Those at the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank are very appreciative of the donations they've received, but there's more to be done.
A note from Lisa Sieracki at the Pine Fire Department reads, in part, "Thanks again for running your reminders about the food bank in your column. Thanks to everyone who has donated. It is great to know our neighbors and friends come to our aid when needed."
So, we've done a decent job, but let's not stop there.
Lisa says stores are low and food is being distributed almost as fast as it comes in.
Certainly, we are all feeling the "pain at the pump" and grocery shopping is a downright financial challenge. But there are those in our tight-knit mountain towns who depend on that extra can of food sitting on your pantry shelf.
After a little snooping, I learned there are more than 50 needy families in Pine and Strawberry depending on the food bank. Also, a growing number of seniors are asking for assistance.
Which leads me to believe the poor economy is leaving record numbers in severe poverty.
Pine and Strawberry residents are not immune to the national economic downturn that has even working Americans falling closer to the poverty line.
Here's an idea. Many readers get together for meetings, social gatherings, civic causes and for recreation. So, why not ask each member of your group to bring a can or two of food to the next meeting or card game?
The results of those collections could be a boon for the food bank.
Please grab a can or two of food and take it to your next group gathering. Then have a representative drop it off at either the Pine Fire Department Administration Building or the Strawberry Fire Department.
Also, boxes where food contributions can be left will be set up at the Pine-Strawberry Fuel Reduction booth at the Labor Day arts and crafts festivals.
Strawberry's Elite to host carnivores' delight
Strawberry's Elite Steak Fry is scheduled for this weekend at the venerable Watering Hole in Strawberry. Serving is 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17.
Rose Harper, chairperson of the annual benefit promises top quality, extraordinary steaks and all the trimmings. The menu also includes cowboy beans, salad, rolls and Texas sheet cake.
Tickets are available from Strawberry's Elite members and at the door for $15 each or two for $25.
The ever popular duo of, Chuck and Barbara Casey, also known as Trouble in Paradise, will provide boot stomping entertainment.
Also, hourly drawings will be held for gift certificates from local merchants. There will also be a silent auction.
This is a great deal --ood food, fine entertainment, the opportunity to give back to the community and most importantly, no dishes to wash.
Funds from the gala will be used to provide financial assistance to children and families in need within the towns of Pine and Strawberry.
If you're one of those scratching your noggin wondering where The Watering Hole can be found, it's south of SR 87 in Strawberry at the old Mogollon Grill location.
Library, GCC hook up
The Pine library will be partnering this fall with Gila Community College in offering the S.O.L.O. (Senior On-Line Opportunity) computer classes to residents in the Pine and Strawberry area.The college has requested the library ask community members for their needs in computer education.
Those interested in attending free computer classes, should soon visit the library and complete a short questionnaire to assist in the planning of classes.
For more information, call Becky Waer at (928) 476-3678.
Early voting in Pine and Strawberry
Gila County registered voters living in Pine and Strawberry can take advantage of early voting for the upcoming primary election.
Early voting will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Pine Baptist Church on SR 87.
No identification is required to vote early.
Call (928) 425-3231 ext. 8735 or 8736 or toll free, 1-800-291-4452 if you have questions, or contact the Gila County Recorder, 1400 E. Ash St. in Globe.
Bashas' fund-raiser begins Sept. 1
You can now use your Bashas' card to help raise money for the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine.
Bashas' yearly, "Thanks a Million for Friends and Neighbors" fund-raiser begins Sept. l, 2008 and runs through March 31, 2009.
The process is a "no-brainer" and it costs you absolutely nothing.
All consumers need to do is, when you use your Bashas' card, give the cashier the library's ID number 23302.
The cashier will then link the ID number to your card. You only need do this one time for the fund-raising period.
At the end of the fund-raiser, Bashas' will calculate the total sales from all of the "Friend and Neighbors" that have linked to the library ID and will donate 1 percent of that total to the library, up to $2,500.
Bashas' will allow you to link up to three organizations to your card and will donate up to $2,500 to each. Just remember, to make the Pine library one of your three choices. The ID number again is 23302.