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NVC March Newsletter

Ronni D Hoover | Published on 3/2/2022

First day of Spring - March 20, 2022


Julie Kent-Partridge

Welcome to the lovely month of March everyone!

Spring is certainly here! I am sure I am not the only person excited about the warmer temperatures combined with the birds chirping and wonderful spring air breezing through our windows.

March is National Social Worker month. Myself and BonnieBoyce-Wilson have the lovely pleasure of being Masters Level Social Workers. For those of you who are not aware of what Social Workers do, one of the main missions of the social work profession is to improve human well-being by meeting basic and complex needs of all people.All of our volunteers and others who serve Northwest Valley Connect very much assist when it comes to"Improving human well-being by meeting basic and complex needs of all people". We thank you for this service and appreciate all of your hard work!

Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate a donation that we recently received from a devoted volunteer who recently passed away. Patty will be missed tremendously. Patty served Northwest Valley Connect in various capacities and did so always with a smile on her face. This vehicle donation will carry out her legacy to serve our organization by providing much needed rides to many clients . Thank you Patty for your generosity.

Thank you again to everyone who serves Northwest Valley Connect!

Enjoy the month of March and look forward to seeing you all soon!



Sharon Hettick - Treasurer

How long have you been on the board at NVC?

I believe I have been on the Board about 6 years.I started the first fundraiser, “Motors and Meals, and ran that event for 9 months before I joined the Board.I was one of the first Board members that were added as Benevilla and Sun Health held all the positions for the first two years. The Board wanted to make sure I could do the fundraising job.

What do you do for NVC? Your office,the board,committees, etc.

I set up the filing system in the office as well as the first packets to clients. I had the little NVConnect bus key chain made for Kathy’s office. I helped with fundraising and put together the first sponsors packets.

What is a fun fact about you?

My father was a constructional engineer and concrete superintendent and worked for Peter Kewitt.We moved all over the US, 36 times in 6 years and I kept all my belongings in a small box

What advice do you have for other volunteers?

Ask for new places to help the organization. Meet the other volunteers.Have fun.Hold tight to that wonderful feeling you get from helping someone.Even if you are a volunteer, be sure to thank other volunteers for helping.Everyone needs to hear they are appreciated.

Kathy Chandler
HI all,

I am so glad to be home and thawed out. Mark and I safely returned via Amtrak (Mark had a blood clot in his leg and we were advised by the Doctor not to fly). It was a very fun experience. My grandson in Flagstaff was very jealous. But being the good grandparents, we are we bought him a train from the Amtrak store.

I can’t thank you all enough for the wonderful team you are that allowed me to handle our situation without worry about how NVC was operating. Steve and the leadership team are really amazing!

  • March 8isInternational Women’s Day, which is a day that not only celebrates the achievements of women and the progress made toward women’s rights, but also brings attention to ongoing struggles for equality around theworld. See website:International Womens DayOrganizationto rsvp for a virtual event on March 5 & 8 .
  • March 17isSt. Patrick’s Day.According to folklore, folks wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day because the saint used its three leaves to explain theTrinity.
  • March 20brings about theMarch equinox- also called thevernalorspring equinoxin the Northern Hemisphere—markingthe beginning of spring. In the Southern Hemisphere, this date marks theautumnal equinoxand the beginning of fall. On this day, the Sun stands directly over Earth’sequator.

Of course it is alsoMarch Madnessfor those who follow Basketball andSpring Trainingfor those who go to the Baseball games. I sure hope the Spring Training session happens!

NVC has a new pilot project where Sun City Community Action Network will be contracting with us to provide some low-income trips to medical appointments using the Lyft program. This partnership will guarantee a number of rides per quarter for the qualifying Sun City residents and the NVC volunteer program for rides we have capacity for. A Volunteer ride is never guaranteed so these riders will use the Lyft rides paid for by SCCAN for priority appointments they can’t miss. Our partnership goal is for everyone to have the rides they need.This program is similar to the Sun City West low-income Lyft program that the Sun City West Foundation has covered since 2017.

We are providing group trips for the El Mirage Senior Center on a regular basis now with our driver. Larry can tell you how popular these are. The vans are full! These trips are for seniors who have been homebound for the past two years and they are really taking advantage of getting out to do some fun things.

Thank you everyone for all you do!! You all areRide Hero’s– whether you answer phones in the call center, work on the website, fundraise, govern on the board, work as an Intern, drive or work in any other way with NVC -you are the reason our communities’ seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities get the rides they need and have a quality of life. You are Ride Hero’s!! Thank you!



