The committee in charge of the scheduling, planning and hosting the upcoming FLW Stren Series Bass Tournament is a dedicated, hard-working group that simply won’t be denied in its quest to showcase Payson and Roosevelt Lake.
The group has been meeting weekly for the past several months ironing out details of both the tournament and the weigh-in, which will be held April 18 in the Walmart parking lot.
Among the tasks the committee has already accomplished is enticing the Brooks and Yoder band to provide live entertainment at the weigh-in, asking Walmart to provide spectators with hot dogs, chips and drinks for a personal donation to the Gracie Lee Haught fund, installing a “Welcome to Tonto Basin” banner near the lake, coaxing two EMTs to be on duty in Cholla parking lot during the tournament and scheduling Payson Mayor Kenny Evans, Apache Tribal Chairman Ivan Smith and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick to deliver welcome speeches.
The committee has also arranged for security at Cholla and Walmart and scheduled two DPS officer to provide tournament angler escorts from Roosevelt to Payson for the weigh-in.
Among the local sponsors who will have booths set up at the weigh-in are Arizona Game and Fish, Tonto National Forest, Hike, Bike and Run, Rim Country Custom Rods and the towns of Payson and Tonto Basin.
Walmart, Chapman Auto Center and Southwest Ranger Boats will also host booths.
The committee also has scheduled live telecasts from Flagstaff and radio updates from KMOG and a Globe radio station.
Of course, the committee has also had to deal with the mundane issues of hosting a national tournament like attracting volunteers to help secure boats at the dock, setting up porta potties, scheduling trash pickups and performing mandated boat safety inspections.
The committee has also brainstormed a unique way for local businesspersons to introduce themselves to visiting anglers.
It’s a “Goodie Bag” promotion that only requires businesspersons to take any coupons, souvenirs, discounts, keepsakes or mementoes to Payson Outdoors and Trails Coordinator Mary McMullen at Green Valley Park P&R offices.
The venture is being touted as an inexpensive way to advertise local businesses to the expected 400 anglers who will participate. Upon registration, all entrants will be given the goodie bags which the committee chooses to call “Bass Tackle Bags.”
To be included, the items must be delivered to McMullen this week.
It’s obvious, hosting a national tournament is a time-consuming chore. Thankfully, the committee members have proven they are very capable of taking on the challenge.
Congratulations to them.
Gracie Lee tournament set
The Gracie Lee Haught Second Annual Golf Tournament will be held May 9 at Payson Golf Course.
The tourney tees off at 8 a.m. with players checking in one hour earlier.
It will be played as a best-ball, four-person scramble and limited to a maximum of 28 teams. The entry fee is $200 per team, $50 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf with cart, an embroidered GLH polo shirt, goodie bag, catered lunch, and door and raffle prizes.
Best of all, the proceeds benefit a great cause — the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.
For more information, call (928) 472-2588.
Banquet set for May 2
Mogollon Sporting Association members are continuing to gear up for their annual fund-raising banquet to 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.
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.
As part of the Diamondbacks Arizona Home Town Series, Payson will be the guest community at the Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals game May 8 at Chase Field.
Game time is 6:40 p.m.
The pro clash will serve as a fund-raiser with $5 of each ticket going to benefit local parks and recreation programs that are now operating on a shoestring budget and only with financial help from Friends of Parks and Recreation.
The tickets, which usually sell for $25, will be priced at $15.
Tickets may be purchased at the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism offices located at Green Valley Park or online at www.paysonrimcountry.com/dbacks.
For more information, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.