Community Almanac Friday, December 9, 2016


Gila Community College spring registration

Registration for the 2017 Spring Semester is now under way at Gila Community College.

Students may register online at or call and schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor and register early because classes fill quickly. Financial Aid funding is available to those who qualify.

For more information, call 928-468-8039.

Community Breakfast

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane, hosts a Community Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Friday, Dec. 9.

This event is held the second Friday of every month and everyone is welcome. For details, call 928-474-5440.

Write a letter, change a life

Amnesty International Payson invites Rim residents and visitors to participate in its seventh Annual Global Write for Rights, Saturday, Dec. 10. Stop by the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Rd. anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Join human rights activists around the world working to free prisoners of conscience. We write letters to demand that the rights of individuals are respected and protected. More than 40,000 individuals have been freed as a result of this letter writing effort over the years. Laws to uphold human rights have been enacted; investigations into allegations of torture have been launched, and families have been reunited!

Refreshments will be served and letter writing materials provided. Participants will be writing for 12 urgent cases from the United States and around the world. It only takes 10 minutes to write a letter and change a life! 

For information about the event, contact Penny at 928-978-1268 or Joan at 928-478-6295.

Christmas Boutique

The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild Boutique is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. There are many handcrafted items available, including hand-woven baskets, unique jewelry, leather crafts, knitted and crocheted items, handmade aprons, clothing, pet attire and many seasonal crafts.

The boutique is located behind the Pine thrift shop at the senior center.

Gift wrapping offered

The KEY Club of Payson High School will wrap your holiday gifts for donations at the Walmart Garden Center from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10.

Proceeds are used to help send KEY Club members to leadership and educational conferences and finance many local service projects to better the Rim Country communities.

Payson Choral Society Christmas concert

The Payson Choral Society presents the community’s big Christmas concert at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 and 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

The theme of the concert is “Rejoice!” directed by Daria Mason with accompaniment by Lisa Tan.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from Choral Society members, at Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert. Concert tickets are $10 at the door and $8 in advance. Children and students up to age 18 are admitted free.

Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle school and high school students. These are awarded each year at the spring concert. For added information, call John Landino 928-468-0023.

Free dance lessons

Free Country Western Dance lessons will be offered at The Ox Bow Saloon from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 with Lynn and John Pajerski.

This will be the last lesson of the year. Bring a friend or come by yourself. The Pajerskis will be teaching couples and singles dancing. Lessons are free, but please bring a canned good for The Deacon’s Pantry Food Bank.  

If you have any questions, call 480-734-1647.

School concerts

As always, schools in the Rim Country will be filled with holiday music at Christmas concerts. The tentative schedule for the programs:

Payson - Payson High School/Rim Country Middle School Band Concert, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 15; guitar concert, 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16. All concerts for Payson schools are in the auditorium on the Payson High School campus.

Pine – Pine Strawberry Elementary School Christmas concert and Christmas tree auction is at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14 in the school gym; the tree auction is a popular tradition in the Pine and Strawberry communities, each class and any school club or organization may decorate a tree, sponsored by a business or community club or organization and then these are auctioned to the highest bidder, with funds used by the decorating team for classroom supplies. Linda O’Dell, principal/superintendent for the school, said this year Home Depot in Payson is a new sponsor for the program.

Tonto Basin – Tonto Basin Elementary School will present its Christmas program at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16.

Dueker Ranch benefit

A benefit for the Dueker Ranch in Star Valley is planned at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

A “Cowboy Christmas” program with Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers will feature a “Wild West Musical Show.”

Those who have attended a Pioneer Pepper show say it is filled with the fun, music and spirit of the Old West and rekindles memories of singing cowboys like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Rex Allen.

Because the seven-member group’s appearance in Payson precedes the holidays it will be highlighted by a collection of timeless Christmas songs like “Silent Night,” “Silver Bells,” “Away in the Manger,” “White Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Tickets, priced at $20 each, are available at the 260 Café, Payson Wireless, Bob’s Western Wear, Crosswinds Restaurant and Scoops Ice Cream or at the door.

