Nearly every Saturday morning and some Tuesdays, residents will see Sun City West PRIDES volunteers in orange safety jackets and caps picking up litter, trimming and maintaining plants, repairing irrigation lines and raking gravel along 26 miles of Sun City West roadways.
Sun City West PRIDES was organized in 1982 by residents who wanted to set a high standard of maintenance along major roadways. A 501(c)(3) charitable organization status was designated and the first bank account was opened with a $5 donation.
In the beginning, the only tools or equipment was what residents had at home. Individuals donated a 4-year-old Ford van and six months of insurance. Maricopa County agreed to provide trash bags, orange vests and pick up the bags.
Kathy Estes from Sun City West PRIDES said a total of 44 people showed up that first work day. After that, Del E.. Webb Medical Center, 14502 W. Meeker Blvd., officials donated a golf car and a couple of old white vans and provided a place to park them. In 2003 the Sun City West Foundation provided a 3,500-square-foot warehouse at Stardust and R.H. Johnson boulevards rent free.
Today, Ms. Estes said the PRIDES teams maintain the medians along R.H. Johnson and Meeker boulevards as well as other highly traveled blocks along Stardust Boulevard, 151st Avenue, Deer Valley Road, the Sun City West canals and the Sun City West Foundation properties.
“Our irrigation team is on the job to repair leaks as needed. The PRIDES work closely with Maricopa County, the Sun City West recreation centers, PORA, the Posse and the Sun City West Foundation,” she explained. “Of course, without our volunteers we would not be able to provide this service to the community.”
To become a PRIDES volunteer, visit scwprides.com. Donations to PRIDES can be mailed to 14630 West R.H. Johnson Blvd., Sun City West AZ 85375. No dues are assessed, nor is attendance taken and equipment is provided.