Fine Art & Wine Festival Returns for 27th Annual Winter Event

“Blowhard” by bronze sculptor Jason Napier

More than 5,000 original works of art from 155 juried fine artists will be showcased Jan. 17–19 at the Thunderbird Artists’ 27th Annual Winter Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival. The fine art festival will run along Ho Hum and Easy Streets in Downtown Carefree.

A popular event for locals and tourists alike, Thunderbird Artists’ Winter Carefree show was recently ranked No. 45 among the “Premier 100 Fine Art Events” throughout the nation by Greg Lawler’s Art Fair SourceBook.

“It’s an honor to receive such a prestigious industry accolade, and a true testament to the quality of our show,” said Denise Colter, president of Thunderbird Artists. “We love being a part of the Carefree community — people love strolling through the streets, meeting the artists, tasting wine and listening to live music. It’s a beautiful, serene setting, and our artists provide plenty of inspiration!”

In addition to a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, bronzes, sparkling hand-blown glass, wood, clay, metal, stone, gourds, batiks, scratchboard, one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry and exceptional photography, attendees are expected to be especially taken with the oil paintings of the event’s featured artist, Brent Flory.

“Hudson Bay Comfort” 24”x48” oil painting by Brent Flory

Oil painter Brent Flory enjoys learning about and painting the Wild West. Raised in Parker, Flory was always intrigued by the illustrations in picture books. His favorites depicted cowboys, farmers, ranchers, Native Americans and wildlife from the American West.

Flory finds subject matter for his life-like paintings all around him, especially in journal entries or historical books.

“Every life has a story, and some are just amazing,” says Flory. “People did what they had to do to survive. I try to capture that human experience.”

“Aspen Slope” by Nadine Booth

Each of Flory’s pieces are given a well thought out title to help people think about the paintings in a different way.

“Most artists hope that people will appreciate the beauty of their work,” says Flory. “I hope that my work makes people think, and that it makes them appreciate what we often take for granted.”

In addition to meeting award-winning artists and enjoying live musical performances, festival attendees can participate in a world-class wine tasting program. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 each.

Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival runs Fri. through Sun., Jan. 17–19, 10am–5pm daily. Admission is $3 for adults, and free for all Carefree residents and children 17 years or younger. Parking is free all weekend. For more information, call 480.837.5637 or visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.

Foothills Caring Corps Offers Critical Support to Residents

Volunteers and community partners help make it possible

Longtime FCC volunteer Caroline Turner

Imagine being able to live independently in one’s own home well into the golden years. It’s a dream for many, but the reality is that as people grow older, their needs become greater as resources begin to diminish. Activities like going to a doctor’s appointment or shopping for groceries become challenging when one no longer drives. Social life may suffer too, especially for those who are a widow or widower or a transplant from another state who may not have family nearby.

Fortunately, more than 2,500 people in the Phoenix area have been able to stay in their homes and live more fulfilling lives because of the nonprofit Foothills Caring Corps (FCC).

Since 1999, Carefree’s FCC has helped older adults and those with disabilities live independently while still being a part of the community. Those that the organization helps are referred to as “Neighbors.” These Neighbors live in the organization’s service area, which includes Carefree, Cave Creek, North Phoenix and North Scottsdale.

Executive director Debbra Determan says isolation and loneliness is something many seniors and others living on their own deal with all too often, and that the organization’s goal is, “to help Neighbors build their resources, so they are surrounded by support.”

Studies have shown that isolation can be detrimental to mental and physical health, often resulting in people being forced to leave their homes and move into care facilities. Eighty-five percent of FCC Neighbors live alone, but Determan says that even Neighbors who live with their children need social interaction or transportation — many seniors are home alone all day because their adult children are at work.

FCC’s services include medical transportation, van trips to social events, mobile meals, mobility equipment loans, pet therapy, friendly visiting and phoning, business/computer help, handyman services, caregiver relief, shopping assistance, a lock-box program and more.

History of Foothills Caring Corps
Gail Simmons and Father Steven Dart formed the start-up programs in 1999.  One year later, they received a start-up grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and to hire a small part-time staff.  They were then able to recruit more volunteers and were granted space in Christ Anglican Church. By 2003, the Caring Corps passed the 200-volunteer mark, and in 2004, the organization purchased its first 13-passenger van.

