East Valley Tribune

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  • Steep drop in gas prices over

    For the first time in weeks, gas prices in Arizona have fallen by less than a penny, while the national average has actually increased during that same stretch.AAA Arizona reports the average fuel cost is down in Arizona to $1.906, representing a 0.9-cent decline from the week prior. Tucson has taken hold of the lowest state average at $1.785 per gallon, while Flagstaff has the most expensive price at $2.217.The national average has bumped up by 0.3 cents to $2.044.

  • ‘Dirty Dancing’ ticket giveaway

    Coming to ASU Gammage Feb. 17-22, “Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage” makes for a great Valentine’s Day outing with that special someone. And while it may not star Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this stage version of the 1987 film is sure to get your heart pumping thanks to plenty of dancing, lots of romance, and classic tunes including “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey, Baby,” “Do You Love Me,” and, of course, the Grammy Award-winning “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Tickets range from $28.30-$143.80 at ASUGammage.com or you could enter our ticket giveaway for the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Feb. 17 opening night production. To enter, e-mail your name, address and phone number to GetOutAZ@GetOutAZ.com, subject line: DANCING, by midnight Sunday, Feb. 1. Winners will be contacted on Monday, Feb. 2.

  • Elias stepping down as leader of Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley

    It was 1972 and Ramon Elias had just graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in recreation. He was looking for a job like any college kid fresh out of school.Elias saw a listing for a gym director at the Tempe Boys Club and was given the job. But that job would soon become a calling.Now, 40 years later, Elias, the president and chief executive officer of the Boys and Gils Club of the East Valley, plans to retire at the end of June.Every day was like a blank canvas and Elias enjoyed the spontaneity of his new job.“It was the type of job that was very spontaneous,” he said. “You could create whatever you wanted to do on the day that you were doing it. You could ask the kids, ‘What do you want to do today?’ And have fun with them and you realized how much of an impact you were having because the kids kept coming back.”By 1996 Elias had skyrocketed up the ranks of the Boys and Girls Club and had become the club’s president and CEO. When he took over he said there were only five East Valley Clubs and a budget of $2.8 million.

  • Chandler boy finds success on the race track

    When it comes to after-school activities, most adolescent boy’s interest lie in the realm of a variety of sports.For Chandler Resident Joey Petrone, his fondest activity consists of strapping into a drag car and speeding down the race track.Joey, 12, was first introduced to the world of drag racing by his father, Chris, who would periodically take his son to the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler to watch races.He said he was drawn to drag racing because it was unique from other sports he had been involved in.Chris had always shown a passion toward drag racing and wanted to share his hobby with his son to see if it would spark an interest.The spark eventually grew into a flame, and it didn’t take long for Joey to ask his mother and father when he would participate in drag racing.

  • East Valley Women's League begins dress drive for 'Cinderella Affair'

    The East Valley Women’s League will be collecting new and gently used prom dresses and accessories from Feb. 1-28 to be given away for free in March and April to Arizona high school juniors and seniors during the “Cinderella Affair.”Dropoff locations can be found on the website, www.cinderellaaffair.org.  Accessories including shoes, evening bags and costume jewelry also are accepted, and Cinderella Affair organizers are in particular need of larger-sized dresses.This year, the dresses will be given away on five consecutive Saturdays in March and April at the EVWL’s new permanent location at 411 N. McKemy in Chandler.Giveaways are planned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11 and April 18. Last year, nearly 1,300 dresses were given away to students from throughout the Valley and around the state.“East Valley Women’s League members have as much fun giving the dresses away and spending time with the students as the students do going through the racks of dresses and trying on shoes,” said EVWL President Kathy Harris. “With our new location, we’re able to expand the days we give dresses away which means even more students from around the state will have the chance to visit and enjoy this incredible shopping experience.”Since the Cinderella Affair first launched in 2002, more than 8,000 dresses have been given away. The event also has provided dresses to exchange students from the Tempe Sister cities program, clients of Hacienda de Los Angeles and young ladies participating in the Miss Champion Pageant.

