Eat, Drink & Be Generous: How 500+ People Took Generosity to New Levels

By United Way of King County Posted on November 20, 2019 In Events, News

Ask someone near you what they think generosity is. Go ahead, ask—we’ll wait.

If they replied, “Generosity is 530 people coming together in Seattle to raise over $540,000 to help others in the community!” odds are they were at Eat, Drink & Be Generous last Thursday evening.

The gilded walls of the historic Paramount Theatre served as the setting for the hundreds of attendees. After drinks, small bites, laughs and photos in the lobby, people streamed into the theatre and sat for a Tom Douglas-catered meal just as Adele impersonator Kristie Champagne aptly performed “Hello.”

From there, a host of talent took the stage in what shaped up to be an evening of entertainment, inspiring stories of generosity, moments of reflection as well as laughter and, on the whole, a great time with good people.

A particularly touching moment came after Lila Lakehart and April Reyes shared April’s award-winning RadioActive story. April’s family was in the audience and, when they were introduced, the audience responded with a standing ovation.

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is with gratitude that life becomes rich.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

After a few generous moments of spirited bidding for drinks as well as coconut cream pies from Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Bakery, Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, led the paddle-raising portion of the evening, deftly inspiring many people to give, including over 30 new Change Makers donors.

Chris Capossela on stage for raise the paddle segment of the event. Many people raise their paddles in the crowd for the $1,200 giving level.

In all, $540,000 was raised to support the community by fighting homelessness, helping students graduate and ensuring families are financially stable.

To repeat that, $540,000 was raised for the community.

That’s generosity manifest, no?

Following the fundraising, America’s Got Talent finalist Benicio Bryant generously shared his musical and singing talents with the audience, including a touching rendition of “Hallelujah”.

Benicio Bryant singing on stage.

The evening concluded with a group performance by Daniel Pak and several youth musicians from his nonprofit record label, Totem Star, all of whom were later joined onstage by many of the other performers in the grand, clapping finale. There were many smiles, both onstage and in the audience.

While it may’ve taken a small place in the printed program, a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer felt like an apt coda to the evening: “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Generosity is a cornerstone of humanity. The acts of giving and receiving connect all of us. It was in that spirit that we held Eat, Drink & Be Generous and welcomed so many for what was unquestionably an amazing night of good food, good company and giving to support a great cause. The generosity of so many will support the community by fighting homelessness, helping students graduate and ensuring families are financially stable.

Also, a huge round of thanks to especially Microsoft, our title sponsor, as well as The Boeing Company and Nordstrom, for their generosity in sponsoring the event!


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