Last Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m., in front of a green screen, the little red light above the in-studio camera came on and we went live with our first virtual gala and auction – raising $88,635.
Thank you to all our sponsors, to the individuals and businesses who donated items and to those who tuned in and contributed to support the Edmonds Waterfront Center.
As if the virtual gods needed to remind us of the challenges of all things “online,” we had technical audio problems at the beginning of the program, but quickly found our rhythm. Still, the biggest challenge of a virtual events is that we are not in the same room – missing the human contact we all crave. We have all learned to tolerate the world of Zoom, but true engagement in that world is seriously challenged.
The silver lining of the virtual fundraising event is that it is more inclusive — everyone can participate. When the donations started coming in for our Fund A Need in support of our Senior Lunch Program, it included gifts from $20 to $5,000. When someone gives $20, it is often a stretch gift. That donor would typically not be able to pay for a $200 ticket to attend an in-person gala. It was heartwarming to see gifts coming in from our membership, volunteers, staff, family members, major donors, and our board. That is how we built the Waterfront Center – as a community.
The two highlights of the evening that stood out were the jazz performance at the EWC by Jake Bergevin and the Javatown Orchestra: vimeo.com/614659484/56dbdeb386
And Fund a Need in support of our Senior Lunch Program:animoto.com/play/xDmOMaPYkSYtvtEdK9VHrw
This lunch program goes straight to the heart of our mission. We are committed to addressing food insecurity among seniors as well as their social isolation made worse during the pandemic. The Senior Lunch Program addresses both. At the Waterfront Center we are testing a new Community Café model for this program where seniors who need extra help get a nutritious meal for a $5 donation, while the community orders off the menu and pays a market rate. No one knows who is getting a subsidized meal and who is paying full price. And we all eat together.
Our goal for the Fund a Need was $40,000. We have currently raised $31,232 toward that goal. If you missed the online event and would like to help us raise the remaining $8,768, please go to our website — www.edmondswaterfrontcenter.org — and hit the donate now button. We would be most grateful.
The Edmonds Waterfront Center belongs to you. We are currently open, following COVID restrictions. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. we offer programs focused on seniors. The City of Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department offers classes and activities in the evenings, and on the weekends we rent the center for events.
We will continue to seek ways (in-person and virtually) to offer safe, dynamic programs and stay connected with you. We are doing this together.
— By Daniel Johnson, CEO
Edmonds Waterfront Center