Drive By Blessings: Helping Vets, Finding Hope

2016-05-27 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Shannon Severson   Sometimes, the best remedy for a broken heart is reaching out to help others. Less than a year ago, Karynda and Brandon Kearns’ family was experiencing the hardest time of their lives. Their youngest sons, Owen and Aiden, were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after enduring severe emotional trauma. Karynda struggled to keep a brave face for her children, but felt they were all stuck in an endless cycle of painful thoughts.   “About three weeks after that trauma, I decided we needed to do something to get our minds off of our own difficulties,” says Karynda. “I went to the kids for ideas and they suggested we create ‘blessing bags’ to hand out to the homeless as we drove by.”   The boys designed a logo themselves, filled plastic zip bags with water, basic toiletries and snacks — and Drive By Blessings was born.   “When we focused on making the bags, we began to heal from what happened to us,” says Karynda. “By mid-July, we... More

Dog is My Copilot

2016-05-24 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Brandon Tigrett
Writer Peni Long   With a magnanimous mission and a memorable name, Dog Is My Copilot (DIMC) has saved thousands of animals’ lives, flying abandoned pets to new furever homes across the country.   Combining their talents and a shared passion for helping the helpless and bringing hope and happiness to animals and families, DIMC co-founders Judy Zimet and Peter Rork have created a process to identify and retrieve unwanted animals in one part of the country and fly them to other states with a greater demand for adoptable pets. It’s a job that requires dedication, coordination and, of course, funding, but it’s one that has resulted in saving more than 4,000 animals since June 2012 — a number that is amazing in itself, but even more meaningful when compared to the estimated 10,000 animals euthanized daily across the United States because no one in their home area wants them.   For Zimet and Rork, it’s all about making a bigger dent against that number.   “By understanding... More

Meet the Osborn Family

2016-05-23 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Photographer Jim Osborn
Writer Lara Piu     “I can’t believe that I almost lost the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Christy Osborn, referring to her husband, Jim.   Their 34-year comeback love story began on a USA Volleyball open division volleyball court in Oklahoma, where they were both competitive players. Christy had caught Jim's eye, but she had a boyfriend who attended every match. That fateful day, Christy showed up alone; Jim struck up a conversation with her and learned that they had broken up. After the match, they both attended a tournament party, but he found Christy surrounded by five guys.   “So I took her hand and said, ‘Let’s go for a walk,’” he recalls. On that walk, he told her, “I’m going to marry you some day.”   He stuck to his promise; Jim proposed, and the young couple married nine months later.   On their wedding day, Jim’s uncle advised, “Now Jimmy-Don, I am going to make you the same offer your dad gave to me,” in his... More

A Father's Medical Mission; Bill Krissoff

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

This year, Anthem’s always moving Memorial Day Ceremony at the Anthem Veteran’s Memorial will feature a keynote speaker with a story of uncommon family sacrifice. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Bill Krissoff will share his remarkable story on May 30 at 10 a.m. at Anthem’s “A Day of Remembrance: Memorial Day Ceremony 2016.”   In December 2006, Krissoff and his wife, Christine, received the news every family of a service member dreads: their eldest son, 1st Lt. Nathan Krissoff, a Marine counterintelligence officer, had been killed by a roadside bomb while conducting combat operations near Camp Fallujah Army Base in Iraq. He was 25 years old.   Nathan had been a scholar athlete; he and his brother, Austin, both competed internationally with the U.S. Junior National Wildwater Kayak Team. He was an accomplished classical pianist, violinist and poet. He had been student body president at a demanding California prep school and earned a degree in political science from the highly... More

Rolling out the Red Carpet; 2016 Celebration of Excellence Awards

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

The Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce rolled out the red carpet for its annual Celebration of Excellence Awards this past March. Always a much anticipated event, this year’s awards ceremony was hosted at Venues Cafe in the heart of Carefree’s downtown commercial district. Chamber members and the public saluted the finalists for Business of the Year and Volunteer of the Year, who were recognized for their community contributions, as well as their promotion of goodwill within the local marketplace.    The Chamber’s 2016 honorees were selected by member peers along with a nominating committee. This year’s Business of the Year went to Michael Kennelly and Mark Waters of UPS, while the Volunteer of the Year recipient was Mick Ennis.    Kennelly and Waters own three UPS Stores in Cave Creek, Terravita and Carefree.    “It means everything to receive this award,” says Kennelly. “It’s incredibly flattering that other businesses think that highly of... More

