Grateful For Friends Like These

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My wife Kay and I will always be extremely grateful to the many friends, former students and fellow teachers who turned out for my retirement celebration Friday afternoon.

My good friends Tim Fruth, Michelle Gibbar and Gloria Joe worked weeks staging the very nice festivities.

How great it is to have friends like those three.

As grateful as I am, the celebration should not have been about me but rather about the many Payson teachers and coaches who work diligently in the best interests of our community's young people.

We are blessed to have so many excellent teachers and coaches in such a small town.

It's very easy in the profession to become a bit cynical and disillusioned when confronting the demands placed upon on educators. Teachers are asked to be many things for many students at very little pay.

But after 37 years, I can truthfully say it's all worthwhile.

Again, I say "thank you."

Wrestling benefit

The Payson High School wrestling team is hosting a benefit Mexican dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., June 8, in the Payson High School cafeteria.

The menu includes green chile burrito, Spanish rice, beans, chips and salsa. Jackie Lee will prepare the meal. The price is $6 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets are available from a Longhorn wrestler or coach. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.

All proceeds from the meal will benefit the PHS wrestling program.

Calling all barrel racers

Town recreation specialist Charlene Hunt will host the second consecutive summer series of barrel racing and pole bending practices and competitions.

Beginning at 7 p.m. each Tuesday evening during June and July at the Payson Event Center, Hunt is slated to conduct practice barrel racing events.

"They are for time only and the cost is $3 a run or four for $10," Hunt said.

At the conclusion of the barrel racing if enough time remains, pole bending practices will be held.

The entrants will compete in one of four age groups -- 8-years-and-under, 9 to 12, 13 to 17, 18 to 39 and what Hunt calls the Jack Benny age group, 40-years-and-older. The registration fee is $5 per event.

Also on tap for aspiring barrel racers is a Payson Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored barrel racing clinic. The clinic, which will be hosted by the National Barrel Horse Racing Association, is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 in the Payson Event Center.

Hunt, herself once a barrel racer, said she was able to attract the NBHRA to Payson by agreeing to a trade out with the association. The trade involves allowing the NBHRA to host one of its fall competitions at the event center, Hunt said.

For more information, call the parks and recreation department at 474-5242 ext. 7.

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