Foothills Living

Foothills Living It's all about Community and supporting local businesses. It's about living joyfully and gratefully in Ahwatukee Foothills!
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Read all about your neighbors and friends!

New year, new Family Spotlight. 👨‍👩‍👧

Meet Art and Tatum Miller and their beautiful daughter Emma. They have been part ...
01/08/2024

New year, new Family Spotlight. 👨‍👩‍👧

Meet Art and Tatum Miller and their beautiful daughter Emma. They have been part of our Ahwatukee neighborhood for over a decade. Art tells Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills, “We love the close-knit community. You can be anywhere in Ahwatukee and run into friends.” The family also loves the mountains, desert terrain, and stunning sunsets the Foothills is known for. 🏜

Art is the owner and founder of Epic Produce, a purveyor of fresh fruit 🍇 and vegetables 🌽 from all major markets. With over 21 years in the produce supply business, he knows the ins and outs of the industry and has become a very successful entrepreneur. 📈

The Millers believe in paying it forward and sharing their success by helping others. 🤝 The family supports local youth organizations and a multitude of non-profit organizations. When their busy schedules allow, the family enjoys swimming 🏊, relaxing 😎 and going on vacation. 🏖 Their favorite spot to do all three is Maui. 🌺

Our December Teacher of the Month is Ms. Kiki Donnelly, who feels a sense of connection and a deep commitment to the suc...
12/29/2023

Our December Teacher of the Month is Ms. Kiki Donnelly, who feels a sense of connection and a deep commitment to the success and growth of Kyrene students as she shares the same educational roots.

Upon graduation from the University of Arizona, Ms. Donnelly happily accepted a position at Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School. Having begun school in The Foothills as a proud Sierra Sun, she feels a sense of connection and a deep commitment to the success and growth of fellow Kyrene students as she shares the same educational roots.

Ms. Donnelly’s inspiration to become a teacher comes from her mother and grandmother who were teachers. They have served as her inspiration, propelling her toward an unwavering commitment of building relationships, fostering academic growth, and promoting holistic development, all of which make her a true champion in the field of education.

Guests of Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills magazine enjoyed a fun-filled night at  this past October where excellent food and ...
12/19/2023

Guests of Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills magazine enjoyed a fun-filled night at this past October where excellent food and good times abounded. 😋

has been dishing up true Chicago-style pizza 🍕 along with some of the area’s best salads 🥗, wings 🍗, sandwiches 🥪 and pasta 🍝 since 2017. There are currently five Vero locations across the East Valley with another set to open next year.

Owner Alex Mejia says, “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Ahwatukee community and am excited to continue expanding with our corporate store in Mesa, which is set to open in 2024.”

The sky’s the limit for our December Athlete of the Month,  senior Tatum Meinerz. 📈 Her hard work on the volleyball cour...
12/14/2023

The sky’s the limit for our December Athlete of the Month, senior Tatum Meinerz. 📈 Her hard work on the volleyball court has earned her a scholarship to attend Eastern Kentucky University where she will study business and compete in Division I beach volleyball. 🏐

Tatum has been playing volleyball for ten years and has been an integral part of the Desert Vista Lady Thunder for the past four years as an outside hitter. 💪 As a senior, she was selected as the team’s captain. She credits her success to developing excellent ball control and exceptional court vision. 👀

For younger players aspiring to compete in high school and beyond, Tatum shares this advice, “Don’t give up at your lowest, because one day your hard work will be recognized.” She continues by saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the experience and the perseverance you learn along the way.” 🙌

As Tatum’s high school volleyball career comes to a close, it’s not the wins and losses she will remember, it’s the friends she has made along the way. Tatum concludes by saying, “My indoor volleyball season at Desert Vista has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I’ve met my best friends through volleyball, and they have helped me become the athlete and the person I am today.” 🫶

A new monthly feature debuted in the December issue of Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills. The Mental Game is authored by  and f...
12/08/2023

A new monthly feature debuted in the December issue of Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills. The Mental Game is authored by and focuses on the importance of mental health. In 2021 after a battle with his mental health, he decided to leave his job as a radio and television personality and start a podcast and speaking series. “When I learned how to truly let go of expectations, it changed my life. No longer did I need to control...anything!” writes Blades.

In his first piece for the magazine, he fills readers in on a little trick for having hard conversations with people they may not like, for one reason or another. His recommendation is to lead the conversation by asking most if not all of the questions. “Since people LOVE talking about themselves, this should soften that other person. You might even connect on a few things as wild as it sounds.”

