Walking In Spirit & In Hope

2015-09-03 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

And they’re off! Once again, walkers and runners at the Linda’s W.I.S.H. 5K run/walk will take on the challenge and fun of this annual fundraising event. On September 26, runners and walkers of all ages will join in what has become an inspirational tradition since its inception in 2001.   Dedicated to the memory of founder Linda Kacmarsky, the event attracts participants from all over the North Valley. Last year’s race drew more than 400 participants to the beautiful Persimmon golf course at the Anthem Country Club, also the site for this year’s event. The more the merrier — and more money raised to support the continued fight to find a cure for breast cancer, as well as those who need help to cope with the diagnosis and its aftermath.   Together We Make a Difference Last year’s event raised a net $15,000 from race entry fees, sponsorships and related donations, and the Boulder Creek High School girls won the coin collection challenge with a grand total of $522. Every... More

Reunited After 34 Years

2015-09-02 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

A stranger saved a little boy’s life after the boy had fallen into a pool. Thirty-four years later, the families reunited in a most unique way.   Andy and Louise Tobias grew up in Central Phoenix. Louise often spent time at her mother’s home a mile away, and this day was no different. The two of them got to talking in the backyard while Louise’s 22-month-old son, Ryan, was playing catch with the new family puppy.   “My mom and I decided to head inside so I could help her get ready to go to the beauty salon,” says Louise. She grabbed her son and locked the puppy outdoors. Eventually, Louise kissed her mom goodbye and started cleaning things up in the kitchen.   “All of the sudden, I noticed that the puppy was in the house,” she says. But she knew she had locked the dog out. She turned toward the back of the kitchen and saw that the patio door was open, and Ryan was nowhere to be found.   It was a mother’s worst nightmare. Louise walked into the backyard and found her... More


2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

It was 14-year-old Sabrina Seifert’s attendance at a local community meeting last year that alerted her to the fact that supplies for Anthem Pets were running low. The discovery led Sabrina to suggest to her mom that she initiate a pet food drive through their mother-daughter community group, Believe in Anthem AZ. The drive was such a success that they are planning for an even more successful sequel this year.   Last year, the group collected 575 pounds of dog and cat food, 30 cans of wet cat food and treats and 155 pounds of cat litter thanks to the many community members who donated, as well as PostNet, who graciously made space for the donated items.   According to Anthem Pets volunteer Lisa Kilwein, the food is collected from PostNet periodically and delivered to a central location in Anthem, where volunteers repackage the food into 5-gallon bags.   “A large portion of the food is donated to families in the area with financial needs,” she said. “It’s amazing how many... More

Bartlett Lake: Right In Your Backyard

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Being confined to a wheelchair has never stopped Bryan Church from chasing his dreams. Little did he know how big of a leap his dreams would take after a trip to Arizona.   “My brother and I decided to make a trip to Arizona to watch the Cleveland Indians spring training in Tucson in 1980,” he said.   Someone told them about Bartlett Lake, the best kept secret in Arizona, according to Church, and they decided to trek up to Phoenix and check it out.   The lake is the last reservoir on Verde River and fed by a 7,500-square-mile watershed located south of Flagstaff. It heads over east of Payson and the Mogollon Rim and west near Prescott. Back then, the last seven miles of the road to Bartlett were unpaved.   “I just got this vision,” said Bryan, as he described the marina he had pictured in his head the moment he “laid wheels” on the shoreline. So he went home, grabbed his typewriter and wrote a letter to the United States Forest Service about his idea. Three months... More

Savannah Strong :: The Ruiz Family

2015-06-29 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Keri Meyers Photography
“She was a normal baby as far as we knew, but she was literally dying in our arms.”   Savannah Ruiz, born April 19, 2015. A new cry in the delivery room, signifying the arrival of new life. Happy tears, smiles, hugs; all the wonderful traces of a birthday celebration. A proud moment as the Ruiz family welcomes a baby girl. Pictures are taken as the infant is passed from one loving arm to another. As far as everyone knows, Savannah is a heathy, normal baby. For the first day of her life, she was; or so she seemed.   Frankie and Kendra Ruiz live in Anthem. While Kendra is an Arizona native, Frankie was born in Colorado. He is an eight-year army veteran and after serving, found his way to Arizona as an instructor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He eventually decided to move to the Valley and return to the automotive industry, which he had been a part of for 16 years. That is how he met Kendra. A mutual friend of theirs came to buy a truck and eventually, the two were... More

