On May 1, 2014 Sgt. Patrick Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabriel “Gabe” Rich went on a call in the small Interior Alaska village of Tanana. They were killed in the line of duty.
On May 2 the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Safari Club International held a Guns for the Hunter-Wall of Guns raffle. That night we had a retired Trooper Carl Nelson win his share of guns and he donated one gun to our club for our fundraiser in June. With board approval, President Spencie Netschert and Mike Crawford announced that we would raffle the gun in our live auction and give the proceeds to the families of the fallen troopers.
We asked Trooper Travis Tillman to chose a rifle as the gun to be auctioned; his choice was a Ruger 10-22 takedown. Elaina and Ted Spraker of Women on Target then donated a range bag with 1000 rounds of .22 ammunition that included safety glasses, ear protection and just about anything you would need for shooting. The gun and range bag were auctioned that night.
Then we asked if anybody wanted to add onto the amount. Between the live auction and the add-ons the generous people of the peninsula donated and raised $13,000 for the Troopers Memorial account. All proceeds will go to the families of the fallen Troopers. As president of the Alaska Kenai Peninsula Chapter Safari Club International and its Board of Directors it is my honor and the honor of all of our club members to present Sgt. James Truesdell and Lt. Dane Gilmore these two checks for $6,500 each, a total of $13,000 for Sgt. Scott Johnson Memorial fund and Trooper Gabe Rich’s Memorial fund.
Beyond the sorrow, light shines in the future. Thank You Sgt. Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich for your service.