Julie Eckhardt, left, and Anna VanZile put the finishing touches on one of the many curbside house numbers painted by the Hike and Ski Club students.
After hitting a few moguls with an uncooperative spray gun, the Payson High School Hike and Ski Club was able to paint house numbers as part of a community service project Friday afternoon.
A small group of club members made their way through Alpine Village neighborhood painting five inch black house numbers on as many curbs as they could in an afternoon.
The club asked homeowners for a donation for the service, which will help first responders find addresses in case of an emergency.
Money earned will help also fund the clubs ski trip to Durango, Colo. and a hike to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon.
The morning of the fund-raiser however, did not start as smooth as club advisor and English instructor Anna VanZile would have liked.
While VanZile had managed to wrangle eight students out of bed during fall break for the event, getting the project started proved to be more difficult than a double black diamond ski run.
VanZile planned to use automotive technology instructor Doug Eckhardt’s spray gun to apply the numbers over a white background. Overspray from the gun meant more of the curb was being painted than the numbers themselves.
Just as soon as the project seemed a disaster, Eckhardt and club president Matt Bullard managed to adjust the spray gun and use cardboard cutouts to prevent overspray.
After a few hours of pacing and waiting, members Caleb Harrison and Marissa Garcia began painting curbs while the rest of the club went door-to-door asking for donations.
After only a few homes, one club member proclaimed they had made $10 and a plate of cookies!
Resident Dave Heffron said he donated because he supports the club and its mission.
This is the first time the club has done a community service project in a number of years.
VanZile explained she had the idea to paint house numbers for years, but it wasn’t until recently that she decided it could be done to raise money and improve safety.
“Recent letters to the Payson Roundup have addressed the concern that house numbers are not always clearly visible due to size, color and location,” VanZile said.
“When every second counts in an emergency, clearly marked house numbers can mean a faster response for emergency medical services.”
While students painted numbers on the curb, numbers can also be posted on a home. The fire department only requests that house numbers be visible from the street in both directions, reflective, three inches or larger and visible at night.
Club members going door to door evaluated the house numbers of every home using the fire departments criteria.
Harrison said he had never thought about the importance of house numbers before the project.
“It is going to help the fire department so it is definitely a good idea.”
VanZile added that clear numbers help more than firefighters.
“While emergency services want the community to remember that they cannot help residents they cannot find, others benefit from a house number’s visibility,” she said. “Consider visitors to your home and any delivery services and don’t forget about pickup transportation services.”
Since the club started in 1994, money raised from Credit For Kids and other donations has been used to fund trips. This allowed every member of the club to attend events free.
“In the 15-year history of the club, hundreds of students have participated in our trips to Arizona and Colorado ski resorts, with our most popular trip being the Martin Luther King Day weekend in Durango,” she said.
“Throughout the years, we have used club funds to supplement the cost of trips and pay for lessons for ski and snowboard first-timers, many traveling with us all four years.”
This year is no different. Of the 50 to 70 students in the Hike and Ski Club, each can attend outings for little to no cost and VanZile hopes to add more hikes and smaller ski trips to the clubs itinerary.
For more information or to donate, contact PHS at (928) 474-2233.