National Park Service 100: Chelly Canyon

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

This year, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of preservation of land, animals and resources — and of providing opportunities to experience, explore and enjoy the 58 national parks and more than 400 public lands it administers. Twenty-two of these lands, including three national parks, are located in Arizona, and if ever there was a time to appreciate these unique gifts in our home state, this is it.   The centennial celebration is more than an acknowledgment of the past; it is recognition of the continuing achievements for our own generations, as well as for generations yet to be born. Through our national parks, we are creating an ongoing legacy that, no matter what technology or cultural changes occur, will allow future Americans to understand and feel for themselves the deep interdependence humans, in our most basic of elements, have with the rest of the natural living world.   To celebrate this remarkable achievement, our Images Arizona staff will be... More

A Century of Preservation - Grand Canyon

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Writer Amanda Christmann   There is a very special anniversary this year and suffice it to say, it is one that affects all of us who love our beautiful state and who cherish the wild, untamed lands preserved for our enjoyment and for that of our children and grandchildren.    The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of preservation of land, animals and resources — and of providing opportunities to experience, explore and enjoy the 58 national parks and more than 400 public lands it administers.    Twenty-two of these lands, including three national parks, are located in Arizona, and if ever there was a time to appreciate these unique gifts in our home state, this is it.   In 1916, at a time when industry was at the forefront of American growth and natural resources were often pillaged and exploited, the Organic Act was passed by forward-thinking legislators led by President Woodrow Wilson, which created the NPS “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic... More

Functional Art; HF Coors

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

It was my Aunt Millie, a resident of Oro Valley, who turned me on to HF Coors.   Located in Tucson, it may not look like much from the outside. But once you step over the threshold of this factory store, a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns and shapes are there to greet you. Millie doesn’t normally coo; but then, this is a happy place: with more than 50 patterns, countless colors and hundreds of styles to choose from, her reaction is warranted.   And while HF Coors may not be a household name, chances are you’ve encountered their dishware at eateries across the United States, including Fox Restaurant Concepts like True Food and North; resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain and Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel; and retail shops at The Biltmore and Taliesin West. The company has designed dinnerware featuring the ranching brands of Cave Creek’s Cartwright’s and Tonto Bar and Grill. Ellen DeGeneres’ guests sip from HF Coors mugs. Ever shopped from the Uncommon Goods catalog?... More

Meet the Donatto Family

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

There’s nothing like a little spice to kick things up a notch in life. Terry Donatto found his “cayenne pepper of life” the moment he met his wife, Danielle, in Houston, Texas more than 15 years ago.   The feeling was mutual; Danielle knew the first time she saw Terry that he was the one.   “When I saw Terry at church, I turned to one of my friends and told her immediately that I was going to marry him,” she says. She was completing an internship based out of Terry’s church, where he was serving as a youth leader. The pair began dating in August 2000 and were married by November 2001.    “Her and I just clicked very fast,” says Terry. “She is so hilarious and different, and I loved how different she talked being from California.” Two months after they started dating, Terry asked Danielle to marry him.    “She is my cayenne pepper of life and I love every minute of it,” he says.    Shortly after they married, Danielle worked as a hair stylist and Terry... More

John Doorley; Overcoming the Odds

2016-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque   Many readers may already be acquainted with the Doorleys — Brian, Deb and John — as they are an Anthem family dedicated to helping others. Brian is a physical therapist who may have helped your son or daughter heal from a sports injury. Deb is a learning interventionist; she may have helped your child develop his or her reading and learning skills, or provided recommendations on education. Their son, John, also contributes to the community; some of you may know him from earlier school years and sports —soccer, baseball and golf — or from the Boulder Creek High School lacrosse team.    Now a senior preparing to graduate from Mountain Ridge High School, John and his parents are doing what most families do during senior year: weeding through colleges, visiting campuses and awaiting admissions responses while applying for scholarships.    It’s a very exciting time, but the path that John has traveled to get to where he is now was far from... More