Payson Senior Center’s third annual Chari-Tea fundraiser was a sold-out affair June 9.

The High Tea with Friends event was an opportunity for ladies to wear their finest clothes and hats, socialize and enjoy good food and live music.

More than 30 volunteers pitched in to help organize the event, including staff who donated their time.

“We had more sponsors than before,” said Debbie Stephens, director of marketing and development with the Senior Center.

“Our platinum sponsor was O’Connor Heating and Cooling. MHA gave a sponsorship for those homebound to be able to attend the event and 130 ladies attended.”

Other sponsors included Chili’s, Hospice Compassus, Jack Martin from United Healthcare and Powell Place, SmartSystems and numerous donations for raffle and silent auction items from the community.

“People purchased whole tables so Meals on Wheels recipients could come out,” said Suzanne Kammerman, Senior Center director of operations. “Our Meals on Wheels drivers picked them up and brought them to the center.”

A gift table offered a variety of options like two meals for the homebound or 10 senior rides on the Senior Express. Certificates for meals at the Senior Center were also available.

Jeannie Smith Herford commented on Facebook, “Gary McReynolds is an amazing musician. And what a wonderful room full of beautiful ladies.”

Jo Chavez said, “We had a great time.”

The Chari-Tea event raised over $8,500, a substantial increase over the $2,000 raised last year. All funds go to support the senior center’s programs.

Payson Senior Center’s programs include Meals on Wheels, Lunch at the Center, Senior Express bus service, Beeline Bus Service and the Trinkets and Treasures resale shop.

Digital Media Mgr/Staff Reporter/Photographer

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