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things to do

: Farm Science Day
When: March 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center, 21881 N. Cardon Lane
How much: Free
Info: tinyurl.com/USDA-Maricopa

Whether you want to spit a cricket, ride an auto-guidance tractor or learn about remote-sensing instruments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have something for you to enjoy at Farm Science Day.

The Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center, University of Arizona and Maricopa Agricultural Center welcome all to the free, family-friendly farm and science activities at their location on Smith-Enke Road at Cardon Lane on March 21.

If you’ve ever wondered what is going on at the USDA farm, now is the time to learn about their research and resources. Attendees can watch the “world’s largest field scanner,” plant their own cotton and learn how biotechnology and irrigation technology are changing modern farming.

There will be face painting, cricket-spitting contests, temporary tattoos and kids’ crafts, as well. Wild at Heart will return with its live raptor display, and everyone can enjoy the interactive insect zoo.

Maricopa Master Gardeners and Arizona Farm Bureau will be on hand for the day.

Since the 1980s, U of A’s Maricopa Agricultural Center has been on the land once owned by Fred Enke and John Smith. The mission of the university’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences is to develop the “best-integrated agricultural technologies for problems faced by Arizona consumers and producers.” At the Maricopa farm, it focuses on cotton, alfalfa, small grains and new specialty crops to be used for fibers, oils and pharmaceuticals.

USDA’s Arid-Land Center opened in 2006. It was created to develop sustainable agricultural systems and protect natural resources in arid areas. Research results will be in the spotlight for the Saturday event.

This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.


What: Great Gatsby Seeds of Change Gala
When: Feb. 29, 6 p.m.
Where: Province Town Hall
20942 N. Province Parkway
How much: $50
Benefiting: Against Abuse
Info: SeedsOfChangeGala.org

Against Abuse Inc. hosts its 15th annual Seeds of Change Gala Feb. 29 to fund maintenance and operational expenses for its Maricopa shelter for women and children, La Casa de Paz.

The event will be held at Province Town Hall. Tickets are available for $50 and will be limited to 300 guests.

“It’s always been a way for businesses to come together and network and share their passion of helping the community with one common goal,” said Torri Anderson, Gala chairperson and Against Abuse board member. “And that’s what the shelter does.”

This year’s gala, advertised as a “Great Gatsby Gala,” is Roaring ‘20s themed. Costumes are welcome, and the night will include food, DJ, raffle and silent auction.

The first gala was held in February 2006 and raised $60,000 to fund construction for the Maricopa shelter. Against Abuse Inc. received a $300,000 donation from the Ak-Chin Indian Community for completion.

Now, funding goes directly to upkeep and operations.

“To keep the building open, it takes about $100,000 a year,” Anderson said. “That can go up or down depending on if a waterline breaks or a freezer goes down. That’s what we plan on for people, salaries, light, electricity, kind of everything for an entire year.”

Against Abuse Inc. has provided services and support for survivors of violence in Pinal County since 1981. Fundraising for the organization in Maricopa began in 2005, and the Maricopa emergency shelter was opened in 2015. Against Abuse has been continuously raising awareness of local resources for survivors of violence.

After years of selling out, those considering attending are advised to purchase tickets early for the 21-and-older event.

“People can come up in their Great Gatsby outfits, have a good time and support a cause that’s near and dear to your heart,” Anderson said.

This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

For the second year, students at Maricopa High School are hosting Art for the Heart, Maricopa’s community art festival selling creations to benefit the American Heart Association. Displaying her art and helping organize the event is Assistant Director Lexie Nordhoff, a 15-year-old student-artist working with graphic design teacher Maria Pour.

Raven Figueroa at the inaugural Art for the Heart in 2019.

What: Art for the Heart Fine Arts & Crafts Festival
When: Feb. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Copper Sky Lake, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Info: 520-568-8100, ext. 4136, Art4HeartAZ.wixsite.com/home


Lexie Nordhoff. Photo by Brady Stamps


The daughter of Teri and Steve Nordhoff, she has lived in Maricopa since she was 5 years old. Through her art, she also explores human psychology, but she has displayed other skills as well. Two years ago, she was the MUSD Spelling Bee champion, and she is on the MHS swim team.

