The newly formed Club Rim volleyball team coffers have been enriched by a $500 donation from the two Payson Rotary clubs.
The gift was given to coach Donna Moore on March 22 at a meeting of the afternoon Rotary held at Tiny's Restaurant.
Duke Wilbanks, who helped form the first-ever local club team, called the donation a big boost for the squad in that it will help pay travel and tournament expense for the 12-member team.
"Club volleyball can get expensive," he said.
Club Rim, which plays in the 18-years-and-under USA Volleyball Arizona League in Phoenix, turned in its most successful effort since the founding of the team three months ago at the Grand Canyon State Games.
In the games held in Glendale, the team played its way to the age division championship.
In addition to earning the Payson team its first gold medal, the GCG win elevated Club Rim from USA Volleyball Division 4 to 3 play.
"Which means we will be facing tougher competition," Moore said.
Currently, the team travels to the Valley area each weekend for USA play.
Also, the players and coach are set on participating in upcoming tournaments both in Reno, Nev. and San Diego, Calif.
Moore said she and the athletes are extremely grateful to all those -- including the Rotary Clubs -- who stepped up financially to help club volleyball finally become a reality in the Rim Country.
"We couldn't have done it without all the wonderful support of the community," she said.
Moore is convinced playing the sport in the off-season will help the Lady Longhorn team become even more formidable next season.
"I can already see the players are getting better and they play with more confidence," she said.
In past seasons, the Lady Longhorns were at an experience disadvantage when playing teams that had seasoned, veteran players on their rosters involved in year-round club volleyball.
"With a club team now here, that will not longer be true," Moore said.