An overwhelming response from the community filled the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank donation bins this holiday season, with a surplus of food for several months to come.
In recent months, the food bank was concerned as the bank account and supplies were “desperately low,” said Marti Heinert, but “thanks to the fantastic cash and food donations, we were able to feed 105 families at Thanksgiving and 96 families at Christmas, without having to buy much at all.”
The first annual Turkey Drive was a huge success, bringing in sufficient turkeys for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
There are so many wonderful groups and people to thank for making this all possible, starting with the food bank volunteers who selflessly devote their time and efforts to helping those in need in our community. Their commitment is unparalleled and they are truly saints.
Cindy at the Ponderosa Market has a heart of gold that extends to the community in many ways from donating bread to community groups to providing a freezer and area for the food bank’s donation box.
Cindy will keep the donation box in the market in Pine all year.
The Food Bank estimates that recipients will increase about 30 percent in 2012, which is the annual average.
Christmas angels, Mike and Maureen at Edward Jones Financial, generously provided the Senior Angel Tree, with names of food bank recipients, enabling 32 seniors to receive a Christmas gift this year.
No one has bigger hearts or does more for needy children in Pine and Strawberry than the Riff-Raff Club who came through for the food bank families once again by ensuring every single child received a toy for Christmas.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing generosity of the residents of this community who selected angels from the senior angel tree and purchased tickets at Riff-Raff Club raffles. The community made unprecedented food and monetary donations despite a bleak economy.
The Food Bank is filled with pride in their community for the acts of kindness and caring shown so overwhelmingly this holiday season.
Thanks to all the Pine and Strawberry residents who demonstrated such great Christmas spirit by putting up beautiful displays this holiday season for our enjoyment.
I’m sure choosing the best display was a difficult decision for the judges, but I have a feeling they may have been hooked by the fishing Santa Claus in a boat.
Congratulations to Rick Kubiak of Strawberry who put a lot of work, heart and more than 100,000 lights into his impressive display. His efforts earned him a prestigious first place award in the annual holiday lighting contest.
See’s Candy winner
Another lucky winner, Linda Armstrong, won the coveted See’s Candy basket in the fund-raising raffle sponsored by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.
Linda and her husband, Henry, are part-time residents in our community, which is a getaway from the city for many Valley residents. Henry was smiling when he picked up the basket at the Library on Friday, Dec. 23. I would be too if I won all that candy!
Congratulations to Linda, Henry and to everyone who participated in the raffle to benefit the library.
The proceeds will help fund valuable programs in the community, which makes us all winners.
Rose Majors, from the Valley, who also has a getaway in Pine, won this year’s Opportunity Quilt raffle in the drawing on Dec. 1.
This year’s beautiful quilt called “Cabin in the Woods” was created by the Strawberry Patchers quilting group for their annual fund-raiser, which this year brought in $4,000 to help non-profit groups in the area.
The extraordinary quilt has been on display in Moose Mountain Antique Shop in Pine. The “Opportunity Quilt” is raffled every year on the first Thursday in December. Congratulations, Rose.
Did any of you buy a $10 raffle ticket for the hot looking red ATV that was being raffled by Tonto Rim Search and Rescue (TRSAR) during this year’s summer events?
I absolutely did because I could just see myself cruising around town on that gorgeous machine.
Of course the real reason my husband and I bought the ticket was to benefit the non-profit Search and Rescue group whose work is crucial to this area.
Volunteers change lives, but the highly trained and specialized Search and Rescue volunteers literally save lives, by rescuing stranded motorists and hikers in the rugged terrain and often harsh weather of the Arizona Rim.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Drizigacker of Mesa and Pine, Ariz., who won the new Artic Cat ATV from Rim Country Power Sports in Star Valley, the dealership that cooperated with TRSAR in the ATV raffle.
Father Time has ushered in another new year and it’s time to start tightening the belt on our finances after overspending during the holiday, while simultaneously loosening our belt, due to all those cookies and chocolates we’ve consumed.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Folks in our mountain community are relaxed and laid-back — yet never really seem to slow down.
The new year is here and we’re already off and running with plans for this year’s events and fund-raisers. The non-profit groups are already discussing what they can do this year to help the community even more in 2012.
People here are hard-working, talented, giving, friendly and genuine.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop saying it, this community is as special as communities get.
In Strawberry and Pine the word neighbor means something. I feel very blessed to call you my neighbors and even moreso to call you my friends.
Again, I wish each and every one of you and your families the happiest new year. I thank you for your support of the column and look forward to getting the word out this year about all the great and exciting things that are taking place in this neck of the woods.
Please send your comments or Pine Strawberry happenings to haffordjoy1@
gmail.com or call (602) 790-0248.