The smiles on their faces said it all.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, Santa Claus and five of his helpers made one Sedona family’s Christmas better than they could have ever expected.

For several years, city of Sedona staff members have chipped in money and gifts to brighten a less-fortunate family’s holiday season. The Sub for Santa program isn’t a formal city activity, but rather is initiated and coordinated by city employees.  

There’s nothing that says Christmas quite like a group of toddlers in adorable candy cane outfits.

Precious Stones preschool and after-school program held a Christmas play that acted out favorite holiday traditions and a Nativity on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Parents, grandparents and more gathered to see the kids perform inside Rock of Ages Lutheran Church, which is the church under which the school is run.

Imagine looking over the edge of a 27-story building. Now imagine rappelling down the side of it.

For three Sedona professionals, this will soon be a reality and all for a good cause.

For the second time in a month, a former Sedona city councilman has died.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Dennis Rayner died in his sleep after a long battle with cancer, his wife Marlene said. In late October, former councilman Dan McIlroy died as well.

“He always kept me laughing,” Marlene said of her husband of 52 years. “He always tried to keep my spirits up, despite everything he was going through. It’s been a very rough year.”

Pulitzer Prize winner James Steele came to the Elks lodge to discuss the election.

The Sedona Elks lodge held roughly 50 people on Thursday, Nov. 17, to hear Steele share his insight on the recent general election. The event was hosted by the Verde Valley Chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Steele covered how the election may impact the economy, through taxes and foreign policy.

The Sedona Fire District firefighter injured last month in a propane tank mishap is making strides toward being released from the hospital.

“His progress is slow and steady as he works with his doctors and therapists to do what’s needed in order to get better,” SFD Chief Kris Kazian said of Capt. Matt Fleece. “It’s going to be a long road but he’s in good spirits and taking everything in stride.”

The goal is pretty simple — to ensure that every child has something waiting for him or her under the tree on Christmas morning.

For nearly 70 years that’s been the driving force behind the popular Toys For Tots program, which is administered by the Marine Corps Reserve.

It’s never too early to start the toy drive as evident by a fundraising dinner at Sedona Winds in the Village of Oak Creek on Sunday, Nov. 6. The event asked attendees to either donate $20 a person or bring in new, unwrapped toys of equal or greater value.

Ask just about anyone on their thoughts of former Sedona City Councilman Dan McIlroy and you’ll hears words like “professional,” “kind,” “dedicated” and “gentlemanly.”

McIlroy, who served on the council from 2010-14, died on Friday, Oct. 21. He was 77. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and their two daughters. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Sedona Creative Life Center.

“He was a dedicated and loving father and husband,” Maureen McIlroy said. “His faith was very important to him. And he truly cared about this community. Everyone I have talked to have had such kind things to say about Dan.”

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