Unit Happenings

Unit 43B Volunteer Spotlight

Gary Halpern with his grandchildren

Susan Knox Wilson

Gary Halpern was elected to the Villas 43B board of directors in 2021 and has served as the treasurer for the past two years.

Following his graduation from the Wharton School of Business, U of Pennsylvania, Gary launched a long career in finance including as a CPA and stints as VP of Finance for Toshiba Corporation, CFO at IKON, and CFO at Print Inc. He is currently president of One Print Solutions and Printcube, Inc.

Prior to joining the Villas board, Gary helped shape the Villas 2019 and 2020 budgets and created an accounting tool to help plan reserve contributions to meet estimated fund needs. This Excel tool has proved invaluable in helping the board adjust reserve funding to reflect current economic environments.

As treasurer, Gary has sought ways to ensure our reserve funds aren’t sitting idle. “We are lucky to have two members of the PebbleCreek Investment Advisory Group living in 43B,” Gary noted. “Larry McVey and Jim Vigars are generous with their advice and suggestions, and we have recently opened a new account at Merrill Lynch to gain access to Treasury Bills and help to diversify our reserve fund investments.”

Gary commented that he enjoys serving on the Villas board and helping make sure our business is being handled according to best practices and our CC&Rs. “It’s so easy for HOAs to get sideways, and it’s important for us to look at things from all different viewpoints,” said Gary. “For example, while it is generally recommended that HOAs conduct a full audit of all income and expenses every year, the board worked with our auditor and management firm and concluded that we could safely alternate among audits, reviews, and compilations, saving us about $5k annually.”

Gary moved to the Villas full time in April 2019. He enjoys golf and pickleball and reading spy novels and mysteries. Gary has three grown children, a daughter and son (with three children himself) all who live in Walnut Creek, Calif. Another son lives in Singapore. Gary says his “Singapore son” recently got married during the pandemic and Gary “attended” the wedding via Zoom—how very trendy! His next goal is to travel there to properly celebrate.

Unit 44 Pool Party vs. Monsoon Storm

Brave Unit 44 pool party participants (left to right): Mark Eichkorn, Laurie Eichkorn, Linda Doud, Peter Eichkorn, Spike Razem, Jerry Johnson, Jeri Johnson, Jim Littlefield, Dawn Razem, and Darrell Livingston (this was Darrell’s first time ever in the Tuscany pool—very memorable for him!). (Photo by Spike Razem)

Spike Razem

Wow! What a battle! Unit 44 neighbors vs. Mother Nature was in full force on Aug. 17 at 3:45 p.m. at the Tuscany Pool.

When residents started arriving for the 3:30 p.m. scheduled event, the skies began to show that hazy dust with grey ominous clouds approaching in the distance. A few of us said “We’ll be okay because, like other recent Goodyear storms, it’ll blow over.”

But, soon the wind picked up, palm trees started violently swaying, and nervous people in the pool kept looking up to the sky. By that time, food/beverage orders were frantically placed at Ed’s Dogs, not knowing if we’d be eating poolside or undercover elsewhere. Annie from the Fitness Center kept an eye on our group in the pool closely monitoring for any lightning/thunder. So far, so good.

Then, we said, “Let’s quickly get together for a group photo” not knowing if at any second we’d be monsoon victims. Tensions were high, but we all managed to cope well and smile for the camera.

Then, it was The Clash’s classic rock song—“Should I Stay or Should I Go”—skies got very dark, winds became ferocious. We all decided it was time to GO!

With a huge rush, we urgently got our corndogs (with extra mustard), cheeseburgers, fries, and beers (2 for $7) and quickly escaped to shelter just as the first clap of thunder sounded and raindrops fell.

This Unit 44 Pool Party only lasted 55 minutes but it could go down in PebbleCreek history as the most exciting (albeit “terrifying”) and memorable Unit events ever. No casualties, refreshments were enjoyed, and our brave residents prevailed. So, chalk up another victory for Unit 44—Hooray!

Unit 51 Ladies’ Luncheon

Janet Miazga

Naturally September finds many snowbirds still at their “other home,” but some of us who were here were anxious to get our Unit 51 Ladies’ Luncheon season off to a start. Thus, we gathered those available—Nelda Peterson, Dee Domingo, Janet Miazga, Lori Rea, Syd Hite, and Pat Jensen—for a lunch at Eagle’s Nest restaurant on Sept. 8. Though a small group, it was so nice to catch up and share time with neighbors we hadn’t seen for months while enjoying a delicious meal. We look forward to our luncheon group growing as the months move on.

Unit 62A Trivia Night

Toni Erickson

Trivia Night was a first for us and a lot of fun! It was held on Sept. 7 at Augie’s Sports Grill located in Goodyear. We proved to ourselves, Unit 62A (in numbers), that we are quite smart! The scholars who attended, from left to right, were: Gary and Janelle Watts, Patti Trapp, Cathe and Mike Pruyn, Renee Fisher, Laurie Wyman, Joan Ausman, Dale Scanlon, Marilyn and Vic Coates, and Barb Downey.

Unit 62 B Ladies Bunco

Left to right: Jeanette Hill, Judy Freidman, Sandy Sobocinski, Colleen McClung, Peggy Coon, Nancy Benedict, Linda Wainman, Joy Lovell, and Darlene Smithwick

Judy Freidman

Girls just want to have fun! Our unit has an ongoing bunco afternoon on the second Wednesday of each month. This past month we had these delicious cookies baked and designed by Kathy Worwa especially for the unit 62 bunco babes. We have been playing for the last three years and have lots of fun and laughs each time we get together. Our unit also has ongoing book clubs, ladies’ and men’s luncheons, and card games, as well as pool and holiday parties.

With the snowbirds slowly returning home, it’s time to plan our fall activities!