Like To Hike? Join Pats On April 25

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Like to hike, but not sure where to go?

Join Payson Parks and Recreation hiking instructors for a Payson Area Trails System (PATS) group-led hike on the Peach Loop Trail beginning at 8 a.m., April 25. Participants will meet at the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism office prior to carpooling to the trail.

The hike is approximately 2.6 miles long and is moderate to difficult, with some loose rocks and one very steep incline.

This is a free event to the public. Pre-registration is preferred, but participants can also register the day of the event.

For more information, call 474-5242, ext. 358 or visit www.paysonparks.com.

Little League opens

Little League opening day ceremonies get off to a roaring start at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow, April 18, on Rumsey III ball field. League officials are promising the program will include a full slate of old-fashioned, small town activities that will be fun for all ages.

Also, baseball and softball games begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m.

In addition to the ball games, bounce houses will be available for the younger set, refreshments will be sold, the Payson Fire Department will make an appearance and local police officers will have speed guns to time pitchers, both Little League and wannabes.

Also making an appearance will be Dax Jones, who made his major league debut in 1996 with the San Francisco Giants and later played briefly for the Houston Astros. He will be on hand to give lessons and sign autographs.

Several raffles will also be held that have as prizes a 42-inch LCD flat screen donated by Rim, Sight and Sound, a three-month membership to the Tonto Apache gymnasium, a gold chain donated by Payson Jewelers and a $100 Safeway gift card.

At the snack bar, a $5 meal deal includes a hot dog or hamburger, soft drink and chips.

In front of the snack bar, a silent auction will be held.

All proceeds benefit the local Little League program.

Officials are inviting players, fans, parents and supporters to come out and enjoy a wonderful day of baseball and softball.

D-backs host Payson Day

Although Arizona pitcher Brandon Webb has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, he should be back in action by May 8 when Rim Country Diamondback fans could see him pitch at Chase Field against the Washington Nationals.

The game has been designated “Payson Day” as a part of the Diamondbacks Arizona Home Town Series that was created to help rural towns showcase their community pride.

Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis calls the game a “great opportunity to get out and support your community.”

At the game, the town will receive about three minutes of on the field recognition and Mayor Kenny Evans will personally invite audience members to visit Payson.

The exposure at Chase Field, Davis believes, could draw more visitors to the Rim Country.

“Due to tough economic times, Payson will be relying on the tourism industry to bring people up the hill,” he said.

In addition to the game helping introduce Payson to professional baseball fans, the pro clash will serve as a fund-raiser, with $5 of each ticket going to benefit parks and recreation programs that are now operating on a shoestring budget and only with financial help from Friends Friends of Parks and Recreation.

The tickets, which usually sell for $25, will be priced at $15.

The seats are all in the lower level of center field, a spot many fans prefer because of its overall view of the park.

Davis said the possibility exists that a bus could be provided to transport Payson fans to and from the game.

The tourism director is making a plea to support ticket sales. “We are committed to continuing these (P&R) programs and we need everyone’s support to make it happen.”

Game time is 6:40 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at P&R offices located at Green Valley Park or online at www.paysonrimcountry.com/dbacks.

College help

Payson High School seniors who have lettered in two varsity sports, or one sport and band, are eligible to receive one of the first-ever Ted Pettet Scholarships valued at $2,000 each.

The Mogollon Sporting Association, of which Pettet is a co-founder, is funding the new scholarships which will go to one boy and one girl.

So, with the economy in the shape it is in, college-bound students can receive much-needed financial help by applying.

Call the school’s guidance office at (928) 472-5725 for more information.

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