Estrella Mountain Residents have much to be grateful for and it's all due to our awesome members.
We kicked off our new, joint effort on February 7, 2015. Few people realize Jo and I had just met weeks before we merged our Facebook pages. Yep. We literally had just met through a Block Watch program. We had one common goal... to be a positive voice in the community. We never could have anticipated the collaboration would have turned out as positive as it has.
Surely we've had some ups and downs. With more ups than downs, Jo and I put together a Top 10 list of our favorite moments from our first year.
Please let us know if we missed any of YOUR favorite moments!
10. MISSING PETS
9. FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS AND CONGESTED ROADS
Other than cutting back shrubs on Elliot Road, nothing was really done. When word came Taco Bell was coming in - back in April 2015 - residents put together a petition and the city finally listened. We detailed the entire story on our website here and will continue to stay on top of the events. A stoplight will be installed in front of the Starpointe Residents Club in spring 2016.
8. THE PRESIDIO RESIDENTS CLUB
Residents are excited to see the new residents club now under construction. However, the groundbreaking ceremony got off to a rough start. In June 2015, Newland Communities and CCMC held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Presidio Residents Club... without inviting residents. The story is on our "Did you hear?" page.
I think it's safe to bet residents will be invited to the grand opening in 2016.
7. GUNS DRAWN ON THE PARKWAY
6. OASIS BAGELS HANDS OVER THE KEYS
On July 16th, Estrella Mountain Residents broke the exclusive news that Oasis Bagels had been sold. The much-loved shop just celebrated five years in business and the news came as a shock. Fred and Carol Risano truly built a local gathering place. Fortunate for residents, the keys were handed over to another great owner. We welcome Jamie Vanderver to the community and enjoy all the yummy-ness she brings to our community!
5. LOCAL VETERINARIAN RECEIVES DROVES OF SUPPORT
4. COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR MISSING TEEN
In October, the community stood behind a local mother searching for her missing daughter. Hundreds of residents help spread the word to look for the teen. One resident organized a candle light vigil and a bake sale fundraising effort to show support for the family. And the good news followed a week later... the girl was found safe and sound.
3. RESIDENTS BAND TOGETHER TO RESTORE THE AMERICAN FLAGS IN OUR COMMUNITY
One of the very first major stories to hit our page came from resident Mario Valencia. He asked for permission from residents to replace a torn American flag on the foothill just behind Elliot Market. "I'm a Desert Storm Veteran, and this is the flag that is representing our country behind the Shell Gas station? To top things off, it's at half staff! I'm willing to replace it if you all approve?" 86 comments, 305 likes, local media coverage, and a fundraising effort followed. Mario pulled this community together in a way never seen before. Not only were all flags in Estrella given more attention and care, we got to learn about the patriotism from residents all around our community. Best wishes to Mario. It's been an honor to learn more about him. Hats off to all veterans in our incredible community.
2. COMMUNITY CHARITY SUCCESS
Our incredible small businesses made it possible for Estrella Mountain Residents to donate $2062.95 in our first year of the program. Not much else to say about this other than... we're humbled. Thank you, Estrella!
1. BREAKTHROUGH VOICE IN THE COMMUNITY
For quite a while, I think it's safe to say, residents really haven't felt they've been heard. From bringing in fast food restaurants to little communication on social media, it felt as if Estrella was moving on without great input from the people who actually live here. Yes, we can always go to HOA meetings. Yes, we can volunteer. But the majority of people just don't. Having an outlet to discuss opinions, ideas, and solutions has made a huge impact in Estrella. Not long after we started up our page, many other pages followed suit. We thank YOU for choosing to follow Estrella Mountain Residents. We are REALLY looking forward to a fabulous 2016. Cheers!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.