Category Archives: Events

Gifts for mom that give back to great causes

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Flower Shops.

A better way to buy flowers

Purchase Mother’s Day flowers and gifts through Phoenix Flower Shops (delivery nationwide) and Children’s Action Alliance receives 10 percent of the purchase price.

CAA also operates an e-store where you can purchase beautiful pottery pieces created by local youth artists. Though it’s too late to have items shipped in time for Mother’s Day you can still pick up pieces from the Phoenix office. Contact Amy Kobeta at 602-266-0707 x202 or

CAA advocates for the health, education and security of Arizona children at the state capitol and in the community.


One of four card designs from Maggie’s Place.

Honor the mothers you know with special Mother’s Day cards and/or charms from Maggie’s Place. Phoenix-based Maggie’s Place provides houses of hospitality for expectant women who are homeless or alone and who wish to achieve their goals — for themselves, and for their child — in a dignified atmosphere. Learn more.

[NOTE: We published a story about Maggie’s Place in our May 2009 magazine; coming in June 2012 is an update on new developments at the growing nonprofit.]

The YWCA offers a Mother’s Day eCard that offers a particularly convenient option for those of you who wait until the last minute. There are many styles to choose from and you can personalize your message. A suggested tax-deductible donation of $20 provides financial education classes for one woman, making a difference in another mother’s life. Learn more.

A celebration of moms and theatre

Nonprofit Theatre Artist’s Studio will present a special event on Sunday, May 13, in celebration of Mother’s Day. “Music and Musings in Celebration of Mothers” will feature popular songs from Broadway and the great American Songbook and amusing and poignant readings about mothers by Studio members and others.

No ticket is required; pay-as-you-can donations will be accepted at the door. Advance reservations are recommended. Special reserved seating and program recognition will be provided for anyone who would like to donate a minimum of $100 to the “Spring for The Studio” Challenge Grant Campaign in honor or memory of a special woman.

The Studio is located on Paradise Village Parkway East, two blocks north of Cactus. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. 602-765-0120 or

Make strides against breast cancer

What better way to honor mothers, grandmothers and all women than by signing up for this year’s American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk?

The walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Tempe Beach Park. Mothers lost to breast cancer will be remembered and survivors will be celebrated. Learn more at

Take a chance and help another family

Maybe you want to take a chance on something really magical happening. Enter Mesa United Way’s Happiest Sweepstakes on Earth for a chance to win a Disneyland Vacation Package from Get Away Today. You don’t have to make a donation to enter the sweepstakes, but even the most modest contribution will help:

$10 will provide 50 meals for the hungry. $50 will provide a week’s worth of diapers for four infants in a shelter or feed a family of four for 19 days. $100 will provide a foster child with a backpack filled with school suppies,shoes,and clothing.

You get the idea. Even if you don’t win, you win. The contest ends May 16.

Know of other community-minded Mother’s Day gift ideas? Please log on and comment to share with the rest of us!


Adopt a pet during PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend

Photo courtesy of PetsMart Charities.

Looking to add a pet to your family this spring? PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend starts today and runs through Sunday, May 6.

Thousands of healthy pets are up for adoption by more than 2,000 local animal welfare organizations in all PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Your pet adoption will benefit these local shelters and rescue agencies, including Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC), which operates an adoption center inside the PetSmart store at 4380 N. Miller Road in Scottsdale. MCACC will receive $35 in adoption-reward grants from PetSmart Charities for every pet they adopt during the event.

“Adoption is one of the key ways to save pets and end pet homelessness, not to mention enrich our own lives with a loving companion,” said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc., in a press release.

“We are excited to be part of PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend and have the opportunity to showcase our wonderful adoptable pets looking for their forever home,” added Dr. Rodrigo Silva of MCACC.

Animal-welfare organizations in all 1,210 PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico will participate in National Adoption Weekend. The events are sponsored by PetSmart, Purina® Pro Plan® and Tidy Cats®.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Saturday, May 5; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. To learn about the adoption center’s fees and guidelines, visit or call 877-473-8762.

KOA Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend sends kids with cancer to camp

Photo courtesy of KOA Care Camps.

Pay to stay at a Kampgrounds of America site on Friday, May 11 and you’ll receive a free night of camping on Saturday, May 12 at any of the 400-plus participating KOA campgrounds throughout North American.

It’s part of KOA’s 9th Annual Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend, which also serves as a fundraiser to support KOA Care Camps for children with cancer. The event attracted more than 25,000 camping families in 2011.