Our November Teacher of the Month is all about creating relationships with her students. Amanda Moe has been teaching ki...
11/21/2023

Our November Teacher of the Month is all about creating relationships with her students. Amanda Moe has been teaching kindergarten and first grade at Cerritos Elementary School for seven years. 🖐️✌️She says, “I truly love seeing them grow, their interests spark, and their personalities develop and flourish! I always wish I had more time with them because even though a year is a long time together, they obviously continue to grow and learn and I love to keep in touch with them.” ❤️

Mrs. Moe adds, “It’s not only incredible when you start to see lightbulbs go off 💡 when they begin to grasp concepts, but also when you see them come out of their shell and share their personality. 😊 They start to make more friends, feel comfortable to share, raise their hand, and participate.” 🙋

She also loves building relationships with them and their lives outside of school by attending their dance shows 🩰 and sporting games ⚾️ and by inviting parents to come into the classroom. She has students share stories, sometimes even pictures, videos, and posters about their lives because, as she explains, “In my opinion, taking the time to truly know them turns into the best foundation for learning!” 🙌

In September, the Ahwatukee members of  donated $15,000 to , a local nonprofit that serves women and families as they mo...
11/13/2023

In September, the Ahwatukee members of donated $15,000 to , a local nonprofit that serves women and families as they move through life’s transitions, specializing in the transition into parenthood and maternal mental health.

“We are so grateful for the support from 100+ Women Who Care,” shared Michelle Lacy, Executive Director of WHI. “These funds will be used to support our teen pregnancy and parenting support services.” If you’re interested in learning more about WHI, visit https/www.whiarizona.org/

Meet our November Family Spotlight, Tank and Sydney Giles and their three beautiful daughters, Olivia, Lulu, and Ocean!T...
11/07/2023

Meet our November Family Spotlight, Tank and Sydney Giles and their three beautiful daughters, Olivia, Lulu, and Ocean!

Tank has coached thousands of kids in Ahwatukee. In addition to training them to be better athletes, he teaches them to be winners in life. He is a natural motivator and his positive energy is contagious. 😀

Sydney is an Arizona native, born and raised in Phoenix. She is a full-time mom and enjoys staying home to raise the couple’s three amazing daughters. 👩‍👧

Olivia, a 3rd grader at Kyrene de la Sierra, is a talented young gymnast 🤸 with aspirations to compete in high-level competitions as she gets older. She also enjoys swimming, playing basketball with her dad, and shopping with her mom. 🏊⛹️‍♀️🛍

Lulu celebrated her 4th birthday on Halloween. 🎃 She loves swimming and going on family walks. 🏊🚶‍♀️ She is fascinated by band-aids 🩹 and routinely gives Jimmy, the family’s dog, 🐶 “check-ups” during his naps. This, she says, is preparing her to be a doctor when she grows up. 🩺

Ocean turns one this month. Like her dad, she is always smiling. Tank says, “Ocean is simple, she just likes to be happy!” 👶

The family’s daily routine includes a visit to the . They also enjoy going out to dinner 🍽 and planning family movie nights with games and popcorn. 🍿

The Giles family is happy to call Ahwatukee home. They love the beautiful landscape, the Kyrene School District, and the close-knit, kind, friendly people they call friends. 🤝

It was a record-breaking day for the  girls varsity golf team on September 9. The Thunder shot a 151 in 9-hole play to b...
10/31/2023

It was a record-breaking day for the girls varsity golf team on September 9. The Thunder shot a 151 in 9-hole play to break the school’s 9-hole team low round of 152 from 2015. 🏌️‍♀️ The five-member team also carded five personal bests, beating out rivaling squads Queen Creek and Mesa Mountain View.

They finished the regular season ranked 4th in the Arizona high school D1 rankings. Good luck in the State Championships! ⛳️

Golf season is in full swing 🏌️‍♂️ for our October Athlete of the Month,  sophomore Drew Pinkston, who is playing his 2n...
10/25/2023

Golf season is in full swing 🏌️‍♂️ for our October Athlete of the Month, sophomore Drew Pinkston, who is playing his 2nd year on the varsity team. ⛳️

Drew spends 20 hours a week golfing during the high school season and more time at home, studying course maps before competition to become familiar with hazards, course terrain, and fairways. The team regularly practices at Foothills Golf Club.

His advice to golfers young and old is don’t give up on yourself. He explains this by saying, “If you hit a plateau or a slump, they happen to everyone eventually. Keep going, you will get through it.” He also says, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” A
quote he likes from Muhammad Ali. 👊

Some things are meant to be. Just ask the Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills Teacher of the Month for October.Jenn McMillan has ...
10/17/2023

Some things are meant to be. Just ask the Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills Teacher of the Month for October.

