Snoqualmie tribal member Toby Strotz and his son Trevor spent time earlier this week on the frontlines of the rescue effort, pushing through debris fields that had claimed the lives of men, women and children.
When he got back to his Arlington home that evening, Strotz talked with tribal leaders and sounded the alarm that help — a lot more help –- was needed.
On Friday afternoon, in an emotional meeting in Darrington, he joined other tribal members to deliver $50,000 worth of checks, tucked inside white envelopes, to the Darrington, Oso and Arlington fire departments.
“All these family members, missing their loved ones. They need to get them home,” said Strotz, who praised the skills of the fire-department personnel and other search teams.
The money was part of a larger $275,000 donation announced Friday by the Snoqualmie Tribe. That includes $50,000 to Cascade Valley Relief Foundation, $50,000 to the Red Cross and $25,000 to K-9 rescue efforts.
Fire officials said that the money will help replace equipment that has been destroyed during the search effort.
“Right now what we will be utilizing most of the funds for is just replacing the equipment that we have lost in the last week,” said Dennis Fenstermaker of the Darrington Fire Department. “Chain saw, bucking gear. All the assorted tools that have gone out in the field, most of it never comes back. And if it does come back, it’s destroyed.”
At the ceremony, Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin declared that “we are all mountain folk, and mountain folk–”
Before he could finish his sentence, Sharon Frelinger, a tribal council member, jumped in. “Stick together,” she said.