We honored veterans on Veterans Day, and were thankful for our blessings on Thanksgiving, but we know that these holidays are not over. Honoring veterans and having a grateful spirit and giving are not something to do one day of the year, but a daily way to live.
In Strawberry and Pine, there are numerous groups that help the community by hosting events and fund-raisers, to keep on giving all year.
There are countless opportunities locally to help others. Whether reading to a child at the library, delivering meals to senior citizens, working on a comfort quilt, or filling boxes at the food bank, you are sure to find an outlet to help someone.
To learn more about volunteer organizations that serve our community and how you can help, log on to psaznews.com (Pine-Strawberry Community Information Site) and click on Community Organizations.
Let’s all enjoy the holiday traditions and the get-togethers, but keep the spirit going when the festivities end.
Pine-Strawberry Food Bank
Thank you to everyone who has generously donated non-perishable items and turkeys for the food bank’s Holiday Food and Turkey Drive, which runs through Dec. 15.
More is needed to help families in our community this holiday season and only 15 more days to do so. Donation boxes are located in the Ponderosa Market, the library and post office. You can also drop off frozen turkeys in a designated freezer at the Ponderosa Market. Our local food bank is solely dependent on contributions from the caring citizens of our community.
Festival of Lights
Come savor all the joys of a simple, old-fashioned, small-town Christmas at the annual Festival of Lights in Pine on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Pine Community Center on Hwy. 87.
Arts and crafts enthusiasts will delight in all of the holiday arts and crafts on display in the Pine Cultural Hall on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. There will also be a children’s craft area.
At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, join the Jingle Bell Parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy hot chocolate under the stars. Bring an ornament to put on the tree and a can of food for the food bank.
Come enjoy this wonderful celebration in our town as we mingle with friends, greet neighbors and light up the tree. Cold as it may be, it is sure to bring warmth and holiday spirit to your soul.
The Festival of Lights is one of many annual festivals that make Strawberry and Pine a wonderful place to visit year-round.
Pine Strawberry School honors veterans
In a Friday after Veterans Day ceremony, on Nov. 18, the Pine Strawberry School students and staff recognized student achievement and honored the service of U.S. veterans in a ceremony at the school.
The ceremony was attended by the entire student body and some parents and veterans, including veterans who were parents of students at the school.
It included a flag ceremony by the Payson Honor Guard, tributes to veterans by each class from kindergarten through eighth grade, and presentation of student awards. There were two plays for veterans, including a tribute to “Old Glory” by the student council. Music teacher, Ashley Kendrick, led the third-grade class in singing the song, “We Will Never Forget.”
Principal Mike Clark, assisted by student council members, presented awards for Principal’s List, Honor Roll, Student of the Month, Character Counts/Terrific Kids, and Trash Pickup.
Christmas Tree Auction
The next big event at the school will be the Christmas Tree Auction on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.
Student Affairs Adviser for Pine Strawberry School and seven-year faculty member, Jan Clark, told me that each class selects a theme and decorates a tree. The student council and National Junior Honor Society also decorate a tree.
The trees are donated by local businesses who sponsor each class. The money from the auction is divided among the classes (and two clubs) to help with field trips or classroom items.
In addition to the Christmas trees being auctioned, you can also purchase student-made Christmas cards, student-made ornaments and poinsettias.
There is a game for the children with prizes. Before the evening is over, Santa will arrive with gifts (again donated by our great local businesses). Refreshments will be served.
Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library
See’s Candy has arrived. Each holiday season, the library has a See’s Candy fund-raiser and Candy Basket Raffle. They have a large variety to choose from.
I became a fan of See’s when my friend, Kathi, gave me a box of See’s Assorted Chocolates every Christmas for nine years, when we both worked for the American Red Cross.
Although that was over 20 years ago, See’s Candy became a Christmas tradition and is something my entire family looks forward to during the holidays.
I’m grateful for a library that is so good at knowing what memories are made of and in keeping traditions alive in the most unexpected ways!
Our library gives to the community in many ways. Now we can give something back by purchasing a book for the library “Tree of Giving” fund-raiser. Their Christmas tree is up and ready for you to select a book (located on an ornament).
The library wants to buy new titles for children such as Carl Hiaasen’s “Chomp” and new titles for adults such as “Phantom” by Ted Bell and “Dorchester Terrace” by Anne Perry.
When the books arrive they will place bookplates inside noting your gift. Come in to the Pine library and choose what you like from their list of books and DVDs that are due to be published in 2012. All donations are tax-deductible.
Any questions please contact the library at 928-476-3678. That wraps it up for this week ... which reminds me, I need to wrap some presents. You can contact me with your Pine Strawberry happenings at haffordjoy1@ gmailcom or call 602-790-0248.