Arizona Authors Showcase

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Four local authors discuss their works, including Harold Collins, A Widower's Journey in Faith, Love And Good Humor; Christine Regan-Lake, Sophia's Lovers; Stephen Schwertley, Enemy in the Heartland; and Marless Fellows, A Handshake is Enough. 10 a.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Rd., 480-488-2286,  ... More

Tilted Earth Wine & Music Festival

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

This vibrant festival returns for its second year with an expanded two-day line up of well-known folk and acoustic rock entertainment, wine from 17 northern Arizona wineries, and cuisine from eight gourmet food trucks from the Phoenix Street Food Coalition. 4 p.m.-midnight. $20-$45. Riverfront Park, N. 10th St., Cottonwood, 928-639-3004, More

Beyond Wildest Dreams

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Inside the sanctuary of Papago Park, rust-colored sandstone monuments tower weathered and worn over a saguaro-studded moonscape. Ponds lined with palm trees and neat swaths of golf course green from form oases in the parched desert, and the sun illuminates a white pyramid standing alone atop a towering hillside. Erected out of grief by Arizona’s first governor, George Wiley Paul Hunt, to entomb the body of his wife, it is where he, too, is now enshrined.   Follow the paved path through this most unlikely corner of Phoenix, and another fantastic anomaly awaits. An array of birds, their melodies a medley of musical accord, accompanies the gentle rhythm of the hooves of giraffes and Grant’s gazelles as they saunter across a rolling savanna. Smiling meerkats stand erect, their masked eyes curious as they dart to and fro foraging for food. A rare white rhino stands motionless in the shade like a giant weather-worn boulder perched atop thick stumps.   In all, more than 1,400 mammals,... More

Mariposa: A Love Story

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Paul Markow
There are many among us who walk through life looking down at the pavement as they travel their paths, content with the knowledge that it is there, firm beneath their feet. Their roads are wide and well trodden, and they live safely and securely, smiling at their assuredness.   Beyond these superhighways of life are smaller roads, then wild pathways that lead through thickets of brambles and scattered, gnarled roots. Those who choose to follow these life paths often forge their own way, risking it all for the chance of finding something so special and fulfilling that the challenges and struggles are worth the prize.   For Sedona Chef Lisa Dahl, the path has been full of hills to climb and rivers to cross, but she has not walked it alone. Look closely at her footprints as they lead through the forest and there is a nearly invisible pair just in front of her, holding her hand and guiding her way.   Many Valley residents know Dahl from her award-winning, innovative Sedona restaurants:... More

Take a Hike

2015-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Bryan Black
There are those who spend their spare hours beneath the fluorescent lights of the gym, television screens mounted in front of their eyeballs, machines whirring and whizzing and a constant flood of music playing on overhead speakers.   Then there are those who like to take life at a different pace. They prefer the calmness of a light breeze to the clanking of weights, and the smell of acacia and desert lavender to the scent of sweaty towels and hand sanitizer.   These are hikers, and the near-perfect weather we enjoy here in Arizona for much of the year makes our own back yard one of the biggest and best playgrounds in the world.   Terravita residents Brian and Judy Rea are among the latter group. Sure, they still spend some time at the gym, but if they had their druthers, they’d spend their days in the great outdoors, enjoying all the desert has to offer.   And they have enjoyed quite a bit of it. Brian is one of only nine people to have left his footprints on 89 trails and... More

Mother's Grace Brunch

2015-05-07 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a champagne brunch featuring shopping and inspirational speakers and benefitting Mother’s Grace Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the support of mothers and children who have endured life tragedies. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Home of Sandy Metzler, 6811 N. Desert Fairways Dr., 480-320-9466, More

Wings & Wheels

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Pediatric cancer patients benefit from this fundraising event. Admire private, luxurious jets and vehicles while dining on culinary treats from award-winning Good Morning America guest, Chef Eric Osborn. Two to three children’s items serve as admission and will be used to fill backpacks to occupy kids during their travel and treatment. Reservations required. 5-8 p.m. Pulver Aviation at Scottsdale Airpark, 7332 E. Butherus Dr., More