Payson Should Get Behind The Pikes Saturday

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The Payson Pikes swim team opens the 2013 season in earnest tomorrow, Saturday, by hosting the Sedona Swim Club at Taylor Pool. Both teams warm up at 8:30 a.m. and competition begins sharply at 9 a.m.

Although the team held an intrasquad competition June 8 at Taylor, tomorrow’s meet will be the first of the season against an opposing club.

During the meet, events will include the four basic strokes — freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.

Also, swimmers compete in age groups. Spectators are welcome free of charge.

Helping out

It’s not unusual in the Rim Country for residents to speed to the aid of neighbors in need.

For proof, only months ago Eddie Duran’s friends and co-workers — even some who barely knew him — stepped up to help him and his family after he suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in Phoenix.

A benefit barbecue, raffle and auction at Payson Concrete — where Eddie worked — drew throngs of well-wishers eager to help out.

Just as residents rushed to his aid, they are once again reaching out to help another young man, Terry Neese, who was also felled by a stroke.

On April 17, Neese, who graduated from Payson High School in 1995, suffered the stroke and has since been hospitalized in Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix.

Currently, he is undergoing rehabilitation in the hospital’s Select Rehab Center.

Having attended Payson schools his entire student life and because he worked for the Town of Payson Street Department from 1998 to 2007, Terry is well known in the Rim Country. He and his wife Sundi (Haught), whom he met in 1995 and married in 2000, have a daughter, Rylinn, 12, and son, Braden, 7.

After resigning his position with the Town of Payson, Terry founded his own business — Round Valley Processing, which processes wild game, beef and pork.

Prior to his stroke, Neese enjoyed team roping, hunting and four-wheeling in his free time.

Friends, including Lani Keeney, describe him as a man “with a huge heart who loves to help people out.”

Payson High School football coach Jake Swartwood seconds that calling Neese, “a really good guy.”

With Terry struggling to recover and his family supporting his rehab efforts, Terry’s friends have pitched in to organize a benefit to be held from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Oxbow Saloon on Main Street.

All proceeds will help pay the medical costs incurred during Neese’s hospitalization.

Clay Sopeland and his four-piece Moonshine Mafia band, which is known locally for its high-energy shows and crowd interaction, will provide music.

Also at the upcoming benefit, a trio of the Rim Country’s most recognized campfire cooks — Clayton Randall, Roy Haught and Albert Hunt — will prepare a scrumptious, cowboy-style, barbecue feast.

The three’s outdoor-style slow-cooking expertise yields mouthwatering delights that are sure to tickle the taste buds.

During the afternoon of the benefit, a reverse raffle for a 2013 Polaris Ranger 900 is sure to be a highlight. Those who have participated in reverse raffles before know they can turn into a boot scootin’ good time as ticket holders jockey for the possibility of driving away in the red-hot side-by-side.

Tickets for the reverse raffle are available at Payson Concrete, Bud’s Plumbing and Napa Auto Parts.

In addition to the raffle, organizers have scheduled silent auctions, gun raffles and 50/50 raffles, some of which have a fully processed half-beef as a prize.

For more information or to purchase reverse raffle tickets, call Keeney at (928) 978-0990.

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