Do Your Part For Fire Protection

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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The new year is under way. It is hard work trying to keep my resolutions, but so far, I am doing pretty well. It is a challenge.

The big topic around Pine and Strawberry is the worry about fire. Just this morning, there was another cigarette butt lying on the road. How can anyone be so thoughtless when it is so frightfully dry? We all need to be very careful.

While the weather is nice, we need to get the pine needles out of the gutters and rake up all that dead stuff. My neighbor hauled off 40-plus bags of leaves and pine needles from his yard and he says he is not done. If only it would snow.

Please remember that in an emergency, you now only have to dial 9-1-1 to get paramedical help or fire crews. The 9-1-1 number will connect you with the sheriff's office in Payson and your message will immediately send an SOS to Pine and Strawberry. This is a good change and makes it so much easier for even a child to summon help when needed. But make certain children understand that this is very serious and the number is only to be used in emergencies.

Book Buddies is the new reading program for Pine and Strawberry children ages 3 through 5 at the Pine Library. The kids gather at 11:30 a.m. every Thursday (note the new day) for a special story suited just for them. Call Becky or Grace at the library, (928) 476-3678, for more information.

Remember, the Blood Drive in Payson is from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9 at the Church of the Nazarene, 200 East Tyler Parkway. For more information or to set an appointment time, call Bob Hibbert, (928) 468-2234. You do not need an appointment, but the wait might be shorter if you have one. Whether you have a rare blood type or the most common of all, it is needed. Let those at the registration table know you have come down from Pine or Strawberry to help with their blood drive.

Do you know someone who normally gives blood but might not want to drive down to Payson? You might offer to take them down.

A note from the Pine Strawberry Food Pantry: "Thanks to all the generous people in our community who have contributed funds to enable us to meet the needs of our clients this holiday season." Whether your gift was as little as a few dollars or much larger, it was put to good use.

"The toys, funds and food donations were used to serve approximately 40 families who are most grateful for your generosity," said Sharon Balentine, president of the food pantry. Special thanks go to the Fort McDowell Casino management, Strawberry's Elite, Pine Strawberry Arts and Craft Guild, SCAF, Quilters, ERA Young Realty, Elks and Honeywell for Toys. Volunteers are needed to help with this most worthwhile program. Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of every month at 1:30 p.m. in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. Food distribution is the first Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. All pertinent information regarding the food bank, hours and emergency assistance is posted by the door at the cultural hall.

Please provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Telephone or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@earthlink.net.

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