Fountain Hills is not immune to the many serious community issues covered in the national news media and larger metropolitan areas. On Sat. Oct. 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Fountain Hills Community Center, expert speakers will present and answer questions about issues impacting Fountain Hills.
Fountain Hills Cares will present topics on Race Relations in Fountain Hills, The Rise of Fentanyl, Mental Health and Suicide Awareness, and the issue of Homelessness in our Community. Experts in these fields have been recruited for this event. Following the presentations will be a Q&A session with all panelists.
“We live in a beautiful town, but like any other, we experience challenges to a happy, healthy life here at home as well as in the community at large,” said Mayor Ginny Dickey. “Fountain Hills Cares is an opportunity to learn more about some of the issues that affect us and to become part of the solution.”
The presenters for this free event include some of the region’s leading subject experts.
Race Relations in Fountain Hills – Jonae Harrison is the Equity and Inclusion Manager for the City of Tempe, Ariz. She brings more than 18 years of legal and policy experience in government, non-profit, corporate, and private practice experience to her role. Harrison has a Bachelor of Science in Languages – double major in Spanish and English – from Georgetown University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Tulane University.
Homelessness in our Community - Amy St. Peter is the Deputy Executive Director of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the regional planning agency for the Greater Phoenix region. In this role, she coordinates diverse priorities and perspectives in developing solutions that strengthen the vitality in one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Her areas of expertise include organizational and program development, homelessness, aging, smart regions, transportation, and civil rights.
Ellie Hutchison currently serves as a part-time Social Justice Coordinator with AZ Faith Network, part-time as Missions Outreach Director with Fountain Hills United Methodist Church, is a Member-in-Discernment with Church of the Beatitudes United Church of Christ, a Fellow with the Newbigin Center, and current Chair of the MCSO LGBTQIA Community Advisory Board. She works actively with the communities experiencing homelessness, those migrating to the United States, and those directly impacted by incarceration.
Kathy Di Nolfi is the current Chief Program Officer of A New Leaf, a comprehensive Housing, Health and Community Services agency. She has worked for A New Leaf for over 20 years. Currently, Kathy oversees 30 programs within 6 divisions focusing on homelessness and domestic violence crisis intervention, behavioral health, reducing poverty, early childhood education and youth residential services.
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention - Marle Ethelbah is the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator, Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Ethelbah is an ASU graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Her presentation addresses the teen suicide epidemic at both statewide and national levels. She will discuss what to do when someone talks about ending their life, tools that help alert us to the warning signs and learn about risk and protective factors for youth suicidality.
The Rise of Fentanyl in our Community – Mike Scharnow is a member of the Town Council and executive director of the Fountain Hills Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The coalition is entering its 12th year in Fountain Hills and, through community-wide collaboration, works to reduce substance abuse among youths ages 12-18. His talk, “The Rise of Fentanyl,” will primarily focus on the rising epidemic of deadly fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills and, as a result, unsuspecting youths and adults dying from overdoses.
The Fountain Hills Cares community conversation event is Saturday, Oct. 30, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Fountain Hills Community Center located at 13001 N. La Montana Drive in Fountain Hills.