by Jennifer Atkinson
roundup staff intern
The Library Friends of Payson think the way to a new, well-furnished library building is through the stomach, so the group is holding a chili supper and its annual Mayors Cup Chefs Appetizer Competition to raise money for the project.
The chili supper will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at Mount Cross Lutheran Church. Turkey, noodles, beverages, cake, and, of course, chili will be served.
Wendy's will supply the chili, said Library Friends Fund-raising Chairman Jackie Ricker, and Superstition Stoneware has donated 300 bowls.
"People can keep the bowls or return them," she said.
The group will raffle off a variety of items during the supper. Raffle tickets are $1 apiece or six for $5, and the cost of the supper is $5 a person. Tickets are available at the Payson Public Library on Main Street and they also will be available at the door of the event.
In February, the Library Friends and the Payson Roundup will co-sponsor the Second Annual Mayor's Cup Chef's Appetizer Competition at the Tonto Indian Reservation.
Five hundred tickets will be sold for $20 each, and each ticket-holder will receive a complementary wine goblet.
"At the moment, we have about 12 restaurant chefs signed up for the contest," Ricker said. The winner of the event, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 19, will represent Payson in April during a state chefs' competition in Scottsdale.
The event will feature a free wine-tasting table, background music and art displays. KMOG radio personality Don Holcombe will serve as master of ceremonies.
The top three chefs in the competition will receive prizes, as will the winner of the Best Chef's Table Display competition, Library Friends President Judy Buettner said.
"It's been called one of the biggest social events in Payson," she said.
The chefs competition is the Library Friends most lucrative fund-raiser, she said.
"People get dressed up and it's very elegant and nice," Ricker said.
The group, which has raised $251,000 to help furnish a proposed 15,600-square-foot library building at Rumsey Park, also raises money for the library through annual membership dues, contributions and an on-going book store sale at the town's existing library on Main Street.
The town has commissioned an architect to design construction plans for the project, but the building has not been funded by the Payson Town Council.
Councilmember Barbara Brewer said, however, that she thinks the library's time has come.
"I think we need to move ahead on this issue," she said, "and I would like nothing more than to see the building finished before the summer."
The new building will expand with the community's needs, Buettner said. It has been designed in phases so the town can easily build additions as needed.
"I feel very positive about getting the building," she said. "It's been long overdue, and I'm glad to see the town council and manager are supporting us and viewing the new building as a priority."
"Once we get the building finished, our goal will be to furnish additional rooms for the library," Ricker said. "We will continue to raise funds and support the library."