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#Stand4theManinBlack

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A personal letter from me, Amber-Lee DIbble, aka Alaska Chick, to you. #Stand4theManinBlack is about survival. It is also a testament of my faith in Social Media and faith in the world's humanity and …

A personal letter from me, Amber-Lee DIbble, aka Alaska Chick, to you. #Stand4theManinBlack is about survival. It is also a testament of my faith in Social Media and faith in the world's humanity and compassion.

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  • 1. 1 Alaska Bush Plane Stand for the Man in Black Please stand with me, we need YOUR help. My name is Amber-Lee Dibble. I am Alaska Chick and I deeply need your help. I am a United States Navy Veteran and have worked with Pioneer Outfitters as a Professional Alaska Guide for over 22 years. Pioneer Outfitters has led wilderness expeditions since 1924. Our licensed guides live their lives and make their living on horseback in the wild terrains of Alaska. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a fundraising campaign that is vital to the survival of Pioneer Outfitters, the community of Chisana, Alaska and all those that come to the Wrangell St. Elias National Park to explore and discover that which brings them to this vast wilderness. Pioneer Outfitters is located in Chisana, Alaska ~ deep within the Wrangell Mountains of Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, our nation’s largest National Park. It is the site of the last historic gold rush and at one time was the largest log cabin settlement in Alaska – and it is land that is only accessible by aircraft. Led by Master Guide Terry Overly, a United States Army Veteran, Pioneer Outfitters has made other people’s dreams a reality by introducing them to the wonders of the Chisana wilderness. Virtually untouched by 21st century materialism, it is a magical landscape infused with profound beauty – mountains, fields, wildlife, flora and majestic glaciers that redefine a visitor’s sense of scale and size. The plane was our only connection to civilization, and its destruction has left us stranded in the mountains except for limited air deliveries of food, clothing, mail, fuel, and feed (at .40 cents per pound on freight). We depend on these supplies for our livestock, for our team members and their families, for the guides that we September 16, 2013 “Cubby” a Piper Super Cub, Experimental Aircraft Alaskan Icon, Hero to many, the most vital tool of Survival. The Man in Black Master Guide Terry Overly, Owner and operator of Pioneer Outfitters, named “Youngest Old- Timer in Alaska” by Anchorage News. PIONEER OUTFITTERSStandfortheManinBlack
  • 2. 2 train, and for fueling the generators that supply power for the Chisana community phone system. But even more sobering is the fact, that without our plane, our capacity for rescue and evacuation missions has been crippled. Our campaign’s name is “Stand for the Man in Black,” honoring both our 90-year history and Terry Overly, our Master Guide who has never hesitated to “stand up for others.” Standing ready whenever he has been needed, Terry has landed his plane in flood waters and rescued stranded families; responded to calls for help when an elderly neighbor is injured or falls ill; searched for and found lost hikers and injured hunters; and rescued stranded snowmobilers in freezing temperatures. He symbolizes the very best in human kindness. We eventually plan to create bigger accommodations in Chisana to bring in and facilitate larger groups to gather, study, network and become personally strengthened by connecting with the wilderness. And finally, we envision building a retreat and an inn as a serene and peaceful getaway for people seeking to commune with nature and appreciate the spiritual aspects of the Alaska wilderness. However, we are taking one step at a time. Our first priority is our plane. Our immediate campaign goal is $250,000.00. Every donation, whatever size, will be deeply appreciated. Every penny goes towards this airplane. Above all else, we need help to spread the word. I believe deeply that the people of the world will help us save this historic family, business and community. I believe that people are willing to help others when we are willing to ask for help. For more information about Pioneer Outfitters, feel free to explore our website (http://pioneeroutfitters.com/).Visit us also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.  With permission, we will recognize our donors on our website, on social media sites, and through press coverage. If you have any questions at all, please email me at alaskachick@pioneeroutfitters.com. Your generosity will help lift us to the skies again! Sincerely, Amber-Lee Dibble (Aka Alaska Chick) Pioneer Outfitters Post Office Box CZN Tok, Alaska 99780 (907) 734-1121 alaskachick@pioneeroutfitters.com Amber-Lee Dibble About Me http://about.me/amberleedibble Alaska Chick’s Blog http://pioneeroutfitters.com/blog/ Pioneer Outfitters http://pioneeroutfitters.com/ Twitter  @AlaskaChickBlog https://twitter.com/#!