Features

Angel in Their Corner

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Adventure


Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
On the one hand, new Notre Dame Preparatory coach Angel Cejudo can certainly relate to his wrestlers. After all, he is a youthful 30, not all that far removed in age from the teenagers. He also knows everything there is to know about the sport, having lived and breathed it for years.   On the other hand, Angel may have a hard time empathizing with wrestlers who have been defeated in their matches. Losing in high school wrestling is completely foreign to Angel. At Maryvale High School, he not only won four state championships; he also never lost. His record stands at an amazing 150-0.   While he may be new to high school coaching, teaching wrestling is in his blood. When he was the age of his young NDP wrestlers, Angel taught his younger brother the ins and outs of the sport. Although Henry Cejudo lost three of his high school matches, he repeated his older brother’s record of four state championships. And, with Angel coaching him, Henry took the Cejudo wrestling legacy to a new... More

Meet The Dibella-Haley Family

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Photo Credit: Loralei Lazurek
When it comes to four-legged fashion, there’s a new top dog in town.   Misty Dibella is a former Bellevue, Washington entrepreneur who became a Scottsdale resident and business owner. She’s also the brains behind Bella Cane, a luxury dog boutique now open in Carefree.   The former salon owner and longtime real estate professional settled on a life in the Arizona sunshine after marrying her high school sweetheart, Patrick, a career fisherman who, since 1981, spends many months a year on the Bering Sea. Given the choice of where she’d like to reside while he is frequently away on the job, she chose the warmth and easygoing lifestyle of the desert. The rest is a story grounded in dog-loving history.   The longtime pet lover (mother to pooches Olive Oil and Cherry Bear, both Yorkshire terriers) and self-proclaimed “girly girl” noticed a serious lack of Fido-friendly shopping opportunities in the North Scottsdale, Carefree and Cave Creek areas, and set out to try and fill the... More

Getting Real - Don Clapper & Priscilla Nelson

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
Visual arts are experiencing a resurgence of realism, an approach in which subjects are masterfully depicted in as straightforward a manner as possible, without idealizing them.   The resurgence may be due in part to the universal appeal described by Frederick Ross, noted author, art collector and chairman of the Art Renewal Center.   “Realism is a universal language that enables communication with all people and to people of all times — past, present and future,” he says.   Realism can range from classical, based upon traditional, academic-style painting techniques, to contemporary, where cutting-edge techniques and subject matter are used to comment on today’s world.   Donald Clapper and Priscilla Nelson are two exceptional contemporary realistic artists whose work can be seen locally. Each artist has a studio/gallery nearby where their art and their passion for realism are shared with the public.   Donald Clapper Realism artist Don Clapper has received national as well... More

Serenity In The Boulders

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
The old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” certainly applies to the villa in The Boulders community recently redesigned by interior designer JoEllen Sessa. From the outside, the adobe-styled villa looks charming enough, but it’s when you enter the residence that your senses come alive. Light, airy and awash with energy, this contemporary interior design was achieved with imagination and a clever repositioning of elements.   The owners, an Australian couple, live in this second home several times a year but also rent it out, so while they wanted it to look like their dream home, it also had to be built of sturdy and practical materials to withstand the onslaught of visitors. There are four bedrooms and four baths in the home; JoEllen kept the furnishings and interior design simple, other than the artwork.   “I wanted to create a contemporary feel while still honoring the flavors of the Southwest,” she says.   JoEllen is a certified interior designer and her... More

Stradivarius Strums Through the Valley

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Community


Stradivarius. The name is synonymous with one-of-a-kind musical perfection, along with a healthy dose of mystery and intrigue. And now through June 5, the Musical Instrument Museum will be the only location in the world to host “Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker,” an exhibit that traces the origins of the violin from the 16th century onward and includes a 1728 Stradivarius violin on public display in the United States for the first time ever.   From Cremona, Italy to the United States and across the globe, the legend of master violin maker Antonio Stradaveri continues to compel and thrill the public, as well as inspire musicians, collectors, artisans, scientists, authors — even fraudsters. Of the approximately 1,000 instruments made over his long career, 600 legitimate Stradivarius instruments still survive today, and each is a testament to the genius of the man who made them, the technical secrets of their unparalleled sound and form still locked... More

Scottsdale Philharmonic

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Community


The Scottsdale Philharmonic, a symphony orchestra comprised of 92 professionally trained musicians, has made it their mission to make classical music accessible to all.   Young and old, rich or poor, everyone can enjoy the timeless beauty of classical music by attending one, or all, of the orchestra’s first-rate performances — for free.   “The Philharmonic does not charge admission,” says volunteer Fran Droll. “They want to reach an audience that includes everyone, from young people and families to senior citizens. The musicians perform for free, giving their love of music and extraordinary talents as an act of philanthropy.”   The nonprofit is strictly volunteer only and funded by the contributions of the general public and business community.   “This is a unique orchestra,” says executive director Carl Reiter. “It’s a group of professional musicians who dedicate their time and talent, and are eager to present the finest quality concerts to the... More

