The collage of Christmas celebrations in the Rim Country continues to grow this weekend.
First up is some grown-up time with the Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country’s Holiday Wine & Cheese Party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday Dec. 10 at the Best Western, 801 N. Beeline Highway.
There will be wine and appetizers to sample, plus some great raffle and silent auction items to bid on. The cost is $15.
During the festivities, money raised from the Radiothon in October will be presented to Rim Country Arizonans for Children, Payson Community Kids and Time Out. The mission of the Soroptimist organization is to help improve the lives of women and girls in the community and throughout the world; service is the passion of its members.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Jean at (928) 472-8007 or Sandy at (928) 472-2423.
The local Soroptimist group had its first meeting on Nov. 8, 1975 with at least 16 women attending — that is the minimum required to be chartered, according to Jean Oliver. The group now has 23 members.
In addition to the awards made through the Radiothon, the group also presents two annual scholarships, the Woman’s Opportunity Award to an adult, and the Violet Richardson Award to a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 for community service.
Applications for the awards for 2010 will be accepted until Dec. 15. For more information about obtaining an application, call (928) 474-6167.
Funds for the awards come through proceeds from the Radiothon, which celebrated its seventh anniversary this year, the sale of See’s Candy and events like the Wine & Cheese Party.
During its 35 years in the Rim Country, the Soroptimist chapter has given away more than $100,000, Oliver said. In addition to the scholarships and support of Time Out, Payson Community Kids and Rim Country Arizonans for Children, it has given assistance to the Rim Country Literacy Program and purchased computers for the police and fire departments. Years ago it also paid for a special fitness trail with training stations in Rumsey Park.
Any woman interested in learning more about Soroptimists of Zane Grey Country may attend a meeting. The group meets every Wednesday, except Dec. 22 and 29, at noon at the Crosswinds Restaurant at the Payson Airport. Call Oliver at (928) 472-8007 for more information.
Enjoying the sounds of the season can fill out the remainder of the weekend’s calendar. There are several different programs planned.
Choral Society Christmas
The Payson Choral Society’s Christmas concert “He Is Born,” directed by Daria Mason, with accompaniment by Victoria Harris, comes to the Payson High School auditorium Saturday, Dec. 11. Performances are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Please note this is a change in performance times.
Concert tickets are $10 at the door for adults, and $8 if purchased in advance. Children and students up to age 18 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Choral Society members, The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert. Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle school and high school students. These are awarded each year at the spring concert. For more information, call John Landino at (928) 468-0023.
Children’s Theatre program
The Payson Children’s Theatre/ Choral Group will present the Christmas program “Christmas at Bethlehem Gulch” at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 and Sunday, Dec. 12 at Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.
The public is invited to attend one of these performances. No admission will be charged, but love offerings will be accepted to help the group and its programs continue.
Holiday jazz concert
Jazz guitarist Pete Pancrazi, who is appearing in Payson on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 12, is not exactly a household name when it comes to jazz legends, but the Valley musician is extremely well known in the jazz community.
Pancrazi has cultivated a large and loyal following among Arizona jazz fans. Audiences enjoy his nimble guitar work and warm vocals. He’s a regular that the Desert Botanical Gardens jazz series. His repertoire includes original compositions, alongside straight-ahead and Latin jazz standards, the focus of the Sunday performance — but with a holiday touch.
The Dec. 12 performance will be at the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., starting at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m. Those who come early are invited to enjoy a light holiday lunch and treats refreshment buffet starting at about 11:30 a.m. A donation exceeding $5 for each person is requested at the door.
While the Community Presbyterian Church opens its doors for the monthly jazz performances held at the church, the event is conducted by community volunteers who call themselves the Payson Friends of Jazz. They want to stress that the performance is open to everyone in Rim Country.
Seating is limited to about 200, so it is highly recommended that those who plan to attend send an e-mail to Gerry Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, he may be reached by calling (602) 619-3355.