Sports Club Re-Creates Wild West During Annual Banquet

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Members of the Tonto Rim Sports Club attempted their best imitation of the Old West at its annual meeting and banquet on March 3 at the Mazatzal Casino, although the lawlessness was kept to a minimum.

"The West was alive but there were no gunfights, fist fights or other shenanigans," said Charles Thompson, public relations officer for the club.

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More than 120 members of the Tonto Rim Sports Club, which has more than 600 members, attended the annual meeting and banquet on March 3, most wearing Western garb.

More than 120 members of the group, which has more than 600 members, attended the banquet, most wearing cowboy garb.

"The guys (were) in long coats, boots and Western hats and the ladies (were) in fancy dresses and hats," Thompson said.

The event featured raffles, games and both live and silent auctions for more than 100 prizes.

The night was capped off with the unveiling of election results for the open positions in the club, Thompson said.

The winners -- President David Palmateer, Trustee Vern Leis, Treasurer Sidney Dando and Recording Secretary Catherine Thompson -- were announced along with the club's annual reports.

The Tonto Rim Sports Club was founded in 1979 to encourage gun safety and safe shooting among sportsmen in the Rim Country.

Members of the club are instructed on proper care of firearms and have the opportunity to improve their marksmanship on the Northern Gila County Shooting Range.

The state-of-the-art range south of Payson and east of Highway 87 just past milepost 249, has been maintained, operated and developed by the group since its inception in 1981.

The facility features three ranges -- high-power rifle, covered training and archery -- and is used by several law enforcement agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Payson Police Department and National Guard, in addition to hosting public and club member shooting activities.

The range is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday.

Membership to the TRSC is open to anyone and yearly dues are $35.

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