Payson Special Olympic athletes, families, coaches and volunteers have issued a huge thank you to The Tonto Apache Tribe for its recent donation of more than $23,000.
The following comments underscore how much the Special Olympics means in the lives of athletes around the Rim Country:
"I like running and race walking. Thank you for the money so we can go to competitions," Joe VanRavensway.
"Special Olympics is fun, fun, fun," Beck Radimaker.
"Track and field and bowling are my favorite events. Thanks for the money, we appreciate it," Travis Radimaker.
"Thank you for letting us use the pool for our practices also," Jacqueline Karrys.
"In Special Olympics I like to do the ribbons, because it is graceful. This is my favorite part," Micaela Medlock.
"We traveled to Tucson for gymnastics, I like figure skating too," Jenna Palandri.
"Special Olympics means that you help each other out when it's needed. Like when your teammates are swimming in a race, you cheer them on," Heather Werlinger.
"I love to go on trips with the team for competitions an stay overnight in hotels. We wear team shirts," Gary Bonn.
Anyone would like to volunteer to help with the local Special Olympics program should call Becky Derwort at (928) 474-9142.
Longhorn cross country coach Chuck Hardt seeks volunteers for a season-opening meet Sept. 7 at the Payson Golf Course.
Hardt's assistant, Chuck Yale, has been called out of town and will not be available to assist.
Hosting a meet, in which athletes run more than 3 miles, is a labor-intensive undertaking.
Anyone who would like to help as timers, scorers and judges should call Hardt at (928 474-2233.
Price changes for PHS sports
Admission prices for all volleyball and football games have been increased to $5 for adults and $4 for students. Last season, tickets were $4 and $3.
Although Payson High does not charge admission to soccer games, some East region schools will do so this year.
In addition to individual admission tickets, a variety of passes are available for purchase.
The options include a $120 family pass this will be accepted at all sports events this school year.
Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley warned that the pass is valid only for immediate family members living in the same home.
"Not cousins, aunts and uncles," he said.
For $55, family passes to football, volleyball or basketball-only may be purchased. A boys and girls basketball family pass is available for $65.
According to Bradley, the $55 family passes are not being sold for wrestling because the Longhorns probably will not have enough home dual meets to justify the cost.
Student passes for all sports are $30 and individual adult passes are $42.