When the town of Payson Summer Recreation Center opens June 10, it will be under the direction of a new set of leaders.
After more than a decade of overseeing the highly popular program, Bruce Haught and Chuck Hardt resigned their positions at the conclusion of last year.
Both said they enjoyed the summers they directed the center but were ready to turn it over to others.
Haught called the decision to step down "a semi-retirement."
During the school year, both are teachers Haught at Payson Elementary School and Hardt at Payson High School.
This summer, Julia Randall Elementary School teacher and Lady Longhorn softball coach Will Dunman will serve as the center's leader. He'll be assisted by Cassidy Haught and Ky Bradley. Haught is a college student on summer break and Bradley graduated with the PHS class of 2002.
Originally, Payson High School teacher and coach David Daniels was scheduled to assist also. However, late this week he said that he will decline the job in order to continue his graduate studies.
The recreation program began in 1989 when Wendy Joe and Bruce Haught approached local town leaders about funding a center that would give local young people a place to go during the summer.
Originally co-sponsored by the Rim Guidance Center, Payson School District and the town, the center rapidly turned into a popular gathering spot for local youngsters.
In 1993, after Joe had left the program to return to college, Hardt was hired to work with Haught. Under their direction, the center became a hot bed of activity. It also quickly gained a reputation as being a safe environment where parents could take their children and be assured they would be well supervised.
This summer's program, which will again be held in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium, is open to youth who have completed the fourth grade. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, until July 26.
Activities will include basketball, volleyball, table tennis, bumper pool and a myriad of other offerings. Admission is free and no registration is required. No food is allowed in the site.
Call the parks and recreation office at 474-5242, ext. 7, for more information.
Golf tournament to benefit Santa's List
The 16th Annual Stocking Stuffers' benefit golf tournament tees off Saturday, June 15 at Payson Golf Course, and there's still plenty of time to add your foursome to the roster. This year's tournament is organized by Santa's List the Rim country's premier charity that provides toys and gifts for children and seniors at Christmas.
The first round of the four-man best ball scramble begins with a shotgun start at 7 a.m. A second round begins at 1 p.m.
Organizers have lined up a bevy of prizes for closest-to-the-pin and longest drives. There's even a brand new 2002 Jeep Liberty, courtesy of Chapman Auto Center, for the golfer lucky enough to shoot a hole-in-one on a selected hole.
Entry fee is $70 per person, which includes green fees, cart, refreshments, prizes and lunch or dinner.
Registration ends June 3, and forms can be picked up at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway, or the Payson Parks and Recreation Department at Green Valley Park.
For more information, call (928) 472-8827.