All proceeds benefit Dueker Ranch, which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Acting classes at GCC

Gila Community College will be offering acting classes starting Jan. 11, 2017.

The classes will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays. One can register online or at the college until Dec. 18.

Tina Ratzken, who holds a master’s degree in speech and theater, will be teaching the course. The tuition is free for seniors. Home-schooled students, 14 or older, are welcome to enroll.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tina Ratzken, 928-363-1641.

Open house

The Gila County School Superintendent invites Rim residents to an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Dec. 19 at the Gila County Education Service Agency, 1100 N. Beeline Hwy., Suite G, Payson to celebrate the agency’s recent award of a $412,000 math and science grant.

A light lunch and refreshments will be served.

Library Friends of Payson Bookstore specials

During December, the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore features Christmas fiction, cookbooks, craft books, etc. at two for the price of one. As always, the second item must be of equal or lesser value than the first item.

Bookstore gift certificates are $3 and make perfect gifts for those hard to shop for people. Stop by and discover the bookstore’s holiday treasures.

The bookstore will also be offering all regular size paperbacks at the amazing value of 10 for $1. This is an opportunity to stock up on books by your favorite authors for those cold winter days to come.

Another special this month is a free cookbook with any purchase. This is a good time of year to discover some new recipes.

Bookstore stock is constantly changing, so stop by often. All proceeds directly support the library.

The LFOP Bookstore is located to the right of the circulation desk just inside the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road. For more information, visit our website at

Angel Project Toy Drive

Rim residents and visitors are invited to help 11-year-old Angel Alatriz until Tuesday, Dec. 20 to collect toys and other gift items to benefit Payson area children.

Donation boxes are at Sears, Little Caesar’s, Star Valley Storage and the Payson Barber Shop.

Angel Trees for the project are at Payson Wireless, Pandora’s Box, Maverik Cadillac Ranch Restaurant, Shear Oasis, Rue 21, Culver’s, Tiny’s Restaurant and Verizon Wireless.

Additional information is available from Angel’s mother, Leticia, 480-322-2743.

Blood drive

A blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 22 at the main conference room of Banner Payson Medical Center, 807 S. Ponderosa.

Jazz pianist needed

The Payson Jazz Trio lost its lead piano player Bob Smolenski when he moved to the Valley about a year ago.

Gerry Reynolds would like to reform the trio, so is looking for a piano player (or a guitar player) who might want to join. 

As a lead player, he or she will have some flexibility in determining the style and generation of the music, but the music must swing. Some experience playing in a group is desired. There are some performance opportunities to explore in the spring, so Reynolds needs to form the group early in the new year. 

Any piano or guitar player who will be available in the Payson area and who enjoys practicing and performing any of the forms of jazz music is encouraged to send an e-mail to, or leave a message at 602-619-3355.

Volunteers needed to help prepare tax returns

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free volunteer tax assistance and preparation service.

The service helps local taxpayers with low to moderate incomes, with special attention given to those 60 and older.

Volunteers receive free IRS certified training prior to working with taxpayers. You must be willing to commit at least four hours per week during the tax season from Feb. 1 through April 15 after being certified. If you are interested, email or phone Lori at 928-478-6460.

Seeking rodeo memorabilia

The Payson Rodeo Committee is dedicated to keeping the region’s Western Heritage alive.

The World’s Oldest Continuous rodeo is a trademark of Payson. This coming August the 133rd performance of this great tradition will be celebrated.

The rodeo committee is looking to set up a place for all to review and enjoy this history. Members are searching for any and all rodeo memorabilia to include in this display. If you have any posters, buttons or other items from the past or if you are at yard sales weekends and see anything, please contact historian Barb Stroud at 909-226-2892 or John Landino at 928-468-6684.


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