Hershey’s Chocolate Company has been around since 1894 and the founder, Milton Hershey, created such favorites as M&MS and Krackel Bars. The Hershey’s Company is one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world. Their products are sold in over 60 countries worldwide. They are a member of the World Cocoa Foundation. In 1903, Milton Hershey began construction of a cocoa plant in Derry Church, Pennsylvania, which was later renamed Hershey. The plant workers and their families lived there and Milton Hershey held social events for them. They also introduced a new product, Hershey’s Kisses, in 1907. The process to wrap the new product was long and hard until machine wrapping was introduced in 1921. They added the paper ribbon at the same time to make sure it was a real Hershey’s product. Their other products included: Mr.Goodbar, Hershey’s syrup, chocolate chips and the Krackel Bar. In conclusion, Hershey’s chocolate is my favorite chocolate.
Most primitive tools were made out of either wood, stone, flint, bone, or obsidian. Stone tools helped early humans to gain the power of farming, mining and so much more. With mining came the Bronze Age and with it, new technology.
A primitive stone shovel
THE BRONZE AGE
By mixing tin and copper together, people created an alloy called bronze. It was stronger and more flexible than copper or gold and didn’t rust. With the creation of bronze though, man could now effectively wage war against each other.
When everybody had bronze weapons people realized that they needed something to protect themselves with, so they made armor, shields and polearms.
Thunderbirds Charities, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community recently donated $15,000.00 to SEEDs for Autism, to aid in the development of their newest job training program, a Computers and Media Lab.
SEEDs for Autism was founded in 2010, as a pilot program in the backyard of the founders home, Mary Ann LaRoche. This local program uses real training taught by local professional leaders who are skilled in a variety of technical and trade skills. Most of the hands on skills that are taught are structured to ultimately help the SEEDs participants in the program learn how to make beautiful home and garden products. What makes this program so unique is that they also learn most of the facets necessary to running a business. Every student becomes a valued component because they try everything, and gain greater experiences; from design conception, product production, customer service, to marketing and social media. The students get to use a multitude of real tools while being mentored and encouraged to learn.
According to Mary Ann, “I watched my own brother Paul struggle to find a place in society where he could contribute AND be accepted for who he was. It was heartbreaking to see him have dreams like everyone else: wanting to drive, have his own apartment, but we couldn’t find the resources to support training outside of the traditional limited options provided for most special needs populations.”
“We are so excited to receive this funding and support from Thunderbirds Charities,” says Mary Ann. “It greatly benefits the resources and technical edge that we have been struggling to provide.” The biggest benefit of this funding is that it goes directly to enrich each and every participant in the program. Currently there are 43 participants in the program, but this funding will also add value to the summer programs, which typically are offered to those 15 years and older, who are still in school during the regular year. “To have updated and newer equipment participants will now truly gain yet another real life advantage which will assist them in expanded vocational training,” says Mary Ann.
“SEEDs for Autism gives purpose to this vulnerable population with special needs,” said Andy Markham, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re honored and privileged to help with the upgrades to their technology program.”
SEEDs for Autism encourages each participant to explore and learn new skills, connect to their community, market what they make, and ultimately find their voice. You can see what they make at their website: www.seedsforautism.org.
About Thunderbirds Charities:
THUNDERBIRDS CHARITIES is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.
First order of business, I have an important announcement to make. After much thought I have decided that “Jeff’s Eccentric People, Places and Things,” has to awkward a title. While I am pleased with how my work is coming out I decided to go with a different name. While “Eccentric Person of the Month,” and “Unusual Place of the Month,” my old titles from the Seeds’ Newsletter have been suggested I decided on “Jeff’s Odd Destinations” and “Jeff’s Gallery”
Now for a very special trip today, I take you on a very mysterious journey to a land of wonder and imagination. To Tucson Arizona’s mystic and mysterious Valley of the Moon. For over eighty years this strange land has enchanted children of all ages. Its story begins with the coming of the Mountain Gnome, George Phar Legler. Born in Evansville, Indiana somewhere between 1884 and 1887, George was a former post office clerk who was forced into an early retirement due to an automobile accident. He was also a spiritualist and believer in fairies. He moved to Arizona around 1917 and bought the 2.25 acres that soon became his life’s work. Nearby lived a clergyman whose teenage daughter was dying of tuberculosis. George created a little mountain scene with a waterfall and a bathtub lake just outside her window. She could leave her room and explore the serene landscape with her imagination. When she died George comforted her mother by telling her she had moved to the spirit world where she would live forever now. He found his life calling and expanded on the small landscape and started building the Valley in 1923.
