On Thursday, August 8, 2019, Brad Swet (May 28, 1984) and Brandon Blackmore (February 15, 1992) died when taking down the GuildWorks array at Pickathon and their boom lift fell. They were in the process of repositioning the lift to reach the next set of ropes in the trees when the accident happened.
Both Brad and Brandon were experienced arborists, expert climbers, professional installers, and trained boom operators. They worked with GuildWorks and Pickathon for many years and were valuable and beloved members of our communities.
Brad was a Certified Arborist and owner of Foster Trees . He was passionate about trees and how best to maintain their health and natural beauty. He had a deep love for the outdoors and limitless energy. He was a gifted leader, mentor, and friend who possessed a rare confidence and wisdom. His inquisitive mind and unrelenting desire for knowledge led him to develop innovative technical solutions to wildly dynamic installations and safer work standards. His teachings and spirit will carry on through those he touched and taught.
Brandon was rock steady and truthful, always calm and quick to laugh. He approached every situation with a great sense of humor and positive attitude. A pro in the air and on the ground, he foresaw next steps and approached every task with talent and tenacity. He had experience working with large-scale, high visibility art installations and events that celebrated life and music for the masses. His mission was to create experiences that matter, make something special and encouraged everyone to "enjoy the ride."
Brad and Brandon were also remarkable friends and shared an unusual bond. They loved being in the trees together, were passionate about installing at Pickathon each year and were incredibly proud of their work. They were known for their professionalism, creative thinking, and dedication to their craft. Their joy for life was contagious and they touched everyone with their laughter and enthusiasm.
Pickathon and GuildWorks have created the Brad Swet and Brandon Blackmore Memorial Fund to help Brad and Brandon’s families. Please join us in offering them love and support. Funds raised will be split evenly between the families. Brad’s family will use the funds to help cover funeral expenses and conserve timber land in his name. Brandon’s family will donate funds towards nature conservancy programs in his name.
If you’re looking for other ways to help, you could plant a tree, volunteer with a tree-planting program or contribute your time and talent to a nature conservancy.
Thank you. We are deeply touched by your generosity and care. Out of respect for the families, a public memorial will not be held. This GoFundMe will serve as a way for all of us to honor these valuable and beloved members of our communities and their love of the outdoors.
"All our wisdom is stored in the trees." ― Santosh Kalwar