Chandler Dad Inspires Through Global Nonprofit

Raj Khillan believes you do not need a reason to help others—and made that belief a focal point in his career.

Toy Barn

Toy boxes aren’t mere storage containers. They’re childhood dream-keepers, brimming with wonderous things. They keep treasures safe. But as kids grow, so do their toys. Grown-ups need a place for their wonders too, and when a box won’t do, there’s always Toy Barn.

Let the Good Times Roll!

You don’t have to go all the way to New Orleans for a taste of Mardi Gras! Make plans to stay in town and attend this fall’s Dancing with Dignity 2019gala,presented by the Dignity Health Foundation-East Valley. 

Having a Ball

It’s late June and in a desolate stretch in San Bernadino County, Tri-City Christian Academy athletic director and varsity boys basketball coach Paul Brown is standing under a windmill on his mobile phone.

Winning in the Game of Fun

This summer has special meaning to many members of the Gila River Indian Community—that’s because Gila River Hotels & Casinos will kick off its 25th Anniversary with a series of special events and promotions over the next six months. This celebration will culminate with a massive party and concert on New Year’s Eve at Gila River Hotels & Casinos –…

TerrainHopper USA

Growing up, Todd Lemay always liked the beach but wasn’t able to fully experience it because his wheelchair couldn’t roll through the sand. Then years ago, he took his girlfriend, Leticia (now his wife) to the ocean for the first time—but they couldn’t enjoy her first walk on the beach together because the sand wasn’t accessible. When Lemay discovered TerrainHopper,…

The Willow Tree Foundation

Ann Schrooten is the founder and president of The Willow Tree Foundation. She has a tremendous gift to give, but is faced with an interesting challenge. More often than not she has to convince the parents who have been referred to her to take what she has to offer: time for themselves.

Building Community

When Lisa O’Hearn moved to Chandler from San Diego, she was surprised to find that there wasn’t already a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity Women Build, an organization she had been involved with in California. So, she did what any go-getter and community-minded person would do—she organized a new chapter.

Photographer Greg Wickenburg

Greg Wickenburg is a self-taught professional photographer who specializes in taking in-camera double exposures. He photographs one subject, reloads the digital image, and takes a second shot on top of the first. He creates something unique and different between the two blended images. He never edits his photographs. Occasionally he crops, but only because it can be a challenge maneuvering…

Filling a Void

Every Thursday during the school year, a group of women gathers to stuff 660 backpacks with granola bars, trail mix, canned fruits and vegetables, soup, tuna, applesauce and easy-to-prepare mac & cheese. Sometimes, bananas and toothbrushes made it into the mix.

A Second Chance

 Article Michelle Guerrero | Photography David Apeji  Kate Mathias, a mother of three, wife and author moved to Chandler from Iowa nearly eight years ago. She fell in love with the Arizona sunshine. Her new friends became family. Life was good. But in 2012, her neurologist misdiagnosed her with a stroke. She suffered daily headaches for 16 months, dropped 25…

Renewable Waste

When Lyndsey Bennett and her husband opened Raw Juice Bar in Chandler in October 2014, they quickly realized that they wanted to do something environmentally friendly with the vast amounts of raw pulp their business generates on a daily basis.

Never Give Up

Joe Jackson was a 16-year-old Hamilton football player when his life was forever changed. During a November game in 2005, Jackson was playing defense and ran to the other side of the field to make a tackle. The next thing he knew, he was on the ground. He tried to get up, but he couldn’t. His coaches told him it…

Full Bellies, Full Hearts

On Aug. 30, Even Stevens opened for business in Downtown Chandler. The craft casual sandwich shop, which is the seventh location in Arizona for the Salt Lake City-based company, is attracting a lot of repeat customers who enjoy Even Stevens’ delicious variety of sandwiches. From the Pot Roast Dip, featuring turkey pot roast, Swiss cheese, red onion and locally made…

Nourishing Hope

Formerly Chandler Christian Community Center, AZCEND is Chandler’s largest basic necessities service provider, fulfilling the emergency hunger needs of the area’s most vulnerable residents through its Chandler Food Bank. It all started back in November of 1966, when a consortium of Chandler churches unified with the common cause of alleviating poverty in their community. Today, AZCEND still operates from its…

Chandler Compadres

For one group of men in the East Valley that are passionate about making an impact in the community is an effort they have been devoted to for nearly four decades. Today, with more than 100 active and lifetime members, the Chandler Compadres have certainly struck the right chord, all to the benefit of local kids and families in need.

Local advocate fights animal cruelty

On a peaceful acre of land, surrounded by a cow, three goats, two pigs, eight chickens, three turkeys, two ducks and 11 cats, Michelle Lukasiewicz has created a life that many animal lovers dream about. “From a very young age I always felt compassion for animals,” says Lukasiewicz.

