Dan Young is the son of June and Jack Young who founded Rainbow Realty in 1971 on the corner of Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Sandpoint. Jack was a nationally known Appraiser and June was the Broker.
They were married 62 and half years sharing a life of love and service to others until Jack passed away on September 11, 2005. Jack shared his passion for Rotary Club and Community with his son and when Dan was voted Sandpoint’s Citizen of the Year in 2005 it was June and Jack Young that served as Grand Marshall for the Winter Carnival Parade in Dan’s place. Dan was where he is year after year – emceeing the parade. “… and it was a tremendous joy to play the song “Forever Young” as my parents passed by the reviewing stand and a memory that I will always cherish … I wish every kid could experience a moment where you can arrange for your parents to be honored and appreciated … it’s a moment I will hold in my heart forever.”
Attending high school in Sandpoint, Dan took pictures for the yearbook, started a water polo team that played exhibition matches in Spokane against college teams, hosted an exchange student from Canada, was a lifeguard at City Beach, got kicked out of Eva Mae Whitehead’s math class after he got blamed for the spitwad that Greg Sitch threw at the chalkboard (honest), skipped some classes to go skiing at Schweitzer, never missed Merle Parsley’s government class, and got involved in politics.
He attended a national convention (National Association of Retarded Children) and came back fired up and serving on the State Board of Directors for the TORCH club. Dan kept leaving school grounds to give speeches about mental retardation (it was the 70′s) to community clubs in Sandpoint. One day Principal Dick Sordorff warned Dan about taking time off from school even if it was for a good cause. A couple hours later when Dan’s eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room after the bright sunshine outside and he could start to focus on the club members where he would be giving a speech; the first person he noticed shaking his head at him was Principal Sordorff. Ouch.
Merle Parsely gave Dan a ride to Boise where at age 17 he and Scott Woll gave the legislative presentation to Governor Cecil Andrus and members of the Idaho House and Senate. This resulted in funding for Early Diagnostic Testing in Idaho, the first Sheltered Workshop in Idaho Falls, and a new fire escape system for the State School and Hospital in Nampa.
Dan and the Sandpoint TORCH Club raised money selling light timers and the Daily Bee has pictures of Mayor (Farmer) Gray and Banker Howard Faux buying them along with enough other people to fund the first contingent of athletes ever to attend the State Special Olympic Games in Boise. “… and I still remember Senator Jim Stoicheff coming up to me in the bleachers and telling me it’s okay to cry when you’re happy … ” Dan recalls.
Riding to Boise with Merle Parsley, playing chess on saturdays with Jim Stoicheff, and addressing Governor Andrus along with the Idaho legislature was great but nothing compares to having been there at Special Olympics with the first of a long line of outstanding athletes to represent Sandpoint over the years according to Dan. Dan served several years as Nebraska State Entertainment Chair for Special Olympics and he has participated in all of the Winter Games for Regional and State here in Sandpoint. Eddie Williams and a few of his Gold Medal buddies have known Dan since they were in elementary school and they are still friends today.
Dan left the Schweitzer ski patrol to serve 13 years in the United States Air Force (USAF). By the time he was 21 he had been promoted to Staff Sergeant and had an outstanding career. His dual Top Secret clearances allowed him opportunities to move between operations and intelligence during his career and at one point he carried his rank in a wallet with a badge identifying him as a Department of Defense Armed Forces Courier since he traveled in civilian clothes and on commercial airliners.
As President of the Air Force Sergeants Association he worked on a return to patriotism project that involved President Ronald Reagan (who Dan led the Pledge of Allegiance with as 7th grade school assembly), all 50 Governors, 13 major city Mayors, and the Commandant of the USAF Academy. The project was the subject of a feature story in Air Force magazine.
Dan was in the top one percent of NCO’s which earned him a spot to attend NCO Leadership School in residence where he won the speech award which was about The Autistic Child. Airman of the Quarter, NCO of the Year, many Letters of Commendation, are among the recognition he received during a career where his actions earned him the Humanitarian Service Medal and the USAF Commendation Medal twice.
Dan learned how to fly while stationed at Malmstrom AFB, Montana and purchased a small Cessna for about the same price his room mate paid for his new Camaro. He used to love flying home to Sandpoint on the weekends until his crash landing late at night west of Roger’s Pass in the Montana Rockies.
