Many know Eddie Duran as the affable husband and father who for years coached Payson Little League teams and unselfishly served on the league’s board of directors.
Through his dedication to Little League, his love of the outdoors and his presence in the community, Eddie — who is employed by Payson Concrete — has accumulated a wide circle of friends who are now stepping up to help his family with medical expenses incurred from a stroke Eddie suffered about a week ago.
Organizers, including his longtime friend Noah Sarnowski, have settled on a benefit barbecue, camp-style dinner prepared by Clayton Randall. Sarnowski says it will be beef, cowboy beans and all the fixings.
Because Randall is considered one of the finest camp cooks in the Rim Country, the meal is virtually guaranteed to be scrumptious.
The dinner will be served for donations.
The benefit is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Payson Concrete.
Benefit organizers have also scheduled several raffles including one that has as a prize a full Angus beef, cut, prepared and freezer-ready.
Friends of Eddie’s have also donated seven rifles, which will be raffled.
Tickets for the beef and rifles will be sold for $20 each or six for $100.
Also, Sarnowski received an envelope donation containing $1,000 in cash, which will be raffled. Tickets are $50 each.
Raffle tickets may be purchased at Bud’s Plumbing, Payson Concrete, NAPA Auto and Semstream.
Eddie and his wife, Ellen, have three sons.
Benefit poker run
The Justice McNeeley Foundation Poker Run will be held Sept. 22 beginning with a 9 a.m. registration at Sidewinder Saloon in Pine. The ride begins one hour later.
The course takes riders to the Twin Buttes area before wrapping up at THAT Brewery and Pub on Beeline near Pine.
There the festivities will include not only the quad poker run, but also horseshoe tournaments, live band entertainment, raffles, auctions, giveaways and lip-smackin’ food served up by the restaurant.
The entertainment, provided by the Strawbillie Blues Band, will begin at 2 p.m. The auction, raffles and giveaways will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The McNeeley Foundation benefit poker run is a highlight on the Rim Country sports, recreation and social scene with all proceeds benefiting the foundation.
Past benefits have earned in excess of $8,000 for the foundation.
Since the inception of the benefit eight years ago, the fund has doled out thousands of dollars to help pay the medical expenses of needy Rim Country children.
“Dental, hearing, glasses, orthotics — anything they need, we try to provide,” said Justice McNeeley Fund chairman Chuck Collins. “We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization and all our employees are non-paid volunteers.”
For details, call Katie Parks at (928) 238-0155, or Collins at (928) 476-3479.