Smoke Signal April 2021

Manager’s Message –

It is that time of year that we are winding down the season and everyone is making their plans for summer. Whether that entails heading back to your home, traveling the country, visiting family or preparing for another ‘warm’ Arizona summer. We pray for safe travels and good health for everyone.

This year has truly been one of changes and adjustments. We have missed all of those who were unable to come this year and look forward to your returning next season. We also have said goodbye to many residents, past & present. Many have left huge holes in our hearts and in our community that will be difficult to fill.

We want to thank the Estate of Larry Schoelerman who donated many pieces of woodworking equipment and the Christmas Village that was on display in the office over the holidays. Jeanne Beck is planning to put a bench out in the memory garden area which is appropriately near the Gate Shack, in honor of Gordon Beck, and many thanks to all who have given donations. There has also been a hummingbird garden put in next to the Sales Office in honor of Steve Shepard (Steve loved hummingbirds). The area was chosen by Dennie Shepard and very fitting as Steve often spent more time at the Sales Office than at home! It was designed and installed by Gary Traphagan with the help of monetary contributions from so many. We have all been impacted this past year due to Covid and other illnesses, and have lost loved ones. Our hearts go out to each and every family that has been impacted!

We want to give a huge shout out to all our staff for doing such an amazing job this season! Everyone went above and beyond to keep the park running smoothly. Whether it was our Clean Team going the extra mile to keep things clean and sanitized, for a safer environment, or the activities department and their faithful leader Deb Yelton, Activity Director, for working so very hard to provide a fun and active place to enjoy, or the front desk team adapting to the unusual season and yet ready to jump in to help, whenever needed, always with a smile, or the maintenance team for keeping the park beautiful and flowing efficiently, or the hosts & ranger for your long hours, your watchful eyes, & your welcoming attitudes, or the mailroom staff for your cheerful way of greeting all the residents, always being in good spirits, and handling ‘all-those-packages’!!! — the mailroom sure isn’t what it used to be of just putting up mail and a few boxes (some days I think they get more packages than mail) or Larry Dew (The Pool Guy) who dedicates so much time to keeping the pools beautiful for all to enjoy, or to Jeanne & Gordon Beck who did such a great job keeping the gate covered with so many from their list of volunteers unable to be here this year.  Last but definitely not least is our assistants, Reina Nelson, Admin Assist to the Managers & Assistant Managers/front desk worker and Derek & Shelley Peck, Assistant Managers — without you all, Tom and I wouldn’t have made it thru the season, nor been able to take the leave to help out our family!  The park is a better place because of all of you and we are extremely blessed to have you!  We all, together, exemplify the meaning of Teamwork!!  Please be sure to thank any worker you see and let them know how much you appreciate them helping to provide a wonderful place for you to call home!

Several of our staff will not be returning next season and we are sad to see them go we wish them all the best and are happy for them that they will now be able to fully enjoy ‘retirement’!!  Wayne & Cheryl Ruth are going to spend their winters in Benson, AZ.,  they have worked for the park for 4 years as part of the clean team, Ken & Michelle Vegter who have worked as kitchen staff for 1 year and the past 3 years as host/activities, Jeanne Beck will be spending time getting settled in MN but promises to come back to visit, Diane Hinze will be moving to Oklahoma and Rennie Duncan & Judie Pierce (The Sisters as they are fondly called) will be pursuing a park/resort where Rennie can use her gifts and training and work in a more pastoral role and Judie would like to use her talents in an office setting.

Our lives have been forever changed and incredibly blessed, by not only our staff each season but by each and every resident we get to know.  We look forward to those relationships to continue to grow and new ones made each year.

We can’t forget a few year-end reminders;

  • Please let the office know when you are planning on leaving and to make sure we have your current address, phone numbers & email address on file.
  • Turn in your address labels and give the name & phone number of your caretaker for your property. No mail will be forwarded without address labels on file – you can have some made at the Computer Lab.
  • Pay the deposit on your storage site if you are wanting to have that space for next season – without a deposit there is no guarantee the site won’t be booked. Storage is getting full for season – don’t risk losing your spot.
  • If you want to leave a key for your property, you may leave it at the office and we will have it locked up.

