Merry Christmas to all.
Finally, we have had some cold weather and a small amount of snow. A gentle snowfall is so beautiful.
Hopefully, the roads will stay safe for all the over the river and through the woods travelers during the holidays. Stay safe.
Lisa at the PS Fire Department reports that the Toys for Tots program was a wonderful success thanks to the generosity of Pine and Strawberry residents. There were bikes and games and a great selection of toys for both older and younger children.
Thanks to the PS Fire Department administration for allowing the boxes in the stations for collection. A big "thank you" to Jim Duffy who made many trips collecting the wonderful gifts. The gifts will be sorted and wrapped and given to very excited and grateful children this weekend. Tonto Rim Search and Rescue sponsored this terrific program.
Time is running out for you to make your contribution to Credit for Kids. The deadline is Dec. 31. You received a form in the mail or you can pick one up at the Pine Strawberry School.
They also can be found in the Payson Roundup. This donation costs you nothing as it is a deduction from your Arizona state taxes and it is a great help for school programs. Be generous. The students will be most grateful.
Children's Holiday Movie Madness at the Pine Library will feature two great films. On Thursday, Dec. 28, "Prancer Returns" will be shown at 11 a.m.
On Wednesday, Jan. 3, Walt Disney's all new "Air Buddies" will be shown at 11 a.m.
Children are encouraged to bring a pillow. Refreshments will be provided.
The Teen Poet's Society will meet on Thursday, Jan. 4, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Pine Library. Bring poems you have written or your favorite poems to read and share. Bring your guitars for some soft background music. This should be a fun event.
The Pine Library will have a "Lemony Snicket Junior High" book discussion from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5. There will be discussion and activities for book #13, "The End." Bring a friend. Sandy Carver is the youth program director. Please contact her at the library with any questions or comments. She wants to provide programs of interest to all area youth.
New Year's Eve should be a night to celebrate while bringing in the New Year. But the roads can be filled with drivers who should not be driving. A shuttle service will be available to those who buy the dinner package at either the Mogollon Steak House or Pine Verde. Transportation will be provided to all the bars and restaurants in Pine and Strawberry. Check it out.
Rimside Grill will celebrate the approaching New Year with a gourmet dinner and champagne served from 5 to 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Choose from several entrees and enjoy music by "Nothin' but Jack." Call for reservations. Seating is limited.
There will be a blood drive in Pine on Jan. 9. Watch for details. Sherry will be looking for you.
Last week, I mentioned the success of the fund-raiser for little Mila Phillips. The following individuals and businesses donated generously: Mike Dunn, Rolf Flake, Mogollon Steakhouse, Blue's Gallery, Cecil Lunsford, Chuck Collins, East Verde Training Co., KDJ's Beauty Supply, Linda's Letters and Embroidery, Mountain Gringo, Payson Jewelers, Payson Candle Factory, Payson Eyecare, Payson Feed, Pollack Custom Works and When Cowboys Dream. The Justice McNeeley Foundation helps children in the Pine/Strawberry/ Payson areas with medical expenses. For a confidential application or information, contact Sandy at (928) 476-2406.
Local businesses are asked constantly to donate to local worthy fund-raising causes. They are so very generous. They give even in the winter when business is slow. Be sure to patronize these businesses.
You have all seen those signs along the Beeline Highway designating which group or family cleans up various miles of roadway. Not a glamorous job, it is one that should not be needed. Why do people think it is OK to throw their garbage out the window?
Take Pride did its mile this past week and picked up 26 large bags of trash in that short mile.
That does not include all the junk that did not fit in the bags, like boards with protruding nails, Styrofoam, cardboard boxes and tires. For the people who litter, do they think someone gets paid to clean up after them?
AA meets every Sunday night at the Pine Community Senior Dining Room.
Provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.