Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do or Don't

When I was still working in a corporate environment, I often experienced collaborating with those people that always have an opinion about what won't work. Unfortunately, that's all they bring to the table; they don't offer solutions. Since things have to get accomplished in spite of the naysayers, you learn to work with them, around them, or without them. It doesn't take long for it to become apparent who helps bring ideas to fruition, and who just gets in the way.

I'm currently working with a small, can-do group of people to raise funds for the families of the 19 Hotshots that worked out of Prescott. To date, we have raised $130,000 to help those who lost so much rebuild their lives. Talking Rock is providing the location and resources we need to make this a reality, and to insure that the donations are not eroded by expenses. They didn't have to do this, and we are very grateful.

Many members have been extremely generous with their contributions, as have businesses with close or distant ties to Prescott. Private, individual donations range from $19 (for the 19) to a high of $10,000. Corporate sponsorships from $1,000 to as much as $15,000 have been received. Some people have valid, personal reasons not to contribute through Talking Rock and we certainly accept that.

What's hard to accept are those who use their misguided opinions and belly-aching as reasons not to give:

This is NOT a marketing campaign by Talking Rock. It's a grass-roots effort by members, supported by Talking Rock.

It's not our place to decide how it's "fair" to disperse funds raised to the families of the Hotshots. The Firefighters Association is in the best position to do that.

If some of the families become "rich" from fund-raising efforts, so be it. Money cannot replace what they lost, but it may make their lives easier going forward. 

Nineteen young men burned to death risking everything to save local communities. They left behind families that need help.

Give or don't give. Do or Don't. But don't hide behind your bogus justifications or get in our way. 

P.S. If you would like to donate, you can do so on-line via Every little bit helps. Thank you.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Doing the Right Thing


Nineteen courageous young men died on June 30th, saving the lives and homes of others. Just days before, they had conquered a fire that could have entered our neighborhood. That was their work - their passion. We owe them eternal respect. We have a moral responsibility to insure that the families they provided for do not want in their absence. That's just the right thing to do.

Fortunately, this community has the means to help. Our beautiful golf course will soon become the setting for a major fundraiser to benefit the families of the fallen. Members have volunteered and organized to get the word out and solicit sponsorships and donations. Companies big and small have donated, including: Arizona Power Service, Inland Valley Construction, Granite Basin Engineering, Fry's Food Stores, and others. Talking Rock members have stepped up to sponsor holes and playing spots that have been donated back so firefighters and the families of our heroes can participate. Individuals have generously written checks from $25 to $10,000. As of today, we have chalked up $110,000 in commitments. Expenses are being covered by a major sponsor, to allow all funds collected to go to the firefighters' families.

August 19 is shaping up to be a special day. We'll have 144 golfers on the course. Each will receive a commemorative hat and t-shirt (donated by a sponsor). They can bid on silent auction items, such as hotel stays and rounds of golf. They'll all get lunch and dinner, and will enjoy entertainment outside on the grounds of the club. Member volunteers will act as hosts.

Major corporate sponsors are being invited back to Talking Rock on October 6th for more golf, and an dinner event recognizing their special contribution to this cause. We expect to be joined by the Mayor of Prescott, as well as firefighters, and representatives of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. At this event, we will present the consolidated donations to the firefighters fund.

We're grateful to those who have already given their time and/or money, but we still need lots of help to get to our goal of $250,000. Donations of any size are welcome!

Make checks payable to: "UPFFA" (United Phoenix Firefighters Association, who is administering funds on behalf of the Prescott Firefighters).
Mail to: Talking Rock Ranch, 15075 N Talking Rock Ranch Road, Prescott, AZ 86305

Please help us do the right thing. Your donation is tax-deductable. Thank you for your support.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finding Peace

Recent days in Prescott have been gut-wrenching and tearful. We continue to try to deal with the death of 19 of our own Hotshot firefighters - brave young men who lost their lives protecting others. I think it's going to hurt forever. We are grateful for the support we have received throughout the country and around the world.

Our club is working hard, putting together a fundraiser for the families of the fallen. I've been somewhat consumed with this project, attending meetings, working on documentation, checking texts, email and voice mails, and thinking a lot about what we are trying to accomplish. The goal is to raise $250,000. In the first week, we have commitments totaling almost $45,000.

In the wake of this feeling of loss, I've mostly been running around like an idiot. Finding Peace in my mind has been difficult. My thoughts are discombobulated, and I am not very focused. This realization caused me to think about what in my life brings me Peace. It's time to focus more on these things, to settle my anxious soul and clear my mind.

The love of my husband and family 
Being with good friends
Enjoying the view (literally)
Lungfuls of clean, sweet air
Undisturbed sleep
Joyful music
Watching nature unfold
The undercurrent of my Faith

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Heaven vs. Hell

Five days ago Prescott suffered the shocking loss of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters deployed at the Yarnell, AZ fire. Prescott is a relatively small community of about 40,000 residents, so we all know someone affected by this tragedy. Nineteen young men with loved ones and families. Nineteen brave men who just the week before saved the homes of hundreds of people in the Granite Mountain/Williamson Valley area. The fire came within five miles of our home. We wanted to say "Thank You", but the Hotshots were on to the next fire where they did their jobs and lost their lives. Our throats are constricted with unsaid words and impotent grief.

As a community, we are coming together to express our love and provide support for the families of the fallen and the people in nearby Yarnell and Peeples Valley who have lost their homes. We all want to help and to take care of our own. We owe the "Prescott 19" no less than this.

Of course, the media highlights the best and the worst of us in the aftermath of this event. Westboro Baptist Church is praising God for the Arizona Wildfire that killed 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, and claims that our heroes are currently in Hell pleading for Westboro to come and picket their funerals because, supposedly...God hates fags. WTF?? Make no mistake, Westboro is proof that Evil exists in our world - mingling with Heroes and Angels.

The false church of Westboro Baptist is one of evil and cowardice. If their screwed up disciples show their faces in Prescott, our citizens will block the Evil with the Love we are sharing to overcome this tragedy. Heaven vs. Hell.

Granite Mountain Hotshots in Yarnell.
The Granite Mountain Hotshots knew in their last moments that Death was upon them. As highly trained as they were, the conditions were too unpredictable and ferocious to overcome. I take comfort in my belief that in their moment of intense need, our Heroes were comforted and shielded from pain by Angels. Angels and firey Death - Heaven vs. Hell.

It was painful to hear that erratic wind gusts generated by the sudden monsoon rains we celebrated in Prescott on Sunday were what consumed the Hotshots on the hills in Yarnell. We needed that rain, and we needed our firefighters. For our little taste of Heaven, the Hotshots paid in hellish conditions they could not overcome.

We were miraculously saved in Williamson Valley, and thankfully enjoy our little slice of Heaven. Yarnell and Peeples Valley suffered awful destruction.

Heaven: 5, Hell: 5. I guess we'll be going to overtime. My money's on Heaven.