Strawberry Elite’S Steak Fry This Sunday

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Hungry? The Strawberry Elite’s annual steak fry is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., this Sunday, Aug. 21 at Rimside Grill. Enjoy a mesquite-grilled steak dinner with cowboy beans, cole slaw, potato salad, rolls and Texas sheet cake, all for $15 per person. Musical entertainment will be provided by Trouble in Paradise.

Proceeds from this dinner go to help needy children in Pine and Strawberry. Back to school backpacks are provided, along with gift certificates for Christmas gifts. Even assistance with utility bills is provided.

In addition to the steak fry, a gift basket raffle will be offered. Each basket will have more than $100 worth of goodies. Tickets are $5 for one or $20 for five. Support a good cause, try your luck at the raffle, and fill your tummy with good food — a triple bonus. See you there. I can’t pass up this deal!

Still hungry?

The Strawberry Elite’s Labor Day weekend Pancake Breakfast will be Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3 at the Pine Community Center from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. All the pancakes, sausage, coffee and orange juice you can eat for $5. Now there is another deal!

Ringo, the Tracker Dog

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of accompanying Tonto Rim Search and Rescue’s Susan Starr and her dog Ringo on a scent tracking exercise.

Ringo is a Humane Society rescue dog. Many tracker dogs are German shepherds — think Rin Tin Tin — or hounds. Despite Ringo’s Heinz 57 pedigree, he has the nose to do the job and do it well. A long nose and long legs, coupled with good endurance are the best traits.

There are two kinds of scenting dogs, trail scenting and air scenting. Nose to the ground is the former and nose in the air is the latter. Each sniffs the scent article, in this case the “lost” volunteer’s baseball cap.

Ringo, who is just really learning his skill, displays a combination of scenting skills. He started off with his nose down. When he got closer, his nose went in the air and he made a beeline to the “lost” person. Susan says the most important thing for the handler, who is just dead weight at the handle end of the leash, is to learn to trust the dog.

Tonto Rim Search and Rescue is always open to new volunteers, even if it is just to volunteer to be “lost” for these training sessions. Or, plunk down $20 a year and join.

There are many specialty skills needed for search and rescue duties. You can specialize in one or more. Your biggest attribute is your willing heart. Nearly everyone can help. There is even a rescuer with two artificial knees that helped carry out an injured person from Fossil Creek!

You do get to buy your own gear, but fund-raisers are still needed for equipment.

Last Saturday, I got a gander at the nifty quad and trailer rig valued at over $10,000 that is being raffled. Get your tickets, $10 for one or $50 for six. Check in at www.trsar.org for more information.

Pine School Report

Principal Mike Clark reports that PSS met all requirements for the federal NCLB AYP and received a grade of “B” from the Arizona Department of Education’s AZ LEARNS A-F grading scale. Students did well on the April 2011 AIMS. That is a lot of alphabet soup, but it means that our school is better than average and there is still room at the top.

Good job, Mike. Keep up the good work and kudos to all the teachers who help make this happen.

Riff Raff Rifle Raffle

This is one of the mostly highly anticipated events of the year! There are three rifles being raffled, along with a Weber grill and bunches of other goodies. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. You can get them by contacting Jerry Nader at 476-2195 or Jim MacLean at 476-3250. The drawing will be Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Bear Restaurant in Strawberry. The fun begins at 1 p.m. and the drawing will be at 3 p.m.

The Riff Raff Club is a group of good hearts that also help the needy folks of our two mountain towns. Members can usually be found at the Bear on Fridays for happy hours. Drop by. This is another organization that might entice you to be a helpful citizen and have a bunch of fun as well.

Pine Library Friends

The next meeting of the Pine Library Friends will be at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 22 in the Library Activity Room. The guest speaker will be Marilyn Horne of Rim Country Literacy, recently from Houston, Texas. Help welcome her to our community and bring a friend to see what delightful people help to support our fabulous library.

If you have questions or need directions, call Helen at (928) 476-4759.

Community Thanks

Thanks to Mrs. Marilyn Koren of Pine for teaching a palette knife acrylic art Class at Strawberry Chapel recently. Twenty wannabe artists from age 9 to adult with no previous experience in this technique was able to complete their project in about five hours.

Thanks also to Strawberry Chapel and the Payson Roundup for donating all the materials needed to offer this class! What a wonderful community we live in!

Thanks to Kim Ballam for keeping us informed.

Time is Running Out!

Next week is my last column. It has been a blast. If I could do this from 400 miles away, I would, but … Whose turn is it now? Come on, folks. Get yourself down to the Payson Roundup and have a chat with Tom Brossart about being the next Strawberry Pine columnist. It does pay a couple of bucks, but the greater value is in meeting some of the best people on earth — and they are your neighbors! Call Tom at (928) 474-5251, ext. 115, or e-mail editor@payson .com.

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