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Fire forces change in wedding plans

They were planning a simple ceremony with the justice of the peace, but friends convinced Stephanie and James Slusser to have a wedding at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Black Forest.The wedding plans, with the ceremony scheduled June 15, were going well, Stephanie Slusser said ñ until June 11. Everything changed when the fire broke out in Black Forest. ìWe realized that even if they put the fire out, the forest wouldnít be open for visitors any time soon,î she said.Slusser said she began brainstorming ideas that would be both cost-effective and appropriate for a wedding, but nothing seemed to fit the bill. ìCathy Tinucci (principal at Skyview Middle School) called June 12 and said, ëI just want you to think about something,íî Slusser said. ìShe said, ëI would like to offer Skyview for your wedding.íîSince 1993, Slusser has taught special education in Falcon School District 49, and she has worked at Skyview since 2001 ñ the year the school opened. Slusser said they wanted to keep the date of the wedding June 15 because it would have been her parentís 47th wedding anniversary, if her mother had lived. So, the couple agreed to the offer.ìWe called everybody on the list who had RSVPd and told them all about it,î she said. With the help of her teacherís aides, they decorated the cafeteria at Skyview with flowers, pillars, an archway and artificial Christmas trees decorated with lights, Slusser said. ìWe wanted it (the wedding) at the church because we love the mountains and the trees, but this ended up being a very wonderful ceremony,î she said.ìJoanne Nelson, who was in pre-evacuation status and had her car packed up ready to go, stayed up until 3 one morning doing the table pieces. Marie Wilson donated all the stationary and envelopes. Misty Young and Alicia Stier rented the archway, pillars and big flower bouquets. Valerie Settle made my bouquet.îOn the stage in the cafeteria of Skyview, Pastor Ken Lippincott married the couple. ìIt ended up being a nice and symbolic ceremony,î Slusser said. ìAnd it was more meaningful that it was the Skyview family who put it together.î

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