Rim Business Owners Reach Out To Help Tonto Natural Bridge

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This handcrafted necklace by April Bower is the grand prize in a special raffle to help raise money to keep the Tonto Natural Bridge operating, should the Town of Payson be able to make arrangements to take over its operation.

The Payson Main Street Guild members are planning a series of fund-raising events in an effort to help keep Tonto Natural Bridge operating.

“We are raising funds for the support of maintaining the Tonto Natural Bridge,” said Cindy Kofile, one of the project coordinators.

“The mayor is in conference with the commissioner of the State Parks (Board) to see how the town can support the efforts of maintaining the bridge after June 4 (they day it is scheduled to close). Once the town has negotiated an agreement with the state parks commissioner, our funds will go toward these efforts,” Kofile said.

The group is selling 500 tickets, at $5 each, between now and Feb. 11 for special Valentine’s-themed gifts put together with the help of several Swiss Village merchants and the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

The gifts include the grand prize of a silver and copper necklace in the design of the Main Street “Heart of Payson” logo, which is handcrafted and donated by April Bower of Down the Street Art Gallery; a dozen roses donated by Payson Florist; a pound of freshly made fudge donated by The Sugar Shack; a hand-carved heart candle donated by The Payson Candle Factory; and a $40 gift certificate to the Cedar Ridge Restaurant donated by the Mazatzal Casino.

Winners will be announced live on 98.5 FM KCMA at 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12 and posted on the Web site at www.PaysonMainStreet.com.

The participating merchants will also have the names of the winners.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

• Community Presbyterian Child Day Care, 800 W. Main St.

• Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St.

• Jennifer’s Skin Care, 602 W. Main St.

• MoJoe’s Cafe, 503 W. Main St.

• ReRuns Resale Boutique, 503 W. Main St.

• Green Mountain Emporium, 501 W. Main St.

• Artists of the Rim, 408 W. Main St.

• Payson Florist, The Swiss Village.

• The Sugar Shack, The Swiss Village.

• The Payson Candle Factory, The Swiss Village.

Mayor Kenny Evans has expressed his thanks and support for the effort of the Payson Main Street Guild, participating Swiss Village merchants and the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

“A great big thank you to the Main Street Merchants Guild. They have decided to support local efforts to keep the Tonto Natural Bridge open to visitors. … support their effort. It really is worth it,” the mayor wrote.

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