/AlaskaChickBlog Twitter  @girlygrizzly https://twitter.com/#!/GirlyGrizzly Face Book  Amber-Lee Dibble https://www.facebook.com/amberlee.dibble Pioneer Outfitters, FB page https://www.facebook.com/PioneerOutfitters Linked In   Amber-Lee Dibble http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view? id=35230954&trk=tab_pro You Tube  Pioneer Outfitters http://www.youtube.com/user/PioneerOutfitters? feature=mhum Google+  Pioneer Outfitters https://plus.google.com/u/0/102779849292810270433/ posts Pinterest Pioneer Outfitters http://pinterest.com/alaskaguide/ Pinterest Amber-Lee Dibble http://pinterest.com/girlygrizzly/ Stand for the Man in Black #Stand4theManinBlack #AlaskaBushPlane Stand for the Man in Black (Main fundraising page on indiegogo.com) http://igg.me/at/AKBushPlane/x/5626703 Fundraiser: Stand for the Man in Black (Page on Pioneer Outfitters website) http://pioneeroutfitters.com/stand-for-the-man-in-black/ Google+ Stand for the Man in Black https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/ 101911706034454991252/101911706034454991252/ posts Stand for the Man in Black on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/StandfortheManinBlack?ref=hl Master Guide Terry Overly & Alaska Chick ~ My Boss, My mentor, our leader and my best friend. The only father I have ever known. “Papa” to my children. Hero to so many. STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK
  • 3. 3 The launch of the fundraiser to replace the aircraft lost to fire on September 16, 2013 has brought up a few really good questions. The best and most critical questions of all of them have been the “Why is an airplane so important?” and others linking to it. In September of 2013, our life-line to the outside world and any hope of salvation to anyone or anything needing of it, was destroyed with the fire that took the plane from Pioneer Outfitters and the Man in Black. Loosing this airplane did more than severely handicap and hurt a 90 year old business, it took hope from those of the Community that live in the remote Wrangell Mountains. Only accessible by airplane, Chisana is the site of the last Historic Gold Rush of 1913 and was at one time the largest log cabin settlement in Alaska. Located deep inside the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, our nation’s largest Park, Pioneer Outfitters has been family owned and operated year round since 1924. We are now depending on a twice weekly mail run to deliver mail, fuel, groceries, clothing, supplies and animal feed on a space-available basis and at an additional .40 cents a pound. The hard fact is between the additional cost and the sad truth that the air service cares about nothing but profit, carrying a minimum of what could be carried in the aircraft, is doing more damage to our efforts to rebuild than the fire itself. The airplane is important because it is a lifeline and salvation, as it has been proven many times. There is no predicting when an emergency will occur. In only the years I have been with Pioneer Outfitters (22 years), the average times a human has required emergency evacuation is once to three times a year. The average times Terry has been called upon to locate a missing person, hiking or snowmobiling, during the summer or winter months is between 3 and 6 times a year. The average amount of times Terry has been called upon to locate horses (our own or other people’s) is between 5 and 10 times a year, not counting the flying done to keep track of our own range horses during the winter months, which numbers in the dozens each year. Some people may think, this isn’t very often, to justify such a need. I would ask those who think so, to consider if one of those times was for one of your own. We consider it our duty. Because we have the ability to help, it is our duty to provide that help. Helping only one single human being makes every moment worth it to us. The airplane is important because with it, the Man in Black flies all of our fuel into Chisana himself. When he was flying the fuel in, there was never a lack. Now, even with the community’s help, donating and borrowing fuel for the generators to keep running, from their own hard- gotten stores, the power has gone off. The power provided by the fuel flown into Chisana keeps the phone system here running. Without fuel, there are no phones. Without phones, for many of the community, there is no way to call for help if it is needed. The airplane is needed to fly hay and grain into Chisana for the range horses. This is especially crucial during the winter months. Some, not all, but some of the horses require hands-on care during the harshest months of the Alaskan winter. Why is an airplane so important? • Fly in fuel and groceries for the professional wilderness guides we train and the families and Team that live here year round. • Fly in hay and feed for the range horses and livestock we watch over and care for each winter. • Fly in fuel with runs the generators that supply the power for the phone system for the Chisana community. • Locate and rescue by air of the community’s livestock and horses to ensure they’re not lost, hurt or frozen. • Rescue of trapped hikers and injured hunters, broken-down snowmobiles, or others stranded in the Alaska wilderness we live in. • Medical evacuation for anyone in need of physicians who are only accessible by air. • Terry has landed his plane in running water and has rescued families from flooding, taking off just in time to watch the cabin be washed away. The Man in Black, The Alaska Bush Pilot STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK “O! for a horse with wings!” ~William Shakespeare
