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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news November 20, 2014


10/16/2013 6:00:00 AM
Granite Mountain Hotshot Girls host benefit for Yarnell
Les Stukenberg/The Daily CourierYarnell residents Jerry Florman and Frances Lechner, from left, meet Joni Cahn, Leah Fine, Elijah Ritter, Joanna Norris and Karen Norris as they announce The Granite Mountain Hotshot Girls Host a Benefit for Yarnell. The event will be held at the new Celtic Crossings, located in the old Outback Steakhouse building at 1951 East Highway 69, from 2 to 7 p.m., Oct. 27.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Yarnell residents Jerry Florman and Frances Lechner, from left, meet Joni Cahn, Leah Fine, Elijah Ritter, Joanna Norris and Karen Norris as they announce The Granite Mountain Hotshot Girls Host a Benefit for Yarnell. The event will be held at the new Celtic Crossings, located in the old Outback Steakhouse building at 1951 East Highway 69, from 2 to 7 p.m., Oct. 27.
Tamara Sone
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - While the losses suffered between the town of Yarnell and the families of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots are worlds apart, the two communities are coming together to help each other move forward with hope and healing.

The Granite Mountain Hotshot Girls, a group of women comprised of Hotshots' mothers, wives, sisters, fiancées, and more, have joined forces to help give back some of the support they received from the little town.

"The focus was kind of one-sided on the families that lost the guys," said Leah Fine, fiancée of Grant McKee. "That's really hard, but at the same time, we have a whole community that lost their homes and their well-being. They're experiencing loss too."

"It's sort of like the families and the girls are finishing the job that our guys started," she added.

The women have organized a benefit scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Celtic Crossings, 1951 E. Highway 69, Prescott.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group to help with the rebuilding efforts after the Yarnell Hill Fire swept through the town destroying more than 100 structures and more than 8,000 acres of land.

"We were very moved - some to tears, some in less visible ways. We were struck by their compassion," recovery group board member Frances Lechner said. "Many residents in Yarnell feel that the best way to honor the 19 is to build Yarnell into as fine a community as possible - and this seemed to underscore our commitment to do just that."

The family-friendly event is set to include live music from Yarnell's Denise Roggio, and local band Road One South, a beer garden, raffle, and silent auction. Raffle items include cowboy art, custom jewelry from the Artful Eye, and an original painting from Newman Galleries. Scott McKee, father of Hotshot Grant McKee, is set to emcee the event.

According to Fine, the idea of hosting a benefit event for the town began about 10 days after the Hotshots' memorial.

"We had an unbelievable outpouring of love and support from the community - money, gifts, quilts," Karen Norris, mother of Scott Norris, said as she wiped tears from her eyes. "And I thought of the victims in Yarnell, too. And I didn't think that they were getting that attention, so my thought was 'love your neighbor'."Celtic Crossings was a regular hangout for several of the Hotshot crewmembers and their families, owner Maggie Lamper said.

"When they asked if we'd be interested in participating, I said 'yes, whatever you want to do,'" Lamper said. "They took the lead and are doing all the work and collecting the money."

In addition to enjoying food and fellowship, some of the residents of Yarnell are looking forward to meeting the families of the men who died trying to save their homes.

"It was so amazing how much loss there was that day," Yarnell resident Jerry Florman said. "The loss of 19 men in one fell swoop was so much worse than the loss of 125 homes. I think I speak for many in saying we have longed for this kind of a moment and to tell you 'thank you.'"



Follow Tamara Sone on Twitter @PDCtsone


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Amanda Marsh

I am so proud to know all of the Granite Mountain Girls- and I am proud to call myself one. Integrity and kindness were the foundation of GMIHC. That lives on in all of us.

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: sour grapes

@ Jack Jones , Big Bad Jack Jones!
I was commenting on the stir Donnie Baker was creating with his posts, not the story itself ,which i love!!


Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Kayla Stazenski

Brought to tears again over the love and compassion for others. Please let me know if I can be of any help! As for the comments "can this all be over" "here we go again" .... I am proud of this community for not "being over it" or "letting it go" the people who lost friends, loved ones & homes are not "over it"... I hope our community embraces this tragedy for years to come and pours out love and compassion for those who need as long as they do. God bless the girls of Yarnell xoxo

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Von Deck

Right on. That's great news.

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Jack Jones

Oh, No ~ Sour Grapes crawled out of the woodwork ~ again. I bet you are just a joy to be around. Crawl back in.

