Payson’s emergency first responders have long stood tall in ensuring the Rim Country’s needy children have Christmases to remember.
They accomplish that goal through the Christmas for Kids program.
Last year, 480 children were given the chance to purchase $35 of gifts from Walmart.
The children are urged to buy some toys and use the remaining money for much-needed clothes.
For many of the children in need, those gifts were the only ones they received.
This season, the sagging economy could increase the needs of many during the holidays. The anticipated growing need makes Payson public safety officers’ 2009 mission to raise money for the Christmas for Kids program even more crucial.
The money is earned at various fund-raisers during the year including Tamales for Toys, food sales during the Independence Day celebration and a golf tournament.
This year, the tournament begins at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28 with a silent auction of public safety officers at Payson Golf Course.
Each team of three that enters the benefit will have the opportunity to buy their fourth team member from a group of individuals representing the Department of Public Safety, Gila County Attorney’s Office, Payson Fire Department, Northern Gila County Firefighters Association and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
Also at the auction, mulligans can be purchased.
At 8 a.m. the following day, a shotgun start gets the tournament off and running.
The tournament entry fee is $375 per team and the minimum bid for a public safety team member is $150.
The cost includes green fees, golf cart, steak dinner and prizes.
Traditionally about $18,000 has been earned through the various benefits. All the money is used in the Christmas for Kids program.
Entry forms for the tournament are available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.