‘What if That Was My Dad?’


When 9-year-old Scarlett Reust and 10-year-old Addyson Elliott of Commerce City, Colorado, heard about a local tragedy, they wanted to do something to help.

Husband, father and Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley was killed on June 21. According to Fox News, the police department said the suspect “expressed a hatred for police.”

The community rallied to support the grieving family he left behind, and Scarlett put herself in his children’s shoes.

“What if that was my dad?” she wondered. “He had kids, like, what if that was my dad?”


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Scarlett and Addyson decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the family through the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation.

“As people from across Colorado paid their respects to fallen Arvada Police Department, Colorado Officer Gordon Beesley, Addyson and Scarlett sold lemonade in a park in Commerce City,” the Facebook page for Colorado’s 17th Judicial District Attorney shared.

“They are donating the proceeds to the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation to assist Officer Beesley’s family.

“The girls have raised more than $1,500, and they plan to deliver the final amount to the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation this week.

“The District Attorney’s Office visited the lemonade stand today, and our staff chipped in to help the girls reach their goal. We are so glad that Addyson and Scarlett live in our area. They are shining examples for our Adams County community and beyond.”

Scarlett’s mother, Ashley Conn, said that the whole fundraising effort was a beautiful way to see how much the entire community cared.

“It really just touches the community, the law enforcement community, when people want to give back to them,” Conn said. “I mean it’s $2,000, but it was the meaning behind it.”


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“We appreciate you all visiting Addyson and Scarlett this morning,” Kim Elliot Morgan, Addyson’s mother, wrote on the district attorney’s post. “Thank you for all you do to make a difference! We are so proud of Addyson and Scarlett for wanting to make a difference. Our hearts goes out to the Beesley family.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of our girls!” Ashley Conn added. “They’ll never forget when ‘The Good Guys’ visited their lemonade stand!

“Thank you so much for visiting them and sharing your kind words, you all made positive memories for them that will last forever. Scarlett and Addyson will always remember your generosity and kindness in helping them surpass their giving goals for The Beesley Family.

“Thank you for your incredible service to our community. We are so so grateful.”

When the girls hand-delivered their hard-earned cash to the chief of police, there were a few officers present who got a bit misty-eyed, according to Conn.

“Unfortunately, one of their brothers died,” she said. “So they’re all broken right now.

“And the fact that the girls did something nice really, like, warmed them up inside.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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