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Ranney revisits Mt. Kilimanjaro

Ranney revisits Mt. Kilimanjaro

Growing old is something everyone must face but it doesn’t mean it slows you down. At least, that’s what Wayne Ranney set out to prove. Ranney was speaking to the Sedona Welcomers...

The men were, forgive the pun, uniformly good-natured and the women’s behavior ranged from slightly risque to sweetly demure at the fifth annual Trauma Intervention Programs of Arizona Calendar Release and Heroes Auction at Relics Restaurant in West Sedona on Friday, July 31.

A good-looking combination of eligible firefighters and police officers participated in the fundraiser for the nonprofit, all of them stepping up to help an organization that supplies well-trained trauma intervention volunteers to work with victims hurt by car crashes, the death of a family member, fires and other sudden emergencies.

living-hero-auction-8-5The men weren’t the only lookers in the big back room where dozens of pretty women showed up in light sundresses, high heeled sandals, sequins and form-fitting tops on this warm summer night.

By the end of the evening, it was clear that both genders were out to have a good time on behalf of a good cause.

In the meantime, Steve Trautman of the Clarkdale Fire District, better known as Mr. June for the 2010 calendar, was busy signing autographs at a table for six and had only good things to say about TIP.

“They’re excellent, compassionate, caring people who turn bad situations into something better than it would be otherwise,” Trautman said.

Sitting at the end of the table where Trautman brandished his pen was Donna Frazier, a volunteer with TIP for the past year.

Called out for an emergency earlier in the day, she spent two and a half hours with a victim, but didn’t even consider ditching the auction.

Looking over Mr. June as well as the other calendar men and bachelors was Stacey Peterson of Prescott Valley, whose sparkling accessories gleamed under the lights.

“It’s definitely worth the drive over the mountain,” Peterson said.

Last year, she put in the winning bid on Dave Riley, a police officer from Prescott Valley, who was in the lineup once again this year.

An EMT at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Peterson said she appreciates what the nonprofit does for the community, stating, “They bridge the gap between families who are going through tragedies and the medical community.”

Nearby, Lisa Bravo was wearing a red and white strapless sundress and sitting at a table with her friends, Christina Hemingson and Deandra Gadberry, all of Sedona.

“Last year, I had the winning bid on Johnny Sedillo from Sedona Fire,” Bravo said. “After making that connection, I started a nonprofit organization called Support Sedona Firefighters. This year I might go for a policeman.”

On the opposite side of the room was Christy Clouse from the Village of Oak Creek who hoped to buy a bachelor as a gift for her sister, Cindy Maddocks, who’s visiting from Huntington Beach, Calif.

“What could be better than a man for your birthday,” Clouse asked. “And this is a perfect place for us to find one — our father was a firefighter.”

If her birthday bid wins, Maddocks said the perfect date would be going out for dinner, then listening to musician Chris Spheeris at the Gypsy Lounge.

Emceeing the auction were Ken Byers and Donna Tina Charles, a TIP volunteer wearing a dangerously low-cut green-sequined gown.

To the tune of “Welcome to the Jungle,” Charles lined up all seven bachelors on stage, introducing Cmdr. Ron Wheeler, 50, of the Sedona Police Department, Tyler Reczonico, 21, of Camp Verde Fire District, Patrick McInnis, 30, of Cottonwood Fire Department, Dave Riley, 33, of Prescott Valley Police Department, Matthew Poe, 31, of Clarkdale Fire District, Andrew Johnson, 23, of Sedona Fire District, Brandon Nargessi, 31, of the Clarkdale Fire District and Joe Pace, 28, of Sedona Fire District.

Once the goods were on the table, so to speak, Charles and the audience pelted each bachelor with one loaded question after another, employing plenty of euphemisms not appropriate for a family newspaper.

One demanding table of 10, obviously highly experienced at bachelor auctions, came well-equipped with noisemakers, whistles, bubble-blowing liquids, and laser pointers, the latter employed to better illuminate various body parts.

Nearby was another table for 10 from Christ Center Wesleyan Church, nine of the participants there to support their tenth member in her bid for a bachelor.

Songs pounded out of the sound system, including “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” giving the men a chance to show off their moves.

With Byers shamelessly instigating bidding wars among the ladies, by the end of the evening TIP raised thousands of dollars thanks to a roomful of generous females and seven of the nicest guys in Yavapai County.

More information on trauma intervention is available at www.tipofaz.org.


Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 129, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


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