Toy And Food Drives Make Holiday Better For All


Now it begins, the decorating, the shopping, and the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning, the shopping, the wrapping, the shopping and then more shopping.

And, while you are out on one of those never ending trips, don't forget to pick up an extra toy or food items for our local charities.There are many in need.


Fourth-grade teacher Diane Ludwig, pre-school teacher, Mia Freeburg and kindergarten teacher Nancy Kane serve up barbecue before the Christmas tree auction at Pine Strawberry School. The final total for the fund-raiser, including food, poinsettia and card sales totaled $5,032.60.

If we each give a little extra, it will add up to a whole lot, and we'll feel better.

There are food bank drop off boxes at the post office, Pine Strawberry Fire Stations, and Moose Mountain Gifts and Antiques. In addition to food items for the food bank, Moose Mountain, located on Hardscrabble Road, is also a drop off for cat and dog food for the Payson Humane Society.
Pine Strawberry Food Bank

housands of Arizona families do not have enough food to eat, but Sue Montgomery and her band of volunteers from Pine and Strawberry are dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen on their watch.

Food is distributed to the needy in both communities the first Tuesday of each month.

Although the needs of our communities have increased, donations from residents, businesses and charitable groups help provide food and clothing.

At Christmastime local charities help by providing gifts for both children and older adults.

Also, travelers stranded on Beeline Highway SR 87) and out of food are provided emergency supplies.

The thrift shop at the senior center also provides warm clothing for those in need.

Montgomery is grateful our community has long been generous with their donations. "It is wonderful to live in a community that is so caring," she said. Pine and Strawberry residents are wonderful in helping when there are needs."

During this holiday season, the bank desperately needs donations of turkeys, hams or nonperishable items for distribution on Dec. 18.

Take your donations to Strawberry Auto, Ponderosa Market,oose Mountain or call Jean (928) 476-3317 or Marti(928) 476-6469.

PS Fire District offers huge community service

chore that seems never-ending at our home is fast becoming a Christmas tradition.

Although we do this quite often, it seems, when we put up the outside Christmas lights, the rain gutters always need those pine needles removed.Hey, you are already up on the ladder, just do it.
In the past -- after cleaning the gutters, decks and yard -- a trip to the landfill was in order. But, that's no longer needed.
The Pine Strawberry Fire District now has a free brush pickup for residential use.

All you need to do is place pine needles, brush and leaves in bags on the side of the road and the crew will come by and remove them.

Brush and bags should be placed at a location where are accessible for loading with a skip-loader.
The service is residential only, not commercial. The fire department is asking people to not leave garbage or lumber for pick-up.

Also, no ogs bigger than six inches in diameter or eight feet in length will be picked up.

There is no need to call for a request for pickup.

The crews work a rotating zone system, with pickups scheduled for Monday through Wednesday.

Although there is no fee for this huge community service, the fire department is eligible to receive grant money, if worksheets are filled out by homeowners.

The community worksheet is available at the fire station or can be downloaded from the Pine-Strawberry Fire District Web site at:

Go to grant info and click on "download community time sheet."

Complete the time sheet and drop it off at either fire station or mail it.
What's Hot at Pine Strawberry Fire Dept?

The monthly Pine Strawberry Fire Board Meeting is set for 6:00 p.m., Dec. 12. veryone is welcome.

The Pine Strawberry Fire Fighters Association is accepting toys for needy children and teenagers this holiday season.Nonperishable food items are also being collected.

Items may be dropped at the Pine Fire Department Adminis-tration Building or the Straw-berry Fire Department.

These toys and food items will be given to charities in Pine and Strawberry for distribution to the needy.

Also, the local fire department accepts food year-round, which is in turn given to the food bank for distribution to those in need.


Madison McPhillips points out the tree she helped decorate.

Suffering CTA?

n the same miserable category as Scrooge and the Grinch, I've read that I can be allergic to my live Christmas tree.

Yes, it's true. Researchers have determined what allergists have long suspected.

Shortly after being cut, the tree starts decaying and producing mold spores.

These spores in turn can cause sneezing, runny noses and watery eyes.
Sound familiar?You may be suffering from Christmas Tree Allergy, or CTA. If a family member has allergies but tradition dictates a live tree, you might consider hosing the tree off outside and letting it dry before bringing it in the house.Or, a trip to the pharmacy for allergy relief meds may be in order.

b>Let Me Know

know many things are happening in our community.Because of the holidays, deadlines are moved up so if you have an item or news for our column, please call me as soon as possible at (928) 476-2788. My e-mail address is

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