LifeLong Learning at PebbleCreek

Check out PC Reads

Shannon Tyree

“Gee, if only there were a good place to get a book recommendation.” Well, the answer to your question lies just ahead. Susie Nee, PC Reads team leader, is always on the lookout for good book suggestions. Not only that, but she shares them, too. You can read and discuss books at the drop-in book club or just enjoy them on vacation or at the pool.

Here is the list of books PC Reads will be discussing through the end of 2018.

On June 7, when PC Reads celebrates its first anniversary, the drop-in book club will be discussing When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

Want to read ahead a bit? On July 5, Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan will be discussed.

August 2 the discussion will be on the book The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig.

Can’t get enough? Sept. 6 it will be Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen, followed on Oct. 4 with The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel.

The Nov. 1 book is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, followed by The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict on Dec. 6.

PC Reads is the popular (hint: sign-up early) drop-in book club that was started a year ago. No commitments, just read the book that sounds great to you and come and talk about it with other Creekers. Discussions are facilitated by different residents who have a connection with the book.

The book club is free, but registration is required to keep the discussions manageable. The group meets in the LLL Center from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.

In addition to finding a great list of books the group will be reading into the future, all the books previously read and discussed are listed on the PC Reads webpage, so you’ll never run out of suggestions.

How can this offer get any better? Well, PC Reads also distributes a monthly e-newsletter that includes information about books, events at local libraries and news about what various book groups in PebbleCreek are reading. To sign up for that e-newsletter, visit the LLL website and find PC Reads under the Special Programs menu. We hope to see you at a PC Reads book club session soon!

LLL gives back at the Society of St. Vincent De Paul

On March 30, 25 LLL volunteers traveled to The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SVDP) in Phoenix, the largest St. Vincent De Paul location in the country. They had a 90-minute guided tour to learn about the services SVCP provides, including food delivery to the entire Phoenix area, medical and dental clinics and dining rooms. They saw the pantry area, where donated food is sorted for due dates and organized and learned about SVDP’s urban farm.

The facility has nearly an acre where they produce hundreds of pounds of fresh produce every week. These fruits and vegetables, fertilized from the tilapia tanks where SVDP farms the fish, are used in the kitchen or included in food boxes for families.

After the morning tour, the volunteers enjoyed lunch at China Chili in Phoenix and then returned to SVDP to give their time. Donning hair nets, they were soon tossing pizza dough into the air. Okay, maybe it was more like rolling it out, but each volunteer made pizzas from start to finish—dough to toppings and cheese. Afterwards, when all the pizzas were made and baked (SVDP makes between 125-150 pizzas each Friday), the volunteers had a taste of their work.

This day of giving, (even the bus ride was donated by a generous anonymous donor) sold out in minutes. But the memories of the tour and pizza making will linger for a long time. Thank you, volunteers!

“If you’ve never been to SVDP, the place will blow you away,” said Lisa Greenhoot, director of trips.

Registration for 2018/2019 LLL season

Shannon Tyree

It’s time to mark 8:00 a.m. Oct. 1 on your paper, computer and phone calendars. What’s so special about 8:00 a.m., Oct. 1 you ask? That’s when registration opens for LLL.

Volunteers are meeting and working hard now planning and setting up lectures, classes, trips and other programs for next season.

Maybe you missed out on registering for a trip, class or lecture last year because you weren’t prepared to log into the LLL website? Well, now’s the time to take care of that! Maybe you are new to PebbleCreek and don’t know about LLL. We want you to be prepared by setting up an account now.

Last season, several trips sold out in less than a minute, so you don’t want your chances of getting a spot diminished because you aren’t ready to log-in.

We want everyone to be ready on Oct. 1 at 8:00 a.m. when registration opens.

Here are a few things you can do now to ensure you will be ready.

*Sign up for the LLL email newsletter so you’ll be aware of what’s planned. Just send an email to with your full name.

*Bookmark the LLL website,, and make it a favorite. Detailed information about next season will be available in mid-September.

*Check your log-in information or, if you don’t have one yet, set it up now. Remember, you need to include your full address, as registration is limited to PebbleCreek residents and renters.

*Set up a PayPal account; you can have payments made from your credit card or bank. It’s easy. Go to and click on “Sign up.”

The LLL Center is closed during the summer, but you can get your questions answered or get help by sending an email to

Have a great summer; we’ll see you in October!

Wide range of topics offered in LLL classes

Shannon Tyree

This past season, LLL held classes on 16 distinct subjects, everything from artisan bread baking and pasta making to understanding the birds of PebbleCreek. “Topics are intentionally varied to meet the wide range of interests among PebbleCreek residents,” said Mary Gangl, Director of Classes for the last several years.

Almost 300 people attended the classes this past season and 79 residents attended the eight-week Great Decisions series.

“An interesting statistic about the 16 classes offered this season, is that all but three presenters live in PebbleCreek, demonstrating how diverse, talented and supportive people in PebbleCreek are,” Gangl said.

For the 2018-2019 season, Leslie Benton-Miller is working alongside Mary in preparation for taking over responsibility for the class team in the 2019-2020 season. “She brings enormous energy, enthusiasm and new vision to our team,” Gangl said.

The two are already hard at work on the upcoming season. A lot happens during the “quiet” summer months here. “We’ve begun the process of vetting our teachers and creating what we think will be a dynamic schedule for 2019,” Gangl said. The full range of classes and details about the teachers, subjects and timing of the classes will be available in mid-September on the website and in the printed LLL schedule. You can count on Mary and Leslie to have organized another season of interesting and fun classes.

There’s a reason LLL trips sell out in minutes

Shannon Tyree

When asked about last season’s trips, Lisa Greenhoot, director of trips, smiled and said without hesitation, “We went from mild to wild.” Which is true, considering the complete variety offered, like the Florence Ruins, Monastery and Pinal County Historical Museum trip to the Medical Marijuana indoor grow rooms.

The LLL trips are popular because they are extremely well planned with everything included in the fee – transportation, tickets to venues, docent-led tours and most meals. This is a great way to visit new places, make new friends and leave all the planning and details to someone else.

Trip team volunteers enjoy educating and informing people about everything. “The possibilities are endless,” Lisa said. During the 2016-2017 season, 16 trips of varying topics were offered and seven trips sold out the first day. Four of those sold out in the first two minutes, and two of those sold out in less than one minute. Whew!

Trip planning begins in January, when ideas that have been gathered throughout the year are submitted and volunteers begin to nail down details. The team meets every two weeks until every detail has been finalized. Lisa describes the volunteers as “full of energy, with passion for what they do,” and goes on to explain that some of the volunteers “visit the trip locations two or three times to make sure things are perfect.” Proudly, she says the dedicated volunteers help each other by making sure they all have what they need. “They want to polish their projects.”

By April, the trip planning is finished and other LLL volunteers are beginning the process of marketing the trips to ensure full attendance. Volunteers are thinking about trips all year long and often receive suggestions for following years. For instance, this coming year, there is a trip planned to Barleens Dinner Show in Apache Junction. This trip is on the list this coming season because it was frequently requested in prior years.

Tours of Luke Air Force Base always sell out and are again on the list for next season. A full list of trips for the 2018-2019 season will be available in mid-September when the full LLL Schedule is distributed. Of course, it will also be available on the LLL website at

So, look for information on the lectures, trips, classes and other programs and decide which you would like to attend, and be ready to sign up at 8:00 a.m. October 1 for an adventure, whether mild or wild!