Brothers Logan (left) and Josh steal a look at their big brother's banner at the Lyon County Fair. During the presentation, Gared and Brooke Moorse held brother Grady as they spent their emotions on their fallen friend, as others gathered around for support.

Family, friends, bring Donnie's memory to the fair

•A banner made by close friends set the emotional pace of the fair.

If Donnie Schuelke was here today, he WOULD have been at the Lyon County Fair.

So in a way, he was. A banner hanging in the dairy barn where Donnie would have been was supplied by Becky Moorse and her family, next door neighbors and deep friends.

On Friday afternoon Gared Moorse, a close friend and neighbor, led a group of 4-H Ambassadors in not only dedicating a bench at the fair to their fallen comrade, but also honoring him as a great fair participant.

“Some of my fondest memories of Donnie were at the fairgrounds,” said Moorse.

“His work ethic at the county and state fairs was excellent,” he said.

"It was an honor to show with him."

Gared Moorse read the poem written by his mother Becky that is displayed on the banner.

It read:

I will stand here by the gate,

For my showman I will wait.

The many hours together we had,

Practicing our art wasn't so bad.

So many awards as a team we won,

A trip to the state fair with you was so fun!

We all knew your mom was your biggest fan,

Oh, how she loved watching her fine young man.

One early Sunday morning when the sky was black,

God and the Angels decided to take you back.

I can't tell you how much this has broke my heart.

Your family and friends world has been torn all apart.

Please wait for me by show ring the sky,

We will meet you in Heaven,

Fly High Donnie, Fly High!

The bench, with salute to Donnie, sat outside the show arena, as a “forever” reminder of the kind of 4-H member and fair contestant Donnie Schuelke was.

It was a time for tears, a time for reflection — and most of all, a time for the love of Donnie Schuelke at the Lyon County Fair.

For moments after the presentation, the arena was still and all around the arena friends, family and others stood motionless, tears streaming down everyone’s faces.

He wasn’t there — but Donnie Schuelke’s presence was felt.

Then again ... maybe he was there!

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