It’s not often in today’s economy — which often includes government cutbacks to non-profits — that those types of civic organizations are able to reduce prices.
But that’s exactly what occurred Jan. 1, 2014 when the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) announced senior dining room meal prices were going to be reduced.
Dining room manager Terry Burkhart said SCAF was able to cut prices mostly because the local thrift store, which funds the senior meal program with its profits, enjoyed a banner economic season.
With more funds available for the meal program, Burkhart said, “We wanted to give back to the seniors and help out the community and we believe reducing prices was the best way to do that.”
Daily dining room meals with the salad bar that were formerly $4 have been reduced to $3 for SCAF members.
Salad bar only meals, which were $3, are now $2.
Meals on Wheels, which are served five days a week, have been reduced to $4 daily from the previous $5 rate. The weekly prices are now $20 rather than $25, which was charged in 2013.
Those rates apply only to SCAF members.
Daily rates for non-members will remain the same at $6 for the dining room meal plus salad bar and $3 for the salad bar only.
In reflecting on the past holiday season, Burkhart touted the SCAF dining room for serving 54 free meals on Christmas and 12 more delivered to shut-ins.
On Thanksgiving, the dining room served 48 and delivered another 12 via the Meals and Wheels program.
The accomplishments of being able to reduce prices and serve free holiday meals has Burkhart beaming with pride mostly because similar non-profits around the state have had to curtail their programs in light of government cutbacks.
“We are able to do what we do because we are entirely self-sufficient with profits from the thrift store,” Burkhart said.
Providing budget-priced and free meals, however, has not been the only function of the local non-profit.
“We (SCAF) have even been able to help some needy elderly obtain firewood and we’ve paid for some repairs for a woman with plumbing, heating and skunk problems,” Burkhart said.
Membership in SCAF is open to full- or part-time residents of Pine, Strawberry and surrounding communities who are 50 years of age or older.
Members are urged to volunteer when opportunities arise and to make suggestions for special activities and educational programs.
Throughout the year, SCAF members enjoy a variety of regular activities including movies, potluck dinners, board games, bingo and a variety of card games.
SCAF is governed by a seven-member board of directors elected annually by the general membership. SCAF is also a member of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pine Strawberry Business Community.
Pine Strawberry School Principal/Superintendent Cody Barlow and his staff on Monday welcomed back students from the two-week holiday respite from classes.
Among Barlow’s agenda items on the first day of the 2014-15 school year was to announce the school’s honor roll and principal’s list recipients for the second quarter. The principal’s list includes those who earned all “A” grades.
Honor roll students include:
Fourth Grade, Mrs. Utz: Sebastian Yocum, Alyssa Baeuerlen, Darby MacFarlane and Taylor Poole.
Fifth Grade, Mrs. Donaldson: Lexi Ward, Haley Hargett, Joerge Ramirez and Lane Wiltbank.
Sixth Grade, Mrs. Flanagan: Veronica Blanch, MaKenzie Abney, Holly Carl, Aby Ast, Lizzie MacFarlane, Jordan Wain and Cameron Taylor.
Seventh Grade, Ms. Johnson: Bobbie Rose Price, Brian Wintrich, Brianna Suksi, Mercedes Miranda and Lars Tanner.
Eighth Grade, Ms. Fran: Brittany Fleming, Shaila Hein, Savannah James, Seth O’Neil, Becca Ralls and Tyler Staub.
Principal’s List students were:
Fourth Grade, Mrs.Utz: Cash York and Darby MacFarlane.
Fifth Grade, Mrs. Donaldson: Raci Miranda and Emma Paine.
Sixth Grade, Mrs. Flanagan: Kendall Brooks and Adam Leneberg.
Seventh Grade, Ms. Johnson: Katie Poole.
Eighth Grade, Ms. Fran: Dakota Minear.
In welcoming back students from the holidays, Barlow also announced three upcoming school activities:
• The school spelling bee is set for 1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15.
• The basketball season wraps up Thursday, Jan. 16 with a game against Camp Verde; the girls play at 4 p.m. and the boys at 5 p.m.
• The school science fair will be held the week of Jan. 27.
Habitat for Humanity
It’s not well known, but Pine-Strawberry residents qualify for Payson Area Habitat for Humanity assistance because they reside in the Payson High School District.
To qualify, however, applicants must have lived in the district for a least a year and have a need for safe, decent, affordable housing.
Also, applicants must have an income between 30 to 60 percent of the area median for their family size.
They must also be able to afford an estimated mortgage payment of about $500 per month and be able to partner with Habitat for 200 to 500 sweat equity hours.
Call (928) 474-0330 for more information.
At the library
Among the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library’s on-going programs:
• “Pre-School Story and Activities” held from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. each Wednesday.
Children ages 2-1/2 to 5-1/2 are welcome to enjoy stories, crafts, music, games and plenty of old-fashioned fun.
• “Wii Gaming” or computer games for children of all ages is held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Those in grades kindergarten through fifth are welcome from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. those same days.
• The “Tots ’N Toddlers Playtime” from 10:30 to 11 a.m. every Friday has been temporarily canceled as has the “Mommy and Me Time” that followed.
The library also hosts a “Caring and Sharing” coupon exchange program in which consumers can clip out product coupons they might not use and take them to the library to exchange them for coupons they can use.