Tom and Kate Ebert – Managers

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

Sundance 1 LLC Park Requirements

Failure to follow these guidelines may force us to close the activity/room.

  • A signed Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release of Liability Agreement is required to be on file in the Activities office for all residents and guests that are staying at Sundance 1 RV Resort and want to use any of the amenities.
  • Once waiver is signed, you will receive a gold wristband. The wristband along with a cloth mask and Sundance name badge will be required to participate in any activity offered by the park or to enter any park facility.
  • For pool or hot tub use, the wristband should be worn and your name badge should be attached to your cover up or shirt.
  • Replacement bands will be available for $ 1 each in activities.
  • Wearing of masks for outdoor activities is optional, but social distancing is still required at all times.

All rules and regulations are subject to government guidelines and will be adjusted accordingly and as required.

 Important Phone Numbers

911 for all police, medical and fire emergencies

Sundance Main Office 520-426-9662 (Non-business hours calls will transfer to Host)

Sundance Host 520-213-5914

Activities 520-876-2714

APS  1-800-240-2014                     City of Casa Grande 520-421-8600


Activities –

The Activity front desk team was phenomenal this season!  They covered for each other when illness struck and helped out with office duties to lighten my responsibilities as much as possible. Michelle, Carol, Ronda, Diane, Lori and Madonna, thank you so much for the service you provided to our guests and the laughs you added to the office!

On behalf of the Activities team thank you to all of our guests for your support and understanding given to us this season.  The challenges and obstacles we all faced were tough and at times we had to think “outside the box”, or modify events and yet we made it through the season!  If it weren’t for our guests, volunteers, and staff we couldn’t have had activities available and rooms open.  Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and are looking forward to the 2021/2022 season and keeping you busy and active during your stay with us!  May the roads you travel be smooth and your summer be full of sunshine and happiness!

Cans for Veterans –

The last day that to drop off aluminum cans is Wed. Mar. 31 at site 171.  Summer collection will be at site 510 Gaby,  Hass and Barb Beech. We donated $600 to the Sundance/Fairways Veterans and we thank everyone who contributed. Again, crushed cans are best although we will accept uncrushed. Till next season,  Paul and Sally Brown

Ceramic Shop –

Reminder that our last day to fire projects will be on Friday, 4/2 and we will close on Wed. 4/7 for the season.   Ruthann Lindgren

Church –

Our last service for the season will be on Easter Sunday, Apr. 4 beginning at 8:45am at the Hole in the Wall.  Services are non-denominational and all invited to join us.

Fiction Book Club –

The Book Club’s last meeting of the season was held Tuesday, Mar.16 and at that time we learned the titles of our books for next fall. When the club meets in November, HOUSE GIRL by Tara Conklin will be discussed. The December title is A PROPER FAMILY CHRISTMAS by Chrissy Manby. The club meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month in the Hangout Room. Our members have been writing their suggestions for next year’s titles. We need volunteers to choose from those titles for the January, February and March 2022 reading. Let Sherry Robertson know if you would like to help. The good news is that Sherry plans to again be the discussion leader for next season! Happy reading this summer.  Lajla Hood,  facilitator

Gourd Workshop –

On Tue. 3/30 the shop will be closed in the morning only.  Our last day for the season will be on Thu, 4/1.  If you  have projects in progress do come in and finish them up.  Lynn Olson

Lapidary –

The Rock Shop congratulates Pat Davis as the winner of the rock clock raffle! We do appreciate everyone who supported us by purchasing raffle tickets. The plan is to be open Tue. 3/30, 4/6 and 4/13, 9am – 2pm. If you’re curious what the inside of a rock looks like, feel free to stop in!

Laundry –

Only use a ¼ cup of liquid detergent in the front load washers. If more is used it will leak from the compartment down the front of the washer and onto the floor. Please remember when using the new washing machines that you do have to press the “start” button in order for the machine to begin the cycle. If you don’t press the “start” button the machine will time out and the unit will not operate. This is a different process than how the older machines are operated. Don’t put quilts or large bed coverings in our washers and dryers as they do not wash or dry these items well. We ask that you take them to one of the facilities in Casa Grande that can handle larger items of this nature.