What to know about Lexie Nordhoff

Residence: The Villages
School: Maricopa High School
Year in school: Sophomore

How did you first learn you had an artistic talent?
When I lived in Indiana, my parents owned a pottery store, and I began painting pottery at a young age. This was the beginning of my artistic career. I loved the smells and tactile experience of painting ceramics. My parents always supported my artistic endeavors. As I grew older, I moved away from painting the various bisque structures to painting on canvas.

What is your favorite medium?
Watercolor. I enjoy the freedom and ease of the medium, even when I make a mistake with watercolor, I can incorporate it into the piece. The medium is often difficult to manipulate, which has made me become a stronger artist than I was without it.

What is your favorite genre?
I appreciate surrealism; it allows me to remove myself from my preconceived notions of art and escape from reality.

Describe your favorite piece of art.
One of my favorite pieces is rather strange. It is a Monet piece titled “Pheasants and Plovers.” What I enjoy about this piece is it’s wispy and ethereal; it draws you in and captivates the audience with its peculiarity.

With which of your own works are you most pleased?
My favorite piece that I created is a surrealistic/pop-art portrait of a girl with a hand coming out of her mouth. It is titled “Pink Ladies,” which is a street term for barbiturates, which are highly addictive sedatives. This is a part of my sustained investigation based on indulgence. My work has explored many types of indulgences from gluttony, materialism, infatuation, abuse, cosmetic alterations and even celebrity culture and the negative effects that come with fame. The hand coming out of her mouth represents the struggles being masked by drug abuse.

Outside of art, what are your hobbies/interests?
Leadership, which I pursue with the MHS Graphic Design CTSO, being their vice president, and community services, which I accomplish as being the assistant director of the Art for the Heart Festival.

What do you plan to do with art as an adult?
I would like to pursue my passion for psychology. Art therapy is an avenue I want to explore. Art is a reflection of one’s psyche, the internal toil, happiness and things that we keep from others. That’s what a therapist helps others with.

This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

: Arizona Renaissance Festival
When: Weekends Feb. 8-March 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 12601 E. US Highway 60, Gold Canyon
How much: Adults $26/advance, $28/gate; kids (5-12) $16/advance, $18/gate
Info: 520-463-2600, RenFestInfo.com

Now in its 32nd year, the Arizona Renaissance Festival is still going strong in Pinal County.

This year the festival starts Feb. 8 and runs Saturdays and Sundays through March 29. It will also be open on Presidents Day.

Arizona’s annual festival is one of the largest in the nation. Its fanciful European style village is constructed on a 30-acre site just below the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, east of Apache Junction. This is where you’ll find theater, circus, an arts and crafts fair, acrobatics, a jousting tournament, people-powered rides and feasting.

Merchants hawk their wares, selling everything from clothing to custom ceramics. Unexpected sword-play may break out at any time. Watch blacksmithing, jewelry making, glassblowing, leather work and pottery throwing. Over 200 artisans are housed in the market lanes filled with whimsical storybook shops. There are 14 open-air stages where you can listen to raucous music and roaring comedy.

A variety of food is available throughout the festival – bread bowls, stews, steak-on-a-stake, roasted chicken, pastries, chocolates and the king of festival foods, the huge roasted turkey leg. For an extra cost, there is also a Pleasure Feast, a five-course, 1.5-hour dinner and comedy show twice each day in the Feast Hall.

The Faire includes living mermaids, Mother (and Father) Goose, Da Vinci’s steam ship, the Swan Swing, the Piccolo Pony (a rocking horse bigger than an elephant) the slider joust and interactive games.

Patrons can cheer for their favorite night in the 5,000-seat jousting arena that has become a main draw of the festival, which averages 14,000 visitors per day.

The annual Living Nativity will again be at Community of Hope.

: Nativity Celebration
When: Dec. 14, 5-8 p.m.
Where: Community of Hope Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 45235 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: Free

Two holiday events that have become traditions for those celebrating the spiritual side of Christmas are combining again.

Community of Hope Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, neighbors on Honeycutt Avenue, will host nativities Dec. 14. Community of Hope has its annual Living Nativity, which runs two or three times per hour, while the LDS church has hundreds of nativity scenes on displays in a Creche Festival.

Both events are free.

“It’s come-and-go,” COH Pastor Rusty Akers said. “You’re not going to miss anything if you come at 7.”

Both locations will also have refreshments like cookies and hot chocolate.

