Wow. This is my last column for 2004. The New Year is a great time to make some resolutions and resolve to begin or complete some lingering projects. My own list is long.
I have heard people say that there is just nothing to do up here in these tiny, isolated communities.hey have not been looking. There is so much to do that one can let their own work be put aside while working on this project or that.
There are several organizations that do wonderful things for Pine and Strawberry and the people who live here. They all welcome new members.
Kiwanis is one organization that is always doing great things. It has programs and scholarships for students, in addition to many other projects. The club has fund-raisers that are fun and a great way to meet local people. The group sponsors weekly bingo games and also has great pancake breakfasts during the craft shows. Members also keep a section of Highway 87 clean.
For information about Kiwanis, call Becky Waer at (928) 476-3678.
Take Pride Project of Pine and Strawberry is involved with projects that beautify and otherwise improve our communities. Members did most of the work on the new Randall Park in Pine and frequently donate money for big projects to improve the community center. They also keep a strip of highway clean. They are always looking for new projects and new members.
Call (928) 476-2720 for more information about this organization.
Strawberry's Elite has fund-raisers to assist children and families in the communities of Pine and Strawberry who need a little help during a family crisis, illness or emergency. They also donate money for school lunches for children who cannot afford them. When a special need arises at the school, the group is always ready to come forward with help.
The group raises funds by sponsoring several dinners throughout the year. Strawberry's Elite has a clothes closet filled with new and barely used clothing for infants and children.
If you know of children who are in need of clothes, or for more information about this group, call (928) 476-5587.
The Pine Library is looking for volunteers, preferably with some computer experience since they are now using a wonderful new program. Call or stop by the library and talk with Becky Waer if you think this sounds like a great volunteer job.
If your organization in Pine or Strawberry is welcoming new members or volunteers, call or e-mail me at the address below and I will include the information in a future column.
Speaking of volunteers, Take Pride Project of Pine and Strawberry is accepting nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2004. If you know of someone who has contributed hours and energy to projects which have benefited our communities and the people who live here, send your nomination to Take Pride Project, P.O. Box 1204, Pine, AZ 85544. Write a paragraph about why this person is deserving of this honor and list their activities and affiliations.
The Payson Masonic Lodge will present two bicycles to students at the Pine-Strawberry School as part of the "Books for Bicycles" program. Students have been reading books and answering questions about what they read. With each book, the student receives a ticket for the bicycle drawing. The drawing will be at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 7 at the school. This program is for students in first- through fifth-grades. A new program will begin soon. Ask about it at the school.
Tonto Search and Rescue just sent out its letter asking for your financial assistance. That is one organization that helps in a most unique way. They are always available in any emergency. Each member is trained to help in a special way, and training is ongoing. We are so fortunate to have them.
CERCA (Community Educational, Recreational and Civic Association) needs your membership. This organization supports the Pine-Strawberry Community Center. Your $20 membership helps. If you lost the form, stop by the Pine Museum.
For more information, call (928) 476-4791.
Happy New Year to all. May it be one of the best ever.
Please provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@earthlink. net.