On a crisp, fall evening in November, more than 60 young professionals filled Bramling Cross, a cozy Ballard spot from Ethan Stowell Restaurants. On the last day of Restaurant Week, these changemakers assembled to do more than just eat.
This philanthropic Chef’s Table dinner, hosted by Chef and Owner, Ethan Stowell, is part of United Way of King County’s Emerging Leaders program. Comprised of more than 8,000 Seattleites, this group of young professionals spend their time volunteering, networking, and giving back to the community. When they aren’t rolling up their sleeves for a weekend volunteer project, you might find them at events like this one.
From philanthropy to food, there were no disappointments. Ethan Stowell curated a delicious four-course menu, including several rounds of champagne and wine. From charcuterie to gem salad to artisanal fried chicken, it’s amazing anyone had room for dessert – homemade tiramisu. Between courses, guests enjoyed Q+A with Ethan about his love of cooking, his business, and even his favorite weeknight meals to serve up for his kids. Ethan inspired guests by sharing how his partnership with United Way makes an impact in his hometown of Seattle, and how they can do the same.
While Seattle is unparalleled in restaurants, bars, and job opportunities, you don’t have to be in town long to recognize our city’s homelessness crisis. That’s why Ethan supports United Way’s Streets to Home program, which on average gets a person off the streets for less than $1,000. This highly-efficient program resonated with Emerging Leaders, who then raised a record-setting $20,000 to end homelessness in Seattle. That means twenty fewer people will be sleeping on the streets.
I attended the first Chef’s Table last year and had a wonderful time. Yes, the food was amazing but being surrounded by leaders in our community ready to give back and make a big impact is what makes me return.
– Shanna Salazar, Emerging Leader from Amazon
Through the evening’s collective giving, many attendees also joined Emerging Leaders 365 – a special group of Emerging Leaders committed to giving $365 or more a year to United Way. Their $1 a day puts these young professionals at the forefront of change, making an impact in the community year-round.
While the epic menu and drinks certainly put the “fun” in fundraising, the takeaway is clear: Young people are paying attention. Young people are taking action. Young people are stepping up to fight poverty and homelessness in Seattle. Cheers to Emerging Leaders for putting their stamp on philanthropy – and doing it in style.
Special thanks to Ethan Stowell Restaurants for hosting, and to this quarter’s sponsor, Microsoft, for helping Emerging Leaders end homelessness.