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Hotshot center fundraiser June 19 features commemorative Challenge Coins along with showing of ‘Only the Brave’

A fundraiser featuring commemorative Challenge Coins  honoring the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots is set for June 19 at the Elks Theatre in downtown Prescott.(Courtesy)

A fundraiser featuring commemorative Challenge Coins honoring the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots is set for June 19 at the Elks Theatre in downtown Prescott.(Courtesy)

Displayed prominently on a new Challenge Coin honoring the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots is the iconic photo of the crew members in pyramid formation in front of the champion alligator juniper they had just saved.

One side of the coin shows the photo, while the other side displays the name of the crew and a Hotshot symbol.

The coins will be available for purchase as part of an upcoming event to raise money for a permanent home for the Learning and Tribute Center honoring the Hotshots.

The coin is just one component of the fundraiser, which will include a screening of “Only the Brave” — the 2017 movie that told the story of the tragedy.

The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew (GMIHC) Learning and Tribute Center board and the Elks Theatre will host the fundraiser at 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 19, at the Elks Theatre at 117 E. Gurley St. in downtown Prescott.

The movie screening will be followed by a panel discussion with surviving Hotshot Brendan McDonough, board chair and father of the crew superintendent John Marsh, movie producer Mike Menchel, film advisor and hotshot alum Pat McCarty, as well as former crew chief Duane Steinbrink.

Tickets for the event are available for $219, and organizers reported this week that nearly half of the 90 available tickets have been sold. Tickets can be purchased online at: Bit.ly/gmihc19.

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A fundraiser featuring commemorative Challenge Coins honoring the fallen 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots is set for June 19 at the Elks Theatre in downtown Prescott.(Courtesy)

The panel discussion, food, and a silent auction will follow the film screening. Those who purchase event tickets will receive one of the new commemorative coins as well. The coins also will be available for purchase during the three additional viewings of the movie that will take place at the Elks Theatre at 7 p.m. on June 18, 19, and 20.

Those showings are open to the public for any donation amount the attendee chooses.

Organizers say 600 of the limited-edition coins are being produced, and no more will be ordered after those coins sell out. The coins will be available for $19 each.

Along with the coins, the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center board also will be debuting a limited-edition red, white, and blue Fourth of July Hotshot shirt at the movie events.

“Only the Brave”, starring Josh Brolin, debuted in late 2017. The story is about the bond and brotherhood shared by the 19, say the filmmakers.

Brendan McDonough was the lone survivor of the tragedy, which took the lives of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew on June 30, 2013, in the Yarnell Hill Fire. He will discuss the making of film, which portrayed experiences of the only Type 1 Hotshot Crew attached to a municipal fire department.

The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center opened at the Prescott Gateway mall in June 2018.

Since then, Learning and Tribute Center Board Chair John Marsh said, “We have had the goal of acquiring a permanent structure to house the center. This is one of several fundraisers we have planned, to help with this effort.”

The mission of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Tribute and Learning Center is to establish and operate a wildland fire learning center that honors the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew (GMIHC) by telling their story, displaying and housing artifacts/memorabilia, and educating visitors about wildland fire, firefighting, and prevention.

Just days before the 19 died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, the Granite Mountain Hotshots saved a champion alligator juniper tree from the June 2013 Doce Fire. The photo on the coin shows them posing in front of the tree.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.

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