The Central Arizona Board of Realtors (CABOR) has donated $25,000 to the Rim Country Educational Foundation in hopes of helping move the Payson university project forward.
The funds guarantee two anonymous matching fund donations of $12,500 each will go toward the environmental impact study the Forest Service needs to sell land to the Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE) for the college.
“We totally support what (the Rim Country Educational Foundation) is doing,” said Emily DePugh, president of CABOR. “This (college project) is for the whole Rim Country — that’s why we stepped up to the plate.”
The donation also represents the kick-off of CABOR’s “Change for Change” fund-raising campaign to support the Foundation’s efforts to raise $374,000 for the environmental impact study.
The Change for Change campaign has three parts.
First, the Board of Realtors will place collection containers in stores throughout Rim Country. Then the Realtors will host a dinner dance at the Oxbow on Aug. 11 and raffle off a Polaris Ranger from Four Seasons Motor Sports. CABOR will only sell 250 tickets at $100 each for the Polaris Ranger. Tickets may be purchased at the CABOR office.
Richard Johnson, the chair of the Rim Country Educational Foundation, applauded the Realtors’ efforts.
“The Realtors felt it was an investment in the community,” he said.
Johnson and Judie Lyon, chairperson of the Volunteer Planning Committee for a University Campus in Payson, have set up a Facebook page to publish information on the events of the Change for Change campaign.
Johnson said the Rim Country Educational Foundation has spent months preparing to raise funds. He said the early, anonymous donations spurred not only the CABOR donations and support, but other community interest as well.
“Over the next 60 days, we’ll have a series of events,” he said.
These include an Art Walk and Chaparral Pines Home Tour.
During a series of town hall meetings, audience members wondered if donating money for the Forest Service study would guarantee the land sale.
Mayor Kenny Evans said already more than 1,200 hours of work have gone into the study process.
“It’s not that we’re rolling the dice,” he said. “We’ve had more support with new people.”
For the Facebook page on the Oxbow dinner event and Polaris ticket information, visit www.facebook.com/Rim CountryChangeForChange.
Contact Ellie Howard, the executive officer of CABOR, at (928) 474-1944 for more information on both the raffle and dinner dance.
For additional information, visit www.universityinpayson. com.