Kathryn Chandler,Executive Director




Gail Christianer

Training, Picnics, Events and Pickleball Drops…OH MY!

Life will be busy here at Northwest Valley Connect this spring. Hold on to your hats and expect emails!


Well be using Zoom to reinforce training and inform you all of new projects coming down the road for our client demographic. These meetings also give you a way to make suggestions, discuss problems you have encountered, and just get to know each other.

The assist-vehicle drivers met in late February via Zoom, and personal vehicle drivers will meet online in mid-March. We use a scheduling app called CALLY to help us identify best meeting times, so watch for an email next week from CALLY asking you to rank the suggested meeting times.


Volunteer BBQ: Saturday April 2, 11-1, at Beardsley Park,12755 W Beardsley Rd, Sun City West, AZ 85375. Experience Matters will provide BBQ, we will provide salads and desserts and contributions to our novel-in-the-making: Tales of the Road. I'll send you (bet you can't guess what) an email asking you to confirm how many will attend. You and a plus1 are invited to share the fun.

Northwest Valley Connect will be staging 2fundraisersthis year:

Motors and Heels: Saturday April 23 at St. Clements of Rome Catholic Church in Sun City

This is a multi-route walk with Pancake Breakfast. We will need close to 50 volunteers to do such things as:

  • Prepare and serve food
  • Help vendors set up
  • Register walkers
  • Man the water tables along the route
  • Cleanup
Motors and Mealsin late October: car show and food trucks in Beardsley Park, Sun City West. I will be asking for help from most you you for these events.


Great fun for a great cause on March 7. Sun City West Foundation and PORA puts on a charity fundraiser pickleball tournament where proceeds from the Pickleball Drop are split among seven local non-profits according to how many drop tickets each group sells. Northwest Valley Connect is one of the recipient non-profits. Buy tickets for 3/$25 or 1/$10 (if any are left) from and come see the 3000 balls dropped from a crane on to the pickleball courts. Liberty Courts Pickleball Center at 13800 W Deer Valley Drive, Sun City West, AZ 85375 12 PM Monday March 7. Call our main number at 623-282-9300 to order tickets. See our News page on the website for more information.

Pat Royer
How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for over a year at Northwest Valley Connect and have been serving as the Chairperson of our Worship Committee at Palm West Community Church for 7 years. I have also had a passion for the Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Box Ministry and have been a part of this committee to help assemble thousands of shoebox gifts for children around the world. I probably love this ministry the most because I sold shoes for 37 years.

What do you do for NVC?

I pick-up the mail for Northwest Valley Connect several times each week at the post office here in Surprise. I also volunteer to transport a couple of clients who live near me to their medical, hair and nail appointments. My wife was a beautician and so it makes me feel good to help your clients feel beautiful.

What do you like about volunteering?

I love keeping busy and talking with people. I was in retail for 37 years with JCPenney before retiring and enjoy being around people and listening to their life stories.

What is a fun fact about you?

My wife and I were married one day after my 21stbirthday. I couldn’t wait to be married to her. She would drive by the shoe store in the evening where I worked to see me, and I would ride my scooter to see her on my lunch at the hair salon where she worked. After I retired, I delivered flowers for a local florist, and I would pick her up in the afternoons and she would ride with me. We were happily married for 61 years together and had 3 sons.

What advice do you have for other volunteers?

I enjoy watching old Lawrence Welk shows and I would say to turn off the news and find a song to keep in your heart.


By Bonnie Boyce-Wilson

Northwest Valley Connect is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “The Time is Right for Social Work” to highlight how social workers have enriched our society for more than a century and how their services continue be needed today.

The annual Social Work Month campaign is a time to inform public, policymakers, and legislators about the services social workers provide in an array of sectors, including hospitals, mental health centers, schools, social service agencies, community centers and in politics. People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make our society a better place to live for all. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are almost 720,000 professional social workers in our nation, but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2030.

Social workers have helped drive significant, positive changes in our nation such as voting rights, equal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs. Social workers touch millions of lives each day and it is likely a social worker at some time will assist you, a family member, or a friend.

Each day, social workers empower millions of Americans so they can live life to their fullest potential. Social workers also work in communities and in politics to improve living conditions for all. During Social Work Month we urge you to learn more about our amazing profession. NVC is fortunate to have three social work interns in field placement with us this year. Please take time to meet them!