Library –

Thanks to all the library volunteers for a successful Sundance Season!  We appreciate the book donations and look forward to 2021/2022.  The Library will be open throughout the summer and we welcome a few volunteers to ensure the library keeps running smoothly.  If you are interested in volunteering, please text or call me at 208-870-7718. If you call, please leave a message so I can get back to you.   Barb Newman

Mailroom –

Please put in a change of address 10-14 days prior to your departure. Mailroom hours are Mon. – Fri. 9am – 3pm, March 16 to April 15, sorry we no longer open on Saturdays.   If you have medication that arrives on the weekend, please contact the Host who will contact Management to retrieve your parcel.


In an effort to keep debris down in the pools, please do not wear street shoes in any pools or hot tubs.  The fine gravel and dirt can have an effect on filters and possibly cause failure. Pool shoes are fine just don’t wear them to and from the complex.

Random Acts of Kindness –

We had 11 nominations submitted with one individual receiving 2! Thank you to those who submitted nominations and congratulations to all who were nominated! Terry Freer was nominated by Pat LaVoie and Sandra Stewart. Pat discovered that she left her purse at home while at the Phoenix airport. Terry was called and he met them halfway with her purse and Pat was able to make her flight with five minutes to spare!  Terry replaced Sandra’s car battery and the chore took longer than anticipated as it was located under the passenger seat. He also aired up her tires and kept watch on them to ensure they stayed properly inflated.  Sue Hytjan has done many kind things for Karen Noble since her arrival. Sue has taught her how to use her car navigation and taken her to a medical appointment.  Patricia Neuzil was nominated by her husband Gudjon for her determination in getting a senior couple here in the park scheduled for their vaccine and then they drove them to Mesa to receive it.  Marty and Terry Smith were nominated by Jacqueline Burton for all of the physical help they have provided to get things done. David Theile was nominated  by Sandra Stewart for his assistance in cleaning out her shed, selling some things for her and taking the junk to the dumpsters Tom and Joan Wennstrom were nominated by Karen Radke for picking up the dirt that was left on the street after a recent dust storm.  Honorable mention goes to Candy Lau for picking up trash outside the park while on her walks and was nominated by Sandra Stewart. Earl Lewis helped Cindy Akason with a couple of printer challenges. Bruce Smith assembled a lamp for Cindy Akason.  Dave Yelton was nominated by Deb Gonzalez for keeping an eye out for a folding table during the patio sale.

Stained Glass –

Well, the season is quickly approaching ‘The End’. Like any good series of books, we hope to all return to ‘Season 21-22’. We would like to thank everyone for this year of patience as we adjusted our protocols and hours during this pandemic. We did our best to offer opportunities that respected your right to feel and be safe. There were many amazing projects created this year and we look forward to what will be created next season. We want to thank everyone who supported us by purchasing chances to win the beautiful stepping stone. Thanks to Cindel Nielson for creating it and congrats to Carol Reid for winning it.

As a steering committee, we would like to send out a special thanks to everyone who stepped up to be monitors! Your willingness to give up some of your ‘Retirement Time’ made it possible for residents to learn, create and enjoy a new craft. We also want to thank each of you who gave stained glass a chance. It was a lot of fun to work with you in the shop!  Our plan is to keep the shop open until April 14 so please pace your projects accordingly.  Anyone who is still interested in doing a beginner project has time to work one in.  Come to the shop to talk to us about it. If interest wanes, we will post any changes on the shop door as well as putting it into the morning news put out by Activities. We wish everyone safe travels and a blessed summer. We really look forward to working beside you again next season!  Jim McBride  Cindel Nielson   Harriett Reed

Sundance 1 & 2 Quilters/Sewers –

The Sundance Quilting Room is preparing for the season closure on March 31, 2021.  Thanks to all the sewers and quilters for a great season.  Soon, most will be heading home!  Our group has donated an additional 20 fuzzy blankets to the police department for the law enforcement vehicles.  Bringing our total this season to 40.  In the fall we will continue to provide these to our Casa Grande Police Department.  At our recent meeting we challenged everyone to bring one back this fall.  We have provided 18 quilts to residents of Sundance this season.   Our Charities have gathered approximately 200 quilts to be delivered to foster children in Casa Grande and Oasis Rehabilitation.

