Bucket list check-off
For Bill and Wendy Fishkind, African travel has always been on their radar; however, for two weeks in September, they traveled on the African continent without radar.
Bill and Wendy are both licensed pilots. They flew commercially from the United States to Johannesburg. Once there, they spent three days in a classroom, getting certified to fly a small Cessna 182 airplane to destinations in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Their briefing for this adventure focused on some of the intricacies of flying in southern Africa and in the bush and getting the lay of the land. There were no cell phones, no radar and no Internet. Instead, they carried a satellite tracker and hand-held GPS device and would call from the aircraft radio to be picked up at the airstrip. In remote areas, the pilot had to do a low-pass flyover to clear the airstrip of animals prior to landing. At one destination, they had to erect an electric wire fence to keep elephants from damaging the plane’s wings and hyenas from eating the tires. In each country, they went through customs, like commercial airline travelers. Each stop included a safari tent camp with incredible animal viewing. According to our “captain and his first officer,” the flyers marveled at the aerial expanse of the land — from the Kalahari Desert and Okavango Delta of Botswana, to Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia, to the Great Escarpment of South Africa.
What a rewarding self-fly safari experience, seeing southern Africa in 14 exciting bush-flying days!
Wildcats visit the Grays
Ron and Margo Gray are still “up on cloud nine” after a visit from Wildcat basketball team members. The scoop:
University of Arizona Director of Athletics Greg Byrne posted in his Oct. 22 Wildcat Wednesday blog that men’s basketball tickets were in the mail. He also announced that the next day, coinciding with the PAC-12 media day on which the UA was ranked #1 in the conference preseason, student-athlete members of the men’s basketball team would personally deliver season tickets to a select group of lucky fans. This promotion rewards supporters selected from those who renew their season tickets early. The Grays have been members of the Wildcat Club and season ticket holders since 1983, the year Coach Lute Olson came to the UA.
At 6 p.m., the Grays expected one player at their door but were overwhelmed when five players arrived. The athletes brought schedule posters that they autographed, magnets, mini-schedule folders, and of course, the coveted basketball tickets.
… and the Gannons
At 5 p.m. on Oct. 20, Chuck Gannon was also delighted to be the recipient of home-delivered season tickets, handed to him by members of the UA women’s basketball team. The team members were friendly, upbeat and expressed their excitement about this upcoming “breakthrough” year. The Gannons are enthusiastic men’s and women’s season ticket holders.
On Sunday, Oct. 26, Chuck and his wife, Andra Karnofsky, ran in the second annual Women’s Basketball 5K on the UA Mall. This free event celebrated the beginning of the season and healthy living. It was followed by a brunch for season ticket holders in the Hall of Champions next to McKale Center, with attendees sharing delicious food and the company of the entire team and coaching staff. Each player talked about her role on the team, and the coach, Niya Butts, gave a rousing pep talk. GO CATS!
100th anniversary of UA homecoming
Speaking of the Wildcats, over the weekend of Nov. 7-9, UA alumni returned to campus for class reunions, organizational booths on the mall, tailgating, an Arizona vs. Colorado football game and campus tours.
While the weekend festivities kicked off with a bonfire on the mall, Hillel students attended Bear Down Shabbat Friday night services and dinner. It was February 1941 when the UA Board of Regents approved the establishment of the UA Hillel Foundation. In 1950, the first building, predecessor to the current facility, was erected. Most recently, through the vision of Alice and Paul Baker and Deanna and the late Harvey Evenchik and funds raised in the 2010-11 capital campaign, the current building was renovated, the Oy Vey Café expanded and a 5,000-square foot addition of multi-purpose space was added over the parking lot. Under Michelle Blumenberg, executive director since 1992, Hillel is flourishing today with the Wildcat Jewish Student Leadership team, over 200 programs and meetings a year, a supportive staff, and contact with over 900 students via Facebook, other social media, outreach and programs.
Chabad at the UA, under Rabbi Yossi and Naomi Winner, and Jewish Arizonans on Campus, under Rabbi Avi and Deborah Wosner, also welcomed alums and highlighted their home-away-from-home Jewish educational, community and continuity programming to complement students’ university studies. Past fraternity and sorority members visited their Jewish-founded Greek chapters on campus: Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Alpha Mu and Zeta Beta Tau fraternities and Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority.
Time to share
Keep me posted — 319-1112. L’shalom.