Posted by Kim Chittick

The Grant Committee of Rim Country Rotary of Payson was prepared to award the District Grant to the Agriculture and the Culinary Arts Programs of Payson High School, for a joint project. 

The initial plan was for a cooking competition in which the two programs would work together. The District Grant would fund the materials for the competition: the meat, beans and other items, as well as pay for 2 barbecue grilles, along with various accessories, including grilling tools and covers for the grilles; one for each program. 

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus hit our world, and everything changed. Schools were closed and were not expected to reopen prior to the end of the academic year. Social distancing was mandated and the competition was cancelled. Rim Country Rotary of Payson needed to find an alternate option for the allocation of the District Grant funds. While working with the Culinary Arts Program Director, it was learned that the Culinary Arts Program’s kitchen and work area were in the process of being remodeled, renovated and updated. However, there were items on their wish list, which were not in their budget.


In an effort to bring awareness of Rotary’s activities, and to impact as many people as possible, it was the intention of Rim Country Rotary of Payson to allocate a portion of the District Grant funds to at least 2 different programs. As we had been in the process of working with the Culinary Arts Program, as well as the Agriculture Program, we did not want to disappoint either group of students. 

We arrived at what we think was a reasonable solution. The Grant funded the grilles, the grilling implements, and the grille covers, for each program. The remainder of the funds were expended for the Culinary Arts Program’s renovation, to include, three over the range convection microwave ovens, and various hand tools utilized in the kitchen.

Approximately 50 students will be directly impacted by the allocation of this grant, when schools reopen. Even more will continue to reap the benefits of this equipment in the coming years. 

During this time of fear and uncertainty in our world, and such upheaval in our communities, for Rotary to be able to continue to make an impact on such an elemental level is illustrative of the power of one. We CAN and do make a difference.