass is $10. For additional information, visit https://thunderbirdartists.com.

On Hollywood’s Biggest Night, ‘Oscar at the Oscars’ Affair Provides Funding for Performing Arts Nonprofit

Oscar De la salas, one of the hosts of the VYT “Oscar at the Oscars” event.

Phoenix is about to get its own taste of the red-carpet treatment. Valley Youth Theatre (VYT), a local nonprofit focused on teaching kids the performing arts, will host an exclusive “Oscars at the Oscars” Academy Award viewing party complete with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, glamorous attire and other fanfare. Attendees can compete in “Best Dressed” and other awards categories, take a stroll down the red carpet and celebrate the standouts of the silver screen while enjoying all the glitz and glamour the night has to offer.

Launched four years ago, when Valley native and VYT alum Emma Stone scored an Academy Award for her performance in La La Land, this event helps generate funds for the youth theater, enabling more young performers to hone their skills, fee-free.

Billie Jo Herberger, Oscar De las salas and VYT host the event, with on-site catering provided by VYT alum, Chef Tommy D’Ambrosio, who owns Aioli Gourmet Burgers and earned a “Chopped Champion” nod on The Food Network in January of 2019.

‘Oscar at the Oscars’ will be held Sunday, Feb. 9. Red Carpet begins at 4:30 pm; awards at 6pm, at Scottsdale Waterfront Towers, 7181 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale. Tickets are $200 per person; available at https://www.vyt.com/support/2020-oscar-at-the-oscars-viewing-party-feb-9th or by calling Jackie at 602.253.8188, Ext. 304.

From First Round Loss to First Place Win — Copper Ridge Seventh-Grader Takes Scottsdale Schools’ Spelling Crown

Emma McGreevy

Emma McGreevy was not expecting much when she walked into the Saguaro High School auditorium the morning of Jan. 24. Two hours later, the Copper Ridge School seventh-grade student was surprised to walk out with the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) 2020 Spelling Bee trophy.

Emma attributes her spelling ‘powers’ to being an avid reader, “I read. A lot.”

Emma says J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is probably her favorite book series. She says an online test identified her as best fitting into the fictional Hogwarts School’s Gryffindor House, the same as the series’ hero.

“That’s okay with me,” she said.

In 2019, Emma did not make it out of the competition’s first round. Did that early defeat change her preparation for this year?

“Not really. I didn’t start studying until this week. I think it was Tuesday. I didn’t even get through the whole list.” Her winning word was ‘truncate.’

Pictured: SUSD 2020 Spelling Bee winner and runners-up.

Emma will be joined at the Feb. 24 Region 2 Spelling Bee by the five runners-up in today’s SUSD Bee: Redfield Elementary School fifth-grader Braden Van Horne; Cocopah Middle School sixth-grader Lianna Nguyen; Mountainside Middle School eighth-grader Victoria Leung; Kiva Elementary School fifth-grader Gigi Root; and Cheyenne Traditional School seventh-grader Makenna Shenberger.

The winners of the six Maricopa County Region Bees and 14 Arizona county Bees will take part in the March 21 Arizona Spelling Bee, which can be seen on Arizona PBS Channel 8.

The Arizona Spelling Bee is a program of the Arizona Educational Foundation™.

Celebrate Love at Lon’s in February

Valley residents are invited to raise a glass to friendship or romance at Lon’s Last Drop from Feb. 13–16, with a pretty in pink, perfectly balanced Valentini. This “Galentine’s” or Valentine’s Day cocktail is a blend of Flagstaff distillery Canyon Diablo’s Sonoran Rose vodka; Licor 43, which is full of aromas of vanilla and orange; homemade local pomegranate molasses, a splash of fresh local lemon juice and topped with a Luxardo Maraschino foam. $14

Or toast to love at Lon’s at The Hermosa, which was named by Food & Wine Magazine as “The Most Romantic Restaurant in Arizona” in 2018. Chef Jeremy Pacheco and the Lon’s culinary team have created a three-course menu that pairs perfectly with one of the nearly 700 wines featured on the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. Menu highlights include Rovey Family Farms Wagyu Beef Duo: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs & Grilled Striploin, Hawaiian Snapper or Smoked Sonoma Valley Duck Breast. Sweet finishes include the Rose Water-Strawberry Panna Cotta or a decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake. (Cost: $95 with enhancements, plus tax and gratuity.) Celebrate Valentine’s Day Friday, Feb. 14, from 5–10pm. Reservations are required: 602.955.7878 or lons.com.

The Hermosa Inn is located at 5532 North Palo Cristi Road in Paradise Valley.

Cactus League Baseball Returns in February — Runs Through March 24

Spring Training baseball under the warm Arizona sun has been a tradition for devoted fans since 1947. Scottsdale is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants.

Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium. Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Stadium.

The San Francisco Giants play in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale at Scottsdale Stadium. A short drive north, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks play at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, along Scottsdale’s border with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Of course, Cactus League play goes far beyond the borders of Scottsdale. In addition to the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Giants, many other Major League Baseball teams visit the Valley during the season — the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers all call Arizona their spring training home. With 10 facilities hosting 15 teams, the Phoenix metropolitan area holds claim to the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States. 

Cactus League Spring Training season is Feb. 22 – March 24. For general information, including maps and trip planners, visit www.cactusleague.com.

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