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 day 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 began early to get the word out about the benefit.
In most years, the tournament draws Elks members and others from Kearney, Sun City, Prescott, Flagstaff, Show Low, Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.
Elks help around the state, country
Last year in the Humboldt School District, members of the BPOE Lodge treated 40 children to $100 each to purchase apparel and shoes at a local Walmart.
In Laughlin, Nev., William Knowles was the recipient of the community’s Humanitarian Award for his work with Clothe-a-Child.
In Sedona, the lodge annually hosts a Clothe-a-Child benefit as well as a Toys for Tots giveaway.
At the Show Low Elks Lodge, local musicians hold an annual reunion to raise money for the local Clothe-a-Child program that benefits needy children around the White Mountains.
In Rushville, Ind., the local Elks club has been helping local children in need through the Clothe-a-Child program for more than 50 years.
The lodge distributes the clothes during the Christmas season when members take needy youths shopping at Walmart.
Each child gets a complete outfit from head to toe, including a warm winter coat and then a surprise item from the toy department.
The Rushville Lodge earns the money through a gala, dinner, auction and Monte Carlo evening.
Two years ago, the auctioneer got so caught up in the event that he auctioned his tie — which brought in $300.
Sign up now
Due to the tournament’s admirable
cause, 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
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.
RV hookups and dry sites will be available at the local lodge.
The fee is $5 for a dry site and $15 for hookup. There is also a dump station at the lodge.
Visiting golfers can also reserve rooms at several local hotels and motels including Best Western Payson Inn, Comfort Inn, Majestic Mountain Inn and Days Inn.
Tournament organizers are also in need of tee sponsors. For a minimum donation of $50, a 2-foot-by-1-1/2-foot sign on a tee box at PGC will acknowledge sponsors.
Entry forms are available at the Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway.
For details, call Waer at (928) 476-3678, or the lodge at (928) 474-2572.
Questions may also be e-mailed to Waer at email@example.com.