Bishop Brian Hoffman said there will be “a nice variety” of nativity sets, which are from around the world and lighted with care. Last year, almost 400 were displayed.

“There are going to be depictions from the life of Jesus Christ and some special musical selections,” Hoffman said.

With the cast, choir and volunteers, the Living Nativity involves more than 60 people.

“We have live characters, we have live animals, and we just celebrate the first Christmas,” Akers said. “It’s a real special time.

This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Misty Newman steampunk creations by Mythical Gardens. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Mythical Gardens LLC is giving adults a reason to revel in the Halloween spirit.

What: Copa Adult Steampunk Halloween
When: Oct. 26, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: Raceway Bar & Grill, 49237 W. Papago Road
Who: MythicalGarden.com
Info: Facebook.com/SteampunkHalloweenEvent
Tickets: EventBrite.com (promotion code Hallow10)

The local designer of custom cosplay clothing will host the inaugural Copa Adult Steampunk Halloween at Raceway Bar & Grill. The evening will include a costume contest, scavenger hunt, DJ music, dancing, Declan Shade Photography booth and lots of food.

What is steampunk?

Inspired by the Victorian science-fiction vision of the likes of Jules Verne and Edward S. Ellis, what is now called steampunk re-imagines the age of invention and even the “Wild West.” Cosplay costumes incorporate mechanisms and gadgetry of the time to transform even the most coquettish outfit into something audacious.

“It’s just a crossover from the Victorian era from the late 1800s and early 1900s to steam-engine days, but it’s gotten to be a crossover with Disney or sci-fi or anything they want. They mix everything up,” said Jenny Zarogoza, co-owner of Mythical Gardens. “There’s some people who use steampunk when they really want to keep it authentic between the 1800s and 1900s, but now you just mix it with everything, and it’s just fun. There’s no right or wrong for steampunk.”

Those who don’t want to go full steampunk but just want a taste of it for the evening will find a hat or a mask available from Mythical Gardens. Jenny and her sister Linda make custom costumes, but a limited number of outfits can be rented for the night, too.

“We will turn the patio into a big Halloween bash,” said Jenny Zarogoza. “We were doing it for local businesses so people could get to know some of the local businesses and have someplace where we could all get together as adults and have a great Halloween party.”

Rand DelCotto, owner of Raceway Grill, is creating the menu and will run a cash bar, and Uniquely Yours Cake Design will supply specialty cakes.

“It’s for something different, networking and to just have a good time and dress up, something they don’t get to do very often,” said Misty Newman, who operates Arizona Outdoor Adventures and is a sponsor of the event.

General admission is $40 per person. VIP seating is $65 and includes hats and masks. Sponsorships are available from $100 to $500. A portion of funds raised benefits two 501(c)(3) efforts – the Zarogozas’ weighted blankets for children with autism and Newman’s camping program for youth at AOA.

Mythical Gardens is also creating a Quilt of Remembrance to be auctioned off at the party. Zaragoza is asking anyone wishing to honor a fallen hero to create a 5-by-5 quilt block to be added to the quilt.

If you need a quilt block or if you would like to rent a steampunk costume, email Info@MythicalGarden.com as soon as possible.

This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

By Fran Lyons

Kids Day Maricopa
When: Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: Free
Info: kidsdaymaricopa@yahoo.com

Celebrating its 12th year, Kids Day Maricopa will be Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.

Free, fun and educational, Kids Day Maricopa offers an array of resources that expand awareness and bring attention to the three key components of the event: Health, Safety and Environmental considerations.

With the focus on children, specific topics this year will address how to prepare for and manage excessive heat in our desert climate, water safety and “Stranger Danger.”  Tips and tools will inform and illustrate how to recognize potential risks, develop strategies and form a plan to maximize safety.

Of course, almost any kid will tell you the biggest reason to go to Kids Day Maricopa is the free stuff.  Free food, free toys and free balloons.  Also at the top of list is face painting, appearances by sports mascots “Big Red” of the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks’ “Baxter” and “Striker” and “The Sidewinders” of the Rattlers.

There will also be a special appearance by “Smokey Bear” who is handing out cupcakes in celebration of his 75th birthday. McGruff, the crime prevention dog, will also be there waiting to greet kids and share some great ideas.

