August 31, 2004
A Gilbert grass-roots organization striving to improve the lives of youth and families is ready to get back to business.
The Gilbert Community Action Network will hold its first meeting of the school year at 7 a.m. Wednesday at the Gilbert Unified School District administrative offices, kicking off another year of monthly conversation.
Linda Sadusky is the chairwoman of the organization that traces its beginnings to a woman’s murder outside a Gilbert supermarket about a decade ago.
"Our primary goal is to continue being a good networking source for businesses, nonprofits, social agencies and concerned citizens, and provide a forum for hearing what is happening," said Sadusky, who works for the school district as the federal and state program coordinator.
Sadusky said the group’s membership is about 100, with about 20 people consistently attending the meetings. She said a community crisis usually leads to a spurt in active membership.
Such a situation brought Lyn Madaghiele and her husband, Ray, into the group after news broke about the Devil Dogs gang.
Today, Madaghiele is the organization’s chairwoman for the American Youth
Character Awards, which are sponsored by the Gilbert group each spring. The fourth annual event held earlier this year honored students from the Gilbert Unified School District who "exemplified extraordinary character," she said.
Sadusky said the organization also assists with planning the town’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
Gilbert resident and former Mesa police Cmdr. Dan Saban, a candidate for Maricopa County sheriff, said he attended Gilbert "Town Hall" meetings in the wake of the supermarket murder, a process that he said led to more after-school options for Gilbert youth. Saban said he then created the organization’s steering committee to bring different groups together once a month.
"Community leaders hear about programs and ideas, and help each other get things funded," Saban said.
The group’s meetings run 7 to 8 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month from September through May. All Gilbert residents are invited to attend.
Check it out
What: Gilbert Community Action Network When: 7 to 8 a.m. Wednesday Where: Gilbert Unified School District board room, 140 S. Gilbert Road Information: (480) 497-3352