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Had she been at The Paramount Theatre Friday night, Nellie Cornish wouldn’t have been sitting among the Seattle swells and far-flung alumni who gathered to celebrate the centennial of Cornish College of the Arts.
Instead, the school’s founder would have been “sitting backstage on a coil of rope, watching the performances,” said spokeswoman Rosemary Jones, “and telling them ‘Good job.’ ”
The night said just that to college President Nancy Uscher and her faculty — but also to the students who have spread the school’s name and impact all over the world.
Among them: Mary Lambert (Class of ’11). She’s on tour supporting her new record, “Heart On My Sleeve,” but made time to perform for her alma mater. (“You look so beautiful out there,” she told the crowd. “Like the Titanic. But we’re going to be OK.”)
She sang an expanded version of the hook she wrote for Macklemore’s “Same Love” called “She Keeps Me Warm,” followed by “Body Love,” and “Red Lipstick” before popping back into her tour bus, which was parked outside.
Board Chairwoman Virginia Anderson noted that the event drew an overcapacity crowd (including 19 former board members) and focused on how Cornish has “aged so beautifully.”
She was followed by a video presentation produced by Sandy Cioffi and Gretchen Burger from the school’s film department that captured the school’s century in the city.
In the room: Mayor Ed Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosaki; philanthropist and Paramount savior Ida Cole; Randy Engstrom of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture; Josh LaBelle of the Seattle Theatre Group; Leonard Garfield of the Museum of History & Industry; Seattle International Film Festival head Mary Bacarella; Pyramid Communications founder John Hoyt; David Armstrong, executive producer and artistic director of the 5th Avenue Theatre; and Larry Corey of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with his wife, Amy.
“We’re trying to push the boundaries, just like Nellie did,” Uscher added. “She believed that everything was possible. The next century will be bigger and more audacious.”
Indeed, the raise-the-paddle portion of the night was audaciously kicked off by James and Sherry Raisbeck and Carl and Renée Behnke. Each couple gave $100,000, starting what would be a $550,000 flurry of cash.
In all, the night brought in more than $800,000 to fund scholarships — likely a record amount.
And had she been there, Jones said, Nellie Cornish probably would have pledged her own salary — something she was known to do for students in need of tuition money.
No need this year. Did I mention Cornish’s middle name was Centennial?
The nonprofit Runway to Freedom is all about fighting domestic violence, but it’s also about empowering women.
So DJ Leslie Wheatley came to the organization’s fifth annual fundraiser at the Showbox the other night with plenty of strong women.
“I’ve got Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”), Beyoncé (“Run the World (Girls)”); Alicia Keys (“Girl on Fire”) and Tina Turner (“Better Be Good To Me”),” Wheatley told me with a wink.
Lending some of his star power to the event was Macklemore, who grew up with Runway to Freedom founder Lauren Grinnell. When she asked if he would stand for photos with VIPs, the rapper was there. No problem.
“We go way back,” he said of their friendship.
He arrived in a peak-lapel gray flannel suit and wore what looked like a Super Bowl ring.
“I paid so much for this,” he said of the suit. “I bought it in New York and have been regretting it ever since.”
Turns out it is a Super Bowl ring, which the Seahawks superfan bought as part of the team’s friends and family program. (In other words, no, you can’t get one too.)
When it was her turn, Lina Kim presented the rapper with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Huh?
“It’s a reference to his song, ‘Thin Line,’ ” she said. I looked it up: “My job comes with complimentary toothpaste.” Cute.
Andrea Keenan was dressed in a sumptuous fox-fur coat, which of course drew the rapper’s attention.
“He said, ‘I’d love to borrow it,’ ” Keenan said as she stepped away, “And I said, ‘Anytime.’ ”
Heck of a coat, I said to the rapper as he waited for the next VIP. Vintage.
“You have to say that,” he said. I repeat: Vintage.
When it was her turn to be photographed with Macklemore, Mary’s Place Executive Director Marty Hartman presented him with a book called “The Many Faces of Macklemore” — drawings made by the kids who live at the shelter, which was the beneficiary of the event.
Hartman took a few moments to take it all in: Volunteers like Clayne Wheeler, who grew up in a home affected by domestic violence (“It was really frightful”), and was happy to give free shoe shines. The models, who walked the runway on their own time. And the donated auction items, including guitars signed by Willie Nelson and Brandi Carlile and running shoes signed by Seahawks Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman.
“Incredible,” Hartman said. “There’s no greater gift than helping a woman reclaim her life.”
