She’s Got a Ticket to Fly

By United Way of King County, on January 6, 2022 | In Eat, Drink & Be Generous, Emerging Leaders 365, Events, Fighting Homelessness

There are folks who stare out at Seattle’s seasonal overcast and protracted precipitation mix wishing to be whisked away to someplace sandy and sunny. And then there are those like Marcie Kellegrew of Seattle: She recently won two main cabin, roundtrip Alaska Airlines tickets after making a $365 donation at a recent United Way of King County’s Eat, Drink & Be Generous event.

She need not merely wish about getting away anymore.

“Looking out at the cold gray sky, with rain falling, makes me wish for a week in the tropics,” said Kellegrew, a mechanical design engineer from Seattle. “Hawaii sounds like a good destination.”

Kellegrew is among those who have shown up at a United Way Eat Drink & Be Generous event, donated at the Emerging Leaders 365 level and ended up with a chance to go anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. Young professionals who give $365 donations become Emerging Leader 365 donors ($30 a month) and help United Way partner with other organizations to address needs in our communities.

These Emerging Leader 365 donations are used to fight homeless and poverty in King County communities, particularly among people of color. Institutional and systemic racism has left people of color in our communities to experience disproportionate inequalities. We at United Way recognize that we need to both acknowledge and address systemic and institutional racism as we work toward a racially just community where people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable.

A series of virtual events, Eat, Drink & Be Generous is centered around good food and raising money to support the community. In addition, we actively choose speakers and BIPOC businesses that reflect our community and center voices of color. 

The Be Generous events offer a way for guests to contribute to alleviate food and housing insecurity faced by the community, particularly by Black, Indigenous and people of color. Most events have been held online via livestream and have featured a variety of chefs. Attendees who give $365 at these events are entered in giveaways. Alaska Airlines is one of the signature supporters of the Be Generous series of community cocktail hours and chef’s tables that are hosted by some of the area’s best-known restaurateurs.

Kellegrew attended last year’s Be Generous event that featured Dennis Ramey and Osbaldo Hernandez, the founders and owners of Frelard Tamales. They demonstrated their passion for cooking and creating authentic, handmade tamales.

“I enjoyed learning how to cook tamales and having food that is different from our normal fare,” said Kellegrew. “It was fun to get to know the owners a bit as they did their presentation.”

Kellegrew said she made the donation to United Way because she is interested in supporting people so they can stay in their houses. We offer programs such as Home Base and Streets to Home that center on homeless prevention, ensuring that King County residents already in their homes can stay in them.

Homelessness in Seattle is becoming such a problem. Those of us that have resources should share with those that don’t so that all have a healthy, safe place to live.

Marcie Kellegrew

“I made the donation to United Way because they are a trusted organization that cares for people in Seattle,” Kellegrew said. “I have supported United Way, off and on, for many years. Homelessness in Seattle is becoming such a problem. Those of us that have resources should share with those that don’t so that all have a healthy, safe place to live.”

Want to be like Marcie Kellegrew? Check our website regularly for future Eat, Drink & Be Generous events or learn about becoming an Emerging Leaders 365 and making an even bigger impact in our community.


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