KOA Care Camps is a network of 44 specialized summer camps nationwide that provide a safe — and free — summer camping experience for children undergoing or recovering treatment for cancer.

“We have found a wonderful way to invite out campers to begin enjoying their summer camping season and also allow them to help us support camps for children with cancer,” said KOA CEO Jim Rogers in a press release.

Last year, more than $500,000 was raised through camper donations. Find a complete list of participating KOAs.

Kampgrounds of America, founded on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962, is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public family campgrounds. KOA has 485 locations in the United States and Canada.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration will be hosting its fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28 from 10am to 2pm.

Photo courtesy of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The event allows people to bring unwanted or unused prescription drugs they have accumulated to drop-off points, knowing the drugs will be disposed of in a safe and environmentally appropriate way.

The DEA’s last event, on Oct. 29, 2011, collected more than 377,086 pounds of prescription drugs from more than 5,000 participating locations in the U.S.

Participating locations are Valleywide. To find a location near you, visit the Collection Site Locator.

If you are unable to make it to the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, the Food and Drug Administration offers suggestions for safe disposal of drugs:

  • Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, like used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  • Put them in a sealable bag or other container so they don’t leak.
  • Before throwing away the medicine container, make sure all the information is scratched off, to protect your identity.
  • If you are unsure about anything, call your pharmacist for advice.

Erin Saltzman

Learn more

Time to clean out the medicine cabinet!

Youth of the Year chapter winners advance to state competition

Three teens from Valley Boys and Girls Clubs chapters were chosen as Youth of the Year winners to represent their branches at the state-level competition tonight at the U.S. Airways Center. The state winner will advance to the Pacific Region Youth of the Year competition later this year.

Here are the local chapter winners:

Greater Scottsdale

Alyssa Coughenour. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale awarded Alyssa Coughenour of the Thunderbird Branch as its 2012 Youth of the Year.

The Pinnacle High School senior took home a $5,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems and a $1,000 gift card from American Express at the Celebrate Youth Gala and Auction held at Talking Stick Resort. The other runner-ups also received scholarship money and gift cards valued at $500.

Read more about Alyssa here.

Metropolitan Phoenix

Chloe Johnson. Photo courtesy of Nancy Crase.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix named Chloe Johnson its Youth of the Year competition.

The St. Mary High School junior credits her 12 years at the MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch for her character and determination to help in her community.

Read more about Chloe here.

East Valley

Adrianna Henderson was named Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

Adrianna Henderson. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

The Horizon Honors High School senior received a $20,000 scholarship, which she hopes to use to pursue her goal of becoming a physical therapist.

Read more about Adrianna here.

Erin Saltzman

Recycle outdated car seats, for safety’s sake

Phoenix Children’s Hospital will hold its fourth annual Keep Our Planet Neat, Recycle Your Car Seat Demolition event on Friday, April 20.

The event will be held from 7am until noon in the north parking lot at Tempe Marketplace.

“Car seats do a great job protecting children, but at the end of the seat’s life they contain many materials that could be recycled,” says Angelica M. Baker, child safety passenger coordinator at PCH. “Plastic car seats break down over time – especially in the Arizona sun. The harness can actually break through the car seat if a car seat is used past its expiration date.”

Garage sales and trash cans are not the answer to unwanted, old car seats – de-manufacturing and recycling is, says Baker, who reminds parents to never use a car seat that has been in a moderate to severe vehicle crash.

Miss Arizona 2012, Jennifer Sedler, and volunteers will be at the event to dismantle hundreds of car seats. All plastic parts and metal items will be recycled.

PCH also will have trained technicians on hand to conduct free car seat checks. and answer any questions about car seat installations and car seat safety.

Learn more.

A night for women’s health

With hors d’oeuvres and a focus on health topics specifically for women, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is hosting “Amazing Woman: Be Your Best Self” on Thursday, April 5 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at U.S. Airways Center.

The “Amazing Woman” event will have six breakout sessions covering all sorts of topics from headaches, healthy weight, and digestion to dealing with stress, being a successful caregiver and the newest hysterectomy treatments.

Keynote speaker is Abby Rike, a former contestant on “The Biggest Loser.” After Rike lost her husband and two children in a car crash in 2006, she decided to search for healing on NBC’s reality show in 2009. Her 2011 book, Working It Out: A Journey of Love, Loss, and Hope, starts with her life before the accident and documents her steps to recovery from traumatic loss.

The event is $15 and parking is free. To register, call ResourceLink at 1-877-602-4111. — Amy Vogelsang