The benefit barbecue dinners, cooked deep-pit style by outdoor chef Albert Hunt, have been a highlight of Lady Longhorn softball seasons for more than a decade.
The scrumptious meals include the lip-smacking barbecued meat, cowboy beans, slaw and rolls.
While the food is obviously a hit among townspeople, the real purpose of the event is to earn money for the cash-strapped Lady Longhorn softball team.
Without the money, the team members would have to go without much-needed items that cannot be purchased with the district’s menial athletic budget.
In addition to the meal, the benefits also provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy the camaraderie that can only be found in the small towns around Arizona.
Lady Longhorn assistant softball coach Kadi Tenney is hoping that fans and boosters from around the Rim Country turn out from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today, April 23, at the softball field concession stand to enjoy one of the meals for $6.
During the hours the dinner is being served, fans may kick back and enjoy a junior varsity softball game pitting visiting Camp Verde against PHS.
Following the jayvee game, at about 6 p.m., the varsity will play Camp Verde under the lights.
The evening has also been designated “Senior Night” and the team and coaches will honor the four seniors on the roster.
“We want everyone to show up,” Tenney said.
The Payson High baseball team is also in dire need of financial support and to earn money will host a “Hole-in-One Challenge” on April 27 at Payson Golf Course. Tickets are $2 per shot or $5 for three shots. Qualifying will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the finals begin at 3:30 p.m. The top prize is $50,000.
Coach Brian Young says the top five qualifiers from the early session will be invited to the 3:30 p.m. finals.
“With all the financial issues in our district, any money we can make on our own goes right back to the players in the form of uniforms, equipment and travel to tournaments,” Young said.
Elks bugle for children
Ask most any public school teacher or school health professional and they’ll confirm the Elks Clothe-a-Child is one of the most worthwhile charities in the state because the program provides new clothing for children from families in need.
Due to the benefit’s admirable cause, Elk member and tournament director Becky Waer is urging linksters to sign up now for the 2013 Clothe-A-Child benefit, which will be played Saturday, July 6 at Payson Golf Course.
Check-in is at 6:30 a.m. when coffee and doughnuts will be served. At 7:30 a.m. the fray gets off to a shotgun start.
The format is four-man teams of best-ball play and golfers who do not have a team will be assigned one.
The fee is $80 per golfer ($65 for PGC members), which includes 18 holes of play with a cart, lunch, raffle prizes and awards for closest to the pin and straightest drive.
The fee is a legitimate links bargain. The fee for the social welfare golf tournament hosted by the Chandler Elks Lodge is $115 per player and even higher at other benefits around the state.
The evening of the local tournament, July 6, a dinner, cocktail hour, silent auction, music and dancing will be held at the Payson Elks Lodge. The no-host cocktail hour begins at 5 p.m., the buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m., with music and dancing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The day before the tournament, July 5, the Elks Lodge lounge will open at noon. Live music and a silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For those who don’t golf, there will also be plenty of activities going on at the lodge including bingo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Non-golfers can also purchase lunch ($5) and dinner tickets ($15), which will be available at the lodge.
On Independence Day, burgers and hot dogs will be served under the Elks Lodge ramada and a horseshoe tournament held.
Both begin at noon.