Benefit Poker Run Raises Funds For Cancer Help


Lorraine Cline Memorial Poker Ride organizer Laci Sopeland is calling the third annual benefit an overwhelming success.

“It was awesome,” Sopeland said. “We had a huge turnout and a lot of support.”

The ride, which took place April 30, traveled through some of Gila County’s most scenic wildlands, most of which are on the O bar C Ranch property in Tonto Basin.

The jaunt was about 40 miles and took most of the day because there were several stops along the way where riders received playing cards that made up each entrant’s poker hand. A stop was also made where riders could enjoy a picnic lunch.

Among the most interesting stops was at the historic DuPont Cabin, where Tonto Basin businessman John Dryer passed out playing cards, and the Copper Mountain “cave” mining site.

Dryer, a good friend to Lorraine Cline who died several years ago of cancer, helps out each year with the benefit, says the DuPont Cabin, “is a spot you could never find unless you knew exactly where it was.”

He also describes the remote Copper Mountain “as an old mining claim that’s a lot of fun to look around.”

Sopeland said the so-called “cave” was a popular gathering point for all the riders who stopped to explore it and enjoy in the camaraderie of the ride.

Riders paid $20 for a poker hand and prize money was paid to the top three hands.

A total of 205 poker hands were sold, but Sopeland says the number who went on the ride was larger because it included some 18-years-of-age and under entrants prohibited from purchasing hands.

All proceeds benefit local cancer victims and their families.

Little League benefit

Payson Little League is hosting its annual benefit golf tournament on May 21 at Payson Golf Course.

The four-man scramble tees off at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The entry fee is $65 per player and is tax deductible.

The fee includes 18 holes of play, cart, catered lunch, prizes and contests.

Among the contests will be closest to the pin, longest drive and a “Las Vegas hole” where players can wager on whether they can slap a tee shot into a pre-drawn circle.

Also, Little League is in need of hole, prize and team sponsors.

Tournament co-director Duane Kaufman said the local Little League program desperately depends on the funds earned in the annual tournament and he’s inviting all golfers, no matter their skill levels, to turn out in support of Rim Country youth.

Entry forms are available at Payson Golf Course or by calling Kaufman at (928) 978-1946 or Bob Ferkol at (928) 978-3772.

New date for Elks golf tourney

The always festive 2011 Clothe-A-Child benefit golf tournament sponsored by the Payson Elks Club will be played June 11 at Payson Golf Course.

The tournament has been traditionally held in July or August but the date was moved up this year so as not to conflict with other state Elks’ activities.

Check-in is at 7 a.m. when coffee and donuts will be served. At 8 a.m. the fray gets off to a shotgun start. The format is four-man teams of best-ball play and golfers who do not have a team will be assigned one. The fee is $80 per golfer ($55 for PGC members), which includes 18 holes of play with a cart, lunch, raffle prizes and awards for closest to the pin and straightest drive.

The evening of the local tournament, June 11, festivities continue at Payson Elks Lodge. The day before the tournament the Elks Lodge will have additional activities.

For out-of-town players, RV hookups and dry sites will be available at the local lodge. The fee is $5 for a dry site and $15 for hookup.

Tournament organizers are also in need of tee sponsors. For a minimum donation of $25, a 2-by-1-1/2 foot sign on a tee box at PGC will acknowledge sponsors.

All the proceeds from the series of Elks-hosted tournaments held around the state are used to purchase much-needed clothing for disadvantaged school children.

Entry forms are available at the Elks Lodge located at 1206 N. Beeline Highway. For details, call Becky Waer at (928) 476-3678, or the lodge at (928) 474-2572. Questions may also be e-mailed to Waer at


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