By Rusty Bradshaw
Residents will have a chance to learn more about the community they chose to make their home during the 40th anniversary celebration in February.
Jane Kauzlaric, Sun City West librarian, and Ed Allen, Del Webb Sun Cities Museum volunteer, began work on a multi-panel exhibit for the R.H. Johnson Library, 13800 W. Meeker Blvd., featuring highlights of the community’s first 40 years. The exhibit will go on display in the library Thursday, Feb. 1 as the beginning of a month of anniversary activities throughout the community, according to Mr. Allen.
The officials groundbreaking for Sun City West was Feb. 15, 1978. Construction of the library began later that year. When complete, the new library included a clock tower that could be seen for miles across the flat desert.
“While trees and buildings now fill in the landscape, the library remains an important center for the community offering new and innovative opportunities in reading, learning and entertainment,” Mr. Allen said.
The library exhibit will serve as a lead-in to a full weekend of activities in mid-February to celebration Sun City West’s 40 years of existence.
The weekend will kick off with a dinner 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 at Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive. The event will be catered by Casey’s Catering and will feature Mr. Allen as a speaker. He will provide information about the community’s history, from Lizard Acres to Lush Oasi.
History will be the topic of another event, a free presentation by storyteller Lisa Schnebly Heidinger 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16 at Palm Ridge Recreation Center. She will tell stories of the community’s earliest days. Ms. Schnebly Heidinger, the great-granddaughter of Sedona Schnebly, will share interviews she included in “Calling Arizona Home,” a book she wrote with Fred Duval. This special program is made possible by a grant from Arizona Humanities.
Runners will have their chance to participate in the community celebration in the 5K race 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at Stardust Golf Course, 12702 W. Stardust Blvd. Runners 18 and older can register online at https://raceroster.com/events/2018/14400/sun-city-west-5k-runwalk. Runners will receive a T-shirt, timing chip and post race snacks.
Music fans will have their time during the celebration when Southwest Surfers, a Beach Boys tribute band, perform 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at Palm Ridge Recreation Center. Gates will open at 3 p.m.
Sun City West streets will be filled with floats for the 40th anniversary parade 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19.
The celebration will conclude with a performance by Tommy Dorsey and The Flyboys 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 at Palm Ridge Recreation Center.