image from tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com
With the help of friends, family and locals George Legler constructed his “secret” fairyland and wild animal sanctuary, opening up officially in 1926 and full of homemade rock decorations, buildings and sculptures of wonder opening to the public . George lived on the property giving tours, telling stories and performing magic tricks as the Mountain Gnome. During the Valley’s original run it did not allow boys in-between the ages of 12 to 21 as visitors in because George thought that they would upset the fairies for not believing or being imaginative for the “magic” to work. The Valley was open until 1963. George would live by himself in his now abandoned fairyland until 1971, when he got an unexpected surprise visit from a group of High Schoolers. While the park never officially closed, visitors were coming less and less. The Valley was falling into disrepair due to vandals and George’s health was failing due to his age.
The boys apparently thought they all shared the same dream of a friendly gnome. Apparently they decided it was no dream and went on a quest to find an almost forgotten part of their childhood, climbed over the fence and rediscovered the Valley. While George at first thought they were vandals, the Mountain Gnome gave them an over two hour tour and told them that they were welcome back any time. The boys later formed the Valley of the Moon Restoration Association (VOMRA) now called the George Phar Legler Society (GPLS). The Valley of the Moon was listed on the Arizona Historic Places Register in 1975 and George was awarded the Tucson Outstanding Citizen Award a year before he died in 1982 around age 95. It is also an official National register of Historic Places under Pima County in 2011 and a Historic Landmark for the city as of 2016. The Valley is now owned mainly by the GPLS and partly by the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.
Now, I have never been to the Valley of the Moon (yet) so I can only judge from what I have read and studied but the park contains a large number of statues and buildings made from scraps of old toys, and junk George found and put together. This includes the Wizard’s Tower, a bridge, a cave, a homemade pond and an artificial flower garden. In 2008 a number of sculptures were added from closed down mini golf course named Magic Carpet Golf now a car dealership. A house that a friend of George Legler helped build in the Valley became a storage room for props and costumes stood on the site but burned down not too long ago. Today the park is kept by members of the GPLS and volunteers. I don’t know if it is still an animal sanctum however.
image from flicker.com
The Valley of the Moon is open on the first Saturday of every month for free and paid for visits are on special occasions and holidays. As well, exploring the Fairyland of the Desert shows are performed by members of the GPLS, many with the audience participating. You can find more information about the Valley of the Moon, George Legler, and helping to keep the wonder and magic alive at the websitewww.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com. The Valley is at 2544 E. Allen Rd. Tucson AZ and can be contacted at 520-323-1331 and email@example.com.
Keri used to be very shy, but SEEDs for Autism has helped her build confidence and improve her social skills. At SEEDs, Keri enjoys creating beautiful, hand-crafted items using ceramics and wood and she is also a regular contributor to this blog. Here, Keri shares experiences from her wonderful trip to Hawaii. (Ed.)
Hello my name is Keri I went to Hawaii for 6 days. It was really green and tropical. I went to one Island it was called Oahu. I chose that Island because it had a lot of activities to do. I went to a couple of different places. I went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and went on a helicopter ride too. On the helicopter ride we flew over the island. We flew over the Dole plantation and the world’s largest maze, too. We also saw a waterfall on the helicopter ride. Also, we went to the famous Waikiki beach. Pearl Harbor was neat and we saw the Arizona Memorial. We went to the Cemetery of the Pacific were World War 2 veterans were buried. We went to see the state capitol too. Also, we went to a luau and a dinner cruise too. For the dinner cruise we went on a Friday because if you go on a Friday you would see Fireworks where they set them off at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was really beautiful scenery and breathtaking beaches.