Public proposal involves family, friends at Richland's Beaver Bark

December 23, 2013 

Joey Hangartner of Richland proposes to Michaela Thomas of Richland on Sunday at Beaver Bark as friends and family emerge from corners of the store. Thomas said yes.

COURTESY MICHAEL THOMAS

— A Richland man bent down on one knee and proposed to his future wife Sunday beside the koi pond at Beaver Bark Gift & Garden Center in Richland.

Before Joey Hangartner popped the question, about 20 family members and friends emerged from their hiding spots in the store to witness the public proposal.

“It was a nerve-wracking moment,” he said.

A surprised Michaela Thomas of Richland happily said yes.

The couple have been together about four years and a trip to Beaver Bark around the holidays has become a tradition.

“It was a challenge to keep it a secret from her,” Hangartner said.

The couple hope to marry in Leavenworth next winter.

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