Chelan Valley Backs the Blue; an inspiring success

Sheriff Brian Burnett shared information with Chelan Valley Backs the Blue attendees, on his recent trip to the border where he saw first-hand the crisis unfolding on our southern border. Courtesy Norm Manly

Lake Chelan Patriotic Singers left to right are: Steve Davis, Steve Sturtz, Vicki Carr, Gail Shaw, Marlene Payne, Mark Dalen, Laurie, Jeff Stoelk, Jili Eygabroad, Jan Rowen Music, Pam James and Denny Eygabroad. BELOW: Manson American Legion and Chelan VFW presented the colors at the Chelan Valley Backs the Blue event held on July 18.

Chelan City Mayor Bob Goedde

Manson Chamber of Commerce, Vice President Kim Ustanik

Manson American Legion and Chelan VFW brought in the flags at the beginning of the Chelan Backs the Blue event.

MANSON - It was a hot afternoon, just shy of 100 degrees high atop Wine Mountain, home of Four Lakes Winery. Even with the heat, nearly 100 individuals turned out to be part of a “Chelan Valley Backs the Blue” happening held on Sunday, July 18 from 3-5 p.m.
“Chelan Valley Backs the Blue” is a small, grass roots group of folks that formed in 2020 to show support and encouragement for the men and women in law enforcement, especially locally in the Lake Chelan Valley.
Group leader, Tiffany Schnelle says, “We are growing and Sunday’s event was a huge success. Having Chelan Sheriff Brian Burnett and retired Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdahl in attendance was an honor. As leaders, these men keep our safety and rights in their forefront. Thank you also to the community leaders in attendance. It's always comforting to know that respect is at every level as Chelan and Manson continues to grow. We are proud to say, we support all first responders 100 percent with much gratitude.”
Co-MC for the day, Norm Manly asked the Manson American Legion and Chelan VFW to bring the Colors forward. American Legion members included Brian Strausbaugh, Craig Pittson and Carole Hansen. Steve Palmbush represented the Chelan VFW. Norm Manly led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Harvey Gjesdahl asked God for help dealing with all this craziness in the world today in his opening prayer.
The Lake Chelan Patriotic Singers, under the direction of Steve Davis were a big hit singing three songs, getting everyone in the mood. The final song, God Bless American always stirs patriotism.
Our first guest speaker, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett was received with a big round of applause. Sheriff Burnett shared information on his recent trip to the border. He saw first-hand the crisis unfolding on our southern border. On May 12 he was interviewed by Mike (Maddog) Magnotti with NCW Life. Click on the following link and go to the 9 minute, 30 second mark to hear the entire interview
His second topic was a letter he issued July 16. In his second paragraph Sheriff Burnett states, “Prompted by increasing public concern to safeguard constitutional rights and as the elected Sheriff of Chelan County, Washington, I soundly reaffirm my sworn oath to “support, obey, and defend” the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington.”
Brian covered a multitude of questions and was very open and forthright with his answers. Sheriff Burnett was the star of the show today.
The next day I received an email from Sheriff Burnett saying, “To all who attended the Chelan Valley Backs the Blue event in Manson, your support by words of encouragement and your positive actions as citizens and visitors to Chelan County really do speak life and put energy and hope back into the lives of the men and women who have dedicated their lives and careers to serve and protect their communities. It’s a great testimony to why I’ve always thought North Central Washington is such an amazing place to live and raise my family. Back the Blue isn’t about being prejudice or having a bias opinion, it’s about supporting your community and getting involved in a positive way.”
Representing the Manson Chamber of Commerce, Vice President Kim Ustanik talked about the personal and professional value of having law enforcement around us.  She spoke about the human side of the men and women in blue… and black… and sometimes khaki, noting their “support of our personal and community needs, compassion in their manner, and with respect of all parties.”  She cited actual interactions and experiences that have taken place with her own business, other businesses, community events, neighborhood interactions, moral support, and within her own family.  On behalf of the Manson Chamber of Commerce and the business community, she underscored that these crucial first responders are here when we need them and that they can certainly count on us, as well.
Kari Sorensen, owner Blueberry Hills and Chair of the Manson Community Council said, “One of the things I love so much about living in a small community is that we have the opportunity to live among and personally know our first responders.
Those that rush in when the rest of the world rushes out. We know these everyday heroes because their kids go to school with ours, they go to church with us, they get groceries and their mail beside us. They’re our brothers, sisters, neighbors and our friends. They are CHAMPIONS in our communities, and each of us are here this afternoon to celebrate that.
Manson Community Council has immense respect for these heroes we call “Law Enforcement.” Today and every day we thank you for your service.”
Our final speaker was Chelan City Mayor Bob Goedde and he heaped on more positive comments and praise for our law enforcement and first responders. The afternoon ended with Sheriff Burnett taking several questions; he had great answers.
Mariah Koester, co-owner Four Lake Winery and Manson Chamber Secretary said, “What a great way to show community support for our law enforcement and first responders. Karl and I were so happy to be able to be a part of Chelan Valley Backs the Blue's efforts this weekend. The amount of support shown by community members and organizations in our valley on Sunday makes us proud to live and have a business here. Thank you to all law enforcement and first responders who are always there whenever we need them.
We thank our hosts, Karl and Mariah Koester for offering Four Lakes Winery as our venue, they have one of the best views in the Lake Chelan Valley. A big thank you to the Family Bean in Chelan for some amazing doughnuts and thank you to Jim’s Pumping Services for providing porta potties. Finally, we thank God we have many like minded individuals in the Valley that fully supports our law enforcement personnel.
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