Fifteen of our members participated in a mystery quilt that Donna Harrison & Jan Rivers taught this year and we look forward to sharing them at our quilt show next season.

We are excited for our new challenges and another mystery quilt next season

Travel safely everyone, stay well & we look forward to being together again in October.

Irene Mattoon, Co-Chair

Sunshine Committee –

Your Sundance friends are like family and they care about each other. If you know of someone who has suffered a loss, in the hospital, or recovering at home please email their info to Darlene at or you can always drop off the info to Activities as well.

Thank You’s  –

A special thank you for all the people that helped me when I was sick with Covid. Linda Ingold, Julie Foster, Paul Street, Paul and Diane Knapp, Tom and Joan Wennstrom, and Mike and Pat Davis. Whether you brought groceries or food, picked up my mail or tended to my weeds, I do appreciate all the help I received. Karen Radke

Attention Gate Monitor Volunteers: I wish to thank all the Gate Monitors who volunteered throughout this season and past seasons. Whether you were a weekly volunteer, on-call volunteer or were only able to volunteer for a short period of time, thank you. I appreciate those who stepped up and volunteered extra shifts when Gordon got sick with Covid-19 and passed away, I could not have done it without all of you.  I have informed the Managers that I will not be returning to Sundance 1 next season and they will decide how they will handle the Sundance 1 front gate.  Thank you for your help and kindness.  Jeanne Beck

Veterans Group

It’s time for changing of the guard and I, Barry Segal am looking for another Coordinator for our Sundance/Veterans Group. The position isn’t difficult and I am willing to help in every way possible. If you are interested, contact me at  for more info.

Wood Caving –

We meet on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Gamblin’ Room at 9am.  All skill levels are invited to join us with their projects. Our last day of the season will be on Tuesday 4/13.  The wooden box in this picture covers a blade sharpening machine and at the moment is a work in progress. All carving members have or will be contributing a carving to add to the outside of this project.  Craig Johnson

 Sundance Resident Spotlight –

Paige Dorsey was nominated last month by Karen DeBlasio for being her “back up” person who helped her as she recovered from surgery. Paige was planning on retiring to Arizona and decided to look at RV parks.  She checked out several in the Mesa area and eventually discovered Sundance 1 RV two years ago.  She said “Even if you’re alone, you’re not alone here at Sundance.”  Paige enjoys bike riding, crafting, card playing, dominoes and sewing.

Terry Freer declined to be interviewed.

Sue Hytjan and her husband Randy have been at Sundance since 2018. They were cruising the internet and landed on the Sundance website and liked the amenities available. The most notable feature about the park is the friendly people.  This summer they will celebrate 24 years of marriage. (Sue was out of state and Randy was interviewed on her behalf.)

Patricia Neuzil with her husband Gudjon visited Sundance in May of 2020 and decided that this would be a nice place to winter as the weather is much milder than Iowa . Patricia says “the people are so friendly here”.  They both enjoy the Jammers; however, their passion is playing pool which they plan on playing more next season!

Marty and Terry Smith followed friends from Washington to Sundance and have been at the park on and off for 3 years. Marty says, “There are good people here and we have made friends with many”.  Both enjoy pickleball and hiking the trails in Arizona.

David Theile’s brother in-law suggested they check out Sundance and that was 17 years ago for him and his wife of 57 years, Carol. David says, “It’s a friendly park and we have many friends here”. They have visited all 50 states and still love travelling along with visiting relatives that are in Gilbert and the Phoenix area.

Being from Idaho, the Arizona winters are more enjoyable for Tom and Joan Wennstrom.  They scoped out several areas and parks before deciding on Sundance. Their first stay they rented for a month and other family members did the same. The following season they purchased a park model. Tom says “ We have the friendliest people”. They both have family here at Sundance and enjoy Bingo, playing cards, Joan walks and Tom bike rides.



Happy Trails


Happy Easter to All!  (