Jenn McMillan has been teaching voice 🎤 and piano 🎹 at since 2019. Her high school counselor encouraged her to study music, 🎶 so she went to for vocal performance and graduated in 2013. 🎓 Upon graduation, she put a band 🎤🎸🥁 together and began playing and performing her music across Michigan. Also during this time, Ms. Jenn fell into teaching 👩‍🏫 at the School of Rock in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and ended up loving it.

When she transplanted to Arizona, she re-put a band together and started playing at local music venues across the Valley. 🎶 Then she landed a position at MMW, her favorite job to date. Although she hadn’t planned on getting into performing or teaching music, she kept getting pushed toward both, and she fell into one thing after another. 🎤👩‍🏫

Upon reflection, Ms. Jenn knows she is where she is meant to be. She says, “I can help teach and encourage people not only through my music but through teaching, to believe in themselves and go after their own dreams.” ❤️

Do you recognize the Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills Family Spotlight for October?There’s a decent chance you’ve heard their ...
10/06/2023

Do you recognize the Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills Family Spotlight for October?

There’s a decent chance you’ve heard their dad on the radio. 📻 It’s none other than , more personally known as Mathew Anderson, along with his wife Niccoli and sons Gordy and Truman!

Mathew made waking up in the Valley of the Sun ☀️ a little brighter 😎 as the award-winning, very popular morning radio personality on . He greeted listeners for 11 years, entertaining them with his quick wit, effortless banter, and great sense of humor. In December of 2021, Mathew left radio to concentrate on his health.

Today, he continues to put smiles 😊 on people’s faces, but rather than broadcasting locally, he uses his speaking skills to reach individuals from around the globe 🌎 who are struggling with mental health. He is now the host of Learn from People Who Lived It and the with . Mathew describes his new career this way, “It’s all about self-care now and checking in with myself and then helping others understand their value, so they do the same.”

Niccoli has been cutting, coloring, and styling hair 💇‍♀️for more than two decades. She is also an active community volunteer, having chaired and worked on many event committees while serving on both Sierra Elementary School’s PTO and Altadena Middle School’s PTSO.

Gordy and Truman both attend Desert Vista. Gordy, a junior, is an excellent student, plays on the school’s D1 hockey team 🏒 and enjoys mountain biking, golf, and skiing. 🚵🏌️⛷ Truman, a freshman, also excels academically and plays on the school’s D2 hockey team. 🏒 He plays competitive basketball at the Ahwatukee YMCA, is an avid golfer and enjoys skiing. ⛹️🏌️⛷

On weekends, you’re likely to find the Andersons at one of the area’s local hockey rinks or on an Ahwatukee trail hiking or mountain biking. Niccoli says, “I love that everyone in Ahwatukee knows everyone and is watching out for each other’s kiddos. We landed in the perfect place to raise our family and do our part to make the world a better place.”

Our Athlete of the Month for September is  sophomore Cole Graber, who has played baseball for eleven years and football ...
09/28/2023

Our Athlete of the Month for September is sophomore Cole Graber, who has played baseball for eleven years and football for two. He is one of only a handful of underclassmen to play varsity football for this year. Cole says, “It’s a little scary and intimidating to be the youngest player on the varsity squad, but it makes me feel good about myself.”

Cole has grown up in our Ahwatukee community. He attended Sierra Elementary School and Altadena Middle School and has played on many local teams. In addition to baseball and football, he has participated in soccer, volleyball, golf, and mountain biking. He says, “I consider having had the opportunity to play so many different sports a real accomplishment. It has helped me develop my athleticism and find the sports I love.”

Learning and practicing new skills are something Cole embraces as an athlete along with tough workouts, especially when they’re followed by his favorite meal, a good old-fashioned cheeseburger. Cole believes in ‘No Pain. No Gain.’, and hard work. He aspires to continue to become a better and stronger athlete throughout his high school career and then to play college ball.

Best of luck to Cole and the Thunder this year!

Creating a safe, secure environment where children can grow is precisely what our September Teacher of the Month is doin...
09/21/2023

Creating a safe, secure environment where children can grow is precisely what our September Teacher of the Month is doing. Jessica Spada has 27 years of teaching experience and is thrilled to be in her 6th year as owner and director of Magical Journey Learning Center in Ahwatukee.

There are a lot of fun things happening at MJLC, and Mrs. Spada is excited about it all. In fact, each time she was asked about herself, she pivoted to talk about the children: “The first years of a child’s life are so crucial and we make that the highest priority here at MJLC by creating one-of-a-kind experiences and lifelong bonds with our families who even years later pop in to say ‘hi.’ The home-school connection is so important!”

