2017 Spirit of Scottsdale award winners showcase community soul

Spirit of Scottsdale 2017Chuck La Benz works hard in his neighborhood to create a sense of community. This spring, he coordinated a campout where residents gathered for camaraderie, games and movies. Thanks to his efforts, Charlie nabbed one of four Spirit of Scottsdale awards.

Chuck received one of two awards issued this year in the “Spirit of Scottsdale” category.

The awards, sponsored by the city’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission, recognizes people and places that embody the spirit of our community by preserving, improving and strengthening neighborhoods. Commission staff liaison Christy Hill says, “The awards are about how a place looks and feels … its community contributions both aesthetically and socially.” 

Other winners include:

  • Residential category: Camelview Greens, 7949 E. Joshua Tree Lane. Residents of this townhome development gathered to plant a xeriscape garden that’s visible from a city multiuse path. Project organizers Christi Sharpe and Geraldine Jordison say, “People stop daily to snap pictures.” 
  • Non-residential category: Sugar Bowl Restaurant, 4005 N. Scottsdale Road. The Sugar Bowl Restaurant opened on Scottsdale Road at First Avenue in 1958. Jack Huntress was the original owner, later passing the ever-popular ice cream parlor to his nephew Carroll Huntress. Cartoonist Bil Keane immortalized the Sugar Bowl by using it in several “Family Circus” comics. 
  • Spirit of Scottsdale category: Holiday lights display, 8414 E. Valley Vista. For several years, homeowner Chris Birkett has created amazing holiday light displays for the pure pleasure of others. His neighbors nominated Chris for the magical joy he creates for his neighborhood.

Spirit of Scottsdale award winners will be recognized at 5 p.m. at the Tuesday, June 27, Scottsdale City Council meeting. The meeting is held in the City Hall Kiva, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. 
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