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April 4, 2013

Contact: Mike Sakal, Public Information Officer
Office: 623-882-7053; 

              Tree to be dedicated in memory of volunteer Irene Aguirre

What: Tree dedication for Irene Aguirre, longtime community volunteer
When: Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m.
Where: Parque De Paz, 1601 N. Palo Verde, Goodyear
For more than three decades, the service Irene Aguirre provided to community projects was as solid and unwavering as the reminder that will be dedicated in Goodyear’s Parque De Paz honoring the memory of her many years of volunteer work and bringing social services resources to the Southwest Valley.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, the City of Goodyear and the Southwest Community Network, which Aguirre was a longtime board member, is dedicating an oak tree in Irene’s memory at Parque De Paz, 1601 North Palo Verde in Goodyear.
Ms. Aguirre, who was a lifelong member of St. John Vianney Catholic Parish and a founding member of Avondale Neighborhood Housing Services, died on March 11 at age 60 after a brief illness. Retired from Arizona Public Service (APS) after 35 years where she worked as a community relations consultant, Irene took pride in promoting educational excellence for underprivileged youth on the Avondale/Goodyear Hispanic Forum, of which she was a founding member . She also was an active member of the Avondale Litter Lifters.
The oak tree will be symbolic of the many hours that the longtime Goodyear resident put into GAIN (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) and the Northern Subdivision Neighborhood Alliance to get their programs started as well as other numerous neighborhood groups. GAIN was a precursor to Neighborhood Block Watch programs.
“She was just an amazingly bright and engaged woman,” said Sharolyn Hohman, president and CEO of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce, who lived two blocks away from Irene and worked with her on numerous neighborhood projects for about the last 20 years. “I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t know her passion for the community and her hard work. Having a tree planted in her memory is fitting and a great thing to do.”
Irene also served as a Eucharistic Minister and Fiesta Volunteer there for many years. She had a great sense of humor and a smile that could light up a room, Hohman said. In 2002, Ms. Aguirre was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award during the southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards dinner. The year prior, Irene received the Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Goodyear.
The City of Goodyear Parks and Recreation Department will be providing the memorial plaque on the tree to identify the memorial tree, and the tree is being donated by UPS.

                                                                                     – GOODYEARAZ.GOV –

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749