First and foremost: THANK YOU. Thank you for being so wonderful and understanding throughout this incredibly difficult and unexpected situation. Thank you for supporting the race, and Rainshadow, as we seek to make the best of a worse-case scenario. And, especially, thank you for your stalwart and inspiring support of the Carlton Complex fire victims and the surrounding community.
So many of you have chosen to donate your entry fees [and your shirts!] to the fire relief fund to help provide relief to those who have lost homes and belongings in these fires, and ultimately to help rebuild a beautiful and beloved valley that's struggling to cope with their current devastating reality.
To-date we're projecting that we'll have over $6,000 to donate to fire relief, via relinquished race registration fees, t-shirt purchases, and 2014 Angels Staircase stickers bought via the Rainshadow online store. THAT? IS AWESOME.
Thank you, too, for all the emails and messages and tweets and Facebook comments of support and concern for those who have lost homes and so many belongings to these fires, and to all of you offering to volunteer your time and resources in myriad ways.
The past week has been an uplifting testament to this close-knit trail-running community, and a good reminder of why we love the extended Team Rainshadow as much as we do, and why our runners and volunteers are some of the very best souls on this earth.
We're being perpetually bowled over by the feedback we're receiving about donations and volunteering, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you, and to keep you all in the loop about how you might best be able to continue supporting this dynamic community.
- Trey Bailey, owner and operator of Uphill Running in Issaquah, WA - and who often provides awesome live coverage of our races - has already donated $150 to the North Central Washington [NCW] Fire Relief Fund, which is where all the monetary donations Rainshadow will be making will also go, as they promise 100% of donations will go exactly where the money is needed most. From their website: "We are currently working to assess the needs of the areas affected by the fire and all of the resources available to support the victims. While some support from the relief fund may go to immediate needs, our focus will be helping families and individuals with long-term recovery efforts that will help them rebuild their lives and get them back on their feet. The funds will help individuals and families affected by fires in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties. The funds will be directed to the areas with the greatest needs, specifically those affected from the Carlton Complex Fire. We will use this web page to keep you updated with development of this process as we continue to plan the best and most effective ways to distribute funds and meet the needs of the people. We will not be charging any administrative fee to the fund; 100% of your contribution will go toward helping those affected by the fires."
- Rey Letada, owner and one of two Managing Directors of FrogHops Sports based in Chicago, Illinois, has decided to plan and organize a 50k race [also featuring other shorter distances] with a tentative race date of August 10th as a fundraiser for victims of the Carlton Complex fires, with all race fees and proceeds raised going directly to the NCW Fire Relief Fund and back to the Methow Valley. They are donating EVERYTHING it takes to fund this race, including: insurance; venue fees; tables/chairs/tents/timing system & corresponding staff; PA systems with music; van for equipment; and all staff time. THEY'RE AMAZING, and we are blown away by their generosity. Who are they? Rey, of course, and also:
- Scott Kummer: Managing Director of Operations II & Leader of the 2 Huge Ultra Running Group in Illinois [He'll be securing the race venue]
- Mathew Colson: Logistics Custodian & Active Duty Military and a local of Washington State [He'll assist in recruiting military volunteers as race marshalls]
- Tata Mam: Admin & Project Marketing Director & Leader of the Midwest Vikings [She'll be coordinating all the social media and advertising]
- Melissa Pizarro: Race Director [Tentatively; TBA]
- 2014 Angels Staircase 60k/35k stickers [above; designed by Hannah Viano] are now up in the Rainshadow Running online store. $2/sticker and all proceeds will be donated to the North Central Washington Fire Relief Fund [100% of their donations go to relief and aid for Carlton Complex fire victims - both to individuals, and to the community as a whole].
The entire Methow Valley is feeling the pressure and effects of these fires, especially small, locally-owned hotels, hostels, and other lodging venues. We'll be keeping our race-week reservations at Idle-A-While Motel in Twisp, and are planning to visit the area throughout August to volunteer in relief efforts happening throughout the valley.
We understand that finances are sensitive and personal subjects, so we understand if not cancelling your current reservations for race weekend isn't an option, but if it is, please consider keeping them, whether or not you plan on visiting the area to help. It's another way we can give back to the community, and help small business owners who are struggling to make ends meet while the valley is essentially shut down.
A lot of you have emailed and messaged to ask about on-the-ground volunteer opportunities, and we're right there with you. Being local (and native) Washingtonians, we want to know how we can best serve and give back to a community that has given all of us so much. Please keep in mind that you should only be volunteering when and where it's safe to do so, and as fire conditions allow.