Hundreds of attendees and celebrities (Macklemore included), came out toThe Showbox on Friday for Runway to Freedom (RTF) - a fashion show aimed at empowering domestic violence victims by raising funds through fashion shows.
Lauren Grinnell is the founder of RTF, and was inspired to create the non-profit after volunteering her hairstyling services at a local shelter. Having come abuse herself, it was important to her to share awareness and raise money to help other victims.
When you can mix your passion and trade with giving back, it's the best of both worlds," said Grinnell.
This weekend’s event benefited Mary’s Place, a local non-profit that has a history of creating a safe environment for homeless women, along with providing housing, meals and even employment.
The main fundraising opportunity was the live auction. Local rapper Macklemore was in the audience and bid with alongside the other guests; and totaling over $20,000. Grinnell says the combination of Mary’s Place supporters and the superstar helped them raise, in one night, double what the organization had raised since 2010.
“Macklemore was our host the first year and he's my best friend," said Grinnell. "We have an amazing friendship, and I always supported him during his rap career. He wanted to do the same,”
Local designers like Justin Zachary Bartle and Jamie von Stratton strutted their stuff during the runway show, while musicians Luc and the Lovingtons were so entertaining guests rose to their feet to dance in the rows. Rising star Jairemie Alexander’s Alive was the event’s theme song, and throughout the night domestic violence victims told their powerful stories, which silenced the entire crowd with details of their experiences.
While the night was a huge success, you can believe that Grinnell is already planning the next Runway to Freedom event.
Runway to Freedom, a nonprofit Seattle event, has been helping domestic violence survivors since 2010. Founded by Lauren Grinnell, this year's show will benefit Mary's Place, a shelter for homeless women and children.
The event itself features a fashion show, auction, and live music. Musician Jairemie Alexander gave us a preview with a performance of his song Alive.
Zetron’s fourth annual “Shoot for the Stars” benefit golf tournament raised $23,000 for Behind the Badge, a foundation that honors and assists injured and fallen Washington state law-enforcement officers and their families.
Redmond, WA, U.S.A., August 28, 2014― Zetron, a leading mission-critical communications systems provider based in Redmond, WA, raised $23,000 at its fourth annual “Shoot for the Stars” golf tournament to benefit Behind the Badge Foundation August 20, 2014, at The Golf Club in Newcastle, WA. Behind the Badge is an organization that honors and assists Washington State’s injured and fallen law-enforcement officers and their families. The $23,000 raised this year is a combination of event fees, sponsorships, and donations from the immediate and extended community, as well as contributions from Zetron employees, and matching funds from Zetron and Zetron president and CEO, Ellen O’Hara. The tournament has raised a total of $64,000 for the Behind the Badge over the last four years.
Highlights of this year’s tournament included the participation of over 100 first responders and law-enforcement personnel, as well as musical performances by Seattle R & B band, The Weather Experts; and local singer/songwriter, Jairemie Alexander.
Also on hand to support and add star power to the event were former Seattle Sonic, Slick Watts; former Seahawks, Randall Morris and Charles Young; and former U.W. Husky and All-American linebacker, Antowaine Richardson. Q13 FOX news anchor and host of Washington's Most Wanted, David Rose, served as master of ceremonies, as he has done every year since the tournament’s inception. Elite sponsors included Alaska Airlines, Avanti Markets, Directors Mortgage, Kenwood U.S.A, Kibble and Prentice Insurance, Peak Travel, and GeoConex.
“This year’s ‘Shoot for the Stars’ tournament was our most successful to date,” said Zetron president and CEO, Ellen O’Hara. “It’s very exciting to see the momentum the event continues to gather each year and the enthusiasm with which our community comes out to support it. I want to thank all of those who did so much to plan, sponsor, and participate in the event and make it such a brilliant success.”
Founded in 1980, Zetron manufactures and provides award-winning communications systems designed to equip the entire mission-critical control room. Zetron’s integrated solutions combine IP-based dispatch, NG9-1-1 call-taking, voice logging, IP fire station alerting, CAD, mapping, and automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems. They are expandable, interoperable, and able to support remote and geo-diverse operations. Zetron backs its products with technical support and project-management services known for their expertise and responsiveness. Zetron has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and numerous field locations; and a worldwide network of resellers, system integrators and distributors. Zetron is a wholly owned subsidiary of JVC Kenwood Corporation. For more information, visit: http://www.zetron.com.