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Search and rescue nonprofit raises $100k for Summit County operations

A Search and Rescue sign posted during a mission in 2019.
Summit County Search and Rescue
A Search and Rescue sign posted during a mission in 2019.

The money will help Summit County's volunteer rescuers purchase equipment.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office reports the May 4 concert proceeds came in just $360 shy of raising the nonprofit Friends of Summit County Search and Rescue's $100,000 goal. Proceeds eclipsed $100,000 the following day.

Friends of Summit County SAR plays a critical role, picking up the tab where Summit County’s search and rescue budget leaves off, according to Sheriff Frank Smith.

“Something that most people don't realize [is] search and rescue is funded to the tune of about $45,000 by the county,” Smith said, “So the rest of the money for coats, jackets, snowmobiles, comes from the 501(c)(3).”

It’s important, he said, because close to 30 volunteer rescuers put themselves in harm’s way year-round.

Smith said they should have the best equipment possible. The money raised from concert tickets and the silent auction helps make that happen.

“It's the community supporting volunteers that are going out, rescuing people they've never met,” he said. “It's just everything good about Summit County.”

Local country musician Josh Kelley performed at the event with his friend and fellow musician Dustin Christensen. Actor and Pinebrook resident Scott Wolf emceed the event at the Dejoria Center in Kamas’ High Star Ranch neighborhood.

Summit County Search and Rescue averages one call every four days, with most incidents occurring in January and August.

Chief Deputy Kacey Bates recommends people recreating in the backcountry bring the right supplies with them, whether that’s avalanche equipment in the winter or water filters in the summer. Just as important is keeping loved ones in the loop.

“Sometimes when calls come in the person is delayed in coming back, but [friends or family] can't tell us where they went,” Bates said. “It's really important to remind people to tell someone where you're going and when you’re planning on returning.”

Donations are still accepted online at friendsofsar.org.