New Year's Celebrations Close To Home

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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All of a sudden, Christmas is behind us once again. Wow. All the preparations and activities, and then it is over for another year.

New Year's Eve is next. Hopefully, everyone will stay close to home and be safe. The restaurants in Pine and Strawberry have wonderful dinners and celebrations lined up, which should be great fun. Several are providing shuttle service to the various establishments to ensure fun and safety for all. Call your favorite local restaurant to find out what special festivities are planned.

Your contribution to the Credit For Kids program must be in the mail by tomorrow -- Saturday, Dec. 31 -- but you can also drop your check at the APS drop box on West Longhorn Road in Payson, or the drop box at town hall. This is such a worthy program and it costs you nothing since it comes right off the top of your state income tax. Make your check payable to the Pine Strawberry School District and be sure to include your mailing address, because they will send you a receipt. Designate in what area you want your contribution used, such as music, library, field trips or whatever you choose. Just get that check in the mail. Tuesday's Payson Roundup had a donation form on page 6B. But it is not necessary to have the form with your check. Just include the above information.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 3, if you need to reach the Pine/Strawberry fire department for an emergency, you will call 911. The old emergency number will no longer be in service. The nonemergency number remains the same, (928) 476-4272. Hopefully, you will not need to use this new number, but it is easy to remember if you do.

If you have young children in the house, it might be a good idea to show them how to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.

The movie "Sky High," rated PG, will be shown at the Pine Library at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. Popcorn will be provided, but children should bring a pillow, as they will be sitting on the floor.

The reading program for children ages 3 through 5 will begin at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5. Book Buddies 2006 is for Pine and Strawberry children. Call the Pine Library, (928) 476-3678, for more information about this great program.

It seems we were not able to find anyone in Pine or Strawberry to coordinate blood drives up here. However, there will be a blood drive in Payson from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway. To make an appointment or for more information, call Bob Hibbert at (928) 468-2234. Walk-ins are always welcome.

After this season of giving, it is wonderful to give the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. Your blood could make all the difference.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 6 p.m. every Sunday in the Senior Dining Room at the Pine Community Center.

We must all be extra careful, and keep a close watch on our visitors, because of the extreme fire danger that exists here in our woods. Watching the news from Texas is so frightening. Unless we get some good snowfall, we are in for a long and frightening fire season. Call the fire department and have them come out and assess your property. They will let you know what you can do to make your property more fire safe. We all have to do our part.

Happy New Year, one and all. May it be one of the very best.

Please provide information for this column regarding coming 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.

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