Fan Club Helps To Booster Payson School Sports

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Decades ago the Payson High School booster club, led by Pat Velasco, fueled the volunteer drive to fund extracurricular activities.

But after a change in leadership, that group gradually fell by the wayside.

In 2005, the newly formed Friends and Neighbors (FAN) club revived the booster club mission.

Upon its founding, the club was incorporated into a nonprofit fund-raising organization.

Among those who helped spearhead the formation of FAN were Farrel Hoosava, Tim Doherty, Mikie Halenar, and Kristi Ford.

Today, Dougherty is president, Ford is treasurer, Halenar serves as secretary. Kim Blazer is now the vice president.

While some of the membership has changed since the formation of FAN, its purpose remains the same -- to make a difference in the lives of all students in the Payson School District.

"As a club, we're not only interested in helping the coaches and (athletic) directors financially, but we also want to get the public to come out and see the kids," Ford said. "Some people don't realize the value of extracurricular activities in the life of a child."

To raise the money to help fund the extracurricular activities, the FAN club hosts a variety of fund raisers including the Jack Morris Memorial Golf Tournament and the "Longhorn Cards" sale.

Members of the track and baseball teams are now selling the cards for $15 each.

Owners of the cards may present them at a variety of local businesses to receive discounts on their purchases.

Last summer, the highly popular memorial golf tournament drew a full field of 28 teams. When the final tabulations were in, it raised $6,000 to benefit the Longhorn football program and another $1,500 that went to fund a PHS scholarship in Morris's name.

The FAN club has also helped the Rim Country Middle School Maverick football teams raise the money they needed for new uniforms.

Ford said the key to the success of FAN is for the entire community to support its mission through their membership.

Ford also issued an invitation to join the club. For more information or to join, call her at (928) 595-2971 or Doherty at (928) 978-3850.

Friends and Neighbors (FAN) club

Founded: 2005

Officers: Tim Doherty, president; Kim Blazer, vice president; Kristi Ford, treasurer; Mikie Halenar, secretary

Purpose: to make a difference in the lives of all students in the Payson School District.

How to join or contribute: call (928) 595-2971 or (928) 978-3850.

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