  • Gilbert resident recognized as a visionary by Specialty Food Association

    Gilbert resident James May was recently awarded the Vision award by the Specialty Food Association for his extensive work with stevia and his dedication toward bettering lives.Stevia is a plant that is commonly found in South America and can be used as a substitute for sugar as a sweetener.Although May was recognized for his leadership and his work, it didn’t come quite that easy for him.Originally, May was considered one of the founders of the kidney and dialysis transplant programs in Arizona, and was involved with the program for 15 years.“I was considered the foremost expert in my field in America,” he said.May was introduced to the world of stevia by a friend who had returned from being in the peace core in Paraguay and brought back a few stevia leaves.

  • Julian Sands celebrates life of Harold Pinter with solo show

    Almost a decade ago actor Julian Sands was approached by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter to prepare a special selection of his poems for a charity event in London. Pinter, considered Britain’s greatest living playwright, personally apprenticed Sands, spending hours together and sharing his thoughts on how his work should be delivered, down to every pause, nuance and tone.Sands, whose outstanding work in “The Killing Fields,” “A Room With A View,” “Oceans 13” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” established a bond with Pinter, initially thought the collaboration would be a one-off. After Pinter’s 2008 death, Sands performed it as a tribute at a Los Angeles memorial, where it was seen by John Malkovich, who became the show’s director.On Feb. 4, Sands will bring “A Celebration of Harold Pinter” to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The affable and respected thespian spoke to GetOut while on a work break in London to discuss the passion and poetry of Pinter.Q: You knew you wanted to be an actor at a very young age.  What was that moment that sparked you as a young kid, where you said to yourself, “This is what I want and will pursue as a vocation”?JS: Well, I think it was an intuitive thing. I wanted to be an actor without really knowing what being an actor was. I just knew that in the 1960s growing up in the North of England in a very rural area that I got very excited whenever there was any live theater to see in town. I’d also go to the cinema at the weekends, and whatever I saw it was thrilling, exciting, inspiring. I saw Lawrence Oliver’s “Richard III” without comprehending all the Shakespearean language. I knew that what he was doing was incredibly important to me, and I felt this great certainty about what I should do. Between then and becoming an actor I finished my schooling, I thought about every other job you could imagine because becoming an actor didn’t seem to be a realistic possibility. There was no precedence for it in my village, but the way providence creates a passion I did find myself getting school at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. That was almost 40 years ago.MT:  Did you find the American film industry a bit crazy when you made the jump from the stage to the silver screen?

  • Tastebuds travel south of the border at Tapacubo

    Tempe passersby looking for a new and unique dining experience different from anything else can add Tapacubo to their must-try hot spot list.This new restaurant, located in The Graduate hotel, which recently replaced the Twin Palms on Apache Boulevard, offers customers Mexican and South American-styled food at affordable costs in a vintage ’60s and ‘70s garage-themed location.“We have these large, vintage gas pumps that dispense our margaritas, hubcap chandeliers, and some old cars hanging … that will make you feel like you’re in South America (or) down by the border,” said Tapacubo executive chef, Brian Archibald.Tapacubo, meaning hubcap, is also fully equipped with a bar counter made of 38,000 pesos from Mexico.Archibald said he’s especially proud of Tapacubo’s diverse menu, which offers everything from street-style tacos, to Honduran ceviche and even vegetarian arepas.“Vegetarian dishes are always hard to come across,” Archibald said. “(Tapacubo’s) has a lot of flavor.”

  • Pandora Festival highlights work of local playwright

    If the Super Bowl holds no interest for you, Arizona Women’s Theatre Company is offering an alternative  with the Pandora Festival — an annual event that presents 14 short, one-act and full length plays written by local female playwrights and directors.Every year since 2004, the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company has held open call auditions for female playwrights from Arizona to submit their work for the opportunity to be selected and featured at the Pandora Festival. Ahwatukee resident and playwright Robin Kramme has had her work selected for the festival for the past three years in a row,Kramme had a hard time finding her niche in the writing world before discovering Arizona Women’s Theatre Company, which aims specifically at embracing female writers and producing works that reflect women’s lives and interests.“It’s giving an opportunity to people who wouldn’t have that opportunity anywhere else,” Kramme says.After retiring from her long-time career in the hotel industry, Kramme persued her interest in writing. The first time she was selected for the Pandora Festival, Kramme says she thought it could have been a fluke. After being selected for a second year in a row, she thought it might be luck. But once she was selected for a third year in a row, Kramme says she realized she truly has a talent for writing plays.“I’m not trying to make a financial living out of being a playwright,” she says. “This is something I enjoy doing.”

