Our friends and neighbors in Winslow were still reeling from the accidental death of longtime WHS softball coach and teacher Becky Barris when yet another teacher and coach was killed.
Steve Sartain, who had taught and coached at the school since 1998, was killed May 29 when the vehicle he was driving hit an elk about a mile south of Sunset Pass on the Beeline Highway south of Winslow. His son, a sophomore, was also in the vehicle and reportedly remains in a coma.
Longtime WHS teacher and baseball coach Art Griffith is among those mourning the loss, “Steve was really a good guy and a solid coach and teacher.
“Two in one semester puts your school and faculty into shock.”
Barris was killed in an auto accident less than a year ago.
Camp in Wilson Dome
The Longhorn Fundamental Basketball Academy tipped off yesterday, Monday morning, with about 50 aspiring young players in attendance. The academy, which is led by PHS coach Joe Sanchez and retired Paradise Valley coach Bill Farrell, continues 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. through Thursday.
Parents are invited to the final practice session for wrap-up ceremonies.
Elks host golf benefit
Although the Payson Unified School District is not considered an impoverished area similar to some of the districts in south Phoenix or big city ghettos, there are disadvantaged children locally who are in need of adequate school clothing.
That’s where Becky Waer and her Arizona Elks Association Clothe-a-Child program go to work.
For years, Waer and her volunteers have annually hosted a charity golf tournament to raise money for Clothe-a-Child.
The Elks sponsor similar tournaments around the state with the same goal — to make sure school children have proper-fitting, warm and contemporary clothing.
“This is a statewide program; some of our clubs do it (donate clothes) at Christmas and some before the first day of school,” said tournament chairman Becky Waer. “We do it through the schools, so it is kind of a confidential thing.”
Last year, the Elks’ statewide Clothe-a-Child program purchased $142,000 worth of new clothing that was given to more than 1,000 Arizona children in need.
The numbers of those in need could be even greater this year, given the state of the economy.
The money clothes local children who might not have felt the pride of slipping on new clothes for the first day of school or the holidays if it were not for the program.
In Payson alone, $6,650 was raised during last year’s tournament and the accompanying benefit bingo game and raffles.
The total marked a considerable increase over the 2012 tournament earnings, which were just a little more than $4,000. Waer said the increase was because the 2012 tournament attracted a full field of 28 foursomes, and in 2011 it did not.
Waer is anticipating another full field this year, which is among the reasons she’s begun early to get the word out about the benefit, which is July 6.
In most years, the tournament draws Elks members and others from Kearney, Sun City, Prescott, Flagstaff, Show Low, Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.