In 2006, Simmons retired and Determan took over as executive director. The year 2007 saw FCC reach a critical milestone. That year, the Caring Corps met the needs of 350 Neighbors with more than 33,000 volunteer hours. In 2009, the Foothills Caring Corps was officially registered as a 501(c)(3), and it established a Board of Directors.

The nonprofit organization moved to its current location in 2010, and later expanded and remodeled the space to accommodate expansive growth. In 2014, the organization served 740 Neighbors with 575 volunteers. One year later, they reached another milestone by raising $600,000, the most ever raised at that point.

Since its start-up beginnings in 1999, the organization has had steady growth in both the number of Neighbors served and the volunteers that have been recruited. Fast forward to 2019 when, as of October, FCC had provided 35,782 hours of service, which included more than 10,400 meals, 5,955 van trips and 4,438 medical-transportation trips.

Getting Started
All of these life-changing services begin with a phone call and an at-home visit by FCC assistant director — Volunteer and Neighbor manager, Nancy Cohrs. Cohrs meets with FCC applicants to make sure the organization is a good fit for them. With 230 plus new participants a year, Cohrs spends a good portion of her workday screening potential Neighbors. She says the organization helps people at a critical time in their lives, adding that the FCC motto — Hugs and Help Happen Here — really holds true.

“I do believe that our service and our volunteers make a huge impact on the community, allowing Neighbors to remain living independently,” she says.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Neighbors who want company can sign up for FCC’s friendly in-person visits or phone calls. They can also take a look at the monthly calendar that lists upcoming van trips. Neighbors are encouraged to sign up for activities that interest them, such as movies, bingo, the library, chair yoga, special events and more.

A van will accommodate five or six neighbors, the driver and the driver’s assistant. Neighbors receive help getting on and off the vans, five of which are equipped with ramps or lifts. The Caring Corps currently has nine vehicles.

Scottsdale resident Caroline Turner is one of several volunteers who drive Neighbors to doctor’s appointments or social events. The Caring Corps provides as many as 85 rides in one week.

“It’s so rewarding,” says Turner, who volunteers anywhere from 60 to 80 hours per month. “The neighbors are so inspiring. If a 90-year-old woman with an oxygen tank can get out and go to chair yoga…that’s amazing. I hope I can do that when I’m that age.”

While the average age of an FCC Neighbor is 82, not all of them are elderly. Scottsdale resident Nathan Holter, who is epileptic and legally blind, is a few decades younger than most of the Neighbors, but he doesn’t mind. He says the Neighbors he has met over the years have unofficially adopted him as their son or grandson.

When Holter and his parents moved to Arizona from Minnesota 10 years ago, he found he didn’t have much opportunity for social interaction with people outside his family. He went online looking for transportation and stumbled upon the van program.

“When I called about the van service, they said, ‘You know this van is primarily for the elderly, don’t you?’ And I said, so?”

Holter takes six to eight van trips per month — fewer in the summer months when many volunteers are away. “I have a whole lot more freedom with the van program, and I enjoy my life a lot more,” Holter says. “I’ve become more confident in myself. I really look forward to these trips.”

Neighbor Doris Rybarczyk moved to Arizona from Maryland in 2003 and has been participating in the van program for 15 years. Rybarczyk’s son lives nearby but works full time and is busy raising a daughter.

“I love it,” she says. “It has given me such a wonderful outlook on life. It gives you a chance to talk with different people and keep your mind active.”

Rybarczyk says once she experienced the FCC van program for the first time, she made sure to tell everyone in her apartment complex about it.

Many Neighbors become good friends on van trips and even exchange phone numbers so they can discuss future trips or just chat.

“When you’re lonely and isolated, that has an impact on your health. You can get depressed and have anxiety. Our goal is to enhance their lives and add social interaction and fun with safety in mind,” Cohrs says.

Regina Bonahoom, a Neighbor and Cave Creek resident, says the Caring Corps has made a huge impact on her life. After becoming a widow, she became less involved in the community and reached out to the nonprofit to help fill that void.

“It was a new chapter in my life, and, without the Foothills Caring Corps, I wouldn’t have known who to turn to,” she says. “I’ve made many new friends. We need to be with friends. That’s what gets us through.”

Krosby the therapy dog

Neighbors who appreciate “furry” friends, can also take part in the pet therapy program. Turner is one of the volunteers who brings her certified therapy dog to visit Neighbors.  Neighbors love visiting with her dog, Krosby.

