This Saturday, the volunteers of PAWS will hold a fund-raising yard sale that could have been called Doggy Relief.
PAWS is the volunteer group that successfully nudged the Payson Town Council into allowing them to turn a 1.6-acre chunk of Rumsey Park into an off-leash area for dogs in need of a rest stop. And all of the money raised through their fund drive will go, literally, to the dogs ... and their owners.
"What we're creating is a fenced, gated area where people can turn their dogs loose to play with other dogs, as well as a great social meeting ground for dog owners," said Donna Rokoff, PAWS vice-president.
"Once a city has a leash law, as we do, an off-leash area is really almost a necessity," she said. "People then can let their dogs get the exercise they need without taking them out into the forest and risking them running into rabid animals or snakes, or taking them to Green Valley Park and forgetting to pick up after them. This off-leash area will take care of a lot of problems ... having to do with dog-ownership."
In exchange for the town council's permission to use the area located on McLane Road just north of the new library PAWS members offered in May to raise all of the money for fencing (an estimated $11,000) and adjacent benches and water fountains (another $5,000). But even prior to the purchase and installation of those amenities, PAWS president Jonnie Geen said the park is a hit.
"What the parks and recreation department has found is that this is the most widely-used section of the park system over the ballfields, over the skate park, over the basketball courts and pool because it's a year-in, year-out, all-day-long attraction," Geen said.
As for the yard sale, which will be held on the off-leash area from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, bargain hunters can expect to have a field day. "We have some 30 or 40 members who are donating books, tools, furniture, kitchenware, electronics, clothing, toys and dog stuff," Rokoff said. "Plus, we'll be raffling off a lot of goodies, from free meals at local restaurants to big baskets of dog equipment."
Additional attractions include a bake-sale table loaded down with cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, nut breads and "all that good stuff" available for sale; a PAWS volunteer sign-up table where PAWS T-shirts and doggie-tune CDs will be peddled; plus free cookies for dogs and 25-cent grab-bags for children.
Those wishing to donate hard-to-transport items for the yard sale are asked to call Mike Rokoff at 474-1542. To donate doggie treats, cookies or other baked goods, call Vivian Taylor at 474-1386. If you would like to be a volunteer yard salesperson, or want more information about PAWS or the yard sale, telephone Donna Rokoff at 474-1542.