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Against Abuse

The 14th annual Seeds of Change Gala to benefit the Against Abuse women and children’s shelter in Maricopa changed things up this year with 1970s style party at Province Saturday. The event, with auctions and games of chance, raised more than $35,000 to maintain and supply La Casa de Paz.

The annual Against Abuse fundraising gala is Saturday in Province.

The 14th annual Seeds of Change Gala will take place Saturday at Province.

The annual Against Abuse Gala will feature a “That ‘70s Gala” theme this year, with all money raised going to operate the nonprofit group’s women’s and children’s shelter.

The gala is Saturday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at Province Community Association, 20942 Province Parkway in Maricopa.

“Seeds of Change started as a way to build our women’s and children’s domestic violence shelter,” said Torri Anderson, gala chairperson and board member. “Against Abuse has been an organization since 1981, and we are a private non-profit. We knew there was a need for services here in Maricopa, so we started the gala.”
She said the shelter helps those involved in family dysfunction, child abuse and domestic violence.

“Now the event is going strong and all the funds go towards our operational expenses,” she said.

The Gala sells out every year, according to Anderson. Only 300 total tickets are available for the event.

“We still have a few tickets and, remember, it is a fundraiser. This year it is a 1970s theme. We try to change the theme, so people can go and have fun. It’s a great place to network,” she said.

Partnered with Against Abuse for the gala are headline businesses like Ace Hardware, Ak-Chin and Meritage Homes.

“The local business donors make this event even more incredible,” she said.

Tickets must be purchased in advance of Saturday’s event and are available online at seedsofchangegala.org and are $75 per person. Those coming to the event must have their name on the list to get into the Province gate.

Some people will dress up for the event in the ‘70s theme, but it is not required, according to Anderson.

“We want people to come out and have fun, but we also want people to come out for the cause and understand more about the services that we provide in Maricopa,” she said.

If you need housing, counseling or supportive help to move away from an abuser, call the Against Abuse Hotline at 520-836-0858. They are open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Against Abuse hosted its annual Seeds of Change Gala in Province on Saturday. This year titled “Re-Boot the Bling,” the affair had games of chance presented by personnel from Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, raffles and auctions to raise funds for the domestic abuse shelter in Maricopa. There were also line-dance lessons and a dinner served up by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit with desserts by Helen’s Kitchen. Funds help off-set the cost of maintenance and utilities at the shelter.

File photo

What is perennially Maricopa’s most fancy-schmancy party is toning down a little this year, but that won’t change its purpose.

The 12th annual Against Abuse Seeds of Change Gala is set for Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. The theme this year is “Boots and Bling,” and the location will be the Province Town Hall, 20942 Province Parkway.

Sponsors explain why Against Abuse is so important to them: 

At what has usually been a formal dinner-and-dancing dress-up event, dancing means line dancing and dinner means barbecue. There will also be whiskey tasting and cigars in the Saloon for VIP-ticket holders.

Organizer Torri Anderson described this year’s event as “cowboy casual.” Attendees can feel free to dress up as much as they please but are also welcome to sport cowboy hats and boots.

The gala is presented by Meritage Homes. The event benefits Against Abuse Inc.’s domestic violence shelter in Maricopa.

A standard “cowboy” ticket is $50. A VIP ticket with reserved seating is $75.

“All of the money goes to the shelter,” Anderson said.

The shelter provides temporarily housing to women and children escaping abusive situations. It was completed last year. The Seeds of Change gala was initiated more than a decade ago to build the shelter. But that was just the beginning.

“The real work begins after it’s built,” Anderson said.

Funding goes to operation, maintenance and supplies.

This year’s gala will not have a live auction, but the silent auction will continue. Anderson said it will be paper only and not involve cell phones.

Among the auction items will be jewelry from Kendra Scott, a big supporter of domestic violence awareness. It opened a Chandler store in December. A Jewelry Cocktail Party is set for Feb. 11, 4-6 p.m., and also benefits the shelter.

Against Abuse Inc. is a private nonprofit established in Pinal County in 1981.

Boots and Bling gets started with music by About Last Night. Line dancing (with lessons) will be at 6 p.m.


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Disc golf uses flying discs (Frisbees) instead of balls.

The fourth annual Maricopa Meadows Disc Golf Tournament is Jan. 21-22.

The tournament’s capacity of 135 players was filled in the first week of registration, according to tourney director Dave Feldberg. Eleven of those players are from Maricopa.

Outreach by Feldberg, a professional player, has brought in others from farther away than ever before, including Finland’s Seppo Paju, a champion on the European Tour.

“It seems like disc golf is really growing in Maricopa,” Feldberg said. “It’s kind of exciting.”

