BEYOND is an annual community-wide event that occurs on a Saturday in early January of every year to commemorate the anniversary of January 8.
The event is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our community and encourages Arizonans to come together, get outside and be physically active.
BEYOND was initiated in 2012 by members of Gabe Zimmerman’s extended family to commemorate the first anniversary of the January 8 shooting that tragically took the life of their son while he was working at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” on January 8, 2011.
Along with a growing number of community partners, they wanted to provide an opportunity for people to come together again, much in the same way they spontaneously gathered after the tragedy. Their hope was that Tucson would not be permanently defined by this act of violence but instead be remembered by the community’s inspiring response to it.
The Zimmerman’s also wanted to commemorate the anniversary by encouraging people to do something healthy and positive for themselves and their loved ones. The family’s strong history in outdoor recreation, motivated them to encourage people to get outside and utilize the incredible public lands and trails in and around Pima County.
Because of the well known physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature, being connected to others and engaging physical activity, they decided to create an event where people could come together, get outside and be physically active.
The Zimmerman’s initial hope – an outdoor event for people to come together – quickly grew to an entire series of outdoor recreation activities spread across the entire region, hosted by several jurisdictions and community groups as a special tribute to the anniversary.
The event was named BEYOND in the hope that it would help the community move beyond the tragedy. But it was also a reminder that we can make our community stronger and healthier by going beyond each and every day. We can push ourselves to move beyond our normal social circles and reach out to others. We can push ourselves to move beyond our normal activity levels and strengthen our physical and mental health by going outside and being active. BEYOND is about moving forward and pushing ourselves to go farther each and every day – as individuals and as a community.
Today, planning members for the event have grown into a broad-based coalition of Southern Arizona groups and individuals, including family members of victims of January 8th; hospitals and community health organizations, nonprofit organizations supporting families; outdoor recreation groups; community centers, environmental advocacy groups; public land management agencies; plus many others.
The coalition is still growing – please join us. We are all dedicated to honoring friends and loved ones injured and lost on January 8th, acknowledging how the events of January 8th have changed us, celebrating our community, and committing to building a stronger, healthier future.
BEYOND has now become an annual tribute event that occurs on the first Saturday of every New Year and is dedicated to strengthening the health and well-being of our community. It is open to everyone and provides many opportunities for people to start the year off right, come together and engage in positive, healthy outdoor activities at several locations in and around Pima County.
BEYOND consists of a series of events from sun up to sun down with activities appropriate for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. You can walk, hike, run, dance, climb, stretch, stroll or roll your body into the New Year at any of the spectacular outdoor locations.