Bring the kids, and donations, to Santa’s Workshop

Santa’s Workshop collects toys, food and clothes for people in need, and entertains the kids through Dec. 20 at Foothills Mall.

The workshop, presented by the Arizona Rose Theatre Company and the soup kitchen Casa Maria, also accepts hygiene items, diapers and household needs. The primary Santa’s Workshop is at the mall; all Tucson Pizza Hut locations are drop points as well.

Holiday activities are regularly scheduled at the mall location.

Mondays, Zippy the Elf does magic at 11:30 a.m. Laly the Elf paints faces at 5:30 p.m.

There is story time with Mama Elf at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, and the kids can play holiday games with Twinkles the Elf and make their own Christmas cards at 11 a.m. Thursdays.

Melody the Elf leads a sing-a-long on Fridays. Arts and crafts fill the weekends.

All activities cost $2 per child (no charge for parents), with the proceeds benefiting Santa’s Workshop, Casa Maria and the Marana Food Bank.

Church adds a third Sunday worship service

A Marana church has added a third, earlier Sunday service.

Sanctuary United Methodist Church, in existence for four years, now holds services at 7:45, a traditional service at 9 and a contemporary service at 10.30 a.m.

The Rev. Mark Maddox said the 7:45 service has been added because of space limitations, and because of a desire for an early service that allows the remainder of Sunday for family time.

“In a day when churches around our country are closing it is remarkable to see a church in our area that is expanding,” Maddox said. “We are growing because this congregation is so friendly and welcoming.”

Sanctuary United Methodist Church meets at Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School, 8500 N. Continental Reserve Loop, one block west of Silverbell and Coachline. The church may be reached at 207-6453 or

Zoo has a name for new giraffe

A new female giraffe at Reid Park Zoo has been named “Elinor,” in recognition of longtime volunteer docent Elinor Johnson, described in a zoo release as an “amazing” woman.

The zoo held a “Name the Giraffe Contest,” and it received hundreds of submissions.

The name was submitted by Leya Jorgenson, age 4, who chose the name Elinor because she loves the characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks. The youngest character, Eleanor, wears her hair in pigtails and has big eyes, resembling a giraffe. Leya has received a zoo membership as her prize.

The 11-year-old giraffe Elinor arrived from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and is currently on exhibit daily. The zoo is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. For additional information, call 791-4022.

Marana Car Care Day is Dec. 11

Marana Car Care Day is Saturday, Dec. 11, with free car check-ups by the Town of Marana’s fleet department.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon that Saturday at the Marana Operations Center, 5100 W. Ina. The MOC is one block west of I-10.

Members of the fleet staff are checking fluid levels and tire pressure, among other basics, but will not perform maintenance on vehicles. Vendors will be at the event to offer their services, a release said.

Along with the free check-up, participants are able to discuss vehicle maintenance with professionals, and visit the new community room at the operations center.

Sponsors of Marana Car Care Day are the town, the Clean Cities Tucson Regional Coalition, the Marana Chamber of Commerce, Brake Max and AAMCO.

Academy sets open sign-up for Dec. 6-10

Sonoran Science Academy is holding open enrollment Dec. 6-10 for grades K-12.

The school, named Arizona’s charter school of the year for 2010, is located at 2325 W. Sunset. Spaces are limited.

Enrollment applications are available on the school website,, or in the front office starting Dec. 6. Open enrollment hours at elementary and middle/high school offices are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Charter schools are public schools; there is no fee for attending a charter school, and district boundaries do not apply, a release said. Enrollment is open to anyone living in Tucson or the surrounding area.

Center against domestic abuse needs holiday aid

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, the largest domestic abuse shelter and prevention services provider in Southern Arizona, is facing hard times this holiday season, according to a release.

Donations for its annual Holiday House “are at an all-time low, and there may not be enough gifts for all in need,” the agency said.

Emerge! is seeking donated, new, unwrapped gifts for its Holiday House, a special holiday program for domestic abuse survivors.

“Holiday House is like a retail store, but everything is free,” the release said. “ Emerge! domestic abuse program participants visit Holiday House to “shop” for gifts for their family members (including the children who are in the shelters during the holidays).”

New gift items are being accepted through Dec. 11. Gifts may be delivered to the Lipsey Center, 2545 E. Adams Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Items that depict weapons, fighting, gangs or aggression are not accepted. Volunteers are also needed to help operate the Holiday House.

For more information, visit

OV gets grants for DUI work, a motorcycle

The Oro Valley Police Department has received grant funding to support two programs, one to enhance DUI enforcement, the other to purchase a fully equipped police motorcycle to enhance selective traffic enforcement, a town release said.

Grants come from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Oro Valley is receiving $24,310 so it can participate in DUI enforcement, continue to pay overtime and cover employee-related expenses for enhanced DUI enforcement throughout Oro Valley and the surrounding area.

The police department is also receiving $29,500 to purchase one fully equipped police motorcycle package, and to “enhance selective traffic enforcement” in the town and its vicinity, the release said.

‘Seussical Jr.’ this Friday at Green Fields

Dr. Seuss characters come to life in the one-act musical “Seussical Jr.,” this Friday, Dec. 3 at Green Fields Country Day School.

Join Horton the Elephant in the Jungle of Nool near the River Waloo, along with the Whos, Gertrude McFuzz, Maizy the Lazy Bird, Yertle the Turtle and the Sour Kangaroo. They’re all part of the musical cast for Seussical Jr.

Green Fields students in grades 3-8 have been practicing weekly since September to learn the popular Seussical musical songs, choreography, dialogue and stage movement. They’re directed by Becky Cordier, middle school principal and music teacher. The 80-minute performance begins at 7 p.m.

Green Fields Fine Arts Boosters are hosting a pre-show tasting of Seussian culinary delights such as One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Canapés, Who Roast Beast Skewers, Truffula Tree Bits and Amazing Maizy Banana Empanadas. The tasting begins at 5:30 and costs an additional $10. Proceeds benefit the school.

Tickets to the musical are $5, and can be reserved by calling the school at 297-2288. They can also be purchased at the door. The show will be presented in the Center for Performing Arts at Green Fields, 6000 N. Camino de la Tierra, near Shannon and Orange Grove roads.

Opportunities at AARP Tucson to help others

Retired seniors looking for an opportunity to engage in community service are encouraged to contact the AARP Tucson Information Center.

The center, located at 6700 N. Oracle, Suite 331, has volunteer openings for people interested in providing AARP information and assistance on a variety of issues, a release said. Training is available for new volunteers; basic computer skills are helpful.

The AARP Tucson Information Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of shifts are available.

For further information, contact the AARP Tucson Information Center at 571-9884 or visit the center.

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