Soroptimist Raise Money For Groups, Scholarships


Cindy Long (right) and Debbie Hite call people for donations as Cathy Hall (background left) chats with Charlotte Beilgard, during the eighth annual Up, Up and Away Radiothon held Thursday at Chapman Auto Center.

Cindy Long (right) and Debbie Hite call people for donations as Cathy Hall (background left) chats with Charlotte Beilgard, during the eighth annual Up, Up and Away Radiothon held Thursday at Chapman Auto Center. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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For the eighth year, volunteers gathered Thursday afternoon to raise funds that help fight domestic violence during the Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country Radiothon.

In the first hour, donors had already pledged $2,025 and organizers hoped to hit $20,000 by the day’s end, $7,000 more than what was pledged last year.

Money raised during the “Up Up and Away with Domestic Violence” will be split evenly among the Time Out Shelter, Rim Country Arizonans for Children, Payson Community Kids and Soroptimist scholarships.

Cathy Hall, who helped start the Radiothon in Payson eight years ago, said she took the idea from a small town in New Jersey, where she used to live. Seeing the success of the event there, she knew it could help local organizations who rely heavily on donations to stay open.

Gerry Bailey, executive director with Time Out, Inc., said she has seen a steady increase in need for shelter services in the past few months and the money collected Thursday was coming at a crucial time. Recently, the 28-bed shelter went over capacity.

With overall costs up and funding cut for the third year in a row, “this event is a welcome gift,” Bailey said.

Suzy Tubbs, director of Payson Community Kids, echoed Bailey’s comments.

The after-school program for “at risk” youth has also seen an increase in need with 27 children joining the program since April, bring numbers up to 104 children.

Money raised during the radiothon at Chapman Auto Center “is a good part of our budget,” she said.

Last year, event organizers wrote PCK a check for $2,400.

Soroptimist members will hand out checks this year during a wine and cheese party Dec. 2 at the Best Western Payson Inn. Cost to attend is $15. For more information, call (928) 472-8007.

Helping out at Thursday’s event were dozens of volunteers, including the Payson Area Advisory Youth Council and Payson High School Future Farmers of America.

Dillon Walker, Tyler Aguirre, Lauren Best, Anthony Smith and Austin Shannon with the advisory committee helped decorate the auto center and make calls for donations.

Walker said the group is looking for more ways to help in the community and is recruiting new high school members.

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