Local Women and Girls Receive Monetary Awards from Soroptimists Saguaro Foothills

At a time when good news is sometimes hard to find, Soroptimist International of Saguaro Foothills shared the result of its annual awards ceremony, held March 10. Awards money of $11,000 was distributed to 11 deserving women and girls.

The “Live Your Dream” (LYD) award was established in 1972 and is available to women who are financially head of household with dependents, demonstrate need, and are motivated to achieve their education and career goals.

Jennifer, the LYD award winner from Glendale, was awarded $2,500.  Jennifer has been attending Phoenix College and was recently accepted to Arizona State University Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics to pursue a degree in sociology. She works full time as a fraud investigator at UNIFY Financial Credit Union. In addition to pursuing her certified fraud examiner license, Jennifer has full time care of two family members and three children. Jennifer has been selected as a finalist in the Golden West region of Soroptimist International of the Americas and will win an additional monetary award at the regional level.

This year, the organization had seven runners-up for the LYD award, each of whom received $1,000. The runners up were Caren, Ana, Primrose, Consuelo, Kat, Lois and Melissa. Caren is a navy reservist and is pursuing communications at ASU. Ana is studying accounting at Rio Salado Community College. Primrose is a student at Barrett, the Honors College at ASU.  She plans to obtain a dual master’s degree in global studies and creative writing to assist her goal of improving the lives of rural women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Consuelo is pursuing a degree as an accountant at Rio Salado Community College. Kat is a patient care assistant at Banner Health. She is presently enrolled in the nursing program at Gateway Community College and is also taking online classes at Northern Arizona University. Her goal is to become a registered nurse. Lois is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Melissa is studying pre-med and is working to become a full-time physician’s assistant.

The Soroptimist “Young Women’s Service” award recognizes young women who make their community and world a better place through their volunteer efforts.  This program honors girls between the ages of 14 and 18 who contribute their time and energy to volunteer projects in their schools and community.  Each girl was awarded $500 along with $100 to their charity.  The award recipients this year are Maya Ochoa who volunteers at Veteran’s Heritage Project. She told the assembled audience that “what I have learned from the veteran’s I’ve worked with has been life-changing.” Jaclyn Russek, who also volunteers for the Veteran’s Heritage project, received the award: she feels her work with her charity has brought “new perspectives to how she sees the world.” Emily Spencer was the third winner, and she volunteers at Wild at Heart. She shared this quote from Ghandi as especially meaningful to her: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

The Soroptimist “Ruby” award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their profession and/or volunteer work.  This year’s Ruby award winner is Lee Anne Park, who leads the Extra Special Art program at the Sonoran Arts League. Park ensures children with disabilities have the opportunity to communicate and express themselves through her adaptive art program.

This year’s awards ceremony had local VIPs in attendance, including president-elect of SI of the Americas, one of five federations that comprise Soroptimist International. Also, in attendance were CCUSD Superintendent Debbi Burdick, Carefree Mayor Les Peterson and his wife, Mary, Carefree Vice Mayor John Crane, and Cave Creek Council members Susan Clancy and Kathryn Royer.

Soroptimist International is a global women’s organization working together to transform the lives of women and girls.  The organization works at the local, national and international levels to improve lives through education leading to social and economic empowerment.

Learn more about Soroptimist International of Saguaro Foothills at www.sisaguarofoothills.org.


Photos courtesy of Soroptimist International of Saguaro Foothills

Town of Carefree to Host Memorial Day Tribute

Event honors veterans interred at Cave Creek Cemetery

Each Memorial Day, the country remembers those men and women who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the United States. In their honor, the Town of Carefree will host a Memorial Day Tribute Monday, May 27, at 8am in the Cave Creek Cemetery, 36400 North Pima Road in Carefree.

Cave Creek Cemetery; Photo: Jennifer Lynn, Any Moment Photography

Joined by the Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) this year’s tribute will include a presentation and posting of colors by Boy Scout Troop 15 Cave Creek, an a cappella rendition of the national anthem, an invocation and a special rendition of “Taps” performed at the conclusion of the program. Guest speakers include Margo Angeli, whose brother Gus, a Navy veteran, is interred in the cemetery. West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient Frank Lambert will be the keynote speaker. Tribute Riders RC will place flags upon the grave sites of the many veterans laid to rest there, with service wreaths placed to honor all veterans.

Students from the Cactus Shadows VHP Chapter will be in attendance and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 480.488.3686 or go to www.carefree.org.

Carefree to Host Annual Veterans Day Honor

Veterans and residents of Carefree attend the 2017 event in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Photo courtesy of the Town of Carefree

In commemoration of their service, the Town of Carefree is privileged to host its 10th annual Veterans Day Honor and Celebration Sunday, Nov. 11, from 3–5pm, in the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion stage.

This year’s celebration will reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I and honor those veterans who have participated in this event in previous years.

Speakers will include retired Army Maj. Arden Rowley, a Korean War veteran and POW who will share his wartime experiences. This year’s event will also feature a mixture of patriotic and military music, with a special rendition of “God Bless America” by Todd Knowles and the Main Event Swing Band, marking the 100th anniversary of the patriotic classic, as well as “The Last Post” on the bugle, followed by “Taps” performed on dueling bugles.

Barbara Hatch, founder of Veterans Heritage Project (VHP), will be in attendance with VHP chapter students from Cactus Shadows High School and Sonoran Trails Middle School. There will be a student exhibit, with books for sale at the event.

For more information, visit http://www.carefree.org or call 480.488.3686.

Carefree To Honor Veterans At Annual Community Event

The Town of Carefree will host its ninth annual Veterans Day presentation and musical tribute Saturday, November 11, 3–5 pm, in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, located in the Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy Street, in Downtown Carefree.

The event will feature a mixture of patriotic and military music by Todd Knowles and his Main Event Swing Band. World War II veteran Colonel Blaine Keith, U.S. Marine Corps retired, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Special speakers will include veterans of the armed forces, including World War II veteran, Captain Lew Jenkins, U.S. Army, who will share their experiences from the past. This year the program will include a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace.” And, by popular request, the finale will once again include the bugle call, “The Last Post,” followed by “taps” on dueling bugles.

Barbara Hatch, founder of Veterans Heritage Project (VHP), will be in attendance with students from Cactus Shadows High School (CSHS) and Sonoran Trails Middle School (STMS), whose VHP chapters are now in the capable hands of two volunteer adviser/teachers: Bret Lineburg (CSHS history teacher), and Shannon Griffith (STMS English teacher). Their exhibit and books will be on display and for sale. Hatch is one of the recent recipients of the Hon Kachina Award for “improving the lives of others in her community.” Veterans Heritage Project students can now be found interviewing in 27 schools in Arizona, as well as one in Hatch’s Illinois hometown and a pilot program in Niceville, Florida. VHP will publish six editions of Since You Asked this year.

The Sonoran Arts League will share information about its Veteran Art Program. The Desert Foothills YMCA will discuss their veteran support programs. The Association of the United States Army will have a representative available to assist any veterans with questions. The Carefree Kiwanis Club will provide light refreshments and coffee from the Carefree Coffee Roastery with assistance from the Black Mountain Foothills Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

All area residents are invited to attend and enjoy the special presentations and join in the opportunity to honor those who have sacrificed for all. For more information, visit www.carefree.org or call 480.488.3686.

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