As the first quarter of 2023 has closed, we celebrate all of the things that we were able to accomplish with our small staff and amazing group of very dedicated volunteers. We are so lucky that so many of you feel connected to your museum and want to participate in helping it to grow!
The beginning of the year is usually a bit slow. Folks are just coming back from the holidays and the seasonal visitors don’t start trickling in until later in the month, so it was a great surprise that we had an unusually busy first couple of weeks of 2023.
Popular Outdoor Experiences Pausing for Summer
We held our first Fantastic Foragers experience of 2023 in mid-January to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The first Yavapai Exploration Tour of the year was sold out with a rather long waiting list. The final April tour was oversold, and we are negotiating with our partner, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, to continue this extremely popular tour experience in the Fall. We are currently taking names of those who might be interested in signing up. Email email@example.com to add your name to our Fall wait list.
Art Gallery Remains Busy
The work of our first artist of the year – former Rio Verde resident, the late Bettina Wilke – was exhibited in our art gallery. Her beautiful landscape paintings were followed by a celebration of the Grand Canyon by photographer, Mike Buchheit. Mike also provided our World Water Day program held to celebrate this worldwide event on March 22nd. His talents as a speaker, a photographer and a philanthropist are a great addition to the River of Time. The current installation, by Fountain Hills artist and photographer Bonny Puckett continues through May 6. She has stunning works for sale including different sized photos. Her show is entitled “Botanical Legacies.”
Some of the groups we hosted this quarter included the PEO, Red Hat Ladies, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Stewards, and a McDowell Mountain Middle School fourth grade class. We ventured off-grounds to present River of Time outreach presentations to the Fountain Hills Women’s Club, Friends in the Hills, Fountain Hills Rotary, and a McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Lunch & Learn.
If you would like to bring a group to the River of Time, we would love to have you visit! We can accommodate groups of 10 or more in scheduling private docent-guided tours. Reservations are necessary, so please call 480-837-2612 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your tour. If you’re a teacher looking for an end of year school trip, please contact us or call 480-837-2612.
Hall of Fame Awards
We held a wonderful event to honor the recipients of the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame awards, held this year at the Rio Verde Country Club. We host this annual event as a way to pay tribute to residents of Fountain Hills, the Verdes, and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation who have demonstrated a deep commitment to their communities through their outstanding works of service. The community is invited to submit the name of a resident who fits the criteria, and a small group of former Hall of Fame inductees make the selection of between three and twelve individuals. The call for submission usually goes out late in the year, and the banquet is held in late March.
Alan Cruikshank Memorial
On a sad note, I was very proud and honored to speak at the memorial service held for one of our founders and the River of Time’s namesake, Alan Cruikshank. It was wonderful to see over 300 family and friends pay tribute to this incredible man who is greatly missed.
The Summer Slowdown Begins
As we enter our second quarter, we’re observing a bit of a slowdown as our winter visitors begin to leave us, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be busy with some great programming for all of us who choose to enjoy the summer’s lovely temperatures.
Summer is a great time to pop in for a docent-led tour or explore what’s new in the gift shop. Local birder, Peter Herstein, will be giving a talk on local bird species on April 20, and in May we’ll be opening our second annual Summer Market which proved very popular last year!
If you would like to continue to support the River of Time and help us navigate through our slower summer months, you can make a one-time or set-up a recurring donation here on our website.
We value our members and our friends and hope that you’ll drop by to cool off and say hi in this next quarter! Remember you can always keep in touch to learn about upcoming events…Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out our events calendar on our website!