Both newcomers and long-time Sun City West residents who want to get to know their community better are invited to take the TORCH Citizens Academy.

This popular educational program is now in its 10th year of educating, inspiring and exciting residents about life in Sun City West. The academy is sponsored by the Recreation Centers of Sun City West, but also offers great insight to other Sun City West organizations such as PORA, the Posse, PRIDES many and others.

The program not only educates, but also builds community as residents learn how communication, personality types and generational differences affect their involvement in committees, groups and organizations.

The Recreation Centers of Sun City West will accept applications for the spring 2019 TORCH Citizens Academy until all slots are filled; a small waiting list also will be maintained. But applying now will ensure a spot in the Academy.

The academy runs on seven consecutive Thursday afternoons, from Jan. 31 through March 14, 2019. Classes are about four hours long – and held at various locations in Sun City West to give participants the broadest exposure to the community. Additionally, optional tours are held before some of the classes, and an opportunity to attend a Board meeting with other TORCH participants also is encouraged.

The program is designed to give participants greater insight into Sun City West’s past, present and future. They gain a better understanding of the Association’s budgeting, recreation, facilities maintenance, golf, public relations, marketing, bowling and library divisions. They also hear from leaders of Sun City West’s other community groups including the Posse, PORA, PRIDES, Fire, Foundation, Community Fund, Sun Health, Helping Hands, Benevilla and more.

Since it began in the spring of 2009, hundreds of residents have graduated from this prestigious academy better versed in all things Sun City West. TORCH, which is held every spring and fall, stands for Tapping Our Resources, Citizens and Heritage. Participants are asked to commit for the full seven weeks to get the most out of the academy.

To sign up, go to suncitywest.com, and visit the TORCH Citizens Academy link under “Things to Do.” Residents can download an application and return it with a $20 check (made out to RCSCW, to cover the cost of materials, beverages and snacks) to the Governing Board Office at the R.H. Johnson Administrative Offices, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd. Residents can also pick up a copy of the application from the Administrative Offices.

For more information, call Governing Board Executive Assistant Karen Roepken at 623-544-6115.