Benefit Will Aid Skeet Shooter

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Only Steve Cline’s closest friends and family knew of his affection for competitive shooting.

The fifth-generation Gila County cattle rancher got involved in skeet shooting about three years ago and quickly became one of the finest in the state. At the 2007 Senior Olympics in Phoenix, he won the event’s gold medal.

He also often competed at the Ben Avery Shooting Range near Phoenix, in Globe, at three-shoots in Young and in regional events in Silver City, N.M.

He also took first at a 2008 national competition in Tucson.

“He almost always finished among the top-three in his class,” said his son Chris. “He traveled the United States competing.”

Sadly, about 70 percent of his firearms, many of which were antiques and family heirlooms handed down to him by his father and grandfather, were destroyed Feb. 24 when a fire devastated his Tonto Basin home.

The fire also severely injured Cline who is being treated in the burn unit at Maricopa County Hospital in Phoenix.

Almost immediately after the fire, his many friends in Tonto Basin, as well as his family, began planning benefits to help Cline recover from the tragedy.

The first is a benefit is to be held tomorrow, April 4, at the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin.

It will get off to a rousing start at 3 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat barbecue that will continue until 8 p.m. Dinner tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

At 5:30 p.m. raffle and auctions will begin. John Dryer, one of the benefit organizers, promises both the raffle and auctions will feature top quality merchandise.

From 7 to 11 p.m., a dance featuring a live band will light up the evening’s ambiance.

Dryer says Cline has been a big contributor to the Tonto Basin community for most of his life and now it’s time for residents to step up and help him in his time of need.

So, set some time aside tomorrow to drop by the Butcher Hook. You’ll relish the good food, have a great time and enjoy some small-town camaraderie.

Most importantly, it’ll all be for a great cause.

Monetary donations may be made at National Bank of Arizona to Steve Cline, account #7973002338 in care of Roxie Lynn Holt.

MSA to host annual festivities

The always-popular Mogollon Sporting Association dinner, banquet and raffle will be held May 2 at the Mazatzal Casino. Doors open for a no-host cocktail hour at 5 p.m. A prime rib dinner, auction and raffles follow.

Over the years, the evening has developed a reputation as being one of the most festive on the Rim Country social scene.

Tickets are $75 each and those who purchase before April 1 will be entered in an early bird drawing for a chance to win a Savage 93R17BTVS-17HMR rifle.

MSA members Jack Koon and Ted Pettet say the banquet will feature many quality prizes, raffle and auction items, especially firearms.

The evening is a chance to take home some very nice prizes, enjoy good, old-fashioned hometown camaraderie and at the same time help out a very worthwhile cause.

Tickets are available from any MSA member or by calling Jack Koon at (928) 474-1662.

Junior division baseball and softball tryouts

Tryout sessions for Junior Division Little League players (13-year-olds) are just over the horizon.

Baseball tryouts will begin at 10 a.m., April 4 on the Rumsey II ball fields.

Softball tryouts will tip off at the same time and day, but on the Rumsey III fields.

Players interested in being a part of the Junior Division baseball or fast-pitch softball programs must attend.

Hunter education classes

Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager David Daniels will soon lead a hunter education class.

The upcoming classes, sponsored by the Game and Fish Department, are a requirement for 10- to 14-year-old hunters who want to apply for a big game tag.

Other hunters who successfully complete the class will receive one bonus point in the annual big game tag drawings.

The classes will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., April 6 through April 10 in the ERA conference room located at 418 N. Beeline Highway.

Daniels said the classes will include the basics of hunting including gun handling, firearm safety, field dressing of animals and outdoor survival skills.

The fee for the class is $5 and registration is limited to the first 30 to sign-up. For more information, call (928) 474-3142.

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