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Trip to Mexico a fun way to help out veterans

August 21, 2007

Art and Viv Sloan of Sun Lakes have come up with an enjoyable way of helping out our military veterans. But only 162 adults can take them up on their offer this fall, so listen up and prepare to act quickly.

Art and his wife run three fully escorted three-day tours to Puerto Penasco. They donate the profits to the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, Arizona Veterans Home in Phoenix and Victory Place for homeless veterans.

Last year, their tours raised $10,000 for vets operations in the Southeast Valley and Phoenix. For example, some of the money covered a refrigerator at the Veterans Center on Longmore in Mesa, 80 chairs and 10 tables for the group meeting room at the Southeast Veterans Clinic at Williams Gateway Airport and various improvements at Victory Place.

The adults-only tours, slated for Oct. 8-10 and 22-24 as well as Nov. 26-28, cost $240 per person and cover expenses, taxes and most tips for two nights lodging at Rocky Point's only American-owned hotel, The Playa Inn, a private party and seafood buffet, and full breakfast buffets each morning. You can find out more by calling Art at (480) 802-6810 or e-mailing him at artgbeard@aol.com. To check out what else he offers, including a sunset cruise, go to www.ArtsRockyPoint.com.

I've known Art since about 2001, when I signed him up to freelance a weekly column about happenings in Sun Lakes. Since then, he's added two monthly columns that run in this Republic community newspaper on Saturdays: one is devoted to news of interest to seniors, the other for area veterans.

Art's interest in veterans is easy to understand: He's an eight-year Air Force veteran, he also served another four years with the Air National Guard and Air Reserves and he has logged in 26 years with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves.

I doubt the Massachusetts native has gotten much rest since he moved here with his wife 12 years ago. His boundless enthusiasm for certain subjects like Arizona and veterans is surpassed only by an energy that would tire some younger men or make them sigh with envy.

He seems to be constantly working deals on behalf of veterans or some other deserving group. For example, when he and I met last week to discuss his tours, he was slowly massaging a deal to land an Arizona veterans museum in Chandler. He also spoke enthusiastically about his poppy sales to aid veterans, saying he was looking forward to selling them at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa.

If you've got the time and the money, I doubt you'd go wrong with his tour. He's entertained guests ranging from their 20s to 92 on these trips, and I can't imagine that he and Viv don't work their butts off making sure they have a good experience.

And if you don't have the time or enough money, you still might want to give Art a call if you want to help some area veterans. Art will have at least a hundred ideas for you.

Article Written by Arizona Republic
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