Editor:

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Rotary was founded in 1905 and today has 1.2 million members in 35,000-plus clubs around the world.

The local Rotary club is Rim Country Rotary–Payson. There are currently 25 members in the club whose main goal is to support our community, students and first responders.

And just how does Rim Country Rotary provide that support?

For the past 20-plus years Rotary has sponsored the Payson Public Safety (First Responders) Banquet. This banquet is an opportunity for our police and fire departments to recognize and honor their outstanding officers and firefighters.

For the past 50-plus years, Rotary has sponsored the Payson Invitational Track Meet. Rotarians help with the track meet, provide the awards and T-shirts for the track teams participating in the meet.

Each fall around the time school starts, Rotarians distribute dictionaries to all third graders in our service area.

Every year we sponsor students to Rotary’s RYLA Camp Ponderosa in Heber. RYLA is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (Academy). RYLA is a unique leadership camp where students are empowered through challenging courses, inspirational presenters and amazing activities.

During the school year we honor a student of the month. Teachers and fellow students nominate these students. Each student and sponsoring teacher attend a Rotary meeting. The student receives a certificate of recognition and $50 from Rim Country Rotary.

Each year we give scholarships to worthy students as they move on to higher education whether it is a (two- or four-year) college/university, or a trade school.

Through grants awarded to Rim Country Rotary from Rotary District 5495 and with matching funds from Rim Country Rotary, we have sponsored a drug awareness program, purchased computers and equipment for the Payson Center for Success (PCS) and the (Payson Community) Christian School, and assisted with the purchase of a trailer for the Robotics Club at PCS to transport their equipment to competitions. We partnered with Dueker Ranch to provide a unique leadership program for Payson High School and middle school students and we purchased uniforms for the eighth grade baseball team. We like to show support in other ways by honoring our teachers with an annual picnic at which we award individual grants to several of those who applied for needs within their classrooms.

Like so many other clubs and individuals, we clean up a section of highway; our section is on Highway 260 east of Christopher Creek.

The Rim Country Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)(3)-qualified organization for Arizona tax credits. This foundation supports the Payson Area Food Drive. If you want to make a tax deductible donation to the food drive, please make your check payable to the Rim Country Rotary Foundation and mail it to P.O. Box 703, Payson, AZ 85547.

We would like to invite anyone interested in Rim Country Rotary to come to a meeting. We meet at the Cedar Ridge Restaurant in the Mazatzal Casino at 7 a.m. on Thursdays. We normally have an informative speaker and we’ll buy your breakfast. For more information, call Mary Wilson at 480-772-1846.

Dennis Hoeger, Rim Country Rotary past president

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