Maricopa Police Department will feature K-9 demos and motorcycle demos, among their presentations designed to inform and instruct, as well provide an exciting experience and entertain the audience. Say hi to Sgt. Hal Koozer while you’re there.

You won’t want to miss former Harlem Globetrotter Anthony “Buckets” Blakes’ presentation “Above the Influence.” Using the game of basketball as a model and a practice, along with his youth program’s four tenets – communication, attitude, respect and education, Blakes teaches kids to rise above peer pressure and develop personal life skills.

All this and much more is being delivered by Dr. John Donohue and his wife May, the founders and hosts of the event, with the help and support of a core group of dedicated senior volunteers and recruited volunteer teams, including students.

“Over the years we have amassed over 1,000 contacts and a multitude of event resources,” Donohue said. “Our volunteers are the heart of the program. Just the joy and the impact of Kids Day Maricopa on the community is an inspiration and my greatest reward. That is our mission accomplished.”

For information on hosting a booth, being a sponsor or volunteering call 520-494-7788 or e-mail: kidsdaymaricopa@yahoo.com or drjohnd1@yahoo.com.

The annual Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza is April 13 at Santa Cruz Elementary School.

What: Tortosa Easter Eggstravaganza
When: April 13, 10 a.m.
Where: Santa Cruz Elementary, 19845 N. Costa Del Sol Blvd.
How much: Free/residents; $3/nonresidents
Info: TortosaHOA.net

There will be over 4,000 eggs to be “hunted” by children divided into age groups. Wrist bands for all activities are free for resident children of Tortosa and $3 for nonresidents. The Eggstravaganza is one of the subdivision’s biggest events of the year.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Parking is available at the school and the neighboring park. The big egg hunt starts at 11 a.m.

Once again, there will be lots of activities, including a visit from the Easter Bunny after the egg hunt. Face-painting is back, and there will also be a balloon artist twisting fun creatures. Bouncers will include the obstacle course and 20-foot slide.

Kids can hop a ride on a trackless “train” while parents shop local vendors. There will also be food trucks, a DJ and lots of Easter games.

This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

What: World Long Drive & Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun
When: April 12, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
April 13, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
April 14, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
April 15, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
April 16, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (televised 1-3 p.m.)
Where: Ak-Chin Circle Field, 16000 N. Maricopa Road
How much: Free
Info: AkChinSouthernDunes.com/WLD

The World Long Drive is back.

Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun is April 12-16 on the field at Ak-Chin Circle next to UltraStar Multi-tainment Center. The competition starts with an Open Division of 32 and a Women’s Division of 16. Last year, Will Hogue of Tennessee won the Open Division with a drive of 421 yards, and Phillis Meti of New Zealand won the Women’s Division with a drive of 380.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is partnering with World Long Drive Association for the event. Competition starts at 7:30 a.m. each day. By the last day, April 16, there will be eight men and four women competing in the finale, which will be televised live on The Golf Channel from 1 to 3 p.m.

“This year we have an extra day of qualifying,” Ak-Chin Southern Dunes General Manager Brady Wilson said.

Golf fans can come out and watch for free and enjoy shaded stadium seating. Wilson said there is a lot of excitement in the early rounds, when up to four competitors are driving golf balls at the same time.

This year, the event has moved from May to April, putting it first on the tour.

“We’ve had a whole year to plan to make sure it’s pristine,” Wilson said. “We’ve really produced a great venue.”

He said the agronomy team of Dan Payson and Wes Hamer have the grid looking great. He credited Brittany Sourjohn with the smooth running of last year’s event and said she has been excellent at dealing with the many moving part that make up this year’s Smash.

Organizers also need volunteers for grandstand attendants, runners/floaters, hospitality, retail and player registration. Volunteers must be age 18 and up. Contact Amanda at ARoninger@ak-chin.nsn.us.

The five-day competition is two events. One is a regional qualifier for the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in Oklahoma in Aug. 30-Sept. 4. Anyone can try out, Wilson said. The other event is the Smash in the Sun Tour Event.

In addition, there will be a Masters Division on Saturday for age 45 and up.

This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

Carlos Schulz of Professional Firefighters of Maricopa at Fire Station 571. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Professional Firefighters of Maricopa are hosting their inaugural Custom Car Show April 6 at Copper Sky.

