Unit Happenings


Betsy Lowry (right) welcomes her new Co-Chair Linda Gray, and her friend Heidi, to Unit 17’s Social Committee.

Unit 17 Social Committee

Mary Gelinas

Snowbirds and new neighbors will find that Unit 17 is continuing its fun activities. The Social Committee met on September 15 to discuss plans for upcoming events.

Co-Chairs of the Social Committee this year are Betsy Lowry and Linda Gray. Arlene Des Jardins will continue as Chair and keep the Unit Directory up to date. David Dodd will track Finances. Cathy Donat is our Sunshine Ambassador. Jake Jacobson will keep the Bowling and Wednesday Night Bridge going. Mary Gelinas will do Publicity and help greet New Owners. Faith Fromson and Patrick Polencheck are freelance, long-time members with lots of ideas and help wherever it is needed. The Social Committee is always open to new ideas and members, so join in the fun!

The next big event will be the Halloween Party on October 29 at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center. Along with fun and games, there will be an outstanding supper of pizza with all the accompaniments. Costumes are optional, but are a great part of the fun. Watch for the flyer with all the details.

Adopt a family program starts soon in Unit 17

Mary Gelinas

Again this year, Corky Bosch will be heading up Unit 17’s part of the Adopt A Family Program. She has done this for many years and it is her expertise, plus the donations and volunteers, that makes the program so successful.

Donations from residents help to make the season memorable for children of Eastern Pinal County, Catalina and San Carlos Indian Reservations and their families. Since 2002, Unit 17 has raised almost $40,000 for Adopt A Family. Helping Corky will be Evelyn Durant and Marilyn Christiansen.

Timing is important: Unit 17ers give donations by December 1; shoppers pick out special gifts for the children and their families and then volunteers wrap the gifts and ready them for drop off. The list of families will be available around Thanksgiving and shopping needs to be completed by December 10.

Any way you can help with donations, shopping or wrapping will be greatly appreciated. Corky will be sending out more information to the Unit; or you can contact her at [email protected].

Unit 32 presents Asteroid Ahoy

OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first mission to collect a sample from an asteroid and return it to Earth for study and it’s being led by the University of Arizona, right here in Tucson. Join Unit 32 on November 26 for a presentation and Q and A with the Mission’s Deputy Communication Lead, Christine Hoekenga, to learn more about this intrepid, hometown mission.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched in September 2016 and has since traveled nearly two billion kilometers (1.2 billion miles) en route to its destination: a carbon-rich near-Earth asteroid called Bennu. At about 500 meters across, Bennu is an ancient space rock that scientists believe contains organic molecules dating back to the formation of our Solar System 4.6 billion years ago. Bennu is also classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, meaning that there is a small chance (about one in 2,700) that it could collide with Earth in the next couple of centuries.

In August, OSIRIS-REx caught its first glimpse of the asteroid as a point of light, blinking across the sky 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) in distance. In December, the spacecraft will officially arrive and start surveying Bennu up close with a suite of five scientific instruments. One of them, the camera system that acts as the eyes of the spacecraft, was also designed and built at the University of Arizona.

Between now and December, as this tiny, unexplored world comes into clearer focus, we all will begin to learn how accurate Earth-based predictions were about its shape, size, behavior and composition. All the data collected as the spacecraft approaches and surveys the asteroid will ultimately help the University of Arizona-led science team select the best location to collect a sample of material from the asteroid’s surface. The data will also help to understand asteroids overall and refine predictions about whether Bennu (or other asteroids) actually pose a risk to Earth.

In a presentation by Christine Hoekenga, she’ll explore questions like: Of all the asteroids in the Solar System, why was Bennu selected? How does a robotic spacecraft go about studying an asteroid no one has ever visited or even seen up close? How will OSIRIS-REx collect and return a sample of the asteroid to Earth? What do researchers hope to learn by doing so?

Come to the presentation and Q&A with Mission’s Deputy Communication Lead Christine Hoekenga on Monday, November 26 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center.

Want more background on the mission? Visit www.asteroidmission.org.

RSVP to Margaret Falkowski at 469-7268 or [email protected].

Ken Lund shows his telescope to new neighbor Steve Rosen, who recently moved to SaddleBrooke from Michigan.

Star Wars in Saddlebrooke

Brenda Newitter

Forty-four residents of Unit 3-S enjoyed a Star Gazing and Pizza party September 21 at the home of Ken and Barbara Lund. Ken has been an avid star gazer for well over 50 years. He gave us a short recap of our solar system and had his telescope focused on the moon for all to look at. It was exciting to be able to see the moon, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus all together at the same time in the sky. And the most excitement of the evening was when the space station came zooming across the sky! We were able to see it just by looking up into the sky and watching for a fast-moving light; one of the great advantages of living in the wide-open spaces of Arizona!

We had hoped to see Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker land in the Millennium Falcon, but they called and said there was an emergency meeting of the Galaxy Patrol that they had to attend. So, we all enjoyed the pizza while talking and meeting our new neighbors in Unit 3-S.

“The Force will be with you. Always.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi

Unit 48 – Ice Cream Social

Madelaine Salas

Think of ice cream socials and you may picture vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, strawberries and maybe a few bananas. Well, that is what a Unit 48 Ice Cream Social used to look like. That is, until our late Bob Goodman came along and forever raised the bar. On Sunday, August 26, the Unit 48 Social Committee hosted our residents at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center for an ice cream social that was first class all the way. Not just the plain vanilla sundaes, no, no, no. Several years ago, Bob trained the Social Committee in how to be real soda jerks; he having had the unique experience of being a professional soda jerk in a former life. Upon arriving at Sunday’s social, we were presented with a menu (yes, a menu) of available frozen treats that included several flavors of malts or shakes, root beer floats, tin roof sundaes, turtle sundaes and more. Or, one could choose the make-it-yourself sundae option with topping ingredients that included fruit, candy bar pieces, syrups and whipped cream. We noticed several sundaes being made that defied the laws of physics and were true works of art. Bob would have been proud. Thank you to all the Social Committee volunteers for making this event so special and to our soda jerks extraordinaire. Most importantly though, a heartfelt remembrance and thank you to Bob and his wife Julie for their overwhelming generosity to the Unit.

“Life is great in 48!”