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Fri, Sept. 25

Connecting the Community: Introducing the Sedona Village Partnership

Beverly Kievman Copen

Beverly Kievman Copen

In the early 2000’s, visionary educator and community leader Dr. Mel Copen, saw the opportunity to unite the Village.

As a result of Mel’s inspiration, the Sedona Village Partnership was created in 2012. Rooted in its core ideals; Connect, Educate, Respect, Collaborate, and Accomplish, our shared purpose is “To serve as a catalyst to inspire thought leadership and action in our community, to forge collaborative relationships, to build trust, to exchange ideas and information, and to find solutions for Village challenges as well as our dreams.”

This is aptly summed up in our Vision Statement, “Connecting the Community.”

To implement our Vision, we had to raise funds, and held numerous fundraisers that first year, honoring Mel and giving rise to our organization.

During the Partnership’s eight-year history, a variety of events have fostered a greater sense of community such as a “December Holiday Piano Concert” at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, “Movie Under the Stars” at The Collective Sedona, co-sponsored with the Sedona International Film Festival, and “Star Party” co-sponsored with the Verde Valley Astronomy Club, also held at The Collective Sedona.

Other activities have included a matching grant for the International Baccalaureate program at Big Park Community School and scholarships for its less-advantaged preschool students.

Last fall, we co-sponsored the Verde Valley Forum on Land Use and have organized the upcoming Fine Dine Wine fundraising dinner at J Wine Bistro to celebrate our new community preschool, Sedona Village Learning Center.

In addition, we awarded the preschool a grant to assist with startup costs, and we continue mentoring as needed.

Recently, we have expanded membership of our Board of Directors so that we gather input and ideas from younger and more, diverse representatives of the community. Two positions remain to be filled as we continue to round out the Board.

And there’s more. We have recently created a “Partners” category of membership to increase the number of community-focused people and like-minded organizations to join in planning, organizing, and executing events and activities which will benefit and strengthen our community and its residents.

Our SVP president, Dr. Don Groves, underscores this point as he continually says, “I believe our community is stronger when we define it by what unites us rather than by what divides us.”

We plan to write an article each month in The Villager to keep you informed and excited about our activities, and a future initiative is our website. We want you to participate in our vision, indeed, our Village future.

Stay tuned for new initiatives such as the introduction of a program entitled “Shining Stars” – showcasing the special, noteworthy and remarkable members of our community.

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