It took months after her accident to look in a mirror.
 
Now Sedona resident and burn survivor Barbara Quayle speaks in front of crowds and has partnered with burn community organizations to develop programs and techniques to help survivors like herself.
 

Their message is simple. Rappelling down the side of a building pales in comparison to the challenges some people face every day of their lives. On Dec. 9, hundreds of people will take that frightening first step off the 27-story, 415-foot-high CityScape building in Phoenix, all for a good cause.

The annual Over the Edge event raises money and awareness for Special Olympics. “You may be wondering what rappelling down a skyscraper has to do with Special Olympics, the answer is simple,” the Over the Edge website states. “If you are a person with intellectual disabilities, you encounter adversities daily. You must have courage to try something that doesn’t come easily to you.

For the members of Sedona Grateful Dead cover band American Beauty, homelessness is something that hits home for them and if there’s anything they all have in common, it’s deadhead music and combating homelessness.

“I don’t think people realize how prevalent it is here,” said the group’s lead guitarist Rob Marshman, who models his style after Jerry Garcia. “Most people just associate Sedona with tourism.”

It was a serendipitous occurrence that some might even call the hand of God himself for Father Kieran Kleczewskii and sculptor James Muir to find each other.

For years, the cross in the famous Chapel of The Holy Cross has sat empty. “It always felt so naked,” Kleczewski said.

Playwright and Sedona resident Irmgard Lake doesn’t shy away from controversial topics. She prefers to address them head on and said, “they need to be talked about.”

In her new play “Morley,” Lake explores the cultural decay left behind by the 1960s and ‘70s and how the outspoken pacifism of this era was riddled in hypocrisy as well as instances of herd mentality.

For Sedona-based National Geographic photographer Martin Gray, his wanderlust began when he was still just a twinkle in his father’s eye.

“My father was a diplomat,” Gray said. “My parents met and were married in China. They both loved to travel.” 

When it comes to volunteering, a little can go a long way — but a lot goes even further. Katie Chorlton, who spends hours every week volunteering as the president of Big Park Community School’s Parent Teacher Student Association, said she gives because she’s passionate about the community.

For her work, Chorlton received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona.

The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is especially fitting when applied, as the metaphor implies, to a person.

The Sedona Public Library hosted 27 human “books” for people to check out and listen to their stories, in honor of the International Day of Peace Thursday, Sept. 21. These 27 people shared their stories of marginalization, as well as their perspectives on misunderstood or little-known topics.

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