The tournament has a limited capacity because of the size of the 27-hole course in Maricopa Meadows. Disc golf, in general, plays only five players per hole.

They will play 54 holes over the two-day event. There are divisions for professional, intermediate and recreational for men, women and juniors. They are playing for prizes and cash.

The Maricopa Meadows Disc Golf Course starts on Honeycutt Avenue across from Maricopa Wells Middle School.

The quick response of players wishing to register for the tournament again has renewed Feldberg’s push to have a larger course established somewhere in the city.

“I’ve seen tournaments at larger courses draw 1,100 players,” he said. “Imagine the impact of that in Maricopa.”

This year, the tournament is incorporating a food drive for the Against Abuse women’s shelter in Maricopa.

Residents are welcome to come out and cheer on the players. The schedule has not yet been announced.


Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Asa Miller, 16, a student at Maricopa High School, is completing his Eagle Scout project at the Miller family home in Cobblestone. Inviting everyone he knows, he organized a group to make benches and picnic tables for the residents of the Against Abuse women’s shelter in Maricopa. He is the son of Kimberly Miller and Jeffrey Miller.

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Tasha Carpenter, Debra Wright and Torri Anderson with students from Maricopa Elementary School's Leadership After School Program. Submitted photo

Maricopa Elementary School has been collecting donations of supplies for the Against Abuse women/children shelter in Maricopa. The Leadership After School Program, run by third-grade teacher Jamie Shorey, made posters, decorated boxes and sorted the items donated. They will continue collecting after winter break to make the donation to Against Abuse in the spring. Against Abuse representative and MUSD Governing Board member Torri Anderson stopped by to see the collection so far.

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Tessa Milne talks about surviving with domestic abuse.

Maricopa Police Department responds to 50-70 domestic violence calls a month, and Chief Steve Stahl calls them among the most dangerous. The community has resources to respond to and help prevent these issues, which were discussed throughout the month of October.

Christina Tull (center), president of CAC-Maricopa Student Leadership, with Scott Gillum and Cassandra Holcombe explains the Clothesline Project.

Student Leadership at Central Arizona College – Maricopa is in the middle of a project to bring awareness to domestic abuse.

In April, the students hosted the Clothesline Project, bearing witness to domestic violence. Through May 12, they will be collecting items for the Against Abuse shelter in Maricopa.

In this video, members of Student Leadership explain the project and their organization.

MAC Farm Village

There is a lot going on at the farm this week, with three chances to see what’s up at the USDA/UofA facilities in Maricopa. There is also a great opportunity to learn railroad history and visit the Zephyr train car, and the annual Seeds of Change Gala is the big fund-raiser for Against Abuse, Inc. See details on these events and more, or post your own, at InMaricopa.com/Calendar.


A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Office, 44480 W. Honeycutt Road, #106.


Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee will meet at 4 p.m. at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, 20800 N. John Wayne Pkwy, Ste. 108, with a weighty agenda that includes the General Plan and transit system.

Maricopa Planning & Zoning will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall to hear about applicable portions of the draft General Plan and hear public input.

The Heart of It All is at 7 p.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa, 17945 N. Regent Drive, Community Room A-101. Nancy Elliott presents a fun and entertaining program flowing with carefully selected songs, stories and poems about everyday lives.

A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.


Desert Ag-Ventures MAC Farm Tour 2016 continues at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with lunch included.

Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library starts at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

The Streets Don’t Love You Back Fund-Raiser is the spotlight at Firehouse Subs, 21083 N. John Wayne Pkwy., Ste C101,  from 4 to 8 p.m. as 15 percent of the proceeds will benefit the organization.

Youth Council Meeting is at 6 p.m. is at Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex in Multipurpose Room A. They will talk about plans for the Youth Town Hall and other projects.

Open Space & Trails Meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Legacy Montessori School, 45290 W. Garvey Ave., where members will receive an update on Palo Verde Regional Park.


Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board meets at 6:30 p.m. The agenda includes a discussion of issuing refunding bonds for an estimated savings of $2 million.


Desert Ag-Ventures MAC Farm Tour 2016 continues at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with lunch included.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the program being presented at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch included.

A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Ak-Chin Social Services, 48227 W. Farrell Road.

Maricopa Historical Society Seminar & Zephyr Tour is in two parts, start with information about railroad history in a seminar at City Hall in the morning and ending with tours of the Zephyr train car in the afternoon.

Farm Science Day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the USDA Agricultural Research Center, 21881 N. Cardon Lane, hosting an array of fun activities for the whole family, from face-painting to real science.

Against Abuse Seeds of Change Gala is from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Elements Event Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road. Funds raised at this formal “Pearls & Pinstripes” event benefit the local domestic violence shelter.