May 10, 2023 at 3:09 p.m.
Get Outside creates, sells Deputy Owen memorial apparel
Pope County Deputy Josh Owen may be gone, but he and his family have not been forgotten.
The Sauk Centre-based Get Outside Clothing Co. has been selling shirts and sweatshirts to support Owen’s family after the deputy passed away due to injuries sustained in an April 15 exchange of gunfire while responding to a domestic call. The result has been one of the largest orders the clothing company has had in its four years of business, and the requests for the special shirts keep coming.
“Honestly, I have no words,” said Angie Seidel, owner of Get Outside. “It has been the most incredible feeling knowing that so many people from all across the United States want to support Josh’s family.”
Seidel knew Owen when they were high school students together in Alexandria. They would have been in the same graduating class had Owen not transferred to Albany. She would later see Owen every so often while he was attending Alexandria Technical College, but their lives took them separate ways.
Seidel was heartbroken when she heard the news that Owen had died in the line of duty.
“I knew it had been a long time since we had seen each other or spoken, but when someone you know loses their life and you once had a connection with that person, it hurts,” Seidel said. “I immediately thought about his wife and son and how they were now going to be without their husband and father.”
When Owen’s hearse passed through Sauk Centre on its way to Glenwood, Seidel watched from a bridge over Interstate 94, feeling like she needed to do something. It was there she got the idea to make the special Get Outside shirts and sweatshirts as both a memorial to Owen and as a fundraiser for his family.
“As soon as I left, I rushed home and started designing,” Seidel said. “I called my printer and let her know my thoughts, and within four hours, we had the design done, and I was ready to redesign my website to make it all for Josh and his family. A new collection was made on my website and has been the front page of my website for weeks.”
Seidel also shared a post about the special clothing on Facebook, and it was not long before the post had almost 900 shares. She was amazed to see the Get Outside website flood with orders, continuing into the following week. As far as Seidel knows, the Owen fundraiser is likely the largest order she has done, comparable only to another fundraiser where she partnered with CentraCare.
“I am blown away by the response and am so thankful for everyone that placed an order,” Seidel said.
When the 700-plus orders came in, totaling over 1,500 items, Seidel knew she would need help with packing, and Rob Wiener with the Sauk Centre American Legion offered American Legion Post 67 space in Sauk Centre. With the orders collected in the building May 3, the Seidel family and their helpers began unboxing at 2 p.m. Their first package was completed by 3:30 p.m., and it was not until 9 p.m. that the final order was ready to go.
There will be more packing to come in the future. Get Outside has done a second preorder to accommodate customer requests, which Seidel will be working on for the next couple of weeks.
The proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Owen’s wife, Shannon, and son Rylan.
“I know these shirts do not bring Josh back, but I truly hope in the end it can help alleviate some of the stress the family is going through,” Seidel said.
Beyond the many who have bought the fundraiser apparel, Seidel is grateful to community members who have volunteered to help.
“This has been the biggest undertaking that I have taken on since my business started, and I could not have done it without help,” Seidel said. “I appreciate everyone’s kind words and I couldn’t be more thankful to live in this amazing community.”