We've reached out to various organizations on the ground [local chapters of The Red Cross, Room One, The Forest Service, North Central Washington Community Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity, among others], and this is what we know so far [we'll of course keep you posted as we hear more; please check our Facebook page often, as that's likely where most updates will be posted]:
- Volunteering for the Red Cross requires a specific amount of training time before any placement can be officially processed. They will and frequently do offer and complete this sort of training much faster in disaster relief situations, and we're in contact with them to see what we can do by way of organizing a Rainshadow group to be trained and then help with whatever they need in the valley. If and when that's officially scheduled, we'll definitely announce it. That said: If you or anyone you know in the area has already completed Red Cross training, they can sign up for volunteer assignments via their supervisor, and via the local chapter's website.
- From our contacts at the local chapter of the Red Cross:
"We are always looking for volunteers to help with our Disaster Relief efforts. We currently have a shelter open in Brewster that we are looking to place additional volunteers. This would not be a large group opportunity, but if your members are looking to get involved this would be a great help."
- If you would like to help in this effort, please go to www.RedCross.org/WA/Spokane
- On the left panel is a tab titled VOLUNTEER
- When you get to this page there is the Adult Application.
- Once you initiate your application it will send an e-mail which contains a link to activate your profile.
- After your profile is activated, there are a series of steps including reading and agreeing to Red Cross Policies, go through an on-line orientation and submit to a background check.
- Once your profile is complete, the Red Cross will send a link for the on-line Shelter Fundamentals training.
- The Red Cross will also be looking for a larger group once the shelters are closed, to clean and decontaminate all equipment used, which is labor-intensive. They don't have a date or time currently scheduled for helping shut down shelters in the area, but if you're interested in helping with that, please respond to this email and let us know, and we'll let you know when they contact us with more concrete work-days and times.
--> For those of you looking for a fun way to help support folks who lost their homes in the fires:
WILD MOUNTAIN STOMP --> AUG. 16th, starting at 4pm --> 21 Uphill Road Withrop, WA.
This will be a fun party with lots of live music and other fun stuff.
Please join us and bring your friends and family!!!
More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/717620554964299/
--> As previously mentioned, in addition to being able to donate directly to the NCW Fire Relief Fund and/or the local Red Cross, we'll also be collecting monetary donations throughout August via PayPal [or via cash or check if you'd prefer to send those via mail], and you can donate via Rainshadow Running, or via Matt & Kerri's Washington State 501(c)3 non-profit: Endless Trails.
- To donate via PayPal through Rainshadow, send payments to RainshadowJames@Gmail.com. [Please include "Fire Donation" in the subject line when donating.]
- To donate via EndlessTrails, click here, or you can send PayPal payments to AllTheTrails@Gmail.com. [Please include "Fire Donation" in the subject line when donating.]
- To donate by mail, please email us and we'll send you a mailing address.
- Red Cross - Accepting monetary donations and volunteers (not items) | (509) 663-3907
- Pateros Chamber of Commerce - Accepting monetary donations to the Pateros/Brewster Relief fund; gift cards accepted at City Hall
- Salvation Army - Accepting donations of all kinds with empasis on water, toiletries, food, and baby supplies to be taken directly to families affected | (509) 662-5103
- Dick's Towing - Accepting item donations including food, clothing, toiletries, toys, and baby supplies to be delivered to families and firefighters | (509) 663-1623
- Albertson's - Accepting item donations of non-refrigerated food, toiletries, and baby supplies | (509) 663-8574
- Chelan PUD - Accepting monetary donations and gift cards for Red Cross | (509) 663-8121
- North Cascades Bank - Accepting monetary donations at all branch locations | (509) 888-6000
- Chelan Valley Hope - Accepting monetary donations online through an account at givenaked.org
- Four Lakes Winery - Accepting monetary donations for North Cascades Bank and offering campsites in the vineyard for evacuees | (509) 679-0709
- Washington Federal Bank - Accepting monetary donations at all branch locations for Red Cross | (509) 662-5463
- Lake Chelan Veterinary Hospital - Accepting monetary donations to the "Alta Good Samaritan Fund" to help animals impacted by the fire | 509) 682-5812
- Lowe's - accepting item donations at customer service desk daily to be delivered to displaced families and firefighters | (509) 663-4530
- Click here to view the full list of donations sites provided by the Wenatchee World
If you're not in or near Wenatchee and have clothing and/or toiletries and/or anything else you'd like to donate, you can also donate through us/through Endless Trails, and we'll make sure your items get to a drop-off point, and then on to those areas that need them most.
Thank you again for being so awesome. We love you guys, and the Methow Valley, and this community, just a whole lot.