  • Navigating the gridiron: Super Bowl Central, NFL Experience and more in Phoenix

    The last time the Super Bowl took place in Arizona, in 2008, Phoenix looked like an obstacle course. The city was wrapping up construction of a light rail and expanding its convention center. Partying was relegated to Scottsdale and to the Glendale suburbs, where the game will again be played Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium.This time Scottsdale and Glendale will still fill big roles, but Phoenix won’t be a benchwarmer. And its thriving light-rail line and new bike-sharing program make it easy for football fans to explore the city.Super Bowl CentralThe free fan event Verizon Super Bowl Central spans 12 city blocks, Jan. 28- Feb. 1, from Central Avenue to Fifth Street, between Van Buren and Madison streets. Giant XLIX Roman numerals representing the 49th Super Bowl will be set up for photo ops and selfies. Local talent will perform on one stage each afternoon, while another stage hosts NFL players for autograph sessions. Concerts and fireworks will take place each night. There will be food for purchase along with a beer and wine garden.The NFL Experience Engineered by GMC takes place Jan. 24-Feb. 1 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Admission is $35 (kids 12 and under, $20). Fans can play games testing their ability to kick field goals, throw like NFL quarterbacks or race 40 yards down a field. At the NFL Play60 Zone, kids can do arts and crafts, agility drills and other activities. Visitors can watch live NFL Network broadcasts, look at a collection of 48 Super Bowl rings and take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded each year to the Super Bowl champs.Just because Phoenix is in the desert doesn’t mean you can’t ice skate. CitySkate Ice Rink runs through Feb. 2 on Central between Washington and Jefferson streets next to the CityScape shopping center. CityScape is also the starting place for Meet Me Downtown, a free 3-mile walk/run held every Monday. It goes past local attractions, Arizona State University’s downtown campus and other sites, and includes restaurant discounts for that night.

  • Get glimpse into language of ancient Israelites in local ‘pictographs’

    Pictographs that first appeared 3,500 years ago are the inspiration for a collection of works by Arizona’s Art Levy.“Paleo-Hebrew Pictographs: From Pictures to Pictures” explores the ancient symbols, which Levy, a former cardiovascular surgeon, says fell out of use after the Hebrews were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.Levy’s paintings, which are created using melted wax and pigments, are on view through April 1 at The Plotkin Museum at Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale. For information, call (480) 951-0323.• Contact writer: (480) 898-6514 or azajac@getoutaz.com

  • See modern, historic examples of 1800s-style photography

    There’s a reason the term “oldies but goodies” came about.Take, as evidence, platinum prints — photographs with a velvety surface and a muted but luminescent palatte that ranges from slate to umber. Photographers figured out how to create them around 1873, and the process, despite its laboriousness and the current tidal wave of digital everything, is still in use today.Get a look at why this 19th-century innovation is still turning heads in two exhibitions open through March 1 at Phoenix Art Museum.In “Platinum: Contemporary Photography,” the masterful work of four photographers who have perfected the platinum process — Lois Conner, Scott Davis, Kenro Izu and Andrea Modica — is on view. That show is presented in conjunction with “All That Glitters is Not Gold: Platinum Photography from the Center for Creative Photography,” a chronological look at platinum photos throughout history.For information, call (602) 257-1222 or visit PHXart.org.

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  • Steep drop in gas prices over

    For the first time in weeks, gas prices in Arizona have fallen by less than a penny, while the national average has actually increased during that same stretch.AAA Arizona reports the average fuel cost is down in Arizona to $1.906, representing a 0.9-cent decline from the week prior. Tucson has taken hold of the lowest state average at $1.785 per gallon, while Flagstaff has the most expensive price at $2.217.The national average has bumped up by 0.3 cents to $2.044.

  • Gilbert Chamber of Commerce to host ReferenceUSA workshop

    The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce is hosting a workshop teaching business owners how to use the ReferenceUSA database on Jan. 29. The workshop will run from 4-5 p.m. at the chamber of commerce building.ReferenceUSA helps business owners compile business and consumer data.For more information on ReferenceUSA and the workshop, visit www.business.gilbertaz.com/events.