Volunteer Power
While the Foothills Caring Corps has almost a dozen paid staff, the organization’s volunteers are critical to its success, with more than 1,600 registered volunteers, 475 of which are regularly active.

Cohrs facilitates most of the volunteer orientations and says people have many volunteer options, depending on their interests and the amount of time they can commit.

“Our volunteers are always telling us that they get so much out of the experience,” Cohrs says. “And the Neighbors could not be more grateful.”

Marian and Phil Abramowitz have been volunteering for 15 years. They work together delivering food for the mobile meals program. The organization delivers 60-70 meals per day, Monday through Friday. The food is prepared at Honor Health, Thompson Peak.

“The Neighbors love the food, and they are so grateful to us,” Marian says. “Every house we go to, they thank us over and over again.”

Cohrs says mobile meals is a critical FCC program. Not only do neighbors get a hot meal, but they also get a safety check. Neighbors in the program are required to answer the door and let the volunteer in the house. If no one comes to the door, FCC will call until the person answers. If they are unable to reach a Neighbor within a short period of time, FCC will call either the sheriff’s department or fire department to do a welfare check.

Volunteer Chuck Zontanos has been with FCC since 2005. He started as a driver and now serves as a driver’s assistant.

“Everybody we pick up has a story,” Zontanos says. “They have a lifetime of experience and some of the stories are remarkable.”

The first Neighbor Zontanos ever drove to the doctor was a French woman with a background straight out of a novel. During the ride, she shared that she had worked for the French underground during World War II and helped smuggle Jews over the border into France. She was eventually turned in to authorities by her neighbors, and she spent two years in a German prisoner of war camp. Another woman Zontanos met flew U.S. military planes fresh off the assembly line to make sure they were ready for battle overseas during World War II.

“Everybody has a story,” Zontanos says. “It’s a great pleasure hearing where everybody is from and getting to know them.”

Many of FCC’s volunteers says that while they are the ones donating their time, they feel like they get more out of the experience than they put in.

“Every day I volunteer, I give back to someone,” Turner says. “I can’t imagine what I would do without the Caring Corps in my life.”

To recognize the impact that they have made, all past and present volunteers are invited to celebrate 20 years of the Foothills Caring Corps at a reunion / volunteer appreciation celebration, which will take place in early 2020. The event will include an awards presentation and recognition of volunteers and the debut a video that documents the organization’s history. Food and beverages will be provided.

It Takes a Village
While FCC wants as many people as possible to know about the program, more Neighbors means an increased demand for volunteers and funding. The organization occasionally receives grants for various programs, but the majority of its funds come from private donations.

Also vital to the organization is the support of its community partners and residents. In late November, they partnered with the Town of Carefree and Kiwanis Club of Carefree to launch the “Season for Caring” initiative benefiting the many deserving seniors in the area. Residents are invited to help FCC “bring joy, friendship and a holiday gift to our Neighbors,” says Determan. [Read Season for Caring on page 23.]

The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization raised $650,000 in 2018–19 and hopes to meet its goal of $720,000 in 2019–20. Community members who would like to help support FCC in its mission can learn more at www.foothillscaringcorps.com.

Library Hosts ‘2019 HITH Showcase’ Exhibit & Preview

Artist Sue Hunter stands with “All Tied Up,” which will grace the cover of the 2019 Hidden In The Hills artist directory.

The annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour & Sale (HITH), the signature event of the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League featuring 197 artists in 47 studios throughout the community, is slated for the last two weekends in November — Nov. 22–24, and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.

Select artists’ work is on view at the Desert Foothills Library through January in the “2019 HITH Showcase” exhibit. A special behind the scenes preview event will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, 12:30-2:30pm at the library. Go behind the scenes and meet some of the participating artists, try out several different art processes and watch a visual slide tour of artists in action in their unique studios in preparation for the event kick off, Nov. 22.

Now in its 23rd year, HITH is a free, community-wide self-guided tour that provides life-long learners and art lovers the opportunity to see and interview artists at work in their private studios. The “2019 Showcase” is a sampling of some of the artwork available during the six-day event. The “Showcase” exhibit is on view until January 23. The Nov. 7 program will highlight the diversity of media and styles of individual artists. Eight to 10 HITH artists will engage with the public in hands-on demonstrations taking them behind the scenes in a preview of this program that falls on the weekend before and after Thanksgiving.

Desert Foothills Library is located at 38443 North Schoolhouse Road in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit www.desertfoothillslibrary.org.

