John Safin

John Safin. (Photo courtesy Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce)

It was a terrific Business & Breakfast in February, with the city managers from Avondale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Tolleson giving TED-style updates on their cities. I tell people there are always amazing things happening in the Southwest Valley and the economic news is truly amazing. New industries, new business and new residential developments, plus hundreds of established businesses, are expanding. A strong and steady economy means a strong and steady community. But there’s so much more happening.

‘Tis the season to be outside enjoying our city parks; meeting with friends at our local fairs and festivals; walking through our two mountain parks; strolling along the Tres Rios; enjoying NASCAR, Cactus League baseball and movies at the splash pad; and so much more. But there are other ways to be active in the community.

Individuals with a giving heart can help any of the nonprofit groups in the Southwest Valley community. Each charity provides a necessary service, and each would be glad for your help. You can be the extra set of hands, maybe make deliveries, help organize donated items, assist with general fundraising activities or read to a group at the local library. These are only a few ways to be active in the community. Tired yet? Hope not, ‘cause there is even more good stuff happening.

Schools from elementary to higher learning all have something happening. High school and collegiate sports are your way to see future athletic stars. The most adorable production of “Hairspray” I have seen was performed by elementary school kids at a local charter school. I liked it better than the original production. Our schools, colleges and universities have their own festivals and fairs, various student clubs, and other ways they interact with the community.

Kiwanis, Rotary, Toastmasters, Elks and other civic organizations also bring good stuff to the community. Many of the groups have their own annual events that are open to the public. There is also much they do behind the scenes that helps make our community amazing.

Business owners also have good stuff happening. All the new industries coming to the area means more people wanting local services, shopping, dining and entertainment, which is good for the existing businesses. Career-minded professionals have good stuff, too. The number of networking groups, training classes, ways to mentor or be mentored, and other personal growth activities has never been higher. Woo hoo!

Let’s recap: New businesses, expanding businesses, a good quality of life, chances to give a helping hand, personal development, and ways to have fun. Too much good stuff? No way! The Southwest Valley is an amazing community, and it’s our time to shine!