Support Needed For All-Star Team In Flagstaff

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If the Payson Little League 12-year-old all-stars qualify for the upcoming state tournament, manager Brent Cannon is hoping for a strong turnout of fan support for games in Flagstaff.

Cannon says this group of all-stars is a dedicated, enthusiastic bunch that is sure to thrill and excite all Rim Country baseball fans.

Of course, the stars' record speaks for itself. They have won four area championships and are on the verge of winning their fourth district crown.

In 2006 the team went to the state tournament and played extremely well but were denied a berth in the final four on a controversial tie-breaker rule.

Many of those who saw that tournament, which was played in Cottonwood, returned to Payson saying the Rim all-stars might have been the best team in the state shootout.

Whatever the scenario for this postseason, the young players deserve our unwavering support.

Gas is $4 a gallon, but the drive to Flagstaff to back the boys will be worthwhile and much appreciated.

Water station help needed

Safeway Foundation Charities coordinator Lynne ODonnell needs help hosting the inaugural Huffin' & Puffin' in the Pines 8-mile, 5-mile and 1-Mile runs to be held July 12 at Rumsey Park.

She's looking for local civic organizations willing to man water stations along the race route.

ODonnell reasons that those groups who volunteer to help will give their club great community exposure and a winning image for supporting healthy living and Safeway Foundation Charities.

"All for just handing out water," ODonnell said.

Also, organizations that volunteer will be allowed to hang their group's banner at the water station and share their club information in race packets.

Those unable to volunteer can participate by making $25 donation mile marker sponsorships.

"You will have your organization's name put on a designated mile marker and we will put your print advertising in our race packets," ODonnell said.

For those who are entering one of the races, ODonnell is encouraging them to seek run sponsors willing to make donations to the Safeway Foundation.

"You can collect donations on-line when you create your own fund-raising page," she said.

That page can be found at: www.active.com/donate/makingadifference.

"You can also collect and turn in sponsor money on race day," she said.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three fund-raisers.

Also, there will be a pre-race pasta dinner served from 4 to 7 p.m., July 11 for $5.

Race awards will be presented to the first five male and female finishers in each of the events.

As for the courses, ODonnell says the 8-mile run "winds through tree-lined neighborhood roads, up the dreaded Airport Road "Summit" where a special aid station surprise awaits."

The course continues around the western perimeter of town and along Main Street before concluding at the original starting line in Rumsey Park.

The 5-mile course, ODonnell said, has "some gentle rolling hills where runners will enjoy views of the Mazatzal Mountains" before returning to Rumsey Park.

The 1-mile course is tree-lined and flat.

Aid and water stations will be positioned on both the 5- and 8-mile courses.

The courses can be previewed at www.mapmyrun.com.

In addition to the running events, organizers are in the process of setting up music venues, food booths, a family fun zone and spectator viewing locations.

In the family fun zone will be a slip-and-slide, bounce house, snow cones and cotton candy.

All proceeds from the events will benefit foundation charities, which include Easter Seals, Special Olympics, Prostrate Cancer Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, City of Hope and Cancer Research Center.

For more information, call ODonnell at (928) 472-4661 or e-mail lynodonne@netzero.com.

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