Join the Kiwanis Club of Carefree for Pancakes with a Purpose

The annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast will be held Nov. 9 in the in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion of the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, from 7am to 11am. Tickets can be purchased from a Kiwanis member or at the event. Adult tickets are $8; $4 for children 14 and under. The pancakes are “all you can eat.”

The Kiwanis Club of Carefree pancake breakfasts are a favorite local attraction. They offer good food, at good prices, creating a good time to support many good community services. They raise about $8,000 each year to support various community organizations.

Kiwanis pancake breakfasts are held twice a year, fall and spring, on Saturday mornings, in the town center of Carefree. More than 250 people attended the last one. The club says that when they began about 12 years ago, they were tied to the Fiesta Day Parade — the only local event that drew a lot of outsiders. Now pancake breakfasts are an event on their own, with other local organizations arranging information booths around the area. The club says that they “welcome this intra-community involvement because good neighborhood organizations should support each other.”

The Kiwanis Club of Carefree extends a special thanks to Harold’s Corral and The Roastery of Cave Creek for their donations.

For additional information, visit


Kiwanis Splash Park Is Open For Summer Fun

The Town of Carefree opened the Kiwanis Splash Park for its third season April 1. Located in the Carefree Desert Gardens, the Kiwanis Club of Carefree donated the funds so that local families and their children could have a place to escape the heat while enjoying the beautiful surrounding views of Carefree. In keeping with the Carefree Desert Garden theme, the park has an artfully designed scorpion centered within the splash pad named “KIWANI,” which is an exciting one-of-a-kind feature. When guests least expect it, the scorpion sprays its jets, creating a magical, nature-inspired play environment.

Families are encouraged to make a day of it and visit the boutique shops and restaurants in the Carefree downtown area, then are welcome to cool-off in the Kiwanis Splash Park. In addition to the Splash Park, on the west side of the Garden, families can enjoy a covered playground area featuring another one-of-a-kind Gila monster slide just across from the Carefree “Little Free Library.”

The Splash Park is open 9am–7pm and admission is free. The park will remain open through October 15. For more information, visit

Carefree Hosts ‘Art In The Garden’ In April

Photo by Vickilyn Hussey

Education and Community Services (ECS), a department of the Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) will host Art in the Garden Saturday, April 8, 8-11am.

The morning of free family art activities, literary and art contest, art exhibitions and entertainment by local school groups, takes place in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Carefree at Carefree Desert Gardens.

“We love having the opportunity to brag about all of our ECS programs that are offered to our students and community,” says Gina Durbin, ECS director. “Art in the Garden features the amazing art and literary work of our students and community members. Our community partners are fabulous and so supportive that we want to give them the recognition they deserve at this community event.”

Scully Learning Center, Sonoran Arts League, Desert Awareness Committee, Education & Community Services, Cave Creek Museum, Desert Foothills Library, ECS Kid’s Club and Child’s Play Preschool, ECS Enrichment and Summer Programs, ECS Storytellers and Kiwanis Reads will have activities and informational booths.

Black Mountain Elementary drama, dance and chorus students, Desert Sun Academy Chorus, Sonoran Trails Middle School Chorus, Cactus Shadows High School Jazz Band, Cactus Shadows Improv Dance and Improv Drama groups will perform on stage at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, while the Carefree Kiwanis serve up the “World’s Best” pancakes at their Pancake Breakfast ($5 children; $8 adults).

Arts and crafts, face painting, sand painting, storytelling, live performances by outstanding youth music, dance and theater ensembles, works by Literary and Art Contest Winners, an art exhibition by CCUSD staff and alumni, and local summer program informational displays and sign-up tables are just a few of the many attractions.

“You can participate in art activities with your kids, enjoy breakfast, be entertained with music, dance, theater and storytelling, view award winning artwork, buy artwork by students and local artists to benefit the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center renovation, and learn about summer camps and classes,” according to Elaine Adrian, ECS Art in the Garden Coordinator. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young children and their families.”

Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion are located at 101 Easy Street, Carefree. For more information about ECS Art in the Garden, contact Elaine Adrian at For additional information, visit or

Kiwanis Donate Scoreboard To Little League

Kiwanis ScoreboardThe players warmed up, the umpire dusted off the bases, the snack shack opened and the parents picked out choice spots in the shade. It was “America’s Favorite Pastime” on Saturday, May 2, and a special day for the Cactus Foothills North Little League because it was the inauguration of their new scoreboard, the icing on the cake of a recently refurbished field.

Kiwanis Club of Carefree is proud to be the Name Sponsor for the Cactus Foothills North Little League baseball field’s scoreboard,” says Bob Swan, president, Kiwanis Club of Carefree. “Club members and volunteers are proud to support young athletes striving to be the best they can be, their dedicated coaches, and their parents or guardians. Kiwanians are all about helping kids and local communities.”

The scoreboard was a donation from the Kiwanis Club of Carefree Benefit Foundation. The cost of the scoreboard was $7,000. Jeff Reuter, a parent in the Cactus Foothills North Little League, and his company Sonoran Landesign donated all of the work and materials.

“We are very grateful for the generous donation made by Carefree Kiwanis to Cactus Foothills North Little League,” says Steve Fair of the Cactus Foothills North Little League.

Mark Fossey, Cactus Foothills North Little League President wholeheartedly agreed, “The thing I love about Little League is that it’s all about community. Thanks to the support of our community partners, the kids are meeting people, being social, leaning how to win and lose and sportsmanship.”

The ball field is located at the north end of Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) education complex south of Carefree Highway, between 56th and 60th Streets. For more information, visit, or contact the Kiwanis at 480.488.8400.

Kiwanis Concert Series

Kiwanis Concert SeriesKiwanis Club of Carefree kicks off its premiere Kiwanis Concert Series season October 25-26 with “Sinatra & Friends” starring Robbie Howard. Las Vegas headliner Robbie Howard as Frank Sinatra delivers the music, comedy and memories of the Rat Pack with all the smoothness of “Old Blue Eyes” himself. The concert series will support the Kiwanis’ Benefit Foundation, Inc. All of the concert series shows are held at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion in Carefree Town Center Gardens. For information or tickets, call 480.488.7169 or visit

Carefree Kiwanis Planning New Facility

New home for Flea Markets

KiwanisClubofCarefreeBy Curtis Riggs ~ The Kiwanis Club of Carefree is now in the planning and fund-raising stage for a 9,700-square-foot building near the Cave Creek/Carefree border. Kiwanis Flea Markets and other events for the organization will be held in the new building, which is required to move from its present location in coming years. The board of directors recently voted to donate $500,000 to the building fund as seed money. Carefree Kiwanis president Toby Payne stressed that Kiwanis Flea Markets could end by 2018 if there is no new building because of the 20-year lease agreement ending with the town.

“The big thing is to build the building fund up quick so we can get this project off the ground and get going,” he adds.

The building is expected to cost between $1.3 and $1.6 million. A committee has been formed to work on plans and projections for the building. A building campaign is expected to start this year.  | CST

60-year tradition continues December 1-2

Pageant Keeps Cave Creek History Alive

By Curtis Riggs – Cave Creek history comes to life December 1-2 with the 60th Annual Cave Creek Christmas Pageant. Held at the entrance of the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, the pageant started in 1952 by the Cave Creek 4-H Club as a re-enactment of the Christmas story, showcasing Club members’ animals. Longtime Cave Creeker Toby Payne heads the event and says he’s helped produce 25 pageants put on by the Kiwanis Club of Carefree.

“There wouldn’t be a Pageant without the volunteer crews, local youth and adults in the cast and choir, animal owners and Kiwanis Key Club ‘angels’ who place and the light the five-plus miles of beautiful luminaria leading to the pageant site.”

The pageant is free. It will start at 7pm on both nights. People should dress warmly and bring a chair or blanket to sit on. |CST

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