Gordie and Braden Varney ceremony to take place on May 29

A ceremony honoring two men from Mariposa County who have dedicated their lives to saving others is scheduled for later this month.

The Sweetwater Christian Camp invites everyone to attend the dedication ceremony for a memorial that has been erected in honor of Gordie and Braden Varney.

Braden Varney died in the Ferguson fire in July 2018 when his bulldozer overturned in the Jerseydale area. Her father, Gordie, was a longtime firefighter and died in 2012 after battling career-related cancer.

The Sweetwater Christian Camp, located in Jerseydale, has been working for several years to finalize the two firefighters memorial and now camp officials are asking everyone to come to the ceremony.

It will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 29 at the camp, which is located at 6816 Jerseydale Road.

Guest speakers will be Jessica Varney, Sam Hensley and Don Stein. Jessica Varney is the widow of Braden Varney and has been recognized by many for her strength, kindness and courage after her husband’s death. She is currently raising her two children, Maleah and Nolan.

Immediately after the ceremony, an old-fashioned potluck will take place. Camp officials will prepare tri-tips for the sandwiches and community members are asked to bring a dish to share with others. The main course is the only entrance fee to the event.

Anyone considering attending is invited to confirm attendance via the Sweetwater Youth Camp Facebook page. The name is “The Barrier Sweetwater Youth Camp“. You can also call Don Ellerd at (209) 480-0655. Officials say it’s important for people to confirm their attendance in order to get a rough estimate of who will be attending. It is also possible that some transportation issues need to be addressed due to dust from forest roads and parking.

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