Meet our September Family of the Month, Dr. Rahul and Seema Kode and their beautiful and talented daughters, Naina and S...
09/16/2023

Meet our September Family of the Month, Dr. Rahul and Seema Kode and their beautiful and talented daughters, Naina and Siya! Dr. Kode moved to Ahwatukee in 2003 when he opened his practice . During this time, he also met Seema.

As a family, one of the Kodes’ passions is to see the world. 🌎 The family has had the good fortune to travel extensively and explore many different cultures.

Although travel is a significant part of the Kodes’ lives, they always look forward to coming back home to Phoenix. Seema says, “We love the feel of the Ahwatukee community and enjoy being a part of it. Rahul and I grew up in the Northwest and don’t miss the rain and snow one bit!” 😎

At home, Dr. Kode and his partners at create beautiful smiles 😀 and support many local teams and organizations with donations and sponsorships. Dr. Kode is the team dentist for the team. ⚽️ He also makes custom-made mouthguards for area athletes.

Our July and August Athletes of the Month are taking high school athletics to new heights. 💪📈A trailblazer in women’s hi...
08/29/2023

Our July and August Athletes of the Month are taking high school athletics to new heights. 💪📈

A trailblazer in women’s high school sports, Ella Creech was named MVP of Desert Vista’s club flag football team this spring and will take the field again this fall as Desert Vista and the State of Arizona debut high school girls’ flag football as an official Arizona Interscholastic Association sanctioned sport. 🏈

A natural athlete with tremendous mental and physical strength, Owen Lee is the center for Desert Vista’s varsity football team and the #1 discus thrower in the State of Arizona! 🥇

Good luck to Ella and Owen and to the rest of our student-athletes as they begin the 2023-2024 high school sports season!

Creating good vibes and taking music exploration to a new level. That’s what our July and August Teachers of the Month a...
08/16/2023

Creating good vibes and taking music exploration to a new level. That’s what our July and August Teachers of the Month are doing at . 🎶🧑‍🏫

Sofia Piña is a passionate music educator and performer who teaches both voice and music and incorporates a teaching style that is imaginative, fun, educational, and encouraging. 🎤🎵

Ms. Sofia encourages her students in every way because, as she says, “it promotes the positive experience I want all my students to have, and I believe the end result is bigger when we are having a great time together.”

Christian Rich is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, performer and, yes, a creative teacher of music and sound who teaches guitar, drums, bass, and ukulele. 🎸🥁

Mr. Christian loves that MMW allows for musical freedom, describing the workshop as a creative playground where teachers “get to help our students in really creative ways.”

Thanks for inspiring the next generation of musical artists and innovators!

Helping kids grow and succeed. That’s what the  Club of Ahwatukee is all about. One of their main priorities is to suppo...
08/12/2023

Helping kids grow and succeed. That’s what the Club of Ahwatukee is all about.
 
One of their main priorities is to support kids in the foster care system. In April, they were awarded $15,600 by . This incredible donation will provide clothes for more than 100 foster teens.
 
“Life is hard enough for these kids without needing to wear the same two to three t-shirts every day. Having new clothes to wear will help their self-esteem and help them fit in with their classmates. We so appreciate the help of the members of this organization. They are helping us help kids!” says Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee Treasurer Andi Pettyjohn.
 
Since the inception of 100+ Women Who Care in 2015, more than $1,103,000 has been donated to local charities.

Say hello 👋 to our July and August Families of the Month, the Magdziarz and Reagan families!First, meet Josh and Nicole ...
08/09/2023

Say hello 👋 to our July and August Families of the Month, the Magdziarz and Reagan families!

First, meet Josh and Nicole Magdziarz and their beautiful daughters Elle, Mia and Harper who also welcomed Leah, a foreign exchange student from Norway 🇳🇴 who has lived with the family for the past 10 months. “Hosting a student from another country is an incredibly rewarding experience. We benefit from learning about other cultures and enjoy sharing ours with them,” says Nicole. Josh and Nicole grew up in Ahwatukee and are alumni of Mountain Pointe High School. 🎓 He is the VP of Analytics for K16 Solutions and she is a registered nurse, working as the VP of Precision Therapeutics for Concert Genetics. Their daughters are excellent students who dance 🩰 at Innerlight Dance Center and volunteer 🙋‍♀️ with their mom at Ahwatukee’s National Charity League.

Josh and Nicole are proud to call Ahwatukee home. Nicole says, “We love the tight-knit community and wanted our children to have the same positive experiences we had growing up here.”