  • Gilbert family opens bakery shop

    Some passions seem to never truly fade or go away.Jay and Danielle Lunt, who are from Gilbert, found this notion to be evident when they decided to open their bakery business, Rise Up Bakery, in Gilbert this past December.The idea of opening a bakery didn’t just come out of the blue.Jay originally began in the bakery business back in 1993 when he and Danielle lived in Las Vegas.While in Las Vegas, Jay became the owner of the Whole Grain Natural Bread Company bakery shop.He found success and happiness with the bakery in Sin City, but he and Danielle ultimately made the decision to close-up shop and move to Arizona to be closer to family.

  • Ground broken on Mesa Riverview office project

    On Wednesday, Lincoln Property Management broke ground on the Class A office space in Mesa Riverview, which it announced back in June.The development, now called Waypoint, is located at 1138 Bass Pro Drive and is scheduled to move in its first tenant, the headquarters of American Traffic Solutions, along with some 500-plus jobs, in November.“Three years ago, Harvard didn’t have any projects in the city of Mesa,” Craig Krumwiede, president and director at Harvard Investments, said. “We wouldn’t be in Mesa without the city’s commitment to responsible development.”Krumwiede went on to say that the city’s fast tracking of development permissions and other aid allowed the project to meet the deadline necessary to attract ATS to the site.“It’s a great collaborative effort to build something that purposeful, that fits with our culture,” James Tuton, president and CEO of ATS, said. “It’s a beautiful property. I’m excited about it.”Tuton went on to express his satisfaction in setting up his company’s headquarters in Mesa.

  • Gilbert resident recognized as a visionary by Specialty Food Association

    Gilbert resident James May was recently awarded the Vision award by the Specialty Food Association for his extensive work with stevia and his dedication toward bettering lives.Stevia is a plant that is commonly found in South America and can be used as a substitute for sugar as a sweetener.Although May was recognized for his leadership and his work, it didn’t come quite that easy for him.Originally, May was considered one of the founders of the kidney and dialysis transplant programs in Arizona, and was involved with the program for 15 years.“I was considered the foremost expert in my field in America,” he said.May was introduced to the world of stevia by a friend who had returned from being in the peace core in Paraguay and brought back a few stevia leaves.

  • Revenue from the sky lifts Valley airports this week

    As fans and visitors descend upon the Valley for the week leading up to the biggest sporting event of the year, so are dollars for the area’s private airports.Falcon Field in Mesa, Glendale Municipal Airport, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Goodyear Airport, Chandler Municipal Airport and others are part of a coordinated program established by the federal government to handle anticipated traffic into and out of the area via charter and private craft.“We are affected quite a bit by the Super Bowl,” said Glendale Municipal Airport manager Walt Fix.While Federal Aviation Administration planning was months in the making, the execution has only ramped up in the past week or so, Fix said. The timing is attributed to the fact the Super Bowl’s participants — Seattle and New England — were decided Jan. 18 with the conference championships. “After last Sunday, reservations accelerated,” Fix said.The uptick in activity will raise revenues for the operators of these airports, and by extension, the municipalities where they are located.Falcon Executive Aviation, the company in the industry referred to as the fixed-base operator of Mesa’s Falcon Field, will reap a yield from the services it provides aircraft operators, said Dee Ann Thomas, the airport’s marketing and communications specialist.

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  • Wilmot: Keeping our spiritual lives flexible

