For months now, we have all been watching, praying and working hard to do all that can be done to strengthen and shore up the damages wrought by the endless disasters of 2013 ending with the terrible fire of Cubby, the Piper Super Cub, that was our life line to civilization.
There had to be some way to make a real difference, to help in a real way if it could only be imagined first. A fundraiser! We had donated to so many fundraisers over the years and supported so many causes, I felt sure that this was the right path.
As I researched and asked hundreds of questions, realizing that this truly was the right path to take. The scariest thought was, “Would I be able to do enough?”
Crowdfunding Social Media and #Stand4theMAninBlack
The answer? No. Not alone. But I am not alone and neither are any of us!
That is by far the biggest, most precious gift that has come to me since bringing Pioneer Outfitters to the world online and being truly all of who I am, as Alaska Chick.
The Man in Black is Master Guide Terry Overly. He is so many things to so many people; The Youngest Old Timer in Alaska, Overly-One, Boss, teacher, mentor, leader, son, brother, father, grandfather and friend.
To me, he is Pioneer Outfitters and he is my best friend.
He is the one who will always help anyone, anywhere and he is the one that would give a stranger the shirt he wore but never once wait or expect anything in return. He loves children, dogs and horses almost above all else but sees, hears and feels the beauty clearly enough in the clouds moving above, a painting, a movie or a song that he is moved to tears.
There are times in all of our lives that frustration and the stress we feel seems to overwhelm who we are. I remember Terry telling me that when he felt like this, he would fly.
He would fly up, up and up, circling Chisana, higher and higher until it seemed he could see the curve of the horizon. He would circle, looking back down, where all the frustrations, puzzles and stresses had been left and that they were so incredibly small.
Terry explained that he would circle until that thought came to him and that then he would know it was time to come back down. That those frustrations or problems were simply things to be handled. Obstacles, like boulders in a creek bed that could be moved or ridden around.
When he would land on the airstrip, taxi over and turn off the engine, he said, he would feel lighter again and ready to face and handle whatever came.
These last months I have watched this great man age in a way that has never happened before in the more than twenty years I have been at his side. He is a man with half his heart missing. THIS is what matters to me. There is a bigger loss looming, for all of Chisana and Alaska, even the world, but without the Man in Black whole, there is no heart.
Stand for the Man in Black
Absolutely everything that comes into Chisana, groceries, fuel, oil, animal feed, hay, supplies and people arrive by air.
Chisana is a very remote, fly-in area in the Wrangell Mountains of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska.
We ride our horses over 80 miles cross country from the Yukon Territories to bring them into Chisana to live and during the winter visitors and freight may be brought into Chisana by snowmachine.
Without the support of the Man in Black, there is no consistent and safe air support to and from Chisana.
There is no way to search for missing hikers, skiers, snowmachiners or visiting aircrafts.
There is no fuel or oil to keep the generators running so that the community has phone or Internet service and no reliable way to contact emergency services if there were a need to do so.
There would be no way to reliably find the range horses to keep watch on them as they run wild and free in case they need assistance.
There is no reasonable way to have feed and hay available to the range horses that may need it to sustain themselves during the hardest part of the cold Alaska winters and the dangerous springs.
Without the support of the Man in Black, flying above the mountains in his easily recognizable black aircraft, we here in the tiny settlement of Chisana, which was once the largest log cabin settlement in Alaska during the last historic gold rush, we are forced to rely on air charter services that can only bring in small amounts and never enough supplies and always at the whims and availability of “space available”.
Without this important tool, not unlike most people’s own vehicle, we are unable to support not only our own family and Team but we are also unable to help and support the rest of the community and offer the safety and assistance that has always been relied upon.
Stand for the Man in Black is a fundraiser with a goal of $250,000.00 to replace the airplane that pumps the blood for the heart of Chisana. Without this, not only will Chisana loose it’s own heart in Pioneer Outfitters but Alaska and the world itself will loose the living history that is Alaska.
Please help us to #Stand4theManinBlack and for each other. Donate if you can, it matters. But, most importantly, help me to spread the word to the world that The Man in Black needs the help and support of each person, to become whole again and to be ready to serve as we were meant to serve.
- Fundraiser: Stand for the Man in Black (page on this website)
- Standing for Survival, Stand for the Man in Black
- Stand for the Man in Black FAQs