Next, meet the fun-loving Reagan family. This year, Michael and Shannon celebrate their 20th anniversary, they both turn 50, and their beautiful twin daughters, Lillian and Sheridan, are Sweet 16! 🥳🎉🎊 Michael works as the Pharmacy Director for Molina Healthcare and Clinical Pharmacist for Honor Health and as a kickboxing instructor at JAB Fitness. 🥊 Shannon works part-time as the Accounting Secretary for Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre and is an active community volunteer. Lillian and Sheridan are heavily involved in Desert Vista High School’s student-run Theatre program. 🎭

The Reagans are happy to call Ahwatukee home and love that it has a small, neighborhood feel, yet offers so much. Shannon concludes by saying, “Ahwatukee is a great location with plenty of great schools 📚, hiking trails 🥾, shopping 🛍, and restaurants 🍲, but still feels like a small town where you see familiar faces often.”

Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills Family Spotlight, presented by

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Last summer, Elia Woods, a 17-year-old from the Phoenix Metro area, started doing her bit to help people in need and tho...
06/15/2023

Last summer, Elia Woods, a 17-year-old from the Phoenix Metro area, started doing her bit to help people in need and those experiencing homelessness by collecting reusable water bottles to be redistributed to those who need them. 💧💧

Check out therecyclingproject.org to learn more about Elia's incredible mission and how you can get involved! 🌟

Learn more about Emma and Therecyclingproject.org in our latest issue!

Wow! 🤩🎉 Emma Ellexson has achieved so much in her Junior year at Desert Vista High School - not only is she excelling in...
06/14/2023

Wow! 🤩🎉 Emma Ellexson has achieved so much in her Junior year at Desert Vista High School - not only is she excelling in her studies, but she has also been a driving force behind the Period Fairy Initiative and is helping to end period poverty and stigma on campus! Thank you, Emma - you are an inspiration 💖

Read all about Emma in our latest issue!

This month, our Kids 2 Kids article features Maya and Zane. 🤗 We're convinced that our Ahwatukee community has the coole...
06/13/2023

This month, our Kids 2 Kids article features Maya and Zane. 🤗

We're convinced that our Ahwatukee community has the coolest kiddos!🙌✨

There are TONS of fun events coming up!🥳👉Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball June 1 - 30👉Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival Ju...
06/09/2023

There are TONS of fun events coming up!🥳

👉Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball June 1 - 30
👉Flagstaff Blues and Brews Festival June 9 – 10
👉The Prom June 7 – July 9
👉Saturday Night Starlight at Verde Canyon Railroad June 10, 17, 24
👉Hairspray June 20 – 25
👉6th Annual White Mountains Balloon Festival June 23 - 25
👉World’s Oldest Rodeo June 28 – July 4

Be sure to check our latest Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills magazine so you don't miss out on all the fun! There's nothing like summertime in Ahwatukee!😍

Nothing more wholesome than a mother-daughter duo making an impact through philanthropy! They're doing great things thro...
06/07/2023

Nothing more wholesome than a mother-daughter duo making an impact through philanthropy! They're doing great things through Ahwatukee Foothills Chapter of the National Charity League (AFNCL)🙌💕

🔥 Tyler is this month's Athlete of the Month! 🤩 He's crushing it on the track and setting an amazing example for all of ...
06/06/2023

🔥 Tyler is this month's Athlete of the Month! 🤩 He's crushing it on the track and setting an amazing example for all of us to follow 📈 🏃🏼‍♂️⭐

We love learning about the families here in our Ahwatukee Community!!❤️Learn about the Cable Family in our latest Stroll...
06/05/2023

We love learning about the families here in our Ahwatukee Community!!❤️

Learn about the Cable Family in our latest Stroll Ahwatukee Foothills issue, you won't regret it!😉

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Making dental visits fun & easy 🤗😁! Jungle Roots Pediatric Dentistry is here to make sure your little one's smile shines...
05/26/2023

Making dental visits fun & easy 🤗😁! Jungle Roots Pediatric Dentistry is here to make sure your little one's smile shines bright 🌟.

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Train hard, focus, and reap the rewards! 💪💪   classes will help you reach your goals 🥊🥊📸:
05/26/2023

Train hard, focus, and reap the rewards! 💪💪 classes will help you reach your goals 🥊🥊

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It's time to transform your garage into a place your proud of!🚗 has got you covered!😉🙌
05/23/2023

It's time to transform your garage into a place your proud of!🚗

has got you covered!😉🙌

Your homeownership dreams🤝 Jill Waldrop with OneTrust Home LoansJill can help make getting your dream home a reality! 🏡👷...
05/22/2023

Your homeownership dreams🤝 Jill Waldrop with OneTrust Home Loans

Jill can help make getting your dream home a reality! 🏡👷

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