After his military service, Dan worked in the entertainment industry creating a company that provided employment to over 90 people, covered a large portion of the midwest including Chicago, and owned a major nightclub. He returned to Sandpoint in 1993 to take over the family business – Rainbow Realty.
By the time he returned to Sandpoint, he had earned the nickname “Bashful Dan” and he immediately began to contribute the city he loves. Wherever people gather you will usually find Dan playing music and talking on a microphone. He wrote and emceed the dedication of the Jeff Jones Town Square, Hawkins stage, and the dedication of Bob Lindeman’s tribute art, Pace Your Self, created by Tammy Farmin.
He has entertained and helped organize at no charge for several grad night parties, 24-hour community relay, lake to forest triathlon, special olympics, timberfest, elementary schools including Washington, Farmin-Stidwell and Northside along with dozens of other events and he has never missed a Long Bridge Swim, Cancer Relay for Life, or Lost in the 50′s street dance. You’ve seen Dan at Cancer fund raisers in Safeway’s parking lot, dunk tanks at Ponderay Days, Elderhostel parties at Schweitzer, Girl Scout Father-Daughter dances, SWAC family and teen dances, Sandpoint Slam, Sandpoint Shootout, and so much more.
He hosted Speak Up North Idaho and was the popular morning drive time deejay on KPND-FM with a show called: “Breakfast in Bed with Bashful Dan”. At the urging of the owner of Arbys he once did his show “live” from a bed located on top of a truck in the parking lot of the fast food restaurant.
In 2006 Dan created the Rally in the Valley – Honoring America and Those Who Serve. A patriotic event that allowed community members to honor America. This event honored Firemen, Police, Veterans, National Guard & Reserve, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Fairgrounds Volunteers, and others. Cowboy and patriotic music. Dan’s heartfelt words along with the Careywood Cowgirls and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter galloping into the arena on Erica Curless’s horse, Mandy, with his cowboy hat in hand waving to the audience combined to create an event that touched people’s hearts. The 2008 Rally in the Valley has a list of invitees that include Medal of Honor Winners and 2 Astronauts – stay tuned.
Dan has been a member of Cedar Hills Church since their first day and he has been a Sunday School teacher in Kidz Club for several years. Dan’s Sunday School class is first through fourth graders.
Dan has served on the Boy Scouts Eagle Court of Review, been a Program Speaker at Chamber of Commerce, Pachyderm Club in Coeur d Alene, Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce, Sandpoint Kiwanis Club, and has hosted events and introduced both of Idaho’s United States Senators, 2 U.S. Congressmen, Govenor Risch and Governor Otter. He has hosted Idaho’s Attorney General and helped to implement his Pro-tec Teen program with local law enforcement.
Dan has worked with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Luna, and arranged for Tom to attend a Chamber Education Committee townhall meeting and Dan accompanied Tom to schools as far away as Burley, Idaho in June of 2007.
Governor Risch let Dan use his office in Cda to hold a meeting with businessmen and legislators in November 2006 to begin the effort to bring a new company to northern Idaho. A company that makes an exciting product from agricultural waste. Dan also met with the Ethiopian Consul General last year in Cda to discuss solutions to a problem they were experiencing that held possibilities in the future for commerce between businesses in Idaho and Ethiopia.
Dan has supported value-added educational vehicles like the Water Life Discovery Center and the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center. Dan has served on Downtown Revitaliztion Committee, Economic Restructuring, served on the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association (DSBA) Board of Directors and the Greater Sandpoint Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Dan was one of Governor Kempthorne’s Brightest Stars Award winners in 2004 and Sandpoint’s Citizen of the Year in 2005.
Dan created a mini-movie with soundtrack and made the live presentation in January 2007 in Boise that resulted in Sandpoint being one of the 50 cities in America to hold a State GOP Convention. Any convention held during the shoulder season is a boon to the local economy and a great opportunity to have the attention of our elected officials in Sandpoint.
If you would like to get involved in the Rides Program for seniors or work with Foster Kids and Foster Families or raise money for Home Delivered Meals at the Senior Center; contact Dan today. Together, we can make a world of difference!