Community in Practice
Help support one of ours through difficult times.
Hey Folks —
I've been thinking a lot recently about the role and importance of community. It has genuinely been incredible to see outfitters, guides, and other members of our community draw and work together in the face of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. I think this crisis has, among other things, served to remind all of us about what and who is most important to us; the enforced isolation clarifying the importance and value of our connections to one another.
While the chief practical function of our Association may be to serve as a mechanism for leveraging collective resources and providing a framework to put expertise, connections, influence and messaging to use, the most important part, the highest virtue, of an Association like ours is the fact of our community—the bond it fosters among all of us, the empathy that bond nurtures, and the fundamental understanding at the foundation of those things: that we are all our brothers' and sisters' keepers.
We are a tribe, of sorts, and members of a tribe take care of each other, not just because doing so strengthens the whole, but because taking care of one another is what members of tribes do. It is in these connections and through these bonds that we find the best version of ourselves and together create an ever improving version of the whole.
It is in that spirit of community, though with heavy heart, that I write this today.
As many of you will have heard by now, Eric Ellis, husband of lifelong guide and outfitter Stephanie Bernt Ellis, passed away unexpectedly this past Thursday. Steph and their two boys, Wesley (8) and Walker (3), have experienced a terrible and unexpected loss. Memorial services will be held later this Fall.
This tragedy is even more upending for Steph and her family when framed against the backdrop of the challenges we are all experiencing in the industry. Steph and her family are of our community, our tribe, and we should do whatever we can to support them through this.
IOGA and the Salmon Heli-Rappelers, along with close friends of Steph and Eric, have endeavored to set up a Go Fund Me page for the Ellis family. The funds raised cannot take away the pain of the family's loss, but it is something we can do to help one of ours out through trying times.
Steph and Eric's beautiful young boys have much education, adventure, and life ahead of them. In lieu of flowers let’s help Stephanie provide for their future scholastic & life endeavors. All contributions will go directly to Stephanie.
Please consider contributing by following the link below, if you're able—and whether or not you can personally contribute, please share this out to your circles and community.