What: Custom Car Show
Who: Professional Firefighters of Maricopa
When: April 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Bowlin Road
How much: Free admission; $25-$35 to enter car
Info: PFFMCustomCarShow@gmail.com; 623-826-2816

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Great Lawn, benefits Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children and Firefighter Charities.

“We’ll be collecting toys and monetary donations through the car show to help with other medical costs,” said engineer Carlos Schulz of Maricopa Fire/Medical Department. Firefighters are asking for new, stuffed toys to give the children of the Foundation.

Firefighters Charities provide temporary relief for families displaced by fire “until help from the Red Cross kicks in,” he said. The relief fund also assists families who may have had a death or a hardship.

The car show will have 25 class awards and five specialty awards. Entry is $25 for pre-registration or $35 the day of the show. There will be a $5 discount for anyone donating a new stuffed toy on the day of the event.

Schultz said specialty awards will be Best of Show, People’s Choice Award, Best Paint, Best Interior and Kids Choice Award. The event will be DJ’d, and there will be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, food trucks and giveaways. The first 100 cars to enter receive a dash plaque.

This story appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

Last year's parade was a first-time event. Photo by Mason Callejas

By Michelle Chance


What: Veterans Day Parade
When: Nov. 10 at 9 a.m.
Where: Porter Road
Cost: Free
Info: http://alpost133az.org/Auxiliary.html

It was a morning decorated with patriotism and appreciation for the men and women who served our country.

Veterans from many eras, young and old, participated in Maricopa’s inaugural Veterans Day Parade last November. Many said they are looking forward to doing it again this year on Nov. 10.

Maricopa resident Gary Lee Erickson served from 1969 to 1971 as the cannoneer in a M42 Duster tank in the 6th Calvary, 1st Brigade of the U.S. Army. A member of the local American Legion Post 133 and participant in last year’s parade, Erickson said he was humbled by the support displayed by spectators.

It’s also a way for veterans themselves to pay respect to the nation.

“Marching in the parade is not for glory, but to show our pride in our country and our flag,” Erickson said.

Organizer Gabriela Potter, president of the American Legion Auxiliary of Maricopa Post 133, said she and an array of other volunteers, began organizing and fundraising for this year’s event almost as soon as last year’s ended.

The celebratory event is one that has come together in its first two years entirely by the community, Potter said. Staff from many city departments, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Tortosa Homeowners Association, local veterans’ groups, schools, restaurants and small businesses have contributed their time to the effort.

“We want to thank the community for helping us make it a success last year, and we hope that this year we can do great things to continue this tradition for many years,” Potter said.

The route along Porter Road is much the same, but instead of beginning at Legacy Traditional School, participants will meet just east of the charter school campus at Central Arizona College on Bowlin Road.

The parade will end at Leading Edge Academy, where veterans will again be treated to a complimentary luncheon and performances by schoolchildren.

Veterans will also have free transportation at the beginning of the event from Leading Edge Academy to CAC provided by the city’s COMET service and Totalride.

It’s a labor of love done to promote patriotism and education of our country’s brave soldiers, Potter said.

Veteran Don Sazama served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965. The Maricopa resident for the past decade said the city’s first parade made veterans feel very appreciated.

His view from a parade float granted him the view of grateful civilians. “There were a lot of people standing in their yards and waving at us and it made us feel good,” Sazama said.

Besides the common expression of thanking veterans for their services, servicemembers said there are other ways to acknowledge veterans during events like this.

“Civilians honor us just by attending the parade and when the colors pass they should put their hands over their hearts,” said Erickson, the Army veteran.

This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Michelle Chance

The third annual “For the Love of Chocolate” Fun Run and Walk kicked off at Copper Sky Saturday with an early morning jog and, of course, chocolate. The event is the yearly fundraiser for nonprofit Sun Life Family Health Center.

The range of activities in Maricopa this week ranges from a Homecoming to film workshops. Below, John Donohue and May McCarthey invite the community to Kids Day Maricopa, set for Saturday. For details on these and other listings, or to add your own, visit InMaricopa.com/Calendar.


Patriots Day Flag Raising is at 8 a.m. at Maricopa Veterans Center, 44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

Grief Chat is at 11 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.


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

Celebrate Recovery Coffee & Karaoke is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

MHS Volleyball “Hope for Harvey” game starts at 6 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.


Copa Shorts Film Fest’s Filmmaker Workshops start at 9 a.m. at Central Arizona College, Signal Peak.

