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On the ‘Chainsaw For Change’ tour
Having carved more than 200 unique bears for the 63 Black Bear Diners scattered across eight western states, woodcarver Ray Schulz is coming to the Sequim Black Bear Diner location to carve two bears.
One bear will stay at the restaurant and the other will be raffled off. Each bear will stand 5 feet tall and weigh more than 400 pounds.
Schulz recently completed a eight-day annual “Chainsaw For Change” carving tour where he visited seven cities in four states to help benefit community nonprofits.
Because Sequim is a bit off the beaten path, Schulz originally wasn’t scheduled to come to Sequim, but Bret Wirta, owner of the Sequim diner, asked to be included in the tour in a effort to support the Captain Joseph House Foundation.
“Participating in the tour is a voluntary choice for each franchise,” Wirta said. “We searched for a local organization that would give back to our military.”
All proceeds raised at the carving will be donated to the Captain Joseph House Foundation to help Betsy Reed Schultz, the founder of the foundation, reach her goal of building “a living memorial to her son and to carry on his mission of serving others” in the form of a home capable of housing up to three families of fallen soldiers for respite.
“It (carving event) may be supporting my project, but it’s really supporting every Gold Star family that comes to the house,” Schultz said.
Consistent with the organization Wirta selected to support, the bear to be raffled off is planned to be soldier bear, Wirta said.
Each bear Schulz carves starts as a cedar log, but quickly become a unique sculpture that reflects the area.
Thus, the bears already at Sequim’s diner tend to be hiking, fishing and outdoor oriented bears.
“It’s just amazing how he (Schulz) starts with a piece of wood and takes away everything but the bear,” Wirta said.
Schultz’s goal is to have the Captain Joseph House operational by June 2015.
For more information about the foundation, visit captainjosephhousefoundation.org.