NVC 2022 Interns from ASU

Hi I am Pilar Becerra. I am excited to be doing my internshiphere at NVC becauseI am passionate about helping those who may not be able to help themselves. My Bachelor's degree is from ASU and in CommunityAdvocacy and Public Policy and I am working on my Master's degree in Social Work. I am married to my wonderfulhusband Lucio and we have five grown children and five grandsons. We love to travel and go to see local shows. Next on our list is Shen Yun at the Orpheum and The Band's Visit at GradyGamage. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve!

My name is Katelyn White, and I am currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work. Once I complete this degree, I am hoping to become licensed in the state of Arizona. I will be getting married in April, which is something I am very excited about! I am looking forward to this internship at Northwest Valley Connect, because it will give me the opportunity to do social work on a larger scale. I am hopeful to learn about laws regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how I can help my community through working with legislators and other entities.

Hello Northwest Valley Connect, my name is Andrea Hernandez. My goal for this degree is to learn to be more open minded and being able to work with different groups of people. Something about myself is that I like being organized and I always have an open mind. Love helping people who ever needs it. I am happy on doing my internship here at Northwest Valley Connect because I am going to learn a lot about policies and also I am happy that I am going to meet new people.


Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread that does not require any yeast. Instead, all of its leavening comes from baking soda and buttermilk. This Irish Soda Bread recipe is my grandmother’s and has been cherished in my family for years. It’s dense, yet soft and has the most incredible crusty exterior.


·1 and 3/4 cupsbuttermilk*

·1largeegg(optional, see note)

·4and 1/4 cupsall-purpose flour(spoon & leveled), plus more for your hands and counter

·3 Tablespoonsgranulated sugar


·1 teaspoonbaking soda

·1 teaspoonsalt

·5 Tablespoonsunsalted butter, cold and cubed*

·optional:1 cup raisins


Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:45 minutes Total Time:55 minutes Yield:1loaf

1.Preheat oven & pan options:Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). There are options for the baking pan. Use a regular baking sheet and line with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (bread spreads a bit more on a baking sheet), or use a seasoned 10-12 inchcast iron skillet,or grease a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. You can also use a 5 quart (or higher) dutch oven. Grease or line with parchment paper. If using a dutch oven, bake the bread with the lid off.

2.Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Set aside. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using apastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers. Mixture is very heavy on the flour, but do your best to cut in the butter until the butter is pea-sized crumbs. Stir in the raisins. Pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Gently fold the dough together until dough it is too stiff to stir. Pour crumbly dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can, then knead for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.

3.Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan. Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top. I usually place foil on top halfway through bake time.

4.Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings/spreads.

5.Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. We usually wrap it tightly in aluminum foil for storing.


1.Freezing Instructions:Baked and cooled bread freezes well up to 3 months. Freeze the whole loaf or individual slices. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.

2.Buttermilk:Using cold buttermilk is best. Buttermilk is key to the bread’s flavor, texture, and rise. The bread will not rise without it. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make a homemade “DIY” version. Whole milk or 2% milk is best, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough cold milk to make 1 and 3/4 cups. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.

3.Egg:1 egg adds richness and density. Feel free to skip it to make a slightly lighter loaf. No other changes necessary, simply leave out the egg.

4.Cold Butter:The colder the butter, the less sticky the dough will be. Make sure it’s very cold, even frozen cubed butter is great.


1.Don’t over-work the dough. It’s supposed to look a little shaggy.

2.Score the top of the dough with an “X” before baking. This helps the center bake through.

3.You can bake Irish soda bread on a baking sheet, in a baking pan, or in a cast iron skillet. I recommend a cast iron skillet because it helps guarantee a super crispy crust.

Nutrition Tip of the Month
By Sharon Sass, RDN


For more than 40 years (since 1980), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has celebrated National Nutrition Month®in March. As a retired dietitian, I have celebrated every one of those years with food demonstrations, worksite wellness classes, recipe contests, health fairs, and more. I think this year’s theme, “Celebrate a World of Flavors”, is the best one ever! I hope you think so too.

Enjoying different flavors of the world is a chance to learn more about your own food culture as well as those that may be new to you. Trying new flavors and foods from different cultures can also help you increase the variety in the foods you eat.Check out"Foods from Around the World"to find healthy and delicious foods for you to enjoy.

Did you know that a registered dietitian nutritionist, or RDN, can help you develop a realistic eating plan to meet all your nutrition needs? An RDN can guide and motivate you with practical ideas for meal planning, grocery shopping, and healthy eating. Take-a-look at"10 Reasons to See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Happy Birthday from all of us at NVC!!
Ronald C Eshelman -3/12
Linda M Campbell -3/16
Richard F Messenger -3/23
Patrick B Royer -3/27

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