The Quad Cities have traversed a rough road and endured previously unimaginable tragedies over the past months. The heart and spirit of our communities have shone through stressful occasions in extremely generous and creative ways. There’s nothing as shocking as economic downturn, job loss, illness, death or similar catastrophe to pull people together.
The challenge is to mobilize that positive energy and keep it harnessed on close-to-home opportunities that affect the lives of everyone living in this Southwestern paradise. We are blessed that helping others is imprinted in the DNA of our residents, whether born here or transplants in later years. Our area attracts and retains exceptionally caring people.
Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt are lifestyle choices. What residents often sacrifice with lower wages, limited benefits and economic hardship, they ideally gain back in excellent quality of life, relative safety and insulation from the stressors of “big city” life. The spirit of volunteerism and collaboration blooms exponentially as needs arise.
That’s what is so exciting about re-energizing the Prescott Gateway Mall, which, much like other community focal points, faces the mystery of contributing to that marvelous quality of life in ways that truly make a difference. In the year that our new management team has been in place, Prescott Gateway Mall has integrated more fully with our communities and their evolving needs. We have embraced that task with open arms and continually seek to improve upon our successes.
From a community service perspective, we are committed to: 1) hiring local talent wherever possible; 2) building alliances with non-profits and other community service organizations; 3) offering cost-effective meeting space (Community Room); 4) providing a free children’s play area (and inexpensive “play care”) for busy families; 5) encouraging youth; and 6) creating events and activities to entertain, educate and connect people of all ages and backgrounds.
In that regard, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and the Prescott YMCA are two of the many local businesses with which we partner. In May, Prescott Gateway Mall and YRMC presented the Celebrate Life Health Expo to highlight non-profits with a mission to keep people healthy. In the coming months, our alliance will roll out enhancements to the mall walking program, which keeps people on track despite the weather – and not only via shopping. For family enjoyment, we have collaborated with the Prescott YMCA Youth Ballet to perform excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” for its second season on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day in the Dillard’s Court. This year, auditions were held here at the mall and rehearsals are ongoing.
We have beefed up the Prescott Gateway Music & Art Fund, which is administered through the Yavapai County Community Foundation (YCCF), by sitting on a decision-making board for the 2013 awards. Earnings from events such as our June Daddio on the Patio car show and upcoming activities have been paid to or earmarked for the endowment, which currently gifts about $2,400 a year. The more we build that fund, the more money is earned each year, resulting in more awards given annually to worthy music and art projects. We also have supported the Salvation Army (Christmas Angel Tree), United Animal Friends (Rummage Sale), City of Prescott (Idol Finale), Habitat for Humanity (Toolbelts & Tuxedos), and Showtime Community Theatre (children’s plays).
The Prescott Gateway Mall’s community involvement begins at the center of our business communities: the local Chambers of Commerce and the small businesses that comprise so much of our area’s workforce. We are an active member of all three Chambers, financially supporting endeavors such as the Courthouse Lighting, the New Year’s Eve Boot Drop, the Valley of Lights in Prescott Valley, Women in Business lunches, membership mixers and fundraising ventures for various causes. Merchants and other Chamber members decorated, catered and attended a dynamic Tri-City chambers Mixer in May.
Our advertising agency (Helken & Horn), event planner (StarStruck! Event Planning, LLC); Easter Bunny set designer (Allan’s Flowers); healthy foods caterer (Sherry Cornett) and other providers represent the very best in local goods and services professionally delivered. Employing them – and others like them – is one additional way we show the win-win in shopping, dining and connecting locally. QCBN
Sue Marceau is the marketing manager for Prescott Gateway Mall.