  • 4. 4 For months now, we had all been watching, praying and working hard to do all that could 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 different people literally hundreds of questions, I realized that this truly was the right path to take. The scariest thought was, “Would I be able to do enough?” 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 again 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 however, for all of Chisana and Alaska, even the world, but without the Man in Black whole, there is no heart. 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 aircrafts, 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”. (continued next page) #Stand4the ManinBlack #AlaskaBushPlane STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 5. 5 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. The goal of our Stand for the Man in Black is to raise money to replace the aircraft that was destroyed by a devastating fire in 2013. The Goal: To save Pioneer Outfitters, the community and to put the Man in Black back in the air doing what he was born to do; make other people’s dreams come true. To Stand for a man who has always stood and cared for others, to have a whole heart again. Please stand with me, to Stand for the Man in Black. I need your help. Leo Praesen STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.” ~George Bernard Shaw
  • 6. 6 You may find a little bit of the background of Chisana and Pioneer Outfitters interesting after hearing me speak of the fundraiser Stand for the Man in Black. There is so much to share with you why Alaska, Chisana, Pioneer Outfitters and Master Guide Terry Overly who is the Man in Black, deserves your attention, consideration, prayers and support. The biggest reason of all is the heart of the matter. He cares. Master Guide Terry Overly cares. He cares for us all, his Team, certainly. But he also cares for those he doesn’t know, those that come to Chisana to pursue their dreams, he cares about someone who he greets at the store in town, he cares about people on the other side of the world, as humanity makes us all brothers and sisters. Please allow me to share with you a little about Chisana and the beginning of Pioneer Outfitters, almost a century ago. "Shushanna" or Tsetsaan' Na' ~ literally, copper river or red river. "Shushanna" was the spelling of Chisana before the "powers that be" decided to map the area, and for some unknown reason (that couldn't possibly make sense!) change the spelling of our home. Copper mining inspired some of the early prospectors to travel to the land that is now Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, but it was the discovery of gold in Chisana (pronounced “Shoo-shana”) that began the last great gold rush in Alaska. The Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve hosts thousands of tourists and visitors each year, who come to see this magnificently beautiful National Park. The Wrangell St. Elias is our Nation's largest National Park. In 1978, it was designated a National Monument, in 1979, it was designated a World Heritage Site and in 1980 it was designated National Park and Preserve. In 1913, thousands of stampeders made the treacherous journey through rugged country by whatever means possible to reach the new found mining district. Chisana soon became known as "the largest log cabin town in the world." This was a short boom, only lasting a few years, but an important part of the history of this area. Nestled in a remote valley between the Nutzotin and Wrangell Mountains, the Chisana mining district provides visitors with a unique glimpse of Alaska's gold rush era. Unlike many better known and more accessible regions, this area retains extensive evidence of its early mining use, including the deteriorating remains of two towns; numerous tent camps, various water diversion and delivery systems; a full range of hand, hydraulic, and mechanical mining operations; and a well-developed transportation network. The Wrangell St. Elias is over 20,000 square miles, over 9,000 acres of which are pure undisturbed wilderness. Snow capped peaks climbing over 18,000 feet, rich, lush, green valley's alive with over 1000 different flora and fauna types with the many colors of wild flowers to add dimension and depth to the overall beauty of the vast arctic tundra, 48 mammals ranging in size from the tiny shrew to the giant Alaska- Yukon moose, 239 different birds and so much more. The greatest concentration of glaciers in North