Free Dance And Concert To Cap Memorial Fund-Raiser

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A concert and dance will wrap up two days of Gracie Haught Children Memorial Fund festivities. Barrel racing, team roping and a variety of family activities will also highlight the event.

Early this week, event sponsor Bobbie Joe Haught announced the concert and dance would be held 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) in the Tonto Apache recreation center located on the reservation located south of Payson.

The band 61 South will provide live entertainment.

"It's one of Arizona's hottest country acts," Haught said. "The exciting event is free to the public and open to all ages."

Although there is no admission, a donation bucket will be available for those who would like to contribute to the Children's Memorial Fund.

"All donations and proceeds will go to the fund," Haught said.

The jackpot barrel racing begins this evening in the Payson Event Center.

Barrel racing books open at 5:30 p.m. and cash-only entry fees are accepted. Racing is expected to begin about 7 p.m. The entry fee is $35 per run and $10 for the peewee 10-years-and-under event. The peewee runs will immediately precede the adult racing.

The format will be 4D, which means all competitors will be racing in divisions against other riders who have posted similar times.

For more information, call Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 260.

The team-roping event kicks off at 8 a.m. tomorrow at the Payson Event Center. Gates open at 7 a.m.

Ropers will be vying for buckles, saddles and prize money. Several weeks ago, the event lacked heelers for the team roping, but Haught said early this week she had filled all the heeling slots.

Games and contests

In addition to the roping, members of Gracie Lee's family will host several games and contests including a cakewalk, fishing booth and others.

"We'll have entertainment, fun and food," said Haught.

The highlight of the day could be the drawing for a 2007 Ford Ranger pickup. It will be held at the close of the roping events and ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

Tickets are $10 each or three for $25 and are available at Mogollon Health Alliance, the chamber of commerce or from Bobbie Jo Haught, by calling (928) 978-2397.

All proceeds from the barrel racing and roping will fund the Gracie Haught Memorial Children's Fund.

"We do a lot of things with the money to help kids," Bobbie Jo Haught said.

"One of our biggest projects is a safety week we sponsor at the elementary school and buy helmets for all the kids."

The fund also helps pay children's medical bills, purchase toddler and infant car seats and pay for CPR and first aid training.

The children's fund was started about three years ago, following the accidental death of Gracie Lee, Bobbie Jo's daughter, who was then 3 years old.

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