Phoenix, Arizona / Sunday, June 18, 2006
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 108 / Low 81
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
Sahuaro book sale big success
7th annual event is best yet
(BP) – The seventh annual Sahuaro School used book sale on April 8 was another spectacular success for the local educational institution, school officials recently announced.
Scores of bargain hunters strolled in and out of the Sahuaro cafeteria at the day long event, which raised over $1500 in book sales and an additional $300 at the snack bar. These totals are the largest that the Sahuaro book sale has generated to date. All proceeds from the event are used to benefit the students of Sahuaro School.
Among the many local bibliophiles in attendance were Crusader CEO and Sahuaro alumnus John Bueker and his wife Susan. Bueker has been attending the Sahuaro book sale for the last three years, as much as an exercise in nostalgia as an opportunity to find some literary bargains at three for a dollar. He attended Sahuaro School for all eight grades of elementary school, from 1964 to 1972.
“I ate an awful lot of lunches in this room,” sighed Bueker quietly as he gazed around the aging school cafeteria. He then pointed to a corner of the room and wistfully noted “I think I threw up over there once. The pizza sandwiches weren’t very good that day.” Bueker then smiled and wiped a tear from his reddening cheek. “Good times."
The books for the sale are donated by neighborhood residents and by the school library, which rids itself of a hundred or so discards through the sale each year. Alumni like Bueker enjoy rifling through the myriad stacks of books looking for old Sahuaro library books from their years of attendance at the school. Well actually, Bueker appears to be the only alumnus who does this.
Proceeds from the annual book sale are used for a variety of purposes, everything from the purchase of playground equipment to the funding of special school reading programs.
Westown Park celebrates grand re-opening
By J. Beaver
Westown Park, a focus of neighborhood activity for three generations, recently celebrated its grand re-opening.
An underflow crowd estimated at about two hundred turned out on the morning of Saturday, May 6 to commemorate the new beginning for the park, which has been extensively renovated over the past year.
Phoenix City Councilman Dave Siebert acted as master of ceremonies at the event, which featured a speech of welcome and congratulations from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. Bob Beletz, President of the Westown Watch Neighborhood Association, also gave a rousing speech of congratulations that included a stern warning to all the local no-goodniks who continue to bring their graffiti and other “illegal activities” to the beloved neighborhood park. After the city dignitaries had departed, Crusader CEO John Bueker delivered a brief impromptu speech to several children and a German shepherd, praising the free hot dogs and soda that were provided for the event by the local Food City grocery store.
The rejuvenated Westown Park boasts a number of new amenities including an athletic field lighting system, an ADA accessible playground, two ramadas, a chilled drinking fountain, and a state-of-the-art restroom facility. The total tab of $419,000 was funded by the 2001 Phoenix city bond election.
Westown Park was originally built and dedicated in 1960, alongside the adjoining elementary school, Sahuaro. A few years later, the park was deeded over to the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department by Maricopa County. The 4.5 acre park has now served the community and various youth soccer, Pop Warner football, and Little League programs for 46 years. Westown Park was also used over the years as an athletic field for the Sahuaro School physical education program, a practice that ended when the school eliminated its junior high grades and became a kindergarten through 6th grade elementary school in 1982.