2016, a year in review

In the Anza Valley Outlook, we highlight events and happenings in the community throughout the year in effort to build open communication and community pride. There is a rhythm to that and yet life is new and different, good and bad ever-changing throughout the years. Some of the big news this year was the opening of a new Thai Restaurant at the Community Cafe and the loss of an old community staple, Diner 371, to fire.

Lizzy Anne retired again from her nursery and Jim Palmer made Lizzy Anne’s Garden Center his new retirement adventure. Two other long time businesses decided to retire in 2016, Alpacas of the Anza Valley and Twice Loved Treasures, both will be missed. I hear Dairy Queen has new owners, Neal Brophy the former owner gave a lot to this community he will be missed too.

January to March can be quiet months everyone is taking a breath from the excitement of fall season through the Holidays. Organizations begin to look at and evaluate what they would like to accomplish in the new year.

Also, horses and guns mix well at Anza’s Mounted Shooting practice in January. Equine sports are an important community event. Anza Lions once again hosted Southern California’s Gymkhana season which starts in May every year as well as developed the mounted shooting sport.

The Riverside County Fair comes the first week of February. The Future Farmers of America and High Country 4-H participants gear up to show off their animals and talents.

Local Marie Andrade shared her experience in March about the Diva Run. She says you’re never too old to try something new.

April and May have come and gone and before you know it spring is coming to the area and with it the joy of longer days and Easter break, green grass, wildflowers. Also, those annual events and happenings like Cowboy Days, Earth Days, the high school essays to pick a theme for the Anza Days, children work hard to get good grades for graduation is coming soon at the end of May.

Boys and Girls Club of the High Country hosted spring break 2016 for area children in April.

Anza Cowboy Days draws hundreds to the Lions Arena proceeds will fund the Arts at Cottonwood Elementary in May.

Then comes June and summer.

High Country 4-H is always giving back as this groups sewing project was to make pillow ports for cancer patients and donate them to Temecula’s Michelle’s Place.

With July comes the annual Anza Days Parade and the 4th of July and then everyone usually rests for a month or goes on vacation.

Anza Days Parade Disney Style was enjpoyed by parade goers in July.

Then everyone starts gearing up in August for the change of the new fall season as school starts with carnivals, fairs and the promise of the new school year. High school football kicks off bringing back the ever-popular Friday Night Lights along with other sports.

Every year this Anza original, the Thimble Club has a picnic on the grounds at the ranch were the idea was conceived which is now the Hamilton Ranch Museum. Last August they celebrated 104 years of fellowship and service.

From September to the end of the year in December there is a different rhythm to the community. School starts and the plans each individual group worked toward throughout the year are put into action.

With football season, came the Bobcats win at homecoming in October.

In 2016, something new was added to September’s busy schedule Anza Christian’s main fundraiser Ride on the Rez and barbecue was held in the fall instead of the end of May. The new day drew a large crowd.

The Renaissance Faire held annually in the fall was termed “Awesome,” as the event helped the High Country Boys & Girls Club reach their goal to build a facility for the area children.

It is a time of giving and thinking of others putting the area clubs, churches and originations to work in overdrive. These groups outshine so many other much larger populous areas with their giving hearts. They have prepared and planned and then executed back to school give-a-ways, community Halloween, holiday dinners, children’s parties, community Christmas gatherings, informative meetings and more.

In October area children enjoyed Anza Township’s Halloween safe and fun event.

The Cahuilla Native Lighthouse likes to share how to take a negative and turn it to a positive. In November, CNL hosted a men’s half-way house Hacienda Christian Life who does a great job doing just that, helping men recover themselves. They are a beacon of hope and a good example for others to follow.

Groups like the FUN Group feed the community all year long and during the holidays created a homey atmosphere full of good food, fun and fellowship so no one is alone.

Other Groups like Food For the Faithfull make holidays bright.

From the Heart is always working to help the area children. In November, they host a Holiday Dinner to raise funds for Christmas.

Come Christmastime From the Heart and Food for the Faithful host holiday parties and gift give-a-ways for the local children. This year the Anza Civic Improvement League’s hosts a fun party with Mr. and Mrs. Santa for Tots.

Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped in town for Anza Civic Improvement League’s first annual holiday event Saturday, Dec. 17.

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