A Vessel of the Lord

By Taylor O’Connor  Smiles and Beyond founder says God inspired organization Linda Parker-Smith was going through a dark time in her life. She lost her husband and sister, and then her son took his own life. It was during that time she felt God’s touch and heard his voice. He says, “Now is the time for smiles,” the Cave Creek resident recalls. It was her trust in the Lord that brought her to create Smi ...

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‘Remembrance’

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Catholic Community Foundation’s Crozier Gala honors its roots Catholic Community Foundation welcomed or honored guests like Tony LaRussa, Derrick Hall and Erma Bombeck at its annual Crozier Gala in the last 30 years. This year, for the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Phoenix, the Crozier Gala’s theme is “Remembrance.” The gala, set for Saturday, April 27, at The Phoenician R ...

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Rock the District

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Local musicians shred and sing for a good cause Well-known Cave Creek country singer Ryan Sims has spent the last year touring North American radio stations pushing his 2017 EP, “My Side of the Story.” Long gone are the regular gigs at Copper Blues or various restaurants around the Valley. But when the Cactus Shadows High School graduate returns home, he makes sure it’s for a g ...

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The Freight Train

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski David Peralta says the D-backs are on track for a championship Standing at his locker in the Salt River Fields clubhouse, Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfielder David Peralta smiles as he prepares for an interview. He’s unaware two players – pitchers Andrew Chafin and Zack Godley – are about to jump in. “Oh boy,” the North Valley resident says as Godley sticks a mic in his face while ...

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A New Beginning

By Laura Latzko Jeff Harris says goodbye during Sonoran Desert Chorale’s ‘Sing On’ show Jeff Harris has directed the Sonoran Desert Chorale since he founded the group 25 years ago. After the chorale’s “Sing On” concerts, he’s closing that chapter.  Recently, Harris retired from his position as director of choral activities at Westwood High School in Mesa, where he worked for 31 years. He has also stepp ...

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Calling the Spirits

By Laura Latzko Don Bluth brings Noel Coward’s spooky work to the stage  Shows exploring the other world and séances are often presented in a spooky way. In Noel Coward’s play “Blithe Spirit,” conjuring up spirits ensues in hilarity.  The Don Bluth Front Row Theatre will present the show through Saturday, May 4.  The company produced the show six years in the living room of Don Bluth, the theater’ ...

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‘A Different World’

By Bridgette Redman  Dawnn Lewis hits the stage for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ Dawnn Lewis has been defying conventions since she was a teenager and it has resulted in a long-lasting career that includes Broadway, television, composing, voice acting and songwriting. From April 25 to May 5, this former star of “A Different World”—and the composer of its theme song—will star as Muzzy in Scottsdale Theater Com ...

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Real Music, Real Art

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski ‘Live from Laurel Canyon’ breathes life into folk mainstays Brian Chartrand spent the summer of 2012 working as a cruise ship musician. To prepare for it, he needed to know 300 covers—even before he stepped foot on the boat. It took some preparation, as he chose tunes by artists like James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles. “It was a really good history lesson for me, ...

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Furnishing The Great Outdoors

By Carrie Snider Luxury items play a part in posh patios Backyards in the Valley are some of the luckiest around. In many ways, they are an extension of the house itself—they are a great place for family and friends to spend time no matter the month of the year. Take springtime. Temperatures are just right for some outdoor parties complete with ample seating, food hot off the grill, and plenty of landscapin ...

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A Peace of mind

By Alison Stanton Retractable screens and awnings add comfort and value to homes Here in the aptly named Valley of the Sun, the constant beating of the sun’s hot rays can wreak havoc on homes, making air conditioners work overtime and causing exterior paint to fade. As Ken Pesho notes, his family-owned and -operated business, All Seasons Retractables, is ready, willing and able to help bring homes and their ...

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Women in Front

Cresa is committed to the diversification of commercial real estate.   In a historically, male-dominated industry, it's no wonder that the women of Cresa's Phoenix office have propelled themselves into the spotlight. They stand behind a firm that, since its inception in 1993, has been committed to the recruitment and retaining of women, and the diversification of commercial real estate. Women make up o ...

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Piecing it all together

Trevor Wilde on work, life, and giving back By Alison Bailin Batz The big picture. When you step back, it's always a tapestry of small pieces that make it all come together as one. At a glance, long-time resident Trevor Wilde's big picture is an impressive one. At work, he's not only the co-founder and managing director of Wilde Wealth Management Group in Scottsdale, but was recently named to Barron's annua ...

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Head of the class

The Lexus RX 350 remains a top contender By Greg Rubenstein For two decades, two sport utility vehicles have defined their respective segments-both shaping the automotive landscape as the categories they helped to create became mainstays of consumer preference. Both introduced in 1999, Cadillac's Escalade became de rigueur for upscale soccer moms, realtors, and high-end toy-haulers, while Lexus' RX was (and ...

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Fall Into Flagstaff

A foodie, foliage, and fun lover's paradise.    By Alison Bailin Batz Photos courtesy Flagstaff Convention and Visitor's Bureau It will be well into October before the Valley has seen the last of its 100-degree days for the year. For those yearning for a true fall, this can be the most frustrating time of the year. But it need not be. Less than two hours north of the Valley is Flagstaff, and while ofte ...

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Wrestling with a Conscience

WWE stars the Bella Twins champion causes with a killer clothes line.   By Niki D'Andrea When Brie Bella and her husband Bryan Danielson were packing up to move out of their Phoenix home and into their new house in Seattle, the couple sat eating salad together and reminiscing about their favorite moments in the house in a segment for the TV show Total Bellas that aired in June. "One of my favorite memo ...

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