News Briefs

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

D-backs organist wins over scholarships fans

The Forum at Desert Harbor was abuzz with scores of generous contributors at a Planting the Seeds of Learning-themed 29th annual Scholarship Fund Kickoff Concert, which cultivated $14,000 in resident donations.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ organist Bobby Freeman, with vocal accompaniment by his wife, Charlene, hit a high note at the first pitch of the 2019-20 Scholarship Fund season. Playing with the team for 20 years, Bobby Freeman takes pride in the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community.

“Thank you for your generosity for a great cause, The Forum Scholarship Fund,” Bobby Freeman said. “Enjoy the music, food and fun. Even if you don’t win a raffle prize, the scholars are winners.”

Picking up on the garden theme, the Freemans’ swinging concert was popping with popular tunes, such as “Garden Party,” “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,” “Lollipops and Roses,” “Blue Gardenia” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else but Me).”

The kickoff concert marks the first pitch by the 2019-20 Scholarship Fund Committee to raise monies to be awarded as scholarships to qualified employees. The annual event gleaned $14,000 from resident donations, raffle ticket sales and a garden boutique, which will continue to grow throughout the year until the scholarships are presented in May.

To learn more about the Scholarship Tax Exempt Program, contact The Forum at Desert Harbor’s Lifestyle 360 program director, Margie O’Boyle, at 623-972-0995.

Gathering of the Legends changes date

Col. Tim Vining, USAF, retired, will be the guest speaker at the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum’s Veterans Day celebration, the 11th annual Gathering of the Legends, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 17.

Afterward, guests are invited to meet generations of defenders – veterans of wars and conflicts from World War II onward – surrounded by aircraft and artifacts from their time. Vining’s presentation, “Fighting the ‘Other War,’” features the men and women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, as well as a view of Uzbek civilians who eagerly supported the Americans stationed in their country.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors ages 62 and older, and veterans; $5 for children ages 5 to 12; and free for children 5 and younger. Disabled veterans and active military members are admitted free. The museum is located at 2017 N. Greenfield Road, Mesa.

Hopi artist’s ‘Sun Blessings’ selected as gathering’s artwork

Hopi artist Buddy Tubinaghtewa’s Sun Blessings has been selected as the official artwork for the 2019 Litchfield Park Gathering Native American Art Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 12, and Sunday, January 13. Artists are invited to show their work at the festival.

The acrylic-on-canvas work will be used as the gathering’s official poster art. “I have given back freely what the Creator has given me,” he says. “I have won awards for my carvings and paintings, but the greatest award this year is the Litchfield Native American show.”

The event is held along Old Litchfield Road, south of Wigwam Boulevard, as well as across the lawn of the Litchfield Library, 101 W. Wigwam Boulevard, and on the nearby gazebo lawn. For more information, visit

Humana donates knitted caps, breast cancer pillows to Banner

Fifty knitted and crocheted caps and 50 breast cancer pillows were donated by Humana to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The items were created by Humana Charity Crafters because cancer patients often say they’re cold because of chemotherapy. The pillows are shaped like hearts so patients who had mastectomies can place them in their armpit to relieve pain and discomfort.

The Charity Crafters meet from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Mondays at Humana, 5943 E. McKellips Road, Suite 106, Mesa. For more information, visit 480-325-4707.

Youth for Troops seeks volunteers for Illumination: Symphony of Light

Anthem-based Youth for Troops is seeking volunteers to help run the Post Office on Holiday Boulevard during this year’s Illumination: Symphony of Light event, taking place off the I-17 and Jomax Road from November 14 through December 31.

Youth for Troops will host the Post Office, where guests can write appreciation cards for deployed troops. There will also be donation bins at the Youth for Troops booth to collect items for the group’s Care Packages for Deployed Troops program.

Two adults (and kids) are needed per shift to share information about Youth for Troops and invite guests to write cards. Each shift lasts three hours and 15 minutes. Volunteers will receive free tickets to Illumination: Symphony of Light to use on a night they’re not volunteering. Illumination is also offering an online ticket purchase option that donates a percentage of the admission fee to Youth for Troops (visit for more information on that ticket purchase option). To learn more about Youth for Troops, visit To sign up for a booth date, visit