Rim country residents were treated to music, good food and magic when they came out to support the Payson Senior Citizens Center.
According to Patricia Frisbie, of the senior center, 160 people bought $35 tickets to help raise funds for the many programs provided by the facility to the community's elderly residents.
The event, The Gift of Magic, was Jan. 29 at the Mazatzal Casino's bingo hall. It featured the music of the duo, Yesterdaze, with vocalist Fay Lumley and keyboard artist Bob Morgan. A magic act was presented by Aaron Radatz, who has studied with Harry Blackstone Jr. and closed his show with the straight jacket escape made famous by Harry Houdini.
The primary programs the Payson Senior Center include: 68 to 80 hot and nutritionally balanced Meals on Wheels delivered to homebound seniors each week day; about 55 to 70 seniors gather for lunch at the center each week day; transportation services for medical appointments, shopping, meetings and to the center to participate in programs and recreational time with peers.
"These events don't just happen without coordination and cooperation," Frisbie said. "A big thank you to the Mazatzal Casino staff, Fay Lumley and Bob Morgan, and Aaron Radatz. And there would have been no festivity without the 160 individuals that attended."
Frisbie gave special recognition to the businesses and individuals who purchased tables of eight: Dan Hill, Legacy Furniture; Clark Jones, Re/Max; Sally Cantrill, Realty Executives; Cliff Potts, Prudential Arrowhead; Krystal Glassrock, Payson Care Center; Jack and Donna Ward; Arlene Keefer and Elaine Knauss.
All proceeds will be used for an increase in the monthly grocery budget. The event raised enough for 10 weeks worth of meals.
The senior center lunch is often the only hot meal some seniors have all day; and, in many cases, the person -- the runner -- delivering the meal may be the only person the senior sees on some days. The runner always checks to see that the recipient is safe and well.
Any senior living in Payson is eligible for the center's services. No one is ever refused service due to an inability to pay.
For more information, call (928) 474-4876 or stop by 514 West Main, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.