Thanks to community support, a disabled man far surpassed his fundraising goal for a 9/11 charity walk.

Rick Summers, 63, raised almost three times the expected funds for Tunnels to Towers.

On Saturday, Sept. 11 Summers hiked more than 1.5 miles from the Pine trailhead. Accompanied by his wife and a collection of friends, Rick took a couple of hours, but made the journey a tribute by raising funds for others.

“I want to thank everyone that made my hike a success. Those that walked with me, those that gave encouragement, and those that donated,” he said. “Tunnels 2 Towers set the goal at $1,000, based on population. We have passed $2,800. With all that has happened to this community: fire, evacuation, COVID, loss of friends, I find it amazing how a community can still help out others.”

He reported getting teary-eyed as he saw the donations come in.

Summers chose Tunnels to Towers because more than 90% of funds raised go to catastrophically injured first responders and veterans, families of fallen first responders, and Gold Star families.

“The Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on Sept. 11, 2001. We also honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country,” the organization says on its website.

While he is still sore from the hike, he said he is even more motivated to keep walking, hiking and improving.

Activities abound this fall

A scaled-back version of Fire on the Rim mountain bike race is happening this weekend.

This is the largest annual fundraiser for Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction (PSFR), which uses the donations to maintain the fuel breaks and trails to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire around the communities. They are proactively protecting our little forested hamlet from the dangers of wildland fire.

This year 200 entrants will race on their mountain bikes in one of the most difficult races in the state, said PSFR committee member Janet Brandt.

“We have it all, uphill, downhill and technical,” she said. “We are the birthplace of all rocks,” she quoted her husband and event organizer Mike Brandt.

The course covers 15 miles and over 500 feet in elevation gain. Competitors, supporters and spectators will meet at the County Barn at the corner of Old County Road and Bradshaw. From there, riders go up Hardscrabble Mesa, over to the Pine-Strawberry Trail, up to Strawberry and then back to the barn. Spectators can look on the website for locations to watch the riders.

There will be five aid stations along the way for hydration and first aid if needed, Brandt said.

Riders can compete against each other or just themselves. There are three levels of race, 15 miles, 30 miles and 45 miles. Yes, some competitors will take the 15-mile course three times.

Raffle tickets and merchandise will be sold Friday, Sept. 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 18 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The raffle is this year’s Fire on the Rim Bell, created by Steve Backman. $5 for a single ticket or 5 tickets for $20 will get you a chance to win a bell that normally sells for $300-$500 at prior years’ silent auctions. Fun fact: the bell is made from a welding cylinder, which is stamped throughout their serviceable years with inspection dates. This bell’s earliest imprinted inspection date is 1945, which means it was in service during World War II. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the bike race venue — the big red barn at the corner of Bradshaw and Old County Road in Pine. The drawing will be held Saturday afternoon. You don’t need to be present to win. For more information, check out the website

Fall festival time

The Fall Festival, Antique Show and Chili Cook-off is returning to the Pine-Strawberry Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, it will cost $5 for attendees to taste and judge the Chili Cook-off. This event is sponsored by the Pine Strawberry Business Community. More details to come, stay tuned.

At the library

On Friday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. meet at the library to make the cutest clay pot scarecrow for the monthly Crafternoon.

Do you know someone age 5 and up that loves Legos? The Halloween Lego challenge is for them. Meet at the library on Randall Place at 10:30 a.m. at Saturday, Oct. 2 to join other Lego enthusiasts and rise to the challenge.

Planning Wine Around the Library, gathering raffle and auction donations, selecting the wines, organizing the local restaurants’ food offerings takes a lot of volunteers time. The results will shine the night of Oct. 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The tickets are $30 per person. For your $30, you will be able to try out over 25 different wines, listen to the sounds from Trouble in Paradise and nosh on foods from just about every restaurant in town. Tickets are limited, so purchase yours at the library today.

There will be a silent auction and a gift basket raffle. If you have items you would like to donate for this event, please call the library at 928-476-3678 or just drop it by the library on Randall Place.

Sign up at the library for any of these events or email

Anytime you’re in the library ask about the monthly raffle, this past raffle winner, Karrie Marsh was very excited to win a wind chime made by Strawberry resident Paul Paul.

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