This year, the members of the Payson Pilots Association (PPA) chose to donate $500 a piece to four organizations -- Time Out, Inc., Payson Senior Center, Veterans Helping Veterans and the Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron #209.
The PPA is comprised of pilots and friends of pilots in Payson and surrounding areas. On Saturday morning, after the pilots' quarterly cleanup on Airport Road, they were joined by the recipients of the donations for a hearty breakfast at Against the Wind hangar.
Ned Hines, President of the PPA welcomed the representatives of each organization and said, "The PPA members voted to help these four worthy groups. We want to give back to the community."
Opening its arms of compassion in 1993, Time Out, Inc. exists to help individuals break the cycle of abuse, with the ultimate goal to eradicate family violence. The organization supports two emergency shelters, four transitional housing units, the Time Out Thrift Shop and the Gila County Advocacy Center.
Paying utility bills for all these buildings can be worrisome to an organization and donated funds often make the availability of the shelters, if even for one day, more certain.
In accepting the check for $500, Executive Director Gerry Bailey said, "Even though we receive grants, they do not pay for the daily operations, such as paying utility bills. The donation from this organization will help in meeting those expenses."
With Veterans Helping Veterans, Misti DeCaire and Cay Yaeger have been helping homeless veterans in the Rim Country for over 11 years. A retired Army Lt. Col. and registered nurse, DeCaire knows the needs of veterans.
"I got tired of veterans coming in saying they cannot get help, so we found ways to help them," she said.
Refurbishing a former nursing home on Wade Avenue, Misti and Cay took in homeless people, providing meals and a warm place to stay. Currently, there are 20 men, mostly veterans, living at the Wade Avenue home.
"We are trying to get a new roof on the building," DeCaire said. "The money goes into the bank account for a new roof."
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is an Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. The CAP was designated as an official civilian auxiliary in 1948, one year after the U.S. Air Force was created as an independent armed service. The cadet program of the CAP helps young people develop leadership skills and learn about aerospace.
Deputy Commander, Jon Barber accepted the donation for the CAP and told the audience, "The CAP has both senior and cadet volunteers. We work with the military and with Homeland Security. The CAP responds in 45 minutes from the time they get an emergency call."
In the search and rescue functions of the CAP, the cadets join the senior ground team for communications and mission control.
Commander Carl Damon said, "Some of the money will be used to assist the cadets in paying for their Sunrise Encampment, where they learn how to drill, and learn survival techniques."
The Payson Senior Center offers a variety of services to older adults in Payson and adjacent rural areas. Director Marsha Cauley and Rondee Dalgleish attended the PPA breakfast to accept the donation. Since 1985, the Center has been coordinating activities that relate to social and economic activities of the older citizens of the community.
The van can be seen around town, offering needed transportation to folks who can no longer drive.
The meals they provide are often the senior's main sustenance. The legal services and tax preparation assistance are invaluable services for the older adults in Payson.
"There are 125 people on our homebound Meal on Wheels program. This money will be used for transportation services," Cauley said.
As Hines said, "This is one way we can give back to our community."