Unit Happenings – December 2023

Unit 4 Welcome Back Chili Fest

Enjoying the abundant buffet are Sue and Dick Zenko, Jane Poppert, and Diane King. (Photo by Connie Kotke)

Connie Kotke

On Oct. 27 nearly 50 neighbors from SaddleBrooke One Unit 4 took part in the annual Welcome Back event. The evening featured bocce ball, a cocktail mixer, and an extraordinary Chili Fest buffet dinner on the Tennis Center patio. The unit hosts this popular event to help snowbirds get re-engaged in the community and to extend a warm welcome to new residents who joined the unit in the past year.

The weather was perfect! As the sun set in the west, everyone picked up their beautiful name tags and purchased chances for the 50/50 raffle. The name tags were printed in groups of four, with each group having a unique look. Once beverages were in hand, participants mingled to locate and have a conversation with others wearing the same design. This was a great way to meet others and help everyone feel welcome.

The food was abundant and delicious! We sampled seven crock pots filled with different types of chili and loaded our plates with cornbread, salads, desserts, and other accompaniments. It’s safe to say few of us were hungry until noon the next day.

Special thanks go to the chili chefs and the many willing volunteers who helped set up and clean up.

As the holidays approach, Unit 4 looks forward to collecting donations for the Golder Ranch Fire Department “Shop With a Fireman” program and the Holiday Open House on Dec. 9 at the home of Linda Holt.

Unit 8A Halloween Party

Friends enjoy appetizers at 8A Halloween party

Ken Larsen

Unit 8A celebrated its monthly appetizer party on Halloween. Forty-six unit members, mostly in costume, gathered at the home of Karen Kelly.

Unit Nine Is Having a Busy Fall

Ron McNutt and Bob Wermanger setting up the dinner

Scott Baker

Unit Nine kicked off the fall with its annual Halloween Party on Oct. 31. The party was held at the home of Gretchen and Tom Houston on East Skyblue Court. Tom and Gretchen really get into the Halloween spirit with tremendous decorations and light shows at their home. More than 80 members showed up at the party dressed in scary and humorous costumes. Food was provided by the guests, with chairs and tables loaned and set up taking almost all of Skyblue Court. Many thanks to Tom and Gretchen for the use of their fabulous house.

Another Unit Nine event, held on Nov. 9, was the unit’s “Freebie” dinner, where we welcomed back all the snowbirds and also honored our veterans in the unit on Veterans Day. Sixty members enjoyed seven crock-pots of wonderful homemade chili, salads, bread, and cake afterward. We filled the Activity Center with a joyous crowd and welcomed all the members who spent the summer elsewhere. Many thanks to our Freebie dinner committee and Ann Adams, our unit manager, for making this dinner possible.

Unit 25 Oktoberfest

Ron Mazurek

Unit 25 members celebrated Oktoberfest again this year by gathering on Oct. 29 at the SaddleBrooke One tennis pavilion for a wonderful party under clear and cooler skies. Things kicked off with folks getting on the bocce ball courts for some spirited and lighthearted competition. Although almost no one had played recently (or ever), more than a couple of contestants showed some real touch and technique! After that, we settled back at the pavilion for happy hour with adult beverages and some great Oktoberfest accordion music provided by our very own Caryl Dowel. A couple of dancers even took to the floor! The food provided was all homemade by various unit members with bratwurst, meatballs, German potato salad, and kapusta (Polish sauerkraut) on the menu, followed by pumpkin pie and apple shortbread. No one walked away hungry from this one!

Unit 27 Activities

Guests enjoyed the heated patio at the Barney Snack and Chat. (Photo by Ron Talbot)

Sue Case

The holiday season has arrived, which means that some of our Unit 27 residents will truly be snowbirds as they head back to more northerly climes to celebrate with loved ones. In anticipation of the many festivities to come, Sandy and Phil Barney, themselves having recently returned from Montana, gamely hosted the November Snack and Chat on Nov. 18. As it should be in November, the temperature was a little nippy that evening, and a brief drizzle had come and gone before guests arrived. However, their giant outdoor heater proved more than adequate for those who ventured outside.

As the seasons turn, the type of food brought by everyone to share tends to follow. In this case, the selections included hearty fare, perfect for the cooler weather, but also some yummy salads, along with seasonal appetizers and desserts.

It was nice to say “welcome back” to nearby neighbors PJ and Terry Turner and Carol and Fred Drango and also to see Joyce and Bud Smith who were brought to the event by Bud’s daughter Kathy Plum, herself a Unit 27 resident.

In a brave move, Sandy confirmed that she and Phil have also signed up to host the November 2024 Snack and Chat. One of the things that makes Unit 27 a good place to live is that many of our residents volunteer their time and, occasionally, their homes for unit events and the furtherance of unit activities. Thanks to all! Happy Holidays!

Unit 28

Alfie Fujitani Eldridge

In November a small group of intrepid ladies plus one gentleman fiancé ventured forth to Old Town Tucson for their monthly luncheon. The day began with a delicious lunch at the historic old El Charro restaurant, the oldest Mexican restaurant in the United States. El Charro predates Arizona statehood and is still family-owned, making wonderful ethnic food with the original flare.

