It seems apropos that Phil Paine was the lucky winner of the Isabelle Memorial Memorial Library benefit raffle that had as a prize a gift basket overflowing with almost $200 worth of scrumptious See’s Candy.
Drawing the Pine-Strawberry fireman’s name was fitting because his family includes four scrapping youngsters, Emma, Winnie, Caleb and Jerusha, who can obviously enjoy the sweets without worrying about consuming the mountain of calories that would be a concern for most.
Also, the Paine family members, “Are huge supporters of our library,” said Library Manager Becky Waer.
Just after Phil’s name was drawn on Dec. 20, Waer called to congratulate him for the win. Phil, however, was in Blue Ridge working, which meant his wife and the children showed up just minutes later to pick up the bountiful basket.
Emily Rush, a 13-year-old from Phoenix, drew Phil’s name from among those who had purchased raffle tickets since the benefit began a month ago.
In addition to Emily being at the library for the drawing, she was there to donate 150 books that she had collected as part of a “Mitzvah” commandment she participated in during her recent bat mitzvah — a Jewish rite of passage.
In Judaism, the Hebrew word mitzvah can mean an act of human kindness or a moral deed performed as a religious duty.
Because Emily’s family owns a cabin in Pine, she is a frequent visitor in the Rim Country.
A voracious reader, the teen enjoys the library often and for that reason chose it to be the recipient of her mitzvah obligation.
The donation thrilled Waer who said it was those kinds of acts of kindness that make the library a special place for young and old alike.
If it seems there is a larger number children and teens in our two towns of late, it’s because Pine-Strawberry School students are enjoying their annual Christmas recess.
It all began Dec. 20 and will continue through Jan. 6 when classes resume for the 2014 school year.
School officials are urging students to “Come back next year with a positive attitude for great things to come.”
And, parents, if you didn’t see your child’s most recent report card you might want to check his or her backpack.
Report cards went out Dec. 20.
Kubiaks take silver
Congratulations to Rick and Marlene Kubiak of Strawberry for their runner-up finish in the 2013 Chamber of Commerce Holiday Lighting Contest.
The Kubiaks’ holiday spectacle, which can be seen from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night until Jan. 1 in front of their home at 8720 Tonto Rim, is indeed a head-turner.
Marlene says her husband, with help from neighbors, worked “six days a week the last two months to make it come together beautifully.”
It’s well known in the two tiny mountain hamlets that the spectacle is a labor of love for Rick and his friends, but the real motivation behind it is to gather contributions for the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank.
The Kubiaks ask those who drive or stop by the display to donate non-perishable food items.
No word as yet on how much food was collected.
Those who don’t know the difference between a URL and an IP address might be wise to take advantage of an upcoming computer class being offered by Ray Baxter.
The chance to increase technical knowledge unfolds from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 25 in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library activity room, located behind the community center.
The session will include an introduction to using Windows 8 or 8.1 and a preview of Office 365.
The fee is $10 and students should bring their laptop and power supply. Registration is mandatory and can be done by phone (928) 476-3678 or by visiting the library in person.
Class size is limited to 15.
Baxter says the class will be useful even for those only thinking about purchasing a new computer.
2013 fuelwood season ending
Those who depend on firewood for home heating, have only five more days to gather the wood they’ll need to make it through the next four months.
The Tonto National Forest fuelwood season began April 1, 2013 and will end Dec. 31.
After a four-month respite from gathering wood, forest officials will begin issuing new permits on April 1, 2014.
A permit allows cutting of all species of dead and down trees and dead standing juniper trees up to 18 inches in diameter at the base, and dead standing pine up to 12 inches in diameter at the base. Up to 10 cords have been available at $10 per cord and there is a two cord minimum purchase.
Those fees could change in 2014.
Cutting areas in the Tonto include portions of Payson, Pleasant Valley, Globe and Tonto Basin ranger districts.