Fry Bread Sale Set To Help Raise Sports Fee Funds

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Sophie Davis, of the Tonto Apache Tribe — along with her family and friends — is hosting a benefit fry bread meal from 4 p.m. until kickoff this evening, Sept. 2 at the Payson High School north parking lot just off Longhorn Road near the stadium.

The cost for the traditional Native American treat is $5 and guests can select toppings from beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes or powdered sugar.

While there are many different ways to cook and prepare fry bread, those who have tasted Sophie’s delicious preparations praise them as the finest they’ve eaten.

The cost is $5 and all proceeds will be used to help student athletes who need assistance to pay their Payson High sports fees.

This year, the pay-to-play sports fees for high schoolers is $200 for the first sport, an extra $50 for a second with the cap at $400. At the middle school, parents must shell out $75 with the family cap at $150.

Some families struggle to pay those fees and there are examples of student-athletes not participating because their families cannot afford the fees.

While administrators have said they would issue fee waivers for those who cannot pay, tonight’s fry bread benefit appears to be a better alternative because the proceeds will be used to pay the way for the needy students.

So, on your way to the game tonight, go a little early to enjoy a fry bread dinner and be in the stadium by 6:45 p.m. to take in what is sure to be an emotional tribute to former Longhorn football star Blair River.

McNeeley foundation to host poker run

An annual quad poker run on trails and pathways around Pine and Strawberry is a much-anticipated event on the high country activities calendar.

It’s an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Tonto National Forest while riding a quad, side-by-side, ATV or motorcycle.

But it’s also more than a day in the woods, it is also a benefit to raise money for the Justice McNeely Foundation that has given thousands of dollars to needy children.

The foundation, which is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, has a motto of “Help Us Help a Child,” and helping is what the organization does best.

Just recently the foundation donated more than $3,600 to purchase a disabled boy a trainer to help him learn to walk; $5,500 to pay a surgery bill; $5,400 for dental braces; $2,400 to pay a child’s doctor bill; and more than $2,400 for specialized hearing aids.

“And that’s just some of the donations,” said Justice McNeeley Foundation member Katie Parks, also Justice’s mother.

For 2011, the eighth annual poker run is set for Sept. 17 and the entry fee to receive a hand of five cards is $10.

The actual run begins about 10 a.m. at the Rimside Grill and Cabins just south of Pine on the Beeline Highway.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the Grill will be offering a breakfast special for $3.99.

Following the run, prizes will be given for both the best and worst poker hands.

Also, in the afternoon hours a horseshoe tournament, raffles, auctions and a 50/50 drawing will highlight the celebration.

Entry fee for the horseshoe tournament is $10.

Also at the Rimside is a very nice volleyball court — the presence of which usually spawns several pick-up games.

Among the raffle prices is a Gentron Pro 2, 3000w portable generator valued at $500.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bryan Higgens and the Whiskey Creek band will provide music.

Those who participated in a motorcycle poker ride in June to earn money to buy a specialized walker to help a blind boy learn to walk, returned from the benefit singing the praises of Higgens who provided the music at a post-ride celebration at the Chalet in Strawberry.

For more information about the upcoming quad ride, go to: www.justicemcneeley foundation.org/home.

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