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👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 New Rec Spaces, Bookworm Baseball Bonanza, Shaq Attack at Big Chicken, and More!

Issue #62 - December 12, 2023

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Gilbert Sets Sights on Expanding Recreational Facilities Amid Growing Demand

⚾ Maricopa County Library's Winter Reading Program Offers Baseball Game Tickets

🏀 Shaquille O'Neal Surprises Gilbert Community with Visit to His Big Chicken Restaurant

🎈 Discover Local Events Coming Soon

And more…

Gilbert Sets Sights on Expanding Recreational Facilities Amid Growing Demand

In Gilbert, officials are responding to residents' requests for more recreational options, including pickleball courts, a new aquatics facility, and a recreation center.

The town's parks have seen a notable increase in visitors and program participation, with events like the Boots in the Park concert drawing large crowds. Facilities such as the Freestone Recreation Center and Cactus Yards are experiencing significant success, with increased memberships and revenue.

The town council is examining funding strategies and is updating its master plan to include these new projects, emphasizing the need to accommodate the community's diverse interests.

Maricopa County Library's Winter Reading Program Offers Baseball Game Tickets

The Maricopa County Library District has launched its exclusive winter reading program for adults, offering an exciting opportunity to combine the joy of reading with the thrill of baseball. This season, participants who accumulate 500 points in the program will be rewarded with a lawn ticket to a spring training game at Camelback Ranch Ballpark in Glendale. The program, available now through February 11, invites readers to log their progress online, either in English or Spanish.

Unlike its summer counterpart, this winter reading initiative is tailored specifically for adult readers. Points are earned through various forms of reading, including traditional books, e-books, and audiobooks, with each minute of reading translating to one point. Additionally, participants can earn extra points by engaging in themed online challenges, adding a dynamic element to the program.

To further incentivize participation, the program includes weekly drawings for active readers who log at least 60 points per week. These drawings offer a variety of prizes, including library prize packs, movie theater passes, car sun shades, and day passes to Maricopa County parks.

The campaign reaches its climax for those who hit the 500-point milestone by February 11, with the reward of attending a spring training baseball game. This unique combination of literature and sport is accessible through various participating libraries across the county, including locations in Aguila, Sun Lakes, El Mirage, Sun City, Fountain Hills, Gila Bend, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Litchfield Park, Anthem, Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Waddell.

Shaquille O'Neal Surprises Gilbert Community with Visit to His Big Chicken Restaurant

In an unexpected and delightful turn of events, Shaquille O'Neal, the famed basketball star, made a surprise visit to his restaurant, Big Chicken, in Gilbert this Sunday. The restaurant, known for its support of local basketball teams, became the stage for a memorable meeting between O'Neal and several players from these teams.

O'Neal's visit underscored the restaurant's commitment to local sports, particularly its sponsorship of six basketball teams in the Valley. His presence at Big Chicken not only thrilled the players and patrons but also highlighted his personal philosophy of giving back to the community without seeking recognition. Reflecting on the importance of supporting local teams, O'Neal emphasized his upbringing in a military family, which instilled in him the value of doing the right thing for its own sake.

His actions resonate with a broader sentiment that many generous individuals contribute to their communities quietly and without fanfare. O'Neal's approach to philanthropy and community engagement, particularly in the context of supporting local sports, demonstrates a humility and a commitment to making a positive impact without the need for public acknowledgment.

Peacock Wine & Book Bar

Schnepf Farms

Archer’s Bikes

Pixie Sticks Boutique

Romeo’s Euro Café

Sip & Shop

Spotlight Your Business!

Would you like us to spotlight your local business in front of thousands of Gilbert area residents in an upcoming issue of Gilbert Thrive?

We ❤️ Local Businesses!
We know our community is brimming with businesses that have fascinating stories and big hearts. If you're a local business owner making waves, crafting unique experiences, or simply putting a smile on our faces, we want to chat with you! Gilbert Thrive is eager to shine a light on the unsung heroes of our town. Let's collaborate and let the community know what makes your business special. Send us a message, and let's celebrate the spirit of Gilbert together!

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