Babytime for ages 0-12 months is at 9 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Harrah’s Club 777 Toastmasters meet at 3 p.m. at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 Maricopa Road.

Maricopa Police Explorer Post Meeting is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

AWANA is at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Maricopa, 18705 N. John Wayne Parkway.

MUSD Governing Board Meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Unified School District, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.


Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Mixer is at 7 a.m. at Elements Event Center at Ak Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Filmmakers Workshops start at 9 a.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa Campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive. Free.

Movers & Shakers for ages 1-2 years is at 9:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Li’l Explorers for ages 2-3 years is at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

RamFest starts at 6 p.m. at from Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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


Trip to Cibecue leaves at 5 p.m. from Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

MHS Homecoming Football Game and “Hope for Harvey” is at 7 p.m. at Ram Stadium, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

Strength & Hope Al-Anon Meeting is at 7 p.m. at Community of Hope Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.


Kids Day Maricopa starts at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.


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


The 10th annual Kids Day Maricopa will feature health, safety and environmental awareness activities for children and their families at Maricopa Wells Middle School on Sept. 16.

The event is free and open to the public.

For the past decade, the event, hosted by chiropractor John Donohue and May McCarthey, has blended education and fun for area youth.

“The best things we can do is to be able to teach a kid something that could change their life or inspire them in some way,” Donohue said.

Local agencies like Be Awesome Youth Coalition, Pinal County Attorney’s Office and Pinal County Sherriff’s Office will be on-hand to discuss crime and drug prevention with families. Maricopa Police Department will offer free fingerprinting for children and a chance to meet the K9 unit.

Ak-Chin Fire will provide car seat safety checks, diabetes prevention and health awareness.

Kids will be able to view police and fire vehicles on display, as well as play on an inflatable water slide, watch karate demonstrations and listen to a performance by local singer Laura Walsh.

Free food, drink and balloons will be available.

Donahue said when the event first began, it was focused on helping Maricopa families. The event has grown to include children and parents from Ak-Chin Indian Community and surrounding cities.

Ak-Chin culture will be a highlight of the event, Donohue said, with dancing and basket-weaving lessons.

“This year we are also going to have Ak-Chin royalty come out and hopefully be able to explain to everybody what they do, the importance behind the dances they do, the culture and what each of the dances represent,” Donohue said.

Ak-Chin Chairman Robert Miguel, Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, state Sen. Steve Smith and Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith are scheduled to speak.

What: Kids Day Maricopa
When: Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.

This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.


Pinal County Sheriff's Office brought a helicopter to Kids Day Maricopa last year.

Saturday is the ninth annual Kids Day Maricopa, promoting health, safety and environmental awareness.

Dr. John A. Donohue and May Donohue will host and coordinate the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave. Mayor Christian Price signed a proclamation dedicating the third Saturday of September as “Kids Day” in the city of Maricopa. State Sen. Steve Smith and Sheriff Paul Babeu are scheduled to speak at the event.


Maricopa Police Department will be on hand to provide free fingerprinting of all the children and bring police cars, police motorcycles and the K-9 Unit. There will be special appearances by “Smokey Bear,” McGruff the Crime Dog and other loved characters.


Maricopa Fire Department is bringing a fire truck and the fire safety house and will teach fire safety tips. Ak-Chin Fire will provide car seat safety checks. Southwest Ambulance will be teaching water safety.


There will be bicycle safety with the Lions Club, Drug Awareness with the M.A.S.H coalition, Pinal County Attorney and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. Healthy eating and exercise will be taught.


Learn how to grow your own garden with the Master Gardeners and Ace Hardware.


There will be a Safety demo from ATA Kids Karate. DSPA Dance and Desert Star Gymnastics will perform, plus many more activities such as the Phoenix First Tee golf program, the 4H petting zoo, a magic show and more.


There will be free food, free balloons, giveaways and prize drawings for toys, bicycles and surprises throughout the event. Sponsors are Ak-Chin, Global Water, Southwest Pediatrics and Ace Hardware.


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    Zumbathon with DJ Alex
    Sponsored by Our Lady of Grace Youth Ministry
    Featuring three Zumba instructors
    Lorena Ortega, Claudia Ceja and Josie.
    Only $5.00
    Ain’t no party like a Zumba party!!