Scouts dig in to help Museum, Gateway Park

November 18, 2009

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CAVE CREEK – Local Scout troops 603 and 327 produced remarkable results this summer and fall as they tackled two projects in the town of Cave Creek.

On Oct. 31, John Jung of Troop 327, in a project to earn his Eagle Scout, gathered 16 scouts, six dads and assorted family members at the Cave Creek Museum to tackle the installation of 47 new plant identification signs designed by Gretchen Mills and gifted by the Desert Awareness Committee. Scoutmaster Jason Hill was on hand to help John carry out the supervision of his “crew” according to the requirements of the Eagle Scout program. Jung’s project included 80 hours of supervised work and 20 hours of planning.

In late May, 10 boys and two dads from Troop 603, under the direction of Scoutmaster Craig Bryan, built a terraced erosion control spillway, replaced eroded areas, and realigned the sample xeriscape garden trail at the Town of Cave Creek’s newly refurbished Gateway Park. Glenn Fahringer acted as consultant on the project spearheaded by the Desert Awareness Committee. The effort at Gateway Park was part of a service project for which Troop 603 volunteered in order to receive a “50 Miler Patch.

Desert Awareness Committee meets at the Cave Creek Museum the third Thursday of each month; guests are welcome. Please contact President Fran Wylie at 480-595-5501 for more information on upcoming partnerships and educational programs.

PVCC students work to make a difference

November 18, 2009

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Collection of new shoes and socks to benefit the homeless
When: Nov. 16-25
Where: Collection boxes at PVCC Main Campus and Holland Community Center
next to PVCC Black Mountain Campus

This holiday season, five students from Paradise Valley Community College are teaming up to help the Phoenix Valley homeless. Due to the economic downturn, the Arizona homeless population has exploded to rival the population of Fountain Hills at the same time overall giving to aid organizations has plummeted. As a service project the students have decided to make a difference in the lives of some of the Valley’s homeless. Their goal is to collect 200 pairs of new shoes and 1000 pairs of new socks by Thanksgiving to benefit members of our community in homeless and domestic violence shelters.

The students will take the donated items to Shoebox Ministry, an organization dedicated to meeting the personal hygiene needs of Arizona’s homeless. Please help out! Collection boxes for new shoes and socks will be located at PVCC in the Main Campus Building (KSC Building) at 18401 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, and the Holland Community Center next to the PVCC Black Mountain Campus at 34250 N. 60th Street, Bldg. B. Scottsdale.

The boxes will be out Nov. 16 through Nov. 25. For more information or to donate online visit

Santa Claus is coming to Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary

November 18, 2009

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Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary will be holding its next popular “Open Ranch Day” on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

And on hand will be none other than the “big guy” himself – Santa Claus.

Children of all ages will be able to have their pictures taken with Santa while sitting in the saddle on one of Tierra Madre’s horses.

Tierra Madre’s Jim Gath said, “I know what I’m asking him for this year – a load of hay!”
In addition to meeting Santa, kids can paint horse shoes and meet and feed carrots to the horses, along with a number of special surprises.

For Mom and Dad, the Open Ranch will feature a vast array of horse-themed merchandise – much of it hand-crafted – sent by Friends of Tierra Madre from all across the country. Wall hangings, tote bags, hand-crafted pillows, jewelry, authentic horse shoe wind chimes – even miniature horse shoe Christmas tree ornaments – will be on display and available for a tax-deductible donation.

Naturally, as always, a number of original paintings done by Tierra Madre’s horses will be available as well. For those who wish, they can work with one of the horses to paint their own picture, which will be mounted and matted to take home with them.

“All the proceeds will go directly to our horses and all of the merchandise donations will be tax-deductible”, said Gath.

But the horses are always the stars of the show.

Twenty-seven previously abandoned, neglected, injured or abused horses now call Tierra Madre their “forever home.” There are ex-racehorses, ex-show horses, ex-rodeo horses, ex-ranch horses and some just plain ol’ horses. The one thing they have in common is that they’re all happy to finally be home.

“Our Open Ranches mean a lot to us in the way of fundraising,” says Gath. “This year, we hope a whole lot of people decide to come out a couple of days after Thanksgiving and kick off their holiday season with some of the best horses in the world. I know the horses are looking forward to it.”

For more information and for directions, please call Jim Gath at 480-747-1070.