Most of Judy Michel's adult life has been devoted to helping others.
As a former coach at Payson High School, her first priority was the welfare of her athletes.
Several years ago as a math teacher at PHS, she spent countless hours tutoring those who were struggling in her courses.
Now, as a counselor at the school, she works feverishly to ensure students earn the proper credits, graduate on time and are prepared to succeed once they enter the working world.
Active in St. Philip's Catholic Church, Judy is said to have a special empathy for others.
She's been a shining light during her 15 years in Payson but now faces one of life's greatest tragedies. Tony Hardy, her husband of 20 years, died April 8 at only 48 years of age.
Ceremonies for Tony, a former teacher at PHS and Arizona Boys Ranch, were held Monday in a packed St. Philip's church.
Since her husband's death, Judy's friends and family have rallied around to provide a smidgen of the support she has so graciously given to others.
All of us who know Judy are hoping the many prayers being said for her in every nook and cranny of our community help ease the pain of losing a loved one.
Turnouts for Payson Parks and Recreation-sponsored 5K runs at Green Valley Park have been a tad disappointing the past years. Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider hopes that situation changes at the Wild Flower 5K, which will be held at 9 a.m. May 1.
Participants need not run the very nice 3.1-mile course. They can walk, bike, skate, wheelchair or whatever their heart desires.
This year, for a $10 registration fee, $15 on the day of the race, entrants receive a souvenir race shirt and an action photo taken on the course. Call Kreider at 474-5242, ext. 272 for more information.
It'll be an angling tale he can someday relive with his grandchildren. Apache Junction fisherman Doug Cullen fished alone in a team tournament and caught only four fish in a five-fish limit but won the AllStar Bass Pro-Am Invitational at San Carlos Lake on Saturday. The win was worth $2,700.
One of the four fish Cullen weighed in tipped the scales at eight pounds. But that wasn't his biggest. Another lunker weighed 9.09 pounds.
His catch-total of 21.42 pounds easily bested the runner-up's total of 16.02 pounds.
Cullen fished watermelon-colored, twin-tailed spider jigs with football heads in about 6 to 15 feet of water.
MSA, Kiwanis hook up
Payson High School track and field coach Chuck Hardt is jumping with joy. The Mogollon Sporting Association and Payson Rotary Club have joined forces to support a Payson Freshman-Sophomore Invitational meet to be held April 24 in PHS stadium.
Coach Hardt says the meet is a great opportunity for the younger tracksters to pick up experience and some exposure. The meet, he says, would not be possible without the help of MSA and the Rotary Club.