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Free 40th anniversary event


Free 40th anniversary event: Enjoy Arizona storyteller’s enlivened look at Sun City West’s history

Area residents have an enviable opportunity to hear one of Arizona’s renowned storytellers at a free event right in their own backyard, as part of Sun City West’s lineup of 40th Anniversary events in February 2018.

Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, a native Arizonan and great-granddaughter of Sedona Schnebly, for whom the city of Sedona is named, presents “The Dawn of Sun City West” at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the Palm Ridge Summit Hall, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive. This event is free and open to the public.

As the author of “Arizona: 100 Years Grand,” the Official book of the Arizona Centennial, Schnebly Heidinger is uniquely qualified to discuss Arizona’s history. She is an elegant speaker and a fun storyteller. She will talk about the early days of Sun City West, and how the community grew up against the impressive backdrop of the Valley of the Sun’s development.

A well-traveled Arizonan, Schnebly Heidinger has fun stories to tell from all reaches of the state, including Sun City West. “I think of myself as intrepid: I have rafted rivers, camped in freezing weather, and done taxes. But I still can’t find my way to my friends’, the Billings’ house, in Sun City West. Those beautiful streets go in too many directions.”

This special program is made possible by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council. Tickets are not required. You need not be a Sun City West resident to attend.

A former journalist whose credits include Arizona Highways, Schnebly Heidinger has authored a total of 10 books. Along with Arizona’s official centennial book, she wrote a biography of Sedona Schnebly.  “The Dawn of Sun City West” presentation will be based on interviews she conducted for “Calling Arizona Home,” a book she wrote with Fred DuVal.

As a journalist and reporter for radio and television, Schnebly Heidinger interviewed the likes of Barry Goldwater, Rose Mofford and Evan Mecham. She covered polygamy in Colorado City, plane crashes, Grand Canyon issues, tribal politics, and drug crossing on the Arizona-Mexico border.

Her Arizona roots and experiences run as deep as her storytelling abilities. Whether you are a newcomer or a long-time resident, you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to hear about Sun City West’s history.

  1. Her remarks were very disappointing. Like politicians, she offered few historical insights and seemed more interested in charming the audience with emphatic remarks. Perhaps she needed more promotion for her book. Locals offer more insights than she did.

    • Hi Bill. We’re sorry you were disappointed in the discussion. We were fortunate to have Lisa join us for this free presentation, thanks to a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council. Lisa is known for her storytelling about all things Arizona, so her talk was not meant to be exclusively about Sun City West. Based on the questions she fielded, there seemed to be a lot of interest about other areas as well. We understand she didn’t talk at length about Sun City West and we apologize if that’s what you were expecting. We definitely advise residents interested in learning more about Sun City West’s history to visit the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum.

  2. Patti Erickson says:

    I love history and am fascinated by the beauty of Sedona (God surely created a unique place, unlike any on earth). Wonder what the pioneers who first witnessed Sedona thought of it! I will try to be early to get a good seat. Thank you for organizing such a highly interesting event – it is on my calendar and I am excited!!

  3. Jerry LeClair says:

    Is handicapped seating available?

  4. Sharon Poch says:

    How about having a RSVP to the upcoming presentations in the e news for the Rec center. That way, you would have an idea of how many people plan to attend. Yesterday, the talk for ending the cable was at the Lecture Hall and most people were turned away because there was no room.

    • Hi Sharon. Thank you for your suggestion. With many of our events, the majority of people find out about them through the Rec Center News, and there is no way to track how many are interested in an event via that printed publication. So measuring interest from those who see it online or in e-news would give a misleadingly low number. We do our best to right-size rooms to events, but sometimes we are constrained by room availability or surprised by how popular an event is.

  5. Mary Pitzer says:

    Might there be way to simulcast the talk at Stardust theater????

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Mary, we did put feelers out at the library and the Photography Club, hoping to find a volunteer to video the talk for publication on our YouTube channel, but have not had any luck. We do not have the capacity to simulcast to another location, but hope that the 800 seats at Palm Ridge will be enough to contain the crowd. Thanks for writing.

  6. Karen Williams says:

    Please reserve two tickets for me. Thank you!

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Karen, this is not a ticketed event, it’s first come, first served, the Palm Ridge Summit Hall holds 800 people.

  7. Virginia Del Vecchio says:

    If possible I would like 2 tickets to this event at the Palm Ridge Summit. I am looking forward to this eveni.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Virginia, this is not a ticketed event, it’s first come, first served, the Palm Ridge Summit Hall holds 800 people.

  8. Barbara Coffman says:

    Could you record it and put it on YouTube?

  9. Barbara Coffman says:

    I second the idea of finding a way to webcast or otherwise make her presentation available to those (like me) who may be out of town on that date.

  10. Bob Taylor says:

    I too would like to suggest that a larger venue will be required to accommodate all the anticipated attendees for Ms. Heidinger’s presentation about SCW on Feb 16th.

  11. Marilyn Etbauer says:

    How about booking a larger room so more can attend. Sounds like a great presentation. Definitely interested in attending.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello all! I don’t know about you, but I was thinking this lecture was going to be at the Lecture Hall because of your comments. But it’s actually going to be in the Palm Ridge Summit Hall which holds 800 people!

  12. Linda Hall says:

    I bet the turnout will be huge. Have you considered somehow recording or broadcasting the talk for replay for those who can’t attend?

  13. Sharon Pebley says:

    We would like tickets, if at possible. We look forward to hearing the presentation.

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