Learn more about the Sonoran Arts League and the 2019 Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour & Sale by visiting www.sonoranartsleague.org.

See more on page 35.

Kick off the Arizona Art Season with Thunderbird Artists

“Mardi Gras II” by Jane Boggs

Thunderbird Artists will bring its 26th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival to downtown Carefree Nov. 1–3. The event will consist of juried fine art, wine tasting, microbrews, festival food and live music.

More than 150 award-winning fine artists from throughout the United States and abroad will display paintings in all mediums and subjects, in addition to small, medium and life-sized sculptures, bronzes, hand-blown glass, wood, clay, metal, stone, gourds, handcrafted jewelry, photography and more.

The festival also combines fine art with an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines for tasting. For $10, patrons receive an engraved souvenir glass with six tasting tickets; allowing them to walk the streets of downtown Carefree sipping fine wines, surrounded by phenomenal art and listening to live musical entertainment.

The 26th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival takes place in downtown Carefree (101 Easy Street), Nov. 1–3, 10am–5pm each day. Admission is $3 for adults, 18 and over; parking is free. For additional information, call 480.837.5637 or visit www.thunderbirdartists.com.

 GET MORE: Search “Thunderbird Artists” at news.CITYSunTimes.com.

Magical Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Returns to Carefree

Halloween visits the Town of Carefree in the form of whimsical pumpkin carvings from master sculptor Ray Villafane and the Villafane Studios team (www.villafanestudios.com) for a fifth incredible year. The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden, a one-of-a-kind fall festival celebrating the magic of the season, takes place Oct. 18–27, with the amazing artistry of Villafane Studios on display throughout the four-acre Carefree Desert Gardens in downtown Carefree.

Admission to the Gardens will be $15 per person Friday through Sunday, and $10 Monday through Thursday. Children 2 and under are free. Weekdays will feature the talented Villafane Studios carving team creating new and exciting pumpkin artworks, a variety of unique fall-themed edible creations and merchandise, and special Halloween-themed performances throughout the gardens. Weekend entry includes full access to the Gardens, a Harvest Market, live musical performances on two stages, novelty concessions and local food trucks, as well as admission to the Haunted Happenings zone, including a haunted house attraction, giant slide, obstacle course, carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides and more.

New in 2019 is a partnership with the Arizona Giant Pumpkin Growers Association to host an official Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off Saturday, Oct. 19 at 11am. The best giant gourd growers in the Southwest will be bringing their obscenely large, fascinating, ginormous orange orbs to town, in hopes of squashing the giant pumpkin world record. All of the pumpkins entered in the contest will remain on-site, with Villafane’s team of carvers working their artistry on the gourds live throughout the garden during the remaining days of the event. The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off is free to attend, and will be held on the Community Stage, just outside of Historic Spanish Village in downtown Carefree.

Photos: Desert Hearts Photography/Tiffany Copeland

Friday and Saturday nights will feature live headline entertainment each evening from 7–9:30pm on the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion stage. Valley favorites The Walkens Band brings their unique blend of country and Southern rock favorites Friday, Oct. 18. Phoenix native and American Idol season 17 favorite Wade Cota performs with his band Saturday, Oct. 19. The second weekend kicks off Friday, Oct. 25 with Rock Lobster playing the biggest music hits of the ’80s and ’90s. The ultimate Steve Miller tribute band, Pompatus of Love, rocks the stage Saturday, Oct. 26, featuring Steve Miller Band and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Greg Douglass.

Additional weekend event highlights include: Bashas’ “Adopt a Pumpkin” patch, with proceeds benefiting Desert Foothills YMCA; a Harvest Market, featuring a variety of fall-themed vendor goods and autumnal treats; the Jack O’Lantern beer garden with seasonal craft beers provided by Four Peaks Brewery, operated by the Sonoran Arts League; and the Haunted Happenings area, with family-friendly attractions for kids of all ages. Popular holiday-themed activities include pie-eating contests both weekends, sponsored by Venues Café; and costume contests for kids, adults and pets Sunday, Oct. 27. Other special events will round out the week.

For hours of operation, event schedules and more information about this annual Halloween attraction, visit www.enchantedpumpkingarden.com or call 480.488.3686.

Get Ready for the 2019–20 Cave Creek Special Events Issue!

Click here and check out what’s in store for 2019-2020 in The Town of Cave Creek!