    Spandex and spiritual workouts — this may be the stretch you’re looking for.There was a time when I would have avoided pants with the word spandex on the label in the same way that I try hard to avoid catching the flu! My short-lived experience of spandex was to try some nifty spandex leggings to get in the right frame of mind for a workout. That lasted about as long as most people’s New Year’s resolutions. It took some time, but I finally got to a place in my life where I was willing to give spandex another chance. Fortunately, spandex was not the only fiber listed on the label, just one of them. Plus, it became increasingly difficult to find any pants that didn’t have spandex in them. Anyway, the new stretchy and forgiving pants turned out to comfortable and pretty flattering (yep, that’s my opinion). Sometimes change really is good.No good shopping experience, including actually finding pants that are comfortable, fit well, and look good should never go unexamined for a spiritual connection. In fact, if we embraced more of the qualities of the expansive give and forgive of spandex, our lives would be easier, simpler, and a lot more peaceful. Looking back at our Judeo-Christian history for a moment, it seems that there’s not much give in the attitudes of some religious leaders we come across. With few exceptions the message from the Scribes and Pharisees was pretty much my way or the highway. Jesus recognized their problem in the parable of the new wine and old wineskins from Luke 5:37-38: “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.” Those old wineskins just couldn’t handle the new wine that Jesus embodies, teaches and is ultimately willing to die for in order to fulfill God’s plan of salvation. God’s hands are always stretching out to touch us. God’s gifts are always available to bless us expansively and abundantly. Through our faith in Christ Jesus, our earthly lives expand beyond time and space and into everlasting life in Him.Old ways and old habits can become so comfortable that we’re not willing to risk faith, or stretch ourselves. Our mindset can become precisely that: set, fixed, immovable and unchanging. If our thinking is atrophied and our hearts hardened, then we’ve stopped allowing the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts supple and our minds exercised in God’s word, and stretching to discern God’s will. If that’s happened or happening, is it an issue of who’s in control? How stubborn are we being in holding tightly onto some aspect of our lives, shutting out God’s healing and cleansing light? Is ego getting in the way of the Way? Or perhaps it’s about fear. Are we frightened to look at the new gifts God is offering, or worried about the new opportunities God is preparing us for?Trusting in the Lord is one important element to keeping ourselves open to God’s will for our lives, and prayer is the key to building that trust. If prayer isn’t a regular habit yet, this may be a stretch, yet prayer is a kind of spiritual spandex. It helps us to stretch ourselves toward the Lord, and gives us the kind of flexibility and strength we need to reach out to serve others. Prayer is an awesome way to keep us in shape. Dwelling in God’s word, otherwise known as stretching the horizons of our understanding of God’s living word, is another great way to get a spiritual workout. It helps to be part of a community of faith to explore the real shape of some of the strange dips and bumps in our spiritual journeys that we all experience from time to time. Finding a community of faith is equally important when (notice I didn’t say “if”) we’re feeling stretched to the max by life’s demands — work, career, family, financial pressures, time constraints, or spiritual discontent — and can’t seem to find answers to our most pressing questions or issues. Keeping our spiritual lives flexible, helps us to grow in all the right ways!• The Rev. Susan E. Wilmot is priest-in-charge at St. James the Apostle Episcopal Church, 975 E. Warner Road, Tempe. Reach her at rector@stjamestempe.orgor or at (480) 345-2686.

  • Take me home: Sweet Bubba is a typical hound dog

    Bubba is a 2-year-old Basset blend. He landed at Friends for Life Animal Rescue in Gilbert by way of the Yuma Humane Society, where he was considered a stray.Bubba is a “typical hound,” He’ll follow his nose anywhere (which might explain how he got lost in the first place).His ideal home would be one with some knowledge of hound behaviors. Bubba likes to cuddle with his people. He’d probably do fine with older children. He has met a few dogs and is vocal (like hounds are) when he meets them, but he does play with other dogs.Bubba is neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and licensed. He has tested negative for heartworm. Bubba’s adoption fee is $225 and he’s patiently waiting for his new family at Friends for Life’s adoption center.For more information, call (480) 497-8296 or visit www.azfriends.org.

  • Valley churches have differing opinions on performing same-sex weddings

    Under an Oct. 17 federal court ruling, gays and lesbians have the right in Arizona to marry, but homosexual couples may still find themselves unable to wed here in the church of their choice and ahead of a pending decision on the issue from the U.S. Supreme Court.Some denominations and individual houses of worship reserve their decision against performing the services, citing the Bible — the very source other churches use to support their decision to marry same-sex couples. As confusing as it may seem, the dueling positions are part of the landscape upon which the state is forging ahead in the new era of homosexual rights in what’s considered one of the most fundamental of those rights — that of two people who love each other to be legally united.“We continue to live in the dichotomy of that truth,” said Debra Peevey, a retired pastor who served as faith director for Why Marriage Matters Arizona, an organization formed to promote and facilitate marriage equality prior to last fall’s ruling.“There are plenty of churches that won’t do it. The good news is there are plenty of churches that would,” she said.Generally speaking, churches or denominations that have more freely performed services include United Universalist, the United Church of Christ, Episcopalian and a number in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Roman Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, and Church of Christ (different from the United Church of Christ) churches are unlikely to conduct weddings.But the lines do blur. Certain Lutheran churches, such as Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tempe, don’t perform same-sex weddings.

