This community never ceases to amaze me.
To visitors, it is a place of beauty, outdoor recreation, friendly people, festivals and fun. To live here, is to be inspired.
Community groups here share one mission: to genuinely help others. I’ve learned that people here don’t just wear one hat, or belong to one group, but to many.
Some belong to the Senior Center Affairs Foundation, Pine-Strawberry Business Community, Library Friends and the Riff-Raff Club — or two or three other groups — all at the same time.
Many here live frugally on fixed incomes yet find room in their hearts to volunteer, and dig deeper in their limited funds to help others.
It has been a difficult year for many with loss of a job or even loss of a loved one.
Yet the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Strawberry and Pine. Maybe it’s because here people know that to give is as rewarding for the giver as it is for the receiver.
If you are struggling or alone this holiday season, consider ringing bells for the Salvation Army or helping the senior center, food bank or shelter and making new friends. In sharing the spirit of the season, it will most surely be returned to you.
The Food Bank is thankful to the many community members who have responded so generously to the 2011 Pine Strawberry Food Bank Holiday Food and Turkey Drive.
They depend on the community for resources, and the community did not disappoint. Thanks to you, many of our community members in need had a bountiful Thanksgiving meal.
The Food and Turkey Drive runs through Dec. 15 so let’s make sure every family has a good Christmas. On behalf of all the recipients and food bank staff, thank you for caring and sharing this holiday season.
The giving never ends here, but it starts with local business owners, who are very responsive to community needs.
An example is the Senior Angel Tree that has been set up in the Edward Jones office located next to the Herb Stop at 4010 N. Highway 87 in Pine.
All you angels out there (and there are many of you) can stop in to the investment office (either in Pine or two Payson locations) and pick an angel from the tree, with information on a Pine or Strawberry senior who needs a special angel this year. The program will run until Dec. 19.
Mike Blaes, financial advisor for Edward Jones, told me that his office works in conjunction with the Pine Strawberry Food Bank to get names, ages and gift ideas for senior food bank recipients.
Let’s not allow a senior in our community to go without a Christmas gift this year.
SCAF presents donations
The Senior Center Affairs Foundation (SCAF), does much more than run the Community Center Thrift Store and senior dining room.
Among other things, they sponsor Tellabration, a story-telling event now in its 12th consecutive year in Pine.
This year’s Tellabration had the largest turnout to date.
All proceeds, as from all SCAF activities, are given to non-profit groups in the community.
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, SCAF presented a check for 80 percent of the Tellabration proceeds, $1500, to the Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction group at their monthly meeting. The group is widely recognized for their professional and outstanding work on behalf of our community to protect our homes and businesses from wildfires. The work they do is vital to the well-being of Strawberry and Pine.
They invite you to their meetings the last Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Senior Dining Room at the Community Center. Mark your calendar and come see what they are doing to keep us safe!
The other 20 percent of Tellabration proceeds, $400, was donated to the Pine Strawberry School eighth-grade class to help meet needs that would not be met were if not for SCAF’s generosity.
Smartly dressed members of the eighth-grade class provided superb service at the Tellabration dinner with the story tellers, doing a fantastic job and helping make it an enjoyable time for everyone. It goes without saying that the story tellers did a phenomenal job!
SCAF officials want to thank the Tellabration organization for selecting our area to be part of this special event each year.
They could not have selected a more perfect and deserving community that is supportive and enthusiastic about the event.
SCAF officials say they are also extremely grateful to the residents of this community for their dedication and support of Tellabration.
Thanks to all of you for making it a worthwhile, successful fund-raising endeavor for the community, and helping to preserve the art of story telling for all nations and generations to come.
To see how you can help SCAF, contact the Thrift Store at (928) 476-4633.
Free Christmas dinner
Due to the great response to the free community Thanksgiving Dinner, the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation has decided to host a Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25, free for the Pine Strawberry communities.
The history of the SCAF free community holiday dinner is another example of how very extraordinary this community is.
Residents, Terry and Dave Burkhart, approached SCAF offering to donate all foods for a community Thanksgiving dinner if SCAF would donate the use of the dining room and kitchen. SCAF readily agreed.
The outcome was fantastic.
When they heard what was to take place, the community came with turkeys and all kinds of food, as well as volunteering to help.
Approximately 100 dinners were served, and everyone pitched in doing whatever was needed from serving to cleanup.
The response from attendees and volunteers was unanimous to repeat the free dinner at Christmas, as well as next Thanksgiving.
Seating is limited. RSVP for the Christmas dinner to Terry at (928) 476-2151, or call if you wish to volunteer.
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