After lunch, we headed on foot over to the beautiful Old Courthouse building, which now houses the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum. Alfie Eldridge arranged a guided tour of the museum. The museum features many of the exotic stones, minerals, and gemstones that have made Arizona famous. In addition, minerals from all over the world are displayed, many on loan from collections. Displays change regularly throughout the year.

All participants were pleasantly surprised at how well these items were displayed and how educational the various exhibits informed us of a world we usually only admire in jewelry boxes. The tour took several hours but left us hungry for a more in-depth study of the various interactive educational opportunities. I am definitely going back. The beauty of the stones is overwhelming. There is even a moon rock on loan from the Smithsonian on display (not the most noteworthy, but unique).

Attending were Michelle Jenkins with fiancé Doug (they were about to be married in Hawaii five days later), Marilyn Ginther, Joyce Maurizzi, Joyce Wainscott, Sally Fetherston, and Alfie Fujitani Eldridge.

Unit 30 Celebrates Andrea Gray

Andrea Gray

Joyce Sutay

Unit 30 residents gathered in MountainView’s East Room on Oct. 31 for a surprise show of appreciation to their unit representative Andrea Gray. Andrea lived in New York for 25 years, traveled around the country for nine years, then settled in New Jersey for 22 years. Having discovered SaddleBrooke, she and her husband Don have been active residents here for 23 years.

In 2014 Andrea graciously answered the call to take over as Unit 30’s representative. She has been doing a fantastic job ever since. Volunteers like her are a rare commodity, so Unit 30 wanted to make sure she knew how much she was appreciated. The grateful residents awarded her with several gift cards and an appreciation card that really explained volunteers. The card stated, “Volunteers are paid in six figures: S-M-I-L-E-S.”

The members of Unit 30, new and longtime, hope that Andrea will continue to keep the smiles flowing into the future.

Preserve Unit 43 Holds First Unit Party

Raymond H. Goettsch

Unit 43 in The Preserve held its first unit party on Nov. 9 at the home of Bobbi and Mark Forsch. More than 50 residents attended the party and brought appetizers and beverages. At the party, attendees signed up to host future bimonthly parties and any interest in groups such as book clubs, wine clubs, and progressive dinners.

Unit 44A Fall Block Party

Paulette Kasperski

More than 60 people attended Unit 44A’s Fall Block Party on Basin Camp Road in Unit 44A on Nov. 8. Nancy Parker was kind enough to allow us to set up our tables in her driveway for a fabulous array of appetizers and desserts. There were beautiful trays of fruits and vegetables, as well as shrimp, quesadillas, egg rolls, stuffed peppers, pigs in a blanket, chicken, cheeses and crackers, deviled eggs, tortilla chips and dips, and much, much more. The lemon bars, chocolate brownies, and other desserts were thoroughly enjoyed by the group.

Unit 44A is one of the newer units in The Preserve of SaddleBrooke TWO. They have an active Social Committee with many groups of activities, such as First Friday Happy Hour and Dinner, Gadabouts group, Chick-lits Book Club, golf, Mah Jongg, POP tennis, bunco, ladies wine group, couples wine group, samba, line dancing, euchre, and more. The first residents of Unit 44A moved in four years ago, but there are still many people moving in. We love meeting and learning about our new neighbors!

Help for this great event was from Linda and Rick Berg, Anne and Bob Hilton, Janet and David Gulden, Jim and Janet Lanford, Tom and Cindy Clarke, Jerry and Paula Arnold, Paulette Kasperski, and, of course, our hostess Nancy Parker.

Unit 45 Fashion Show Luncheon

Models Robin Maxim, Renee Burke, Anne Barrett, Linda Bowers, Margie Buhler, Deb Adinolfi, Barb Arvay, Sharon Bechman, and Betsy Weig

A full house of Unit 45 ladies enjoyed a fashion show modeled by their neighbors Robin Maxim, Renee Burke, Anne Barrett, Linda Bowers, Margie Buhler, Deb Adinolfi, Barb Arvay, Sharon Bechman, and Betsy Weig. The delicious luncheon was served by SaddleBrooke Ranch staff.

Kathy Bomwell, Social Committee chair, served as a model and show moderator. The ladies enjoyed shopping in the Calle Rose Boutique, with a treasure trove of fashions. It was a perfect combination of fellowship, fashion, and fun!

Happy 20th Birthday, Unit 46!

Linda Greenough

On Nov. 10 more than 100 Unit 46 longtimers and newcomers gathered at MountainView Ballroom to celebrate the Unit’s 20th birthday. What started in 2003 with one home grew to 170 homes filled with people who are kind, compassionate, and like to have fun! There were even former unit residents who moved away and came back to celebrate and reminisce.

A video photo montage reminded attendees of past unit gatherings; celebrated the contributions of past and current unit reps, deputy reps, social directors, and treasurers; and showed that, yes, while we had aged a bit in 20 years, the party spirit lives on in all of us.

Partygoers dined on salad, a gourmet baked potato buffet, and birthday cake. Then, inspired by the live music of Chuck Moses, the dancing shoes got a workout!

Here’s to the next 20 years!