As the Town of Cave Creek gears up for its season of events around town, CITYSunTimes, in conjunction with the Town, is hard at work on October’s 2019 Cave Creek Special Events Issue. This annual issue includes a calendar of events for the upcoming season, a special advertiser’s section and a preview of some of the biggest events heading to town for the season.

“Cave Creek is preparing for yet another busy special event season,” says Town of Cave Creek’s Marshal Adam Stein. “Each year we are seeing more and more visitors coming to our great events in Cave Creek. Residents and visitors alike are realizing that Cave Creek is the place to be and the place everyone wants to visit. The town has welcomed more and more special events in town and driving through our town during the ‘busy’ season will clearly show you that Cave Creek is a happening place. From mountain bike events to Cave Creek Bike Week to the Taste of Cave Creek and Hidden in the Hills.

“People who want to have fun…come to Cave Creek. Welcome back to our friends and visitors, and if you have never come to Cave Creek…what are you waiting for? All your friends are visiting us, see what you are missing.” |CST

Foothills Caring Corps Seeks Volunteers

Binka Schwan, volunteer, and her certified therapy dog, Rascal

Join a growing and thriving community

Studies show volunteering provides a boost to one’s self-confidence, self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Doing good things for others in the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment, and a sense of pride and loyalty.

Ask Carefree-based nonprofit Foothills Caring Corps volunteers how they feel, and they echo the same sentiment.

Binka Schwan, who leads the Friendly Pet Visiting program for the 501(c)(3) organization says, “To be able to give back to my community gives me such great satisfaction. The joy my two therapy dogs, Rascal and Maizee, bring to our Foothills Caring Corps Neighbors is equal to my own joy as a volunteer.”

Schwan, a long time Foothills Caring Corps supporter, is one of the organization’s nearly 600 volunteers who provide the community with a variety of invaluable services including friendly people and pet visits, mobile meals, an expansive mobility equipment loan closet, help with computers and paperwork, handyman services, shopping assistance, medical and van transportation, health advocacy and more.

Last year alone, the nonprofit organization’s volunteer force logged nearly 36,000 hours helping to promote independence and enhance the quality of life for elderly residents in the Northeast Valley.

“It is a pleasure to see our volunteers work together for the community’s greater good. The personal connections they make strengthen our Neighbor’s lives as well as the volunteer’s own wellbeing,” said Executive Director Debbra Determan.

“Based on a volunteers’ schedule, favorite things to do and skill set, the Foothills Caring Corps staff will find the perfect way each individual can serve our Neighbors. Our volunteers report a highly rewarding experience that fits easily into their schedules because of the many choices that are available for them,” says Determan.

Those who are interested in volunteering are invited to attend a monthly orientation on the second Thursday of each month, 9–11am, at the Caring Corps offices, 7275 East Easy Street, Suite B106, in Carefree, or call 480.488.1105 for more information. Learn more about Foothills Caring Corps at www.foothillscaringcorps.com.

Kiwanis Marketplace Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

The Kiwanis Marketplace Thrift Store is approaching its five-year anniversary. Opening Aug. 14, 2014 with no paid staff, the store is now led by its general manager, Sandra Carrier, along with the help of a small staff and a committed group of nearly 80 active volunteers. The volunteers at the Marketplace serve as store personnel or as “roadies,” who offer free pickup service for larger, gently used donations from homes in the area.

Pictured, L–R: J. Scott Brown, Kiwanis Marketplace Committee Chairman, and Sandra Carrier, general manager

Aside from its wide selection of affordable items for customers, ranging from furniture and house wares to clothing and electronics, the Marketplace provides a fun environment with meaningful and rewarding work for volunteers, most of whom are retirees. The store functions as a tight-knit community within itself, with staff and volunteers who are passionate about service, and loyal customers who can hunt for treasures while supporting a charitable organization.

The Marketplace serves the community in several ways by funding projects to help local students as well as community projects. Over the past several years, the Marketplace has generated over $1,000,000 in scholarships and merit awards for area graduating high school seniors who are entering college. It has also sponsored many other projects including the STEAM Lab at Foothills Academy, the Kiwanis Kids Creative Corner at the Desert Foothills Library, the Kiwanis Sundial Splash Park in Carefree and the Kiwanis Field’s Little League scoreboard.

Donated items that are not marketable by the Marketplace are passed on to Sunshine Acres in Mesa, which has its own thrift store to provide funding for a home for children who have been separated from their parents. Additionally, the Marketplace helps the environment by repurposing items that otherwise might end up in landfills.

