Annual Scottsdale Fire Department Toy Drive
Scottsdale Fire is accepting unwrapped toys and gift cards through Dec. 21 at SFD fire stations and headquarters.

“Our partner agencies must meet the need of families a little earlier this year, so we opened our toy drive before Thanksgiving,” says Scottsdale Fire Chief Tom Shannon. “These donations help make the holiday season a little brighter for many families. It is very much appreciated.”

Donations are distributed to partner organizations who serve families in need. Yearly, approximately 15,000 toys are collected through the toy drive, serving well over 1,000 families.

These agencies include:
• Vista Del Camino
• HonorHealth at Shea, Osborn, and Thompson Peak
• Family Promise
• Arizona Helping Hands
• Arizona Burn Foundation
• Harvest Compassion Center

Donors are asked to consider gifts for children ages 7 to 12 and 13 to18 years old, as these age groups are more challenging to find appropriate items. Gift cards are alternatives to selecting something specific. Drop off at any SFD station. Locate the station nearest you by visiting
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
From Jan. 6 through 16, Scottsdale residents can drop off their Christmas trees in yellow collection bins for recycling at the following parks: Eldorado, Scottsdale Ranch, Thompson Peak, Chaparral, Cactus, Horizon, and Scottsdale Sports Complex. Artificial trees, stands, ornaments, lights, or storage bags will not be accepted. Meanwhile, single-family home residents can place Christmas trees in their green waste pile, separated from bulk trash.

Adopt-a-Road Program Keeps Scottsdale beautiful
In the last fiscal year, 188 miles of city roadways were cleaned by 1,363 volunteers who collected more than two tons of trash, according to the city of Scottsdale. Volunteers worked for a collective 2,666 hours, which corresponds to almost $80,000 in labor cost savings for the city. At a recent appreciation dinner this fall, the city recognized several volunteers for looking after the roads they’ve adopted for more than 10 years, including resident Sonnie Kirtley, who has been an Adopt-a-Road volunteer for 26 years. Elizabeth and TJ Weirich weren’t far behind Kirtley with 18 years of service, and Angel Volgelsang hit the 14-year mark in 2022. Learn more at, search “adopt a road.”

Enjoy the Holiday Season at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Enjoy a wonderful winter wonderland at the iconic McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park through Dec. 30. The 30-acre park is the most unique park of its kind in the country and during the holidays is decked out in festive decor. Take a ride on the Paradise & Pacific Railroad through twinkling holiday light exhibits or ride the 1950-vintage Allan Herschell carousel. Holiday festivities take place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. nightly, with a few exceptions. Tickets are $15 per person; free admission for children two years old and younger. The ticket fee reserves a 90-minute block, either 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Scottsdale Librarian Earns Distinction
Pat Ansell, a volunteer from Scottsdale’s Civic Center Library branch took home the distinguished ‘Library Volunteer of the Year Award,’ which recognizes a volunteer who has demonstrated a personal commitment to volunteering. Ansell received the honor during the Annual Library Association conference held recently.

Ansell has been volunteering at Scottsdale Public Library for 10 years and is the most active volunteer in the library system, often clocking in over 100 hours a month. Her primary role is overseeing the Library Shop at Civic Center, where she processes thousands of pounds of donations each week and maintains the shop.

“I appreciate being able to volunteer at Scottsdale Public Library, to be able to work with public employees and other volunteers and to gain knowledge from the books donated, such as classics to children’s. Also, I treasure the legacy I can leave my son and grandchildren,” Ansell says.

Paris Baguette Comes to Scottsdale Promenade
Paris Baguette, a neighborhood bakery café specializing in pastries, warm breads, cakes, and brewed drinks, opened its first Scottsdale location in November. Adjacent to Men’s Warehouse, in the Promenade Scottsdale center at 16243 N. Scottsdale. Rd., the shop also offers gourmet sandwiches and salads. For more information, visit