125th Anniversary Buckles Available

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Barbara Zirinsky, Jordan Hill and Kelsea Arendell took home sterling silver and copper belt buckles as rewards for their artistic participation in Payson 125th Anniversary.

"It is a really big surprise," said Sherry Friestad of her 6-year-old grandson Jordan Hill's win with "Cowboys."

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One hundred commemorative belt buckles were made.

Hill's teacher at Frontier Elementary School submitted his crayon drawing along with a number of other student drawings to the kindergarten -- third grade division of the 125th Anniversary's Art/Poster contest last winter.

"He doesn't really understand what he's won, but I think the buckle is awesome," Friestad said.

Hill has lived in Payson all his young life and listened to his grandparents tell him stories of past rodeo parades, when Smokey the Bear used to throw out play money.

Kelsea Arendell won the middle school category of the art contest for her pencil drawing "Payson: Where the West is Still Wild."

"My mom read about the contest in the paper and said, ‘try'," Arendell said.

"After she drew it, she told me this isn't good enough, I'm not going to put it in," said Arendell's mother, Leah.

Now, the 11-year-old is glad she did.

The Northern Gila County Historical Society will auction Hill and Arendell's original artwork, which has been matted and framed. They will be part of the Northern Gila County Historical Society's silent auction, which ends Oct. 6.

Barbara Zirinsky, the anniversary's logo artist, was excited to receive her buckle.

She is a college-trained graphic artist and, when she first heard of the contest, she started thinking about how to incorporate all the things she loves about Payson into a logo.

The original logo artwork will be retained at the Rim Country Museum in Green Valley Park.

The limited edition buckles are numbered one through 100.

Several buckles will be auctioned to the highest bidder at a date the committee will announce later. Those commemorative buckles not used by the anniversary committee as prizes are on sale for $250 each.

Visit www.paysons125th.com next week for information on purchasing a buckle.

Full color lapel pins with the 125th Anniversary logo are available for $5 at the Rim Country Regional chamber, the Rim Country Museum gift shop and at the Saturday evening concerts in the park.

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