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Ridge neighborhood honors Tanner Jeans

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SNOQUALMIE - Max Gibbs of Snoqualmie received a phone call and heard a helicopter within seconds of each other on June 23.

A neighbor had called to tell him about an accident involving the Jeans, a family who not only lived nearby but were close friends. As he and his neighbors found out more, they were floored to learn that the Jeans' 7-year-old son Tanner had been in an accident involving a truck while riding a bike through his Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood. He wouldn't make it.

Just a few of months later, the neighborhood is already looking forward to honoring Tanner's memory with a benefit concert and golf tournament. While there is still a lot of pain, there is nothing but smiles from the Jeans and their neighbors when they talk about the months ahead.

"It showed that this community was able to put its best foot forward," Max said.

The Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood, full of young families and children, has always been close, but the support shown to the Jeans has been more than anyone expected. The Snoqualmie Ridge TPC prepared the food for Tanner's funeral. The Jeans have been given massages at the Salish Lodge and Spa and are always being called by friends offering to pick them up something at the store. The Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church still brings the family a meal every Friday.

One of the activities Tanner's father Brian took solace in was practicing with his band, Exit 25. Laurie Gibbs, Max's wife and a singer for Exit 25, thought a benefit concert with the band would be a great way of honoring Tanner, who loved to watch his father play.

"He loved the band so much," Laurie said.

Likewise, Max thought a golf tournament would be fitting. He enlisted the help of the Snoqualmie Ridge TPC, who agreed to host the tournament. The course is a private course designed by Jack Nicklaus that will be hosting an upcoming PGA Tour event. Max said getting a chance to play on the course is a rare event that could be savored by any golfer.

The Gibbs, the Jeans and a long list of neighbors and friends have put together two events to raise money for the Tanner Jeans Memorial Fund, which will award scholarships to children. On Sunday, Oct. 10, Exit 25 will play at the Snoqualmie TPC clubhouse and on the following day, the Snoqualmie TPC will host a golf tournament. Both events will feature food, raffle items and a lot of people thinking about one special person.

A group of family members, neighbors and Snoqualmie City Council members also gathered to put together a committee that will look into getting Tanner's name at one of the Snoqualmie parks. All of the money needed to do any renaming will be raised privately.

"It [the committee] gets not just the Ridge point of view, but the Snoqualmie point of view," Max said. "We want to be a part of the entire community."

The Jeans hope the concert and/or tournament can become an annual event. Tanner's mother Christen said it wouldn't be just a time to raise money for a good cause, but a time for everyone to take a moment, relax and remember how good life can be.

"That's what Tanner would have wanted," Christen said.

* The Exit 25 party and concert will take place from 6-10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10. It will cost $45 per person and $70 per couple. There will be baby-sitting available at the Sno-Valley Gymnastics Center for children 5 and up for $10 per child, and $5 for each additional sibling.

The golf tournament, open to both individuals and teams, will have a shotgun start at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 11 (Columbus Day), and will cost $150 per person or $600 for a four-person team. Both events occur at the Snoqualmie Ridge TPC, 36005 S.E. Ridge St., Snoqualmie.

* For information about the concert, contact Laurie Gibbs at (425) 396-4570. For information about the golf tournament, contact Max Gibbs at (425) 396-4572. You may also visit www.tannerjeans.com.

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