Hope For Evelyn

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


It was the heat of the summer, two days before the Fourth of July. The Hill family was celebrating another holiday at the Anthem Independence Day Festival. The smell of hot dogs, the sound of children’s laughter, the warmth of the July sun; all indicators of another fun holiday.   The next morning, the Hills awoke to a sick daughter. Their youngest child, 3-year-old Evelyn, had come down with a fever, and she didn’t want to stand up to get out of bed. Thinking it was just a cold, MaryAnn, Evelyn’s mom, did what any mother would do — she waited it out. The next day, however, Evelyn still wouldn’t stand up. MaryAnn had a feeling something might be wrong, so on the Fourth of July, she took Evelyn to urgent care.   Initially, she thought it could be a broken leg, as Evelyn did not want to stand. The doctors performed many labs and X-rays and couldn’t diagnose a problem. Evelyn was sent to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for tests to determine a possible bone infection.   “My... More

Anthem Youth Football

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Close your eyes and ponder the following phrase: Pee Wee football.   Are you picturing cute little tykes in oversized helmets, stumbling around, trying to remember which way to run?   Well, that might be the old days, but that’s hardly the case for today’s Anthem area youth football.   Under the coaching of Matt Carolan and his assistants, a group of 11- and 12-year-old Pee Wees learned how to play football like high school seniors.   “I was pretty proud of what the kids learned,” Carolan says. “We were able to teach them a high school varsity offense. We ran a Power I [formation], we taught them the full spread offense.” Young quarterback Tyler Schweigert even got to change plays with audibles at the line of scrimmage.   “It was very impressive,” the coach says. “On defense, we were able to play a full varsity high school style zone, man to man, dime packages and nickel packages. It was an absolute privilege to coach these kids.”   And they didn’t just... More

Saving a Noble Breed

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


As the driving force behind Arizona American Saddlebred Rescue (AASR), it seems fitting that Catherine Gottschalk grew up surrounded by pets, as well as cows and horses within visiting distance. Her early experiences with animals included one encounter that changed her life and helped her discover her life’s mission.   “I remember walking to a nearby barn where I had discovered an old grey pony,” she recalls. “He was in a tiny stall, and I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but I knew his hooves did not look right — and he was so skinny. He could barely walk, and I remember feeling such compassion for him. I’d take sugar cubes and carrots after school so he’d have something to look forward to every day.”   That pony helped solidify Catherine’s passion for rescuing, healing and finding safe havens for abandoned, abused and neglected animals — a passion that came with her when she moved to Arizona from the Midwest 22 years ago, and became her life’s work... More

The Fight Continues

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


With more than 200,000 people being diagnosed with a brain tumor each year, it is very possible that someone you know or love has been affected by one already. Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer deaths in children under the age of 20, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20-39 and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20-39, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.   The largest student-run nonprofit in Arizona, Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) started out with 250 walkers and $7,500, and now raises more than $1.75 million through its annual walk-a-thons. The organization is primarily run by high school students from Red Mountain High School, Shadow Mountain High School, North Canyon High School, Notre Dame Preparatory, Chaparral High School, Horizon High School and others. Their donations earn them awards, plaques and respect.   SSBTR donates 93 percent of all funds to Phoenix... More

Camp Soaring Eagle

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Going away to camp is an experience that many children look forward to each year. It’s a place for them to learn, grow, have fun, experience new adventures and make new friends.   For other children, camp is not even a possibility. These children are living with serious illnesses, and their severe medical conditions do not allow for traditional camping opportunities.   Fortunately, for the more than 311,000 children in Arizona who require frequent special medical attention, there is another option: Camp Soaring Eagle, a going away experience created specifically for these children to enjoy a safe camping environment while also receiving their individual medical care.   Located in Northern Arizona on a 26-acre facility, Camp Soaring Eagle provides multiple year-round programs to children ages 6-15 with serious and chronic illnesses. Qualifying illnesses include Type 1 diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer, collagen vascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome,... More

Anthem Athletes Grapple for State Title

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Rob Ascherl
If it’s February, it’s Crooks time.   The name “Crooks” has become synonymous with Boulder Creek High School wrestling. Chiefly, there is coach Doug Crooks. The longtime — first and only — BC wrestling coach has fired up his grapplers, who have taken the program to an elite level in the last few Februarys. The state tournament is held annually mid-month at the Prescott Valley Event Center.   Crooks reflects on building this program from scratch back when BC opened in 2004.   “I have been in the Deer Valley Unified School District since 1986; I was coaching at Barry Goldwater,” Crooks says. “I heard Boulder Creek was opening up, so my wife and I thought it would be a good idea for us to move to Anthem and both of us work at the school. I was excited at being able to start a new program.”   His BC program has been on the rise, peaking two years ago when the team finished third in the state for the 2013-14 season and senior Jro Byrd brought a state championship... More
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