The days are getting a bit shorter and the mornings are just a tad cooler. In Tonto Village, the temperature early in the morning is hovering around 40 to 45 degrees. Can the fall season be very far away?
The male residents in the Village are busy collecting firewood from the forest. I can see them going along Johnson Boulevard loaded down in their pickup trucks and their quad trailers coming back from their cutting sites.
I can also hear the prospective hunters practicing their shooting skills for the upcoming elk season. Sometimes the shots seem too close to our community. The would-be hunters need to be aware there is a regulation regarding shooting too close to homes.
Another sign that fall is getting nearer is the sound of the bugling of the elk that can be heard early in the morning. The sound seems to be pretty far out, they have not come into the Village this year as they have done in the past. There has been enough grazing grasses this year to keep them farther into the forest.
Hellsgate Fire Department
At the Aug. 11 meeting of the Hellsgate Fire Board held at station #22 in Tonto Village, the fire board recognized Capt. Rick Heron for his 15 years of service to the department and to Matt Highstreet for his eight years of service as a firefighter. The board thanks both of the firefighters for the dedication they have shown to the Hellsgate Fire Department and to the community.
The firefighters who helped make the Labor Day barbecue a success were: Nick Fitch, Chad Stluka, Bill Dupkee, Jeff Youngkens, Rachelle McGee, Bobby Mollere, Lenny Trujillo, Jeff Plante, Chief Gary Hatch, Dale Hayes and Karen Carlen. They even came on the food line and helped serve the meal for a while, giving the Fireflies a much-needed break. Thank you for all your help.
The Fireflies Auxiliary to the Hellsgate Fire Department, held their last meeting of the season Sept. 8 at the Tonto Village station. At that time, elections of new officers for the upcoming year were held. Voted into office for the 2011 year were: Dara Sutton, president; Joan Phippeny, vice president; Karen Fausz, secretary; and Scherry Duncan, treasurer. Congratulations to the new officers.
The past officers were applauded for their two years of service to the Fireflies. They were presented with an award at the appreciation luncheon that was held Sept. 10 at the Mazatzal Casino.
The next year promises to be bigger and better than the previous year. Chief Hatch attended the meeting and commented that he was extremely proud of the hard work and dedication that the auxiliary has accomplished since its inception.
He also said that the Fireflies Auxiliary encompasses 13 communities in the area and that the Fireflies are the largest auxiliary in Gila County and possibly in Arizona. What an accomplishment! Congratulations, Fireflies!
The Fireflies are now “in darkness” until next spring and the new president will announce when the next meeting will be held sometime in April. If you are interested in joining this crackerjack group, call Dara at (928) 478-0052.
Birthdays and anniversaries
Pastor Charles Wilcox and his wife Brenda will celebrate 29 years of marriage on Sept. 26. Pastor “Charlie” as he is affectionately known, was the resident pastor at the Tonto Village Chapel for a number of years. May you continue to grow together in life and love. Happy anniversary to you both.
On Sept. 28, Dara Sutton of Bear Flat will add another candle on her birthday cake. Even though Dara resides in Bear Flat, she is a vital part of the goings on in the community of Tonto Village. Thank you for all of your community service. May you delight in the simple treasures of life on your birthday.
The Double D nine-ball gals got together for their weekly competition with Christopher Creek on Tuesday evening. Ethel Cain shot for first place followed by Dee White of Tonto Creek Estates taking second place. Kara Shaw played for third place. Congratulations to the winners.