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  • 😍 Gilbert's Autism-Savvy First Responders, Mayor's Family-First Farewell, and Two Decades of Pet Paradise!

😍 Gilbert's Autism-Savvy First Responders, Mayor's Family-First Farewell, and Two Decades of Pet Paradise!

Issue #91 - January 29, 2024

😍 Gilbert Couple Founds Nonprofit to Train First Responders on Autism Awareness

👩 Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson to Step Down, Citing Family Priorities

🌟 Gilbert’s Haven for Happy Pets: Celebrating 20 Years of Arizona Animal Wellness Center

🎈 Discover Local Events Coming Soon

And more…

Gilbert Couple Founds Nonprofit to Train First Responders on Autism Awareness

In Gilbert, a couple, Chris and Autumn Timmins, has founded a nonprofit, Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance, dedicated to educating first responders about effectively interacting with individuals on the autism spectrum. This initiative is deeply personal to the couple, inspired by their experiences with their adopted 17-year-old son, Preston, and propelled by a concerning incident in the West Valley involving a police officer and a teen with autism.

Chris Timmins, with his 25 years of law enforcement experience, serves as the vice president of the organization. He emphasizes the nonprofit's goal to improve emergency response inclusivity for people with autism. The inspiration for this mission was further fueled by an incident involving 14-year-old Connor Leibel, who was mistakenly detained by a Buckeye police officer while engaging in a behavior common among individuals with autism.

Preston’s Pursuit for Acceptance offers specialized training programs for a wide range of professionals, including firefighters, police, EMS/paramedics, security personnel, teachers, and administrators. These sessions aim to provide first responders with the necessary skills to identify autism, prepare for emergencies, and foster positive community interactions.

To support this cause, the Timminses are organizing a fundraiser breakfast on February 6 at 3694 East Meadowview Drive in Gilbert. The event’s details and reservations are available on their website.

The Timminses collaborated with Board Developer, a company specializing in organizational and development assistance, to establish the nonprofit and assemble a board of directors. The board comprises various professionals passionate about the cause, including Gilbert Town Manager Patrick Banger, CEOs of other nonprofits, medical directors, and retired law enforcement and military personnel, all united in their commitment to autism awareness and support.

Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson to Step Down, Citing Family Priorities

Mayor Brigette Peterson of Gilbert has announced she will not seek re-election, opting to prioritize family time, especially with her 15-month-old grandson. Her decision, communicated to the town clerk, follows a tumultuous tenure marked by controversies and public criticism, particularly over the town's response to teen violence. Peterson’s political journey began with 14 years as a volunteer on the Planning Commission, followed by six years on the council. Her ascent to the mayor's office was supported by former Mayor Jenn Daniels and the town's established leadership.

During her term, Peterson faced numerous ethics violation complaints and legal challenges, including a state lawsuit over open meeting law violations and federal litigation regarding the removal of dissenting residents from a council meeting. Council dynamics shifted with the arrival of new members in 2023, leading to strained relations and a near no-confidence vote against her. In December, the council mandated Peterson to undergo training on public meeting management.

Peterson's departure opens the race for mayor, with Vice Mayor Scott Anderson, who has launched his campaign with a message of stability and no drama, and Shane Krauser as potential successors. Council members Bongiovanni and Torgeson expressed understanding of Peterson’s decision, acknowledging the demanding nature of the role and the personal toll it took.

Peacock Wine & Book Bar

Schnepf Farms

Archer’s Bikes

Pixie Sticks Boutique

Romeo’s Euro Café

Sip & Shop

Gilbert’s Haven for Happy Pets: Celebrating 20 Years of Arizona Animal Wellness Center

In the bustling neighborhood of Higley and Pecos roads in Gilbert, the Arizona Animal Wellness Center stands as a beacon of compassion and excellence in veterinary care. As they celebrate their 20th year in 2024, this center is more than just a veterinary hospital; it's a place where the emotional and physical well-being of pets is held in the highest regard.

A Mission Rooted in Compassion and Excellence

Established in 2004, Arizona Animal Wellness Center embarked on a mission to not only offer top-notch veterinary services but also to enrich the lives of animals and the families that love them. With a team that values service, accountability, respect, authenticity, and passion, the center extends its care beyond the pets to their families and the broader community.

A Leader in Fear-Free Veterinary Practices

What sets the Arizona Animal Wellness Center apart is its distinction as the first Fear Free Certified Practice in Gilbert. This approach prioritizes the emotional well-being of pets, ensuring that each visit is as stress-free as possible. Techniques like those used by technician Izzy, who employs Fear Free methods to comfort pets like Maui, are testament to the center’s commitment to gentle and compassionate care.

Upholding High Standards in Veterinary Care

The center's exceptional standards have been recognized nationally. Since 2007, it has been an American Animal Hospital Association accredited practice, adhering to over 900 standards of veterinary care. In 2021, their dedication to excellence was highlighted when they were finalists for AAHA Practice of the Year.

Building a Community of Care

Client appreciation at Arizona Animal Wellness Center runs deep. The center treats its clients and their pets like family, finding joy in improving medical conditions, saving lives, or simply providing nurturing care. Their involvement in initiatives like the Fear Free Initiative and support for local rescues such as the Be Like Josh Foundation underscores their commitment to the community.

A Team That Works Together, Stays Together

The family-like atmosphere extends to its team of over 80 members, including 10 doctors, relief veterinarians, and traveling specialists. The center fosters a culture of teamwork and collaboration, evident in their participation in team events like Tough Mudder, Spartan Races, and social gatherings, which strengthen their bond and dedication to their mission.

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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