This is a busy Memorial Day weekend in Pine. Start off with the Pancake Breakfast, prepared by the Pine Strawberry Firefighters and Strawberry's Elite. There will be pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee, served from 7 to 10 a.m. in the Pine Community Center. Bring your family, neighbors, visitors and friends. The money raised goes into equipment for the firefighters and to help people in our communities.
The Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Festival is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, in the Community Center. Craft items of every sort will be featured. Booth spaces are all filled and there are some creative new vendors. This is a great opportunity to find those special, original gift items to give throughout the year.
The Pine Library Friends will have a huge book sale in the library activity building. Eat your pancakes and then go find some great books for your summer reading. Be sure to buy your raffle tickets for the drawing, which will be held Sunday afternoon. A Rim Country throw and a watercolor print of the original Pine Library by Ruth Rand are the great raffle prizes.
Be sure to work up an appetite for one of those special Navajo tacos served by the seniors in the Senior Dining Room.
Volunteers at the Pine/ Strawberry School were honored at a luncheon with a Hawaiian theme. The food, prepared by the school staff, was terrific.
This year, 771 hours of volunteer time was recorded and many do not write down their hours. Kim Davis was honored as the school's Volunteer of the Year. These volunteers are essential to the smooth running of the school. The school depends on them and is very grateful for their help. Other top volunteers include John Depert, Rene Schneider, Michelle Wintrich, Breann Lander, Diane Bowman, Jean Bean, Nancy Lombardi, Diane Greer, Barbara Ward and Liz and Gary Williams.
Mr. Clark, school principal, thanked organizations and businesses that make a difference, including Strawberry's Elite, ERA Realty, Pine Thrift Shop, Payson Masonic Lodge, Payson Elks Lodge and Uncle Tom's Quick Stop. The Principal's Community Award went to the Fort McDowell Casino.
Work is being done and soon the sirens in Pine and Strawberry will all be working. That is a good thing, with the tremendous threat of fire. There is still time to get your property fire-safe. Clean up those pine needles and the brush. Put it on the side of the road and the fuels pick-up vehicles will come by and pick it up. Please remember to fill out the fuels resident time sheet. One of the grants available to us depends on the number of hours that residents spend creating a defensible fire zone around their homes. The forms are available at either the Pine or Strawberry fire stations.
Make plans to attend the Strawberry Festival and Strawberry Patcher's Quilt Show on June 9 and 10. The all-new Strawberry Festival will be in Hunt's field out on Fossil Creek Road. Great activities, games and entertainment will include something for everyone. If you can volunteer to help, please call Karen Blake, (928) 476-3658.
The blood drive is over for another few months. Sheri Earp sends a sincere thank you to each person who donated blood. There was a steady supply of people willing to take the time to give the gift of life. Special thanks to the First Baptist Church for the use of its great facility. Many people helped on a variety of ways. D.J. Craig played our favorite tunes all day, taking requests and providing relaxing listening. Those donating food items for the blood donors and the volunteers were Katie Calderon, Dale Oestmann, Uncle Tom's Kwik Stop, Dianne Mitchell, Pine Village Bakery and Pine Deli. Thanks to those who volunteered to help, including Sharon Weir, Ron Calderon, Nancy Burns, Dave Earp and Bev Snidecor. Once again, Sheri did a great job in coordinating this blood drive and signing up donors. She works very hard to keep things moving so that no donors are kept waiting. She apologizes for the wait some early arrivals experienced, as the crew was late in getting set up. She hopes all who had to leave without donating will give her another chance.
There is a lot to do this weekend in Pine and Strawberry. Let us all be extremely careful and watch for others who may not be aware of our fire fears. It is a sad fact that most fires are caused by human carelessness.
-- Provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.