Volunteers needed for MS walk

Walk MS is the rallying point of the MS movement, a community coming together to raise funds and celebrate hope for the future. The Tucson Walk MS event is right around the corner, and now is the time to get involved.

The 19th-Annual Tucson Walk MS will take place on Saturday, March 10. Registration opens at 8 a.m., with the walk to kick-off at 9:30 a.m. at Reid Park (3101 E 22nd St. Tucson, AZ 85713).

To get involved, either start a walk team or join a walk team. Residents are also welcome to volunteer.

The organization is still looking to fill volunteer chair positions on the event planning Committee.

Anyone interested in starting or joining a team, or volunteering can contact Lisa Cleary, at lisa.cleary@nmss.org, or call 480-968-2488, Option 2, Ext. 228.

This family event will bring together awareness, hope and fun as we plan to raise much-needed funds to help fight MS. Participants of all ability levels and ages can enjoy these walks. There is no registration fee, but the fundraising of participants helps provide support to more than 8,000 individuals in the state of Arizona battling MS.

To register, log on to www.walkmsarizona.org.

Southern Arizona Red Cross receives grant

With growing uncertainty about the U.S. economy driving increased financial anxiety among Americans, the importance of preparing for the future financially has never been more critical. The American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter, with a grant from the Foundation for Financial Planning, is working to make a difference by helping people understand how to plan their financial future with their Operation Desert Home: Financial Home Base project.

Through the Operation Desert Home: Financial Home Base grant active-duty service members, veterans and their families in southern Arizona will receive free financial education and one-on-one counseling to help them manage their finances and plan ahead.

As one young veteran said, "We don't have a lot of resources, we tend to rack up a lot of bills and a lot of debt and we outstrip our ability to repay them. Furthermore, when you get out, you don't know how your assets, benefits and income will support you because it all just changed. It's a big shock."

The American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter is one of 15 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive a grant this cycle. The Foundation has awarded 136 grants since 1998 for a total of $4.6 million.

Foundation beneficiaries include military families, the recently unemployed, homeless people who are deep into debt, young disadvantaged adults who are just trying to find their way as well as students and teachers.

The Foundation's mission is to help bring financial planning to people who can't afford it, and teach financial life skills to those who've never learned it.

Visit the Foundation's website at www.foundation-finplan.org to learn more about the grant program, to access consumer financial life skills tools and information, to gain more information about the Foundation, or to make a contribution to help impact the lives of the underserved.

Oro Valley to host public forum

The Town of Oro Valley will soon begin planning the budget for 2012-13 budget year. As the state and nation continues to struggle in a down-turned economy, The Town of Oro Valley again faces the challenge of identifying efficiencies while preserving the excellent programs and services for which the town is known.

To that end, The Town of Oro Valley will host a public forum on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. to solicit input, and provide information on the Town's 2012-13 budget.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to share your thoughts, please contact Constituent Services Coordinator Pat Klein at 229-4711, or email at pklein@orovalleyaz.gov.

Annual Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress

It was January 1934 and John Dillinger was "on the lam." Finding refuge in Tucson, the Dillinger gang stayed at the Hotel Congress until the fateful fire forced them out of their hiding place, which led lead to their capture by Tucson's police and fire departments.

The Historic Hotel Congress, in an exciting new partnership with the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation, commemorates this rich piece of Tucson's history and the 78th year anniversary of Dillinger's capture with the annual Dillinger Days celebration to take place on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21 on the grounds of the Hotel Congress and Maynards Market.

"Dillinger was a nationally notorious criminal - we've always been proud of the role Tucson and our local law enforcement played in capturing ‘public enemy number one,'" said Mike McKendrick, chair of the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation. "This event will provide the public a great deal more insight into the events leading up to the reported capture of Dillinger and the events that followed."

Brand new to the celebratory events this year is the Friday night Speakeasy, a soiree that recaptures the spirit of the 1930s and will feature a number of activities, including a screening of the documentary "Hot Pion," which details the tragic 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel, in the Club Congress; a museum of 1930s memorabilia in Copper Hall; a premium whiskey tasting in the lobby of the Hotel, plus big band tunes from Kings of Pleasure and music from Duo Vibrato.

The $10 suggested donation for the night will go toward the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation to restore a 1923 American LaFrance Fire Engine, which is the very engine that responded to the Hotel Congress fire on Jan. 23, 1934.

Saturday's festivities are family friendly, and include lively re-enactments of Dillinger's capture, vintage car shows, live music, tours of the Hotel Congress and downtown walking tours.

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend's activities will benefit the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation.

The Fox Tucson Theatre will also be joining in the historical spirit of the event with a special screening of "3:10 to Yuma" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Visit www.foxtucson.com for more details.

For more information about Dillinger Days, contact Hotel Congress at 622-8848, or the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation at 603-3055.

Oracle State Park re-opening

on limited schedule

Arizona State Parks and the Friends of Oracle State Park invite you to celebrate the re-opening beginning in February.

The Grand Re-opening is on Saturday, Feb. 4, and will be a free day for the public.

Gates will be open at 8 a.m. The park will close at 5 p.m.

Oracle State Park has been closed since October 2009 due to a severe state budget crisis, but will open on a limited basis, on Saturdays between Feb. 4 and April 28.

Current funding will allow the park to be open again in the Fall of 2012, September through November on Saturdays.

During the months of February, March, April, September, October and November, Oracle State Park will again offer environmental education school programs for local elementary schools and scout groups. Programs are offered on weekdays by reservation. For more information, visit www.AZStateparks.com.

More volunteers are needed to help with opening day and consecutive Saturdays. Volunteer Orientation Meetings are set for Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Kannally Ranch House.

Call the park office 896-2425 or email Volunteer Coordinator, jrinio@azstateparks.gov for more information.



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