Bashas’ Family of Stores gives back to the local community

Both Bashas’ headquarters (corporate office is located near Alma School and Ocotillo Roads in south Chandler) and distribution center (located at I-10 and Chandler Blvd.) are based in Chandler. In addition, the company has at least one Bashas’ (two locations) AJ’s Fine Foods (one location) and Food City grocery store (one location) operating in Chandler. Learn more at

Subway Kids & Sports making a positive impact on Arizona youth

There are a multitude of positive benefits that come with youth involvement in athletics. Whether a child wins or loses, they leave the game with important life lessons. Sports not only allows a child to live out a healthy active lifestyle, but it also allows them to learn important social and emotional skills. Sports helps a child develop friendships, join…

Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank offers compassion, dignity and hope

Executive Director Jan Terhune says the food bank got its start inside the small kitchen at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. By 2005, the food bank had become too big so leaders applied for 501(c)3 status, and moved to a standalone location. They named the new location Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank.

Dancing Towards Healing

Anyone who has ever glided across a dance floor or danced at a wedding (or even alone in the living room) can tell you that dancing makes you smile. Sometimes (and I speak from experience) the worse you dance the bigger you smile! Dancing wakes up a hidden part of your soul and often brings people together in unique and…

C.O.P.S. Arizona

Jan Blaser-Upchurch will welcome nine new families to the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Holiday Party this month with open arms and an open heart. It will be a bittersweet welcoming, because each of these families represents an officer lost in the line of duty. However, the gathering will be a happy one for surviving spouses, children, family and co-workers…

It Takes a Village

Isabel Duran’s Chandler home of 42 years was falling apart at the seams. There was no heating or cooling, dirt was coming through the rotten floorboards in the bedroom and she wasn’t able to sell it for a good price. Duran was in a difficult situation because she couldn’t afford the repairs or a down payment for a new place.…

Chandler Youth Football Pop Warner Celebrates 40 Years

Chandler Youth Football Pop Warner (CYFPW) is homegrown with roots based in family, academics and competition. Celebrating 40 years in the community, the program is the largest and longest running Chandler-based youth football and cheer organization. Kids involved have learned that it’s more than just a game. It’s a way of life and a path to a successful future.

Cooper’s Chance ANIMAL RESCUE

Years ago, Shannon Steemke adopted a dog named Cooper who had been abused by former owners and was fearful. Steemke was an animal lover who didn’t have a lot of experience with troubled dogs. Cooper attacked Steemke and bit off a portion of her ear. Instead of giving up on Cooper, she was motivated to seek help and try to…


What does someone do when they are out of work and the one thing that stands between them and a construction job is a pair of work boots that they can't afford? What if someone finally gets hired for a great job, but realizes they only have one appropriate outfit for the workplace? Who does a mother turn to when…

Chandler Public Library

The public library is one of my favorite summer hacks for free movies, music, books, magazines and programs for kids of all ages. You can even download free bestseller e-books from the comfort of your living room. For all this and more, all you need is a Chandler Public Library card and some time to peruse all they have to…

Chandler Firefighter Charities

I believe that giving and kindness are both contagious and prolific. Once you give back, it’s difficult to stop. To prove my point, I present the Chandler Firefighter Charities (CFC), a nonprofit organization founded by people who already give, risk and sacrifice on a daily basis.

Volunteering Teens Learn to Be Green

Paige became a Green Teen for the City of Chandler’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) as a 14 year old. She was a quiet girl who had dreams of studying science and biology in college and becoming a veterinarian. When Paige left the EEC at the end of her high school senior year, she left with self-confidence and strength that she didn’t know…

The Vision Kidz Program

Professional Artists Cultivate Young Imaginations Article Michelle Guerrero Photography Provided Imaginations fly free as little hands, many new to art, dip brushes into cups filled with colorful paint. The kids carefully apply the colors to the pottery pieces they designed and sculpted, under the tutelage of a professional artist at the Vision Gallery’s Vision Kidz … Continued

Eat Your Art Out

Local Restaurants And Foodies Support Chandler Center For The Arts Article Michelle Guerrero Photography Provided Restaurants, such as The Living Room Wine Café and Lounge, are gearing up for the fourth annual citywide event, Eat Your Art Out Chandler, in support of Chandler Center for the Arts (CCA). Restaurant goers who eat at one of … Continued

Designing Women of Arizona Floral School

 Article Michelle Guerrero | Photography Provided  Hope blooms in the heart of Judy Taylor, the owner of Designing Women of Arizona, a thriving floral and event business in Chandler. She is preparing to open the doors to her floral school that will hold its first session this fall. According to Taylor’s research, it’s the only nonprofit floral school in the state. There are shops…