Students present Oso Fire Chief with giant check

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SNOHOMISH — Students at Riverview Elementary put a lot of thought into how they wanted to contribute to the relief efforts following the deadly landslide in Oso.

harper checkThe school held a special assembly last Friday and invited Oso Fire Chief Willy Harper to be their guest of honor.

Harper thought he was going to be there to speak to the students about the work being done in Oso and the surrounding communities impacted by the slide. Little did he know he was about to get a big donation to help make his job a little easier.

Students at the Snohomish school presented Harper with a giant homemade check for more than $2,000.

Harper was surprised by the donation, which more than covers his volunteer salary.

“I think a lot of people know about Oso now, hopefully more people know about Riverview soon,” said Harper.

Harper told the students about what it was like for him and other first responders searching the debris in the moments immediately following the slide.

“There’s a lot more volunteers out there than just the fire department,” said Harper. “When I came out of the mud that day, the road was full of other agencies, other fire departments from all over our county.”

Volunteers are still busy filling out paperwork, clearing the highway and searching for Kris Regelbrugge, the last victim still missing in the slide zone.

“Our students were so passionate about doing something to help Oso,” Riverview Principal Tammy Jones told students at Friday’s assembly.

Jones said students came forward with several ideas to raise money for slide victims. Ultimately the school decided that proceeds from their annual dance and talent show would go to Chief Harper and the Oso community.

Harper said the money will go into a fund to help him stay on with the department full time

“If I learned anything today, it’s that I need to go to more assemblies,” joked Harper.

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