The Kiwanis Marketplace is no ordinary thrift store; it is an organization committed to enriching the lives of children. To learn more about the Marketplace and its impact on the community, or to find out how to volunteer, visit www.kiwanismarketplace.org.

Hidden in the Hills Chooses Tour Directory Cover Artist

Scottsdale artist Sue Hunter stands with her mixed media collage, “All Tied Up”.
Photos courtesy of the Sonoran Arts League

Scottsdale painter Sue Hunter’s mixed media collage painting, “All Tied Up,” featuring a rare scarlet ibis, will grace the cover of the 23rd Annual Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour artist directory. An ibis is a long-legged wading bird that inhabits wetlands, forests and plains.

A signature event of the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League, Hidden in the Hills is Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour. This year’s free, self-guided tour features 198 artists at 47 studio locations throughout the scenic Desert Foothills communities of Carefree, Cave Creek and North Scottsdale during the last two weekends of November: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22–24 and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.

Over the years, the popular four-color, glossy artist directory has become a collectible among patrons. Hunter’s colorful, whimsical collage painting was among more than 75 pieces of diverse fine art entries submitted for consideration of the cover art during a juried selection process on May 11.

“There were so many terrific entries, but we kept going back to Sue’s whimsy and bright mixed media collage painting,” said Hidden in the Hills co-chair, Jane Boggs.

This will be Hunter’s 19th year participating in Hidden in the Hills. While she has been painting with acrylics, oils and watercolors for several decades, she has only been doing collage painting for about two years.

“When I create collages, it’s for pure fun, with no rules,” Hunter said, adding that she uses acrylic paints, stamps, molding paste and objects, such as glass beads, feathers, eyeglasses, wire, embroidery thread and other unique items.

Hunter said “All Tied Up” also includes a subtle message.

“While creating it, I began to think of how so many items we discard end up in the environment, causing harm to the animals,” she said.

Hunter has received many accolades for her work, and she shares her passion by teaching classes.

“I believe art is the best therapy for everyone,” she said. “I have had many students who had never painted and who did not believe they could produce a painting. But when they completed their first painting, the wonder and joy were unbelievable!”

Art enthusiasts will be able to find details about all participating artists as well as studio locations and downloadable maps at www.hiddeninthehills.org. In addition, the Sonoran Arts League’s Center for the Arts will serve as the event’s information headquarters and Youth Art Studio No. 1.

The League office is located at 7100 East Cave Creek Road, Suite 144, at Stagecoach Village in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.575.6624.

CCUSD Celebrates its Outstanding Educators

L–R: Bill Dolezal (principal, Sonoran Trails Middle School), Dick Gunderson, Eric DeVore, Barbara Gunderson, Dr. Debbi Burdick.

Eric DeVore named 2019 Teacher of Year

At the conclusion of the 2018–19 school year, Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) celebrated great teaching with its annual Teacher of the Year celebration. Eric DeVore, a Spanish teacher at Sonoran Trails Middle School was named CCUSD Teacher of the Year 2019. DeVore was awarded $3,000 and will complete his application for the 2019 Arizona Educational Foundation’s Teacher of the Year program.

Also recognized were honorees Kendra Frigard, third/fourth-grade combo teacher at Desert Willow Elementary, and Doni Nasr, Spanish teacher at Cactus Shadows High School. Frigard and Nasr both received $1,000.

2019 Teacher of the Year Nominees & Honorees (L–R): Leighanne Harrison (kindergarten, Horseshoe Trails Elementary School); Susan Webb (third grade, Desert Sun Academy); Barbara Magtibay (second grade, Black Mountain Elementary School); 2019 Teacher of the Year Eric DeVore (Spanish, Sonoran Trails Middle School); 2019 Teacher of the Year Honoree Doni Nasr (Spanish/Spanish Immersion, Cactus Shadows High School); Kellie Combs (fifth grade, Lone Mountain Elementary School); 2019 Teacher of the Year Honoree Kendra Frigard (third/fourth grade, Desert Willow Elementary School).

CCUSD expressed its appreciation and thanks to community members, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gunderson, for their generous donation to financially support the CCUSD Teacher of the Year program. Superintendent

stated that, “this is one of the most important celebrations of the year in the Cave Creek Unified School District as we honor our incredible educators.”

For additional information, call 480.575.2000 or visit www.ccusd93.org.

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