Library Friends Named Best In Arizona

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The town has a second official Christmas tree -- in the new Payson Public Library.

Visible from McLane Road at night, the 15-foot artificial tree features hundreds of lights and is located in the reading area on the east side of the building.

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Mary Nolan, president of Library Friends of Payson, holds the plaque designating the organization best in the state for 2002. The 15-foot Christmas tree in the background, purchased by Library Friends, is lit at night and visible from McLane Road.

"People need to come and see it," Mary Nolan, president of Library Friends of Payson, said. "At night, when you drive by, it's beautiful."

The new tree was purchased by Library Friends, a volunteer organization that was instrumental in getting the new library built.

For its many contributions, in fact, Library Friends was honored earlier this month as the 2002 recipient of the Arizona Library Friends Group Award.

"(A plaque) was presented at the Arizona Library Association convention in Phoenix on Dec. 5," Nolan said.

The fact that the Payson Public Library hosted the annual convention of Library Friends of Arizona in early November probably helped the local group win the award.

"We had 45 people here from throughout the state, and they got to see our beautiful library firsthand," Nolan said.

Chefs celebration

Library Friends also is working on this year's Chefs Culinary Celebration, the organization's primary fund-raiser.

Co-sponsored by the Payson Roundup, the event, will be held Feb. 22 at the Tonto Apache Community Center.

Library Friends is changing the name of the event this year from Chefs Competition.

"We're minimizing the idea of competition, and instead providing Rim country chefs with a culinary opportunity to celebrate what they do best in their restaurants," Nolan said. "Attendees will still have the opportunity to sample delicious appetizers and desserts from local restaurants, and wines and coffees will be available for tasting as well."

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