Events & Meetings
Valley Vista High School – Local Government Presentations
Government and U.S. History teacher John Hastings invited me to speak to Valley Vista students on local government on Thursday, April 6. There were four sessions totaling a few hundred students who learned about the duties of our Surprise City Council and our city departments and how we work with various state, regional and local agencies. The students were impressively engaged and asked several questions afterwards.
Surprise Citizens Patrol 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner
The Surprise Citizens Patrol held their 20th Anniversary Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 7. Sergeant Curtis James, the founder of the Citizens Patrol in 1997, was a guest speaker along with Jim Joye, the first “President,” as the Commander was called in the early days. Since the program’s inception, Citizens Patrol volunteers have contributed more than 323,303 hours at a cost savings to the city of more than $8 million.
Chief Terry Young expressed his heartfelt thanks for the volunteers’ hard work and dedication to the Police Department and to the city. In addition to celebrating this milestone achievement, 2016 service awards and individual achievement awards were presented. Those receiving awards were:
Others that received awards included: Wayne Gebhart, Squad A Person of the Year; John McMahon, Squad B Person of the Year; Charles Ivey, Squad C Person of the Year and Mike Dolce, Squad D Person of the Year.
Taste of Surprise
The Rotary Club of Surprise hosted their Annual Taste of Surprise event on Saturday, April 8 at Surprise Stadium. There were 43 local restaurants represented and 13 different entertainers providing live music during the event. There were 1,063 tickets sold. All proceeds will benefit five local charities including One Step Beyond Inc, Benevilla, Surprise Youth Foundation, a New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation.
A special thank you to Chris Judd and Amanda Sanchez for their hard work and dedication to this event as well as all the Rotarians for their countless hours of preparing and volunteering for the event.
Tourism Advisory Commission
As spring comes to a close, the Tourism Advisory Commission continues to work hard towards the expansion of tourism in Surprise as discussed at the quarterly meeting on April 11. Agenda items included a detailed overview of the Tourism fund; a history of events recommended by the commission; an overview of the Tourism fund application process; and the Sports Tourism Strategic Plan for which the commission has organized a workshop session to take place Thursday, May 18 to strengthen its current goals.
Additionally, commission members had the opportunity to review recommended projects proposed for state-issued Prop 302 tourism funding for fiscal year 2018. Items included college baseball tournaments, youth baseball tournaments, Spring Training, and Surprise Regional Chamber projects, including the visitor’s guide, website and city map. Recommended items are scheduled to be submitted by June 2017.
Friends of the Libraries Board Meeting
Friends of the Library held their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12. I have been participating with the non-profit as a liaison to the City of Surprise since February. Friends of the Libraries support local public and school libraries, teachers, and reading and literacy programs. Since 2003, they have donated $506,278.87 to our community. Agenda items for the meeting included, but were not limited to, the Luke Air Force Base outreach program and discussion of a strategic plan with Dysart Unified School District.
Friends of the Libraries recently partnered with us for the Surprise Literacy Program and donated books to the winning class. Below is a picture of Cimarron Springs Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Ms. Bethany Mihaupt accepting one of the books.
Mark Your Calendar
Spring Egg-stravaganza this Saturday
Join the search for more than 50,000 candy and toy-filled plastic eggs as part of the Surprise Spring Egg-stravaganza on Saturday, April 15. The celebration is being held on the Kansas City Practice Fields, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue, just west of the Surprise Stadium.
The event runs from 7:30 – 10 a.m. The first egg hunt begins at 8 a.m. with the 2 years and under age group. New hunts will follow approximately every 20 minutes by age group with an open hunt at the end for those who missed their age group. Children participating in the hunt should bring baskets or bags to hold their treats and eggs.
For more information about the Spring Egg-stravaganza, including the egg hunt schedule, please call 623.222.2000 or visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.
Poetry Slam at WHAM
Mark your calendars and join your neighbors at the Poetry Slam at WHAM on Friday, April 21 from 6 pm until 8 pm at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road. This free event features open mic night for poetry, free verse and storytelling.
Registration is not required. All are welcome to participate as performers and/or listeners. For more information, please contact Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Vice Chair Margaret Lieu at 623.334.5271.
Public Art Bus Tour
The Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission is offering a free public art bus tour to the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg to see the Cowgirl Up exhibit on Saturday, April 22 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. You will start and end at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road, where you can stay to enjoy their Recycle Arts Festival.
Parking is available just south of the WHAM facility in the rear lot of the post office. There will be a museum entry fee of $9 per person.
WHAM Recycle Arts Festival
WHAM Art Association is hosting their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event is scheduled from 4 – 9 p.m. and will include a Recycle Arts Exhibit and the Eco Styles Fashion Show, a creative art display that underscores the possibilities of working with reusable post-consumer materials.
Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. Enjoy food, music, free activities for kids and the spirit of community and collaboration at the Recycle Arts Fest– where creative expression goes green! If you are interested in becoming involved with the 2017 Recycle Arts Fest send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did You Know?
Surprise Resource Center Partners to expand Veteran Assistance Services
The City of Surprise has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Arizona@Work Department of Economic Security to expand the assistance services available to veterans and their families through the Surprise Resource Center.
The following services are available every Tuesday at the Resource Center:
- Employment Assistance: Meet one-on-one with a workforce development expert to go over career opportunities, resume assistance, interview tips and more
- Homeless Veterans Assistance: Veterans can connect to resources through the VA Community Resource and Referral Center, which offers assistance to Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness by providing connections to permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and VA benefits
The city also has a Surprise Veteran Job Club that meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the Surprise Resource Center. The center is located at on the AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W. Bell Rd, Bldg. A, Ste. #124 in Surprise.
All programs and services are available to the public at no-cost. For more information, please visit the website at www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.