News Briefs – December 2020

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by Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Membership changes to appointment-only service

Changes are being made to the membership office at the Recreation Centers of Sun City West.

To improve the experience, membership will be setting appointments for services other than payment of dues, golf card purchases or member credit. Failure to schedule an appointment could result in being asked to wait outside. To help avoid waiting, contact member services at 623-544-6100 for an appointment.

Beginning in January (date to be determined), a new exterior payment window and exterior information window will be installed to handle walk-ups.

This will provide an additional layer of security and safety by limiting the number of people in the membership lobby to four and the box office area to four.

Members who wish to pay in person are encouraged to make payments using the new exterior payment window or the drop boxes located outside the front gate and to the left of the member services door. Members may pay on the member portal (—you must have an email on file with membership to create an online account—or by phone (623-544-6100) using Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Checks may be mailed to RCSCW Member Services, 19803 R.H. Johnson Boulevard, Sun City West, AZ 85375.

Members wishing to add member credit to their accounts may call any golf pro shop seven days a week, or call member services at 623-544-6100 between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekdays.

A golf card purchase must be made with member services; call 623-544-6100.

Members wishing to visit the box office, tours or scheduling, or any other administrative department may call for an appointment or check in at the information window for entry.

For further information, call 623-544-6000.

Sun Cities Saddle Club ceases accepting new members

The Sun Cities Saddle Club has suspended meetings and accepting new members until further notice.

For existing members, Zoom meetings will be held for the board, and members will be emailed with all the current information. Rides will be scheduled. Visit, email or call 509-670-9994

Walk your way at the
Walk for Women’s Health

Join Sun Health Foundation’s for the Walk for Women’s Health at 9 a.m. Sunday, December 6.

Walk the way you want during this fundraising 5K event designed with consideration for participants’ safety. Walk in Surprise at the race site or participate virtually and walk anywhere. Participants can walk individually, or form a team with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Runners are welcome, too.

The walk benefits Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center’s Women and Infant Services through the Generosity for Generations Campaign.

Each pre-registered participant is guaranteed a race shirt, and everyone receives a finisher’s medal. This is a chip-timed 5K.

The cost is $25 when registering by December 5, and $30 on race day, plus a processing fee. To register, visit or contact Janine McGhee at or 623-471-8503.

Banner Olive Branch

Senior Center joins
move to end hunger

Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, in partnership with the National Council on Aging, has joined a nationwide effort to fight senior hunger by dramatically increasing participation by eligible seniors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 9.8 million older Americans experienced food insecurity, meaning they lack consistent access to adequate, nutritious food. Today, those numbers are quickly rising. Federal research shows that participation in SNAP, the largest program of its kind, can reduce food insecurity by 30% but only 48% of eligible adults 60 years of age and older participate in the program.

“We know that for many of our seniors getting food, especially healthy, nutritious food, can be very challenging, and the pandemic has only made it more difficult. Yet healthy food is essential in treating diabetes, heart conditions, depression and fall prevention and many other health problems,” says Dawn Gielau, director of Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, which provides support services to West Valley seniors.

“Many seniors don’t want to talk about this issue or ask for help. But we see eliminating food insecurity as an important part of successful, healthy aging.”

Banner Olive Branch will act as a hub for Banner Health’s efforts to sign up seniors through outreach initiated by social workers, home-health aides and other post-acute team members. If people want to know more about this program, call the senior center at 623-465-6001.

Engaging and enriching virtual programs for older adults

Join the JFCS Center for Senior Enrichment (CSE) for Zoom programming exploring music, movement and more during the month of December.

“When COVID became a reality and JFCS had to close our physical CSE, we worried about the isolated older adults in our community,” says Jennifer Brauner, CSE director.

“We are thrilled to present online, enriching programs and to extend our reach throughout the Valley.”

Mondays will showcase Movement with Michelle Dionisio and offer a Schmooze Parlor as well. Everyone is invited to bring information and ideas to share with others at the Parlor, which is hosted by Janet Rees.

Tuesdays offer a different class each week, including Marshall Shore, Arizona’s Hip Historian, the Curriculum Theatre, Jane Przelica presenting Southwest lore, creative writing and also a Yiddish club.

Wednesdays include weekly chair yoga classes.

Thursdays focus on the arts, with music from Nicole Pesce and from the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, talks from the Phoenix Art Museum, and an intriguing three-week program on opera, as well as a book club.

Friday mornings will include a Welcome Shabbat program with inspiration offered from local rabbis and leaders of the Jewish community.

All classes are open to the community. Most are free, and all are available on Zoom. For additional information or to register, contact Jennifer Brauner at or 602-343-0192.

Enhanced hospice care

for Jewish families

Hospice of the Valley has received a prestigious national certification for its long history of providing culturally sensitive care to Jewish families in our community. The National Institute for Jewish Hospice commended the not-for-profit agency for educating staff about Jewish culture, values and traditions; integrating Jewish medical ethics into care; and teaching the unique aspects of Jewish grief and mourning.

“We are so proud of our tailored care to best meet individual needs—from the rabbis we have on staff to our Shabbat Blessings program to the kosher meals we provide to our patients in our inpatient units,” says Rachel Behrendt, senior vice president of operations for Arizona’s largest provider of end-of-life care.

“This certification adds to the confidence our Jewish community has that Hospice of the Valley is committed to enhancing their hospice journey.”

For more information, visit 602-530-6900 or

SCW Westernaires Chorus

plans rehearsal

Because of rec center COVID-19 pandemic policies, the 85-member mixed Westernaires Chorus has canceled its fall program and performances.

The chorus will resume in January with rehearsals. The first one is 8 a.m. Thursday, January 7, in the “back 40” of the Stardust Theater.

The Westernaires, one of the oldest chartered clubs in Sun City West, will present its spring shows at the Stardust Theater in March.

SCW residents interested in singing and performing with the Westernaires may contact Director Sylvia Collins at 623-214-6112 for more information.