Verbatim: David Westman

David Westman stands inside the Royal Rangers Fireworks stand.  - Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
David Westman stands inside the Royal Rangers Fireworks stand.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

We caught up with Pastor David Westman of the Sequim Worship Center at the Sequim Royal Rangers, Outpost 147 fireworks stand this week. It’s opens 9 a.m.-10 p.m. in the Sequim JC Penney parking lot through July 4.

He’s been with the Sequim Worship Center for 21 years. He first served in ministry as a youth pastor in Chino, Calif., for 2½ years then served as the pastor of South Beach Christian Center in Grayland for 11½ years before coming to Sequim in the fall of 1992.

Westman said he’s seen a lot of benefits from the fireworks stand in Sequim and how it’s helped many boys achieve high accomplishments in the Royal Rangers, a church-based camping and leadership program.

“One thing we are excited about this year, as we have changed distributors, is the ability to have more control of our pricing. This allows us to offer our fireworks at a more family friendly rate,” he said.

The Royal Rangers has had a fireworks stand in Sequim for nearly 40 years. Fireworks are an interesting thing. Obviously, a lot of people love them and there are some people who aren’t too excited about them. I think it’s important to look at the total picture. For a lot of people, fireworks represent childhood memories. They remember going to see fireworks shows. I remember Sequim’s shows for several years were sponsored by the (North Peninsula Building Association). Those are good memories.

It’s important to understand safety that has to be provided with good supervision, which is true of so many things in our lives. You wouldn’t trust a child with a steak knife but everyone has one in their drawers. Fireworks are meant for enjoyment and the celebration of our nation’s independence but they should be properly respected.

In the City of Sequim we are blessed that the permits issued are given to nonprofit organizations that specialize in youth activities. It gives those organizations, like the Royal Rangers, an opportunity to provide services often at little or no cost to the families involved. Over the years this stand has made it possible for boys to attend the program, wear the uniforms and utilize the workbooks and other materials who might not have been able to otherwise. It has given a number of boys the ability to go to camps in the summer, as well as the ability to go to various competitions and to learn and to grow.

Within Royal Rangers, which has been in existence since 1962, the highest award a boy can earn is a Gold Medal of Achievement. The last time I checked, nationwide there had been 6,000 earned and 10 of those from our outpost as part of the Northwest District of Assemblies of God.

Fireworks sales have helped six of our young men graduate from a five-week leadership academy that runs over five different summers. Two of our young men were selected in a competitive process as National Rangers of the Year.

Verbatim is a first-person column that introduces you to your neighbors as they relate in their own words some of the difficult, humorous, moving or just plain fun moments in their lives. If you have a story for Verbatim, contact editor Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.


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