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Apache Junction news briefs: Kids' essay contest, applicants sought for Habitat, paint-a-thon

Mounted rangers hold
kids’ essay contest
The Apache Junction Mounted Rangers are running their semi-annual essay contest for the kids of Apache Junction who want to take free riding lessons. Kids ages 9-16 are to write an essay on why they would like to take riding lessons and submit it to the AJMR for consideration. If chosen, they will receive three months of free riding lessons.

The essays need to be received by Aug. 15. Include the entry along with the child’s name, contact information and school name and send to Apache Junction Mounted Rangers, P.O. Box 699, Apache Junction, AZ 85117. The selections will be made by the first of September; the classes start later that month.

If the applicant has not been notified by that time, he or she was not selected, but can reapply in December for the essay contest.

This is just one of the ways the AJMR give to the kids of Apache Junction. It can make a difference in their lives. The lessons are at the Tecolote School of Horsemanship in Apache Junction.

For more information, contact Joan Felkner at 480-288-6152.

Parks and rec offers
online registration
The public is able to register online for events and classes offered by Apache Junction Parks and Recreation, according to a press release.

The department advises families they must establish an account and receive a login and password before they can register on the parks and recreation website, www.ajcity.net/parks. Residents may find they already have an account if they have been in the parks and recreation online system and it has a current e-mail address on file for them.

To find out if that is the case, residents can follow the steps below; when they get to the online screen, they should click the “forgotten” link.

1. Visit www.ajcity.net/parks to visit the online registration site.
2. Click the View My Account button to be prompted to enter the login/password.
3. Check the contact information settings to verify that everything is up to date.

If a person does not have a login/password, he or she will need to set up an account at the parks and recreation main office, 1001 N. Idaho Road, during regular business hours, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

They also can do so electronically by filling out the registration form and e-mailing it with a signature to ajpr@ajcity.net.

There is a processing fee associated with registering online. Individuals who prefer not to be charged may still register in parks and recreation office or by using the mail-in option with no extra processing fees applied.

For more information, call 480-983-2181.

Families sought to partner
with Habitat for Humanity
More than 1.75 million people around the world have turned from tenants to homeowners since they partnered with Habitat for Humanity, according to a press release issued by the city of Apache Junction. Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is seeking families to experience this transition in Apache Junction. Applications are being accepted now.

“Homeownership is for everyone. We can give families who are willing to partner with us the security of a safe place to live and raise their children, even in these economic times,” said Maribel Saucedo, family services director for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.

Partner families are selected based on their level of need, willingness to become partners in the program and ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest loan.

Homeowners must invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the homes of others.

Recipients can see monthly payments as low as $500 per month with a 0 interest mortgage since the home is financed through the organization. Habitat for Humanity’s mortgage repayment success rate was 86 percent nationally and foreclosures were less than 3 percent per year.

For more information, visit www.habitatcaz.org or contact Habitat for Humanity at 602-268-9022 to schedule an appointment.

Volunteers, applicants
sought for paint-a-thon
Watching paint dry is not exciting, but applying it is. Especially if it’s a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of a house for a low-income homeowner in need, according to a press release issued by the city of Apache Junction.

Teams are forming for the 10th annual Rock and Roll Paint-a-Thon. Families, businesses, churches, schools and social service and civic groups are encouraged to sign-up.

The event engages more than 3,000 volunteers annually. Volunteers are asked to bring only their enthusiasm and skill and work from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Participants must be 14 and older and have parental consent.

The city of Apache Junction has teamed up with Rebuilding Together, Valley of the Sun for the 10th year to participate in the statewide effort to offer this service to eligible homeowners and encourage community philanthropy.

Teams consist of 20-25 people and can be a great morale- and community-building exercise, but individuals are also welcome. Applications are available for those who are interested in having their house painted.

Qualified homeowners must have limited financial resources, a single-family, single-story residence and be 60 years of age or older and/or have a permanent disability. Condos, town homes, duplexes or multi-story homes are not eligible. Some mobile homes may be determined eligible based upon an inspection.

Since 2004, the program has painted the homes of more than 1,000 less fortunate homeowners across the Valley, including 31 residences in Apache Junction.

The cost of paint can be $300-$400 alone and with labor can be upwards of $3,000. Necessary equipment will be available but limited, so participants are encouraged to bring ladders, paint brushes, and other related items if able.

Homeowner applications can be downloaded at www.ajcity.net/communityprograms and mailed to: Rebuilding Together (Valley of the Sun), 2123 S. Priest Drive, Suite 213, Tempe, AZ 85282.

For more information, contact Heather Patel at 480-474-2635 or e-mail hpatel@ajcity.net.

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