  • Take me Home: Well-mannered Riley is sweet and snuggly

    At 5 years old, Riley the terrier mix has grown into a well-mannered gentleman. This sweet, mellow, friendly guy has an honest face you can read like a book. Scratch his ears and the adoring look on Riley’s face will make you blush. Give Riley the belly rubs he enjoys so much and you’ll witness a dog turning into putty right before your eyes. Riley is an incredibly snuggly dog — all he wants in life is to be as close to his people. He likes being held, hugged, and kissed and will return the favor. He loves to curl up in the curve of your stomach to snuggle. Riley likes sitting on your lap. He enjoys outings with his people and rides well in the car. Riley would also be more than satisfied with a 20-minute daily walk. He walks great on a leash as long as you don’t mind giving him opportunities to roll around on the grass.Riley does fine with dogs and cats alike. He’d also be just as happy having his people all to himself. He is a great fit for a variety of families. All Riley asks is his new family spend lots of time with him and look forward to having him snuggle on their lap after the days’ activities are done. The family that brings Riley into their home is hitting the jackpot ten times over.If interested in learning more about Riley, fill out an application for him today at www.azrescue.org.

  • Marz: Mission: What is your purpose?

    As a parent, we find purpose in caring for children. Our mission might be to raise children who grow up healthy, who are loving, and who contribute to the world. Many people are fortunate to live their lives finding purpose in their work. Their mission might be to help others or to make it a better world by solving problems at work. Others might see work only as a means to achieve a purpose of leisure or providing for one’s family. Regardless of who we might be, we all give effort to achieve goals. We all dream. We all seek to live with a purpose — a mission.Mission can be defined as our reason for being — our purpose.Faith communities can help people to live a mission-focused life. By her very nature a church community is mission. Mission is not one thing the church does among a plethora of other programs. Mission is her very being and her everyday doing.Mission in the church is rooted in what God is doing to reconcile the world to God. The church has a unique purpose. While lots of places can provide friends, help meet people’s felt needs, provide a place for people to use their gifts, or even provide services to people, the church community’s missional purpose is to be the reconciling presence of God in the world. That is unique.What is your unique mission?If it is hard for you to align your daily activities in life to what you really see as your missional-purpose, begin by asking some questions. In the church community, we ask future-thinking-vision questions. Since our mission is to be a community that invites all people into a love relationship with God, how are our current actions living this out? If we do things that do not fit that mission, we probably should stop doing that. If we are doing things that really further the mission, we put more time into those areas. It is bad when we say that our mission is one thing and do things that are opposite. This is hypocrisy. Whether in our church or individual lives, could it be that we say this is what we want to do, but we are just hoping it will happen without much thought or strategy? All talk and no walk.

  • East Valley religious coalition receives $100K grant to help homeless

    An East Valley religious coalition received a $100,000 grant from Dignity Health to provide aid for the homeless.Dignity Health’s grant, which covers the 2014-15 fiscal year, is divided equally among the three organization — Tempe Community Action Agency, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, and the Chandler Christian Community Center — to provide case management services for homeless individuals. The three churches created a coalition, The East Valley Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP) in 2010 to provide shelter, food and necessary life skills to indigent people.“These churches and religious establishments are kind enough to open their doors and provide crisis shelter and food for the underprivileged and homeless community,” said Deborah Hutterer, director of congregational relations and volunteers at Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest.Hutterer said Dignity Health’s grant provides a sizable amount of funding for case management services. Case managers are assigned to review the needs of their clients once a month to find trends about what resources the organization should offer.In addition to the professional supervision, I-HELP searches for peer monitors who will mentor its clients and support them as they continue down their desired path. Peer monitors receive a stipend from the coalition for their assistance.I-HELP’s case management initiative is a major reason for receiving its second consecutive grant from Dignity Health. Kathleen Dowler, director of community integration at Dignity Health, admires its long-term focus.

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