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  • 🚂 Train Trouble Triggers Lawsuit, Gilbert's Star Reclaims Roots on Idol, Rad Dadz Rock Cortina, and Recovery in Motion!

🚂 Train Trouble Triggers Lawsuit, Gilbert's Star Reclaims Roots on Idol, Rad Dadz Rock Cortina, and Recovery in Motion!

Issue #146 - April 15, 2024

🚂 Birthday Train Ride Turns Tragic, Gilbert Family Files Multi-Million Dollar Claims

🎤 Gilbert’s Own McKenna Breinholt Shines on 'American Idol,' Reunites with Biological Family

😎 Cortina Elementary’s Rad Dadz Forge Path for Active Parental Involvement

📱 Video Message From AZ Active Recovery

📱 Video Message From East Valley Urgent Pet Care

🎈 Discover Local Events Coming Soon

And more…

Birthday Train Ride Turns Tragic, Gilbert Family Files Multi-Million Dollar Claims

A celebration turned into a distressing incident for Jascara Martinez and her family during a birthday outing at Freestone District Park in Gilbert, Arizona, in November 2023.

While enjoying a miniature train ride, an accident resulted in the train derailing, causing injuries to Martinez, her two young sons, her sister, and her mother. This unfortunate event led to the family seeking a combined settlement of $5.4 million from the Town of Gilbert, citing injuries and trauma from the derailment.

The incident occurred as the family, along with other passengers, were aboard a streamline engine pulling three cars for a scenic ride around the park's lakes. The derailment happened during a turn, flipping the third car and causing passengers, including Martinez and her children, to be ejected or trapped under the car. Martinez reported multiple injuries, including head trauma and a cervical spine sprain, and described significant emotional and physical distress among her sons, with the eldest experiencing a fracture near the elbow joint.

Legal representation for the family and other affected passengers has pointed to potential negligence on the part of the Town of Gilbert and the private operator of the train, arguing that the track was improperly maintained and posed a risk. The claims suggest that the track was not leveled or adequately secured, contributing to the accident. The town, while investigating the claims, has not commented in detail due to the ongoing nature of the case and the possibility of litigation.

The settlement claims are part of a broader concern regarding public safety and maintenance standards in recreational settings within Gilbert, as other incidents at local amenities have also led to injuries and subsequent claims. The situation underscores the need for rigorous safety inspections and maintenance to prevent such accidents in the future.

Gilbert’s Own McKenna Breinholt Shines on 'American Idol,' Reunites with Biological Family

McKenna Breinholt, a 24-year-old from Gilbert, Arizona, is currently competing on ABC's "American Idol," having secured her place in the top 24 during the show's Hollywood round. Breinholt, who initially pursued a career as an aesthetician, auditioned for "American Idol" with the song “There Was Jesus,” a duet originally performed by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton. This audition was particularly impactful for Breinholt as the producers arranged for a reunion with her biological family during the show, marking a poignant moment as she met them in person for the first time on national television.

Breinholt's journey to and on "American Idol" is filled with personal and artistic growth. Before this opportunity, she worked as a receptionist at a local med spa and had previous experience auditioning for talent shows, including "America's Got Talent." Unlike her previous experiences, she found "American Idol" to be genuine and focused on the authenticity of its participants. Her musical journey began at age 13, and she has been active in her local community, performing at churches, the Mesa Arts Center, and various local events.

The story of Breinholt’s adoption and her biological mother, a musician from Bisbee who passed away in 2013, adds a profound layer to her narrative on the show. Her audition song choice was a reflection of her life’s trials and the consistent presence of faith through her challenges. Looking ahead, Breinholt is driven by a desire to inspire others with her story and her music, aiming not just to compete but to connect and make a lasting impact through her performances on "American Idol."

Cortina Elementary’s Rad Dadz Forge Path for Active Parental Involvement

The Rad Dadz group at Cortina Elementary in Gilbert, Arizona, has become a beacon of active parental engagement, showcasing the powerful impact of fathers taking a hands-on approach in their children's educational environment.

Founded by Brett Wamboldt, the group started as a way for dads to connect through shared interests and a commitment to enhancing their children's school experiences. They focus on being “RAD: Really Active Dads,” participating directly in school activities and community betterment.

One of their notable initiatives was during "Make a Difference Day," where they constructed planter boxes. This event saw enthusiastic participation from students who planted vegetables and flowers, with the grown produce later donated to a local animal rescue agency. Beyond gardening, the Rad Dadz contribute to school dances and festivals, significantly enhancing these events.

Members like Tim Gershikov express a deep appreciation for the group, valuing the opportunity to support not only the students but the broader community. The group's activities foster a vibrant community spirit, encouraging other fathers to engage deeply with their children's education and school activities.

Dan Rondberg, another member, emphasizes the broader applicability of their mission, encouraging fathers across schools to form or join similar groups, pointing out the existing "Watch Dogs" initiative at Power Ranch Elementary School as an example. These groups not only enrich the school culture but also strengthen community bonds by rallying fathers and father figures around a common cause of supporting youth and education.

Click to Play Personal Video Introduction

Click to Play Personal Video Introduction

East Valley Urgent Pet Care

Semper Fi Heating & Cooling

Peacock Wine & Book Bar

Odin Energy

Pixie Sticks Boutique

Sip & Shop

Romeo’s Euro Café

Archer’s Bikes

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!

👇 Select an option below:

Click links below for more details on each event

Go have fun this spring with Pogo Pass!

Annual membership provides free admission to some of the best attractions in the valley…

🌊 Sunsplash - 1 visit
🐘 Phoenix Zoo - 1 visit
🙃 The Rush Fun Park - 1 visit
🎤 Mic Drop Comedy Club - 1 visit
⛸ AZ ICE - 1 visit per month
🧗‍♀️ Phoenix Rock Gym - 2 visits
🏌🏼‍♀️🎳 Fat Cats - 1 game bowling AND golf per week at each location
👣 Uptown Jungle - 2 visits
⛳️ Golf ‘n Stuff - 3 visits
⚾️ Diamondbacks - 2 home games
🏈 Rattlers - 3 home games
🏀 Phoenix Mercury - 4 home games
🙃 Rush Extreme - 1 visit
🛹 KTR - 1 visit at each location
🏒 Tucson Roadrunners - 2 home games
😈 ASU sporting events - multiple sports
🎳 810 Billiards & Bowling - 1 visit per month
🐱 U of A sporting events - multiple events
❤️ Luv 2 Play - 1 visit
🎨 Bubbly Brush - 1 visit

Ongoing Events

Upcoming Events

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