America, 25% of this vast Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is covered by glacial ice. In addition, it has 60% of Alaska's glacial ice. Incredible glaciers that you can explore as you walk across. However, the vast majority of all the visitors and adventurers see only the south-west side of this tremendously vast Park. The many tourist facilities that are available as well as the road system in much of that area make access so easy. Very few tourists or adventurers ever get to see or experience the north-east side of the glacial divide that separates the south-west Wrangell's from the north-east Wrangell's and the incredible Nutzotin Mountains that extend all the way to the Canadian border. This is Pioneer Outfitters' country. Pioneer Outfitters was founded in 1924. Chisana is hidden deep within the Wrangell Mountains and is only accessible by air. It was once the largest log cabin settlement in the state and the site of the last historic gold rush. Old log cabins, gold rush artifacts and flumes, remains of an era gone by are locked in this land for ever. The world is changing and has been changing for a long time. We here, at Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana, especially those that have been here for a long time know that not everything changes and we would like to share that with you. A bit of History.. Of Chisana, Alaska and Pioneer Outfitters STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK “The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.”  ~Walter Raleigh
  • 7. 7 Please stand with me as I Stand for the Man in Black. I realize that you don’t know me, most possibly may have never heard of Pioneer Outfitters or Chisana, Alaska. Terry Overly is a good man. Chisana is a wondrous, spiritual place in which you will always be welcome. Pioneer Outfitters is the real deal. These statements are God’s honest truth and I would love to introduce you to all three. I have been blessed these last years to have had my eyes opened to the incredible goodness of the people of the world. Not blinded to what is wrong in the world, but I had forgotten how much good there is, outside of our mountains. I hope that I found the right words to touch your heart, to turn your eyes towards us and hope that you will stand with me and to remind this good man that he too, is not alone. (It is so much easier for him to give and give than ever suspect others would like to do the same.) Very Sincerely and From my Heart, Amber-Lee Dibble, aka Alaska Chick Pioneer Outfitters has made its living as horse- outfitters from it's' birth. Taking those generations of living in this enormous wilderness and using them to show you all there is to be seen and to help you safely experience all the wonders it has to offer. Since 1924...When Canadian and Alaskan frontiersmen Lou Anderton & Co. started Pioneer Outfitters with horse trips to the Bonanza Creek to pan for gold and sightseeing and Spring Bear Hunts, they couldn't have known the legacy they were building. Bud Hickethier, Lou's partner took over in 1957, and Lou Anderton passed away in late 1959. Bud Hickethier became Pioneer Outfitters. Bud met Elizabeth Overly in 1960 and the next chapter began. Elizabeth was Alaska's first female licensed Registered Guide. Terry learned from them and worked with his mother and Bud to build Pioneer Outfitters into something more. Elizabeth decided to move away from Alaska, turning to Terry for Pioneer Outfitters' future. From the time Terry's mother and Bud talked to him at work one day, at a dairy in Palmer, into coming to see Chisana and to live and work with them, it has been his home. After listening to the old timers sitting around Chistochina Lodge, listening to the "Mountain Monarchs", Guides, like Bill Ellis, Ken Oldham and Ron Hays and more. Listening to them speak of and about guiding and horses and clients, Terry was 15 years old. Pioneer Outfitters has been home to a lot of people over the years, Terry raised his family there, guides that have lived there year round (for 1, 2, some for up to 8 and 16 years), my own children (15 and 6 years old) have never known any other home. The trainees that come to us, some even fresh from high school, live here with us for 1- 3 years each, some from lifetimes of service in the military, some looking for the peace and healing that comes from the wilderness, space, silence and acceptance they are so in need of. From the last Historic gold rush, to being in the Nation's largest, most beautiful Park, from the history of the buildings that are still being used today and shoot-outs that took place in them and around them in a time long gone. Natives that were here through it all, one of whom is Terry's own blood brother, Gillam Joe, who, it is repeated, was sold for a bottle of whiskey and $10.00 as an infant. The stories of the "Man in Black" have created the legend that surrounds Pioneer Outfitters and Terry Overly's Guides. STANDFORTHEMANINBLACK “Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.” ~Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  ~Ambrose Redmoon