Anniversary inspires donation to unsung heroes

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On Aug. 2, 2014, a freak wind storm blew through the area early in the evening with little advance warning. Scott Shawver and friends were out on Lake Coeur d’Alene and boating back to harbor when a hat blew out of the boat, Scott jumping in to retrieve it. It would be six long and heartbreaking days before his body was recovered from the lake bottom.

In all of those days, his family and friends kept vigil on the water while the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office dive team searched. Divers rarely have the satisfaction of rescues that reunite loved ones, theirs is a job that at best recovers a body to return to a grieving family.

Scott’s sister, Tracy Christopherson and her husband, Rob, marked the fifth anniversary of Scott’s passing with a generous and heartfelt gesture this week. They closed out a fund of several hundred dollars that had been donated for Scott back in 2014 and matched it.

On Monday afternoon, Tracy and Rob presented a check for $1,200 to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s dive team to thank them. Tracy said that even in that darkest of times, Lt. Ryan Higgins and the divers were caring and considerate, keeping them informed as the search was in progress. They were understanding of the family’s need to be out on the lake during the search and compassionate when Scott’s body was eventually located and recovered.

Dive team deputies were touched and grateful for the visit and the donation to be used to replace aging dive equipment. Scott Shawver was one of the good guys and I’m sure he was smiling down, too.

• • •

If you’ve noticed activity on the corner of Seltice and Greensferry in a long vacant building that once was the home of Steve’s Sports Dugout, here’s the scoop.

In November 2017, Sarah and Ed Gondo started the Christmas Tree Trading Company in the barn at their home on Prairie Avenue. The intention was to hold a few holiday craft classes along with the sales of fresh Christmas trees as a family project.

The classes proved so popular they continued through the year and a new name, Barn 31. In just a few weeks the Gondos will be a brick and mortar new business at 1908 Seltice Way. There will be a home decor marketplace and regularly scheduled workshops.

Sarah and Ed are not only supremely talented and creative, they’re hard workers who are seizing the entrepreneurial American dream. Parents of six, they’re a few short years from being empty nesters and I’m thinking retirement is far in the future for the pair.

Watch for the opening of Barn 31 in September.

• • •

For the fourth year Out of the Shadows theater company will present a fully-staged production featuring adult special needs actors. The Music Man Jr. will take the Kroc Center stage the first two weekends in November. In order for that to happen, volunteer shadow actors are being sought. As a shadow you do exactly that on stage with your assigned actor, with script in hand shadows can prompt dialogue if needed and help with your actor hitting their mark on the stage. Shadows don’t need acting experience, just a desire to connect on a very human level with a special needs actor discovering the joy of the performing arts.

When my friend Mike Pearce was a shadow actor for Fiddler on the Roof in 2017, I attended a performance. Not only was it fascinating to see the process, it was an exceptionally well-acted piece of community theater. Truly I count this as one of the most uplifting and inspirational events in memory. The annual shows sell out and this year there will be six performances over the first two weekends in November.

Wendy Carroll, the founder of Out of the Shadows, is recruiting volunteer shadow actors, stage crew and costumers as well as special needs actors. On Monday, Aug. 26 “auditions” will be held for both shadows and special needs actors at 6:30 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master on Ramsey Road. All who come out will be cast or assigned a production role. You can be an integral part of achieving the group’s mission ... bringing actors with special needs out of the shadows. Call Wendy, 208-818-0953, for more information. www.outoftheshadowstheater.com

• • •

Things to Do:

Nothing signals the swan song of summer like the North Idaho State Fair and Gem State Stampede, which opens today and runs through Sunday. We’re fortunate to have so many who are dedicated to celebrating the farmers, ranchers, crafters, gardeners, bakers and artisans who are our neighbors. A special nod to all of the 4-H kids and their families who’ve worked so hard on their projects and who make such a committment to participate.

Thursday from 6-8:30 p.m., Rathdrum Summer Concert on Main Street.

Friday the Kootenai County Police and Memorial Foundation’s 14th Annual golf tournament at the Highlands, 9:30 a.m.

Saturday is the ninth annual Post Falls Police Department’s Cops & Kids open house, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1717 E. Polston Ave.

Saturday, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. view classic boats on The Coeur d’Alene Resort floating boardwalk. Free event for the public.

• • •

Happy birthday today to Crystal Shofner-Moore, Jared Phay, Matthew Behringer, Doris McCaulley (70!), Mike Warren, Ed Hatter and Kelly Chadderdon. Tomorrow Brett Seright, Leanne Campbell, Mary Gomer, Cathy Smith, David Walrath, Cecilia Peterson and Lilliana Raynor celebrate. On Friday wish a happy birthday to Art Flagan, Susie Heitstuman, Beth Dagastine, Debbie Berger, Eileen Mann, Bobby Bunch, Donnie Goodnature and Rod Robins. Saturday birthdays belong to Peggy Turrell, Karen Sorbel, Mike Dodge, Linda Fox (60!), Lori Chissie, Sarah Rasmussen and Eric Burgeson. Taking another trip around the sun on Sunday are Jeff Selle, Ali Shute (60!), Angie Penzkover, Rhonda Budvarson, Staci Anderson, Cindi Carlson (70!), Mack Mannschreck and Lydia Myers. Putting on their party hats on Monday are Sofia Armstrong, Andrew Evenson, Pam Grenny, Cam Crollard, Juilianne Rinard, Perry Peterson, Warren Bakes, Irene Watkins, Troy Blood, Lita Balbin and Phil Higgs. Silda Pollard turns 97 years young on Tuesday, sharing the day with Jan Berry, Peggy Sawicki, Ed Mitchell, Mike Wood and George Forgacs.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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