‘Village’ Of Payson Steps Up For Its Own

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Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote in a New York Times best seller, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” That was 1996, but she reaffirmed that belief in her own presidential campaign in 2007.

Proof that she might have been right exists in the number of Payson villagers who stepped up to help send 12-year-old Dean Harpe to Pinehurst, N.C. to compete in the U.S. Kids World Golf Championships.

Dean’s mother, Yvette, the vice-principal at Rim Country Middle School, says Dean is extremely grateful to those who contributed funds to help the boy realize his dream of playing in the most prestigious youth tournament in the country.

So, a huge “thank you” from Dean goes out to Rim Country Rotary, Payson Men’s Golf Association, Payson Women’s Golf Association 9 hole and 18 hole groups, Mike and Rita Conway at MDC Roofing, Chaparral Pines golfers, Rim Country Optimists, friends and family members.

Moore thanks

Felicia Moore, a volunteer with Payson youth football, is doling out praise to John Lenzmeir for agreeing to coach the Raiders Minor League third- and fourth-grade team.

“We did not have a coach for this team, and he came to us and said he would coach,” Moore said. “He doesn’t even have a child on the field, so he was a true blessing in this league.”

Moore also lauds Dan and Pam Way for their behind-the-scenes work in getting the Payson teams entered in the North Eastern League after the Central Arizona Youth Football Association folded.

“They have been working since January, going to Show Low weekly to make sure this new league works,” Moore said. “They are very much appreciated and need to be thanked by everyone as they made it happen all year.”

Pam is also the North Eastern League secretary.

The new league begins play Sept. 12.

Going to Afghanistan

I received this week a brief e-mail from Bryce River, a former student of mine and an athlete I also coached in football.

Bryce has enlisted in the U.S. Army and is now with the 101st Airborne Eagles stationed in Fort Campbell, KY. He says his unit will leave in Jan. 2010 for a 13-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Bryce says he’s very busy training and preparing, but promises to e-mail more information to share with his friends and former teammates and classmates in Payson.

Here’s wishing Bryce much success and good luck. I remember him as a pleasure to teach and coach.

Pancakes and more

The Friends And Neighbors (FAN) club wants to help the PHS cross country team be able to travel Oct. 17 to the Rio Rancho Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.

To help the team afford the trip, the booster group will host a benefit pancake breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, Aug. 29, at Chapman Auto Center. The tickets are $5 for adults, $25 for a family and $3 for children.

FAN club members, coaches and athletes promise to provide a tummy-warming breakfast accompanied by some old fashioned small-town camaraderie.

It’ll be a great way to get off to a roaring Saturday start.

Tickets for the breakfast are available from any FAN club member, cross country team member or coach.

Also, anyone interested in joining FAN club can do so by attending any of the monthly meetings, which are held at 6:30 p.m. every second Wednesday at Pioneer Title.

Golf for a child’s sake

The Public Safety Officers Christmas for Kids golf tournament presents begin at 6 p.m., today, Aug. 28, with a steak dinner and 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 DPS, Gila County Attorney’s Office, Payson Fire, Northern Gila County Firefighters Association and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Also at the auction, mulligans can be purchased.

At 8 a.m. tomorrow, 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.

Entry forms are available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.

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