For more than two decades, profits from benefit steak dinners have been used to fund extracurricular activities at Payson High School.
Coaches are thankful for the events because the money earned is used to buy items that can't be purchased from the already strapped athletic budget.
The items bought range from an extra case of athletic tape to upgraded chin straps on football helmets.
Local elementary school teacher Pat Heizer has long been at the forefront of organizing and overseeing the dinners.
Before, during and after the dinners, she darts around like a human whirlwind making sure the meals go off without a hitch.
Many times, the benefactor of the once-a-month dinners has been the Payson wrestlerettes, which Heizer also sponsored.
Any time a coach or sponsor of any extracurricular activity went calling, Heizer was there to help host a steak dinner.
Because the wrestlerettes were dissolved this school year, Heizer has now turned her attention to helping the Longhorn spirit line fund its efforts.
"It's a good cause, like all of them," she said.
The cheerleader benefit is on the calendar from 4:30 to 7 pm. Friday, Aug. 25, in the Payson Elementary School cafeteria.
Since the meal is on the same day as the Longhorn football team's season opener against Parker, Heizer reasons fans can enjoy a complete evening out.
"Have dinner with us and go to the game," she said.
The menu includes the traditional barbecued sirloin steak, baked potato with all the fixings, salad, beans, bread and beverage.
Volunteers prepare all the food, some of which is donated by local merchants.
The dinners also provide opportunities for old fashioned, small town camaraderie during which the conversation usually centers on how well the Longhorn sports teams will fare.
Dinner tickets, priced at $6 for adults and $3 for children, are available from any cheerleader or at the door. For those who take in the football game after the dinner, adult ticket prices are $5.
Which means, for just $11, fans can enjoy a steak dinner and an exciting gridiron clash.
Bargains don't come much better than that.
Not too late
Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley is still in search of high school sports officials. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, have knowledge of the rules of the sports they officiate and a love of athletics and kids, Bradley said. Officials must also possess good physical ability, self-confidence, personal integrity and the determination to work hard.
While the requirements to become an official are demanding, Bradley said there are plenty of rewards in the profession, including staying involved in sports, exercise, chance to work with kids and extra pocket money. First year officials can expect to officiate freshman and jayvee games locally, for which they'll be compensated $25 to $35 per game.
Veteran officials may be called upon to travel the state. They will receive up to $50 per game and will be paid a mileage fee for travel.
Prospective officials must pay a registration fee of $45 for the first sport officiated and $25 for each additional. They will also spend some money on uniforms and equipment.
For more information, call Bradley at (928) 474-2233.