May 2015 Around Town 3

Boys and Girls of Metro Phoenix Hosts "The Big Event"

Enjoy delicious food, live entertainment, tasty beverages and more…all for a great cause. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix’s Connect volunteer group will host its sixth annual “The Big Event” on Saturday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m.

This annual fundraising event, which is sponsored by Inventure Foods, is a Valley favorite and is attended year after year by nearly 500 people. The festive, outdoor event will be held this year at the Museum at Papago Park. It will include tasting stations featuring delectable dishes from some of the valley’s more popular restaurants, specialty adult beverages, local entertainment and more than 200 live and silent auction items.

Last year, Connect raised nearly $100,000 through “The Big Event” to support Boys & Girls Clubs programs throughout Phoenix and the West Valley that ensure that kids have a safe place to go after school where they can reach their potential. Tickets are $125 per person in advance and $150 per person at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at, with all proceeds benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.

6th Annual Mother’s Grace Brunch

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a tribute to Graceful Mothers and their inspirational work with a champagne brunch, shopping and a heartwarming and inspirational guest speaker on Thursday, May 7th.  This year’s brunch will be held at the Paradise Valley residence of Sandy Metzler.

The Mother's Grace Foundation is dedicated to the support of mothers and children who have endured life tragedies. By providing financial support and guidance, Mother's Grace empowers these women to reach their goals of making a difference in their communities by helping others inflicted with similar circumstances.

This year Mother’s Grace board member and Arizona’s First Lady Angela Ducey will chair the brunch alongside founder and President Michelle Fanger.

“Mother’s Grace is truly a blessing to our community in service of families who have endured life tragedies,” says Ducey.  “I have witnessed first-hand how Mother’s Grace stepped in immediately to ease the burden in an otherwise unbearable situation.”

Seating is limited for the annual brunch.  More information on the event and about Mother’s Grace can be found by visiting

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain to Host Satori Meditation Retreat

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain will host its second Satori Meditation Retreat Oct. 4–7, 2015. Led by master meditation instructor Sarah McLean, the exclusive retreat will rejuvenate, inspire, and guide guests to a peaceful and more fulfilling life.

The retreat will include candle light yoga, meditation in motion, and mindfulness practices, complete with spa treatments at the world-renowned Sanctuary Spa, food for the mind and body via elements restaurant, and accommodations with no shortage of views in Casa Montana, one of the resort’s distinct private mountain homes.

Sanctuary's Satori Meditation Retreat is limited to 12 participants and includes accommodations, meals, choice of four hour-long spa treatments, as well as guided deep meditation and yoga sessions.

The Phoenician Earns USTA award

The Phoenician’s Tennis Complex, one of the largest resort facilities in the Southwest, has been recognized as the 2014 Member Organization of Year by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of Central Arizona. The honor is awarded to the establishment that best exemplifies service to the community and to its members through USTA youth and adult tennis programs.

The premier tennis facility is the only one of its kind in the region to offer four playing surfaces on 11 outdoor courts, including a Wimbledon championship grass court, seven Plexipave hard-surface courts, two courts with the revolutionary Rebound Ace surface from Australia, and a Prestige Plexicushion surface on center court, which also features spectator seating.  The Tennis Complex, with 10 of its 11 courts lit for evening play, is available for USTA league competition, tournaments and special events, and is open to resort guests as well as the general public.

In addition to private and semi-private lessons with its nationally recognized and certified staff of professionals, The Phoenician also offers an extensive range of customized programming that varies depending upon age and skill level.

Casino Arizona Offers Free Country and Latin Dance Lessons

The Arizona Room Patio Grill, a restaurant and sports bar located within the casino, features free dance lessons during select weeknights.  Tuesday nights will focus on select Latin dance styles and will be led by dance professionals Nikki Di Giorgio and Jason Schenck. Di Giorgio graduated as a musical theater major from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She has performed across the country as well as on Celebrity Cruise Lines' European tour. Schneck has been dancing for more than 20 years and teaching for more than a decade. He was on a National Collegiate Championship Team and has performed at various venues around the Valley.

Wednesday and Thursday evenings will be all about country music and will be led by Lania Lee, who has more than 20 years of teaching experience and is the owner of Dance Lane and the organizer of the East Valley Kickers Meet Up. Instruction on all nights begins at 6 p.m.

The Chateau on Central |Design Challenge Arizona Hits the Valley

The Chateau on Central Design Challenge Arizona is a year-long competition featuring the best of the best of interior design and visionary elegance. The award-winning designers who were announced at a kickoff event in February are all headquartered in Scottsdale and include Beth McGehee of SB Design, Robert Burg of Robert Burg Design and Charles Glover of Charles Glover Interiors.

Throughout the challenge, the designers will each take their own individual Chateau from bare and vacant studs to beautifully designed masterpieces.

The event is the brainchild of Monica Monson, luxury real estate powerhouse and founder of Monson Luxury Group at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. Monson, alongside expert judges Luis D. Ortiz, star of Million Dollar Listing New York, Kelly Persellin, publisher of Luxe Interior + Design magazine, and Oscar de las Salas, architecture, fashion and design expert and creator of will judge the contestants which will be announced at the big reveal in February 2016.

Horatio Alger Association Honors Paradise Valley Entrepreneur

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, has inducted Paradise Valley resident Bruce T. Halle, founder and chairman of the board of Discount Tire, as a lifetime Member.

Named for renowned author Horatio Alger Jr., who wrote about the merits of honesty, courage and perseverance as the means to success, the Horatio Alger Association was established in 1947 to uphold these tenets, which are core to achieving the American Dream.  To further its mission, individuals who have achieved great success despite facing significant personal challenges and who demonstrate initiative, resilience and excellence, such as Mr. Halle, are inducted into the Association annually as lifetime Members.

Halle and his fellow new members were formally inducted into the association at the 68th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in April.