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: sour grapes

Oh no here we go again. Thanks a lot Donnie now we get to relive this stuff more, and I thought it was finally done.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: Prescott Gems

This story has NOTHING to do with Mrs Ashcraft so why she was even mentioned is beyond me. The people of your community ought to be ashamed of yourselves!! This young lady had every right to speak up as her husbands honor was completely disregarded by your city. No one has a right to judge people in a situation as that. I pray none of you ever find yourselves in a similar situation. And if you do, hope the members of your community treat you the exact same way.....disgusting! Tired of your heartless, derogatory comments. You should rethink where you live and take your city leaders with you.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: donnie baker

Wow, just got back to read any other replies regarding this story, And I am pretty surprised that person is so offended by my post!?
"Bashing"? really? I'm not going to hide behind anything. My other posts are still on some of the older stories regarding ms ashcraft, and I will admit they are not at all in favor of her or her whole scene(s) she made. But I will say this, mine are no where near the actual bashing that she really did receive from other posters..mine are tame compared to others..to all the others defending me thanks! Maybe we'll see you all out at this fund raiser which could be a real tear jerker!


Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: @@ How in the world

Ok, obviously you are the same person posting who is so emotionally invested and angry at anyone stating a word about Mrs. Ashcraft. SHE put herself in the media. She expressed her freedom of speech. We all can do the same. And we don't need attorneys, media consultants and press conferences to do it. We also do need to play on media sympathy. I didnt read anything in Donnie's post that "bashed" her, just saying that it's time to focus on positive stories for crying outloud! I will say I'm surprised the Courier would allow your post with such direct and rude name calling in your "Dear Donnie and I agree with Donnie" titled post. I was edited out of many a posts here on the Courier posts for doing just that. How are you any better than the posters you are angry with when you stoop to bashing as well?

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ How in the World

I suspect you know, I am referring to the hundreds of nasty mean spirited comments made about the widow in previous articles. Donnie and his cohort commenters are also referring to previous articles. Why the need to mention Mrs. Ashcraft at all, except to further harass her? They are clearly using this article to continue attacking her. You would have to be stupid or completely ignorant of how she has been treated to not realize that. Or maybe I'm the jerk because I have a heart and feel compassion and kindness towards someone that suffered a tragic loss. Who would you want on your side in a time of need? Someone like me or someone like Donnie and his type?

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: @Dear Donnie and I Agree with Donnie

I believe you will find on these posts simply peoples' feelings, thus Freedom of Expression.

Neither you nor any court would be able to find any cases that would negate someone from stating those feelings. There is no slander, obscenity, incitement to riot, etc.

But if you want to waste your time looking for violations of Freedom of Expression/Speech go right ahead.


Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: How In the world....

Could any comments related to this article be considered cyber bullying?

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Heart Warming

Overjoyed in reading this story. Mrs. Ashcraft's antics had left a very sour taste on many community members. So nice to see the Hotshot Women reaching out to help the community of Yarnell.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Time To Go

Can we finally "move on" before 2014, please.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Donnie and I Agree with Donnie

You best be careful you soulless, heartless widow bashers. Haven't you read the news lately? Two teens were just arrested and implicated in the death of a young girl who took her life because of cyber bullying. You too could find yourselves in jail someday as a result of your cyber bullying.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: I agree With Donnie Baker

Ms. Ashcraft's comments and threats immediately following this tragedy turned away alot of people and donors. These women regardless of their views waited till a more appropriate time to come out with a event of their own that helps the people of Yarnell.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Thank you

Lovely story! Thank you ladies!

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Justin Case

Folks, a statment of fact isn't throwing someone under the bus. It's someone stating the truth, that we are all glad to see the media focus on something else - the good stories, not the typical stuff that media picks up like the dirty laundry and scandal. Media seeks out stuff that has an emotional charge - again, if you actually read the comment, no one has thrown anyone under the bus. Read, take a breath, read again.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Really Donnie Baker

Are you serious? Just can't wait to throw her (Mrs. Ashcroft) under the bus yet again? Would it kill you to be nice? Tell me this - when was the last time the media said anything about her? Back off man and give this family a break.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: donnie baker

So gracious! I have been waiting to hear of an event such as this one.. While the media has been more focused on the movements of Ms Ashcraft following this horrific tragedy,These widows and family members only 10 days after the Memorial of their loved ones were thinking of the others that were affected by this also and planning an event for them.... Heartwarming! Finally a news story with some compassion involved.
ALL of you (including the community of Yarnell)are still in my mind everyday!!




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