Tonto Village is another week closer to the biggest celebration of the year for the Village. The Labor Day Bash is gearing up to be another great fund-raiser for the Tonto Village Fire District Auxiliary. Don't forget the date -- Sept. 2 beginning at 11 a.m. for the yummy BBQ pork sandwich dinner. All the activities will be at the Tonto Village Chapel with the blessings from Pastor Charles Wilcox and the congregation on 711 Haught Avenue, one mile on the Control Road off Highway 260.
There will be so many activities happening that all who attend, including the children, will want to stick around for the whole day. Highlights include the ever-famous Chicken Drop with Jimmy Rabbit Stephenson, Musical Chairs, a dart-throwing contest, horseshoes and the "Sweeten the Chief" contest with Fire Chief J.R. Alliger acting as the target.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the "Kids and Kritters" parade will start at the chapel and travel to the fire station. Chief Alliger will be handing out ice cream to all the kids. The adults are not left out of the fun -- everyone is encouraged to decorate their ATVs and join in the parade. Bake sale items will be available, as well as an auction on some of the specialty pies. The raffle for a homemade quilt, a 20-inch chainsaw, a Stihl weed whacker and an outside fire pit will be at 2:30 p.m. Come on out and join in the fun Saturday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.
West Nile Virus
The Gila County Division of Health and Community Services was in the Village last week distributing fliers concerning the West Nile Virus. The virus is a serious illness that affects humans, birds and horses, and is spread by mosquito bites. Anyone can become infected. Symptoms may include fever, headache and body aches.
You can protect your family by taking steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that could be breeding around your home. The mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening. Please use insect repellent if you will be outdoors, and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants. DEET is the most effective repellent to use, but be sure to follow the directions when applying. Make sure there is no standing water near your home. From my own experience walking around the neighborhood, I have been exposed to these mosquitoes. They are small and almost invisible. Before you know it, you have been bitten, and may not have even seen the mosquito. For more information, visit www.gilacountyaz.gov.
Local military deployed
Tonto Village and Long Ranch are among the many communities that have military personnel overseas. Staff Sergeant Benjamin Krieger, son-in-law of Duane and Janice Long, has recently been deployed to Iraq. A few weeks ago, I reported that P.F.C. Marcel Jones, son of Claire and Eddie Jones of Tonto Village II, had been deployed to Iraq. Marcel would love to hear from his friends in the Village and in Payson. His address is: P.F.C. Jones, Marcel E., Bravo Co. 45 STB, FOB Q-West, APO AE, 09334.
Arthur Davy and American Legion Post 69 in Payson have set up a program that will send "Packages from Home" to our military. You are encouraged to drop off any of the following items: food, any ready-to-eat item, recreational items, personal hygiene products for both men and women, and postage stamps. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to contribute whatever they can for our servicemen and women. They need our support and our prayers for safety. For more information, call the American Legion at 474-6969 or online visit www.PackagesFromHome.org.
During the nine-ball tournament that was held this past Tuesday evening, Betty Koutz shot for first place. Debbie Payne and Payge Ferriera were the second- and third-place winners. Sunday afternoon, Tim Ehrhardt of Collins Ranch shot for first place. Harvey Poyner and Joe Ferriera came in second and third places. Congratulations to all the winners.