Edmonds Waterfront Center gala raises $344K

With an Edmonds sunset behind them, auction emcee Jessica Hong, right, and auctioneer Paul Schenfeld get to work. (Photo by Teresa Wippel)

Thanks to generous donors attending the Edmonds Waterfront Center’s sold-out gala Saturday night, $343,500 was raised to support the multigenerational facility’s work, the center’s CEO Daniel Johnson reported Monday.

A record $250,000 was raised during the event itself, which included a push for fund-a-need donations to retire the center’s remaining capital campaign debt. The capital campaign funded construction of the new $16.75 million building that replaced the aging Edmonds Senior Center. While $56,500 was generated Saturday night toward retiring that $150,000 capital campaign deficit, Edmonds Waterfront Center (EWC) board member said Sunday she would contribute the $93,500 necessary to cover the remainder.

Diane Buckshnis

“Since I am retiring from the (EWC) Board and by extension the capital campaign, it just seemed appropriate to come full circle and complete this herculean effort of the capital campaign for this beautiful and environmentally conscious building,” said Buckshnis, who also sits on the Edmonds City Council.

“All the hard work from staff, board, volunteers and donors paid off,” Johnson said in describing Saturday night’s gala, which opened with the Edmonds Waterfront Center “flash band” — led by Jake Bergevin — that highlighted longtime EWC supporter Rick Steves on trumpet.

Jake Bergevin and the Edmonds Waterfront Center gala band. (Photo courtesy Jake Bergevin)

In addition, two former EWC board members — Patsy Ethridge-Neal and Gary Haakenson — were the first honorees of the Rose Cantwell Leadership Award. The award is named in honor of the late Rose Cantwell, who championed construction of the waterfront center.

Gary Haakenson and his wife Dolly at the gala. (Photo by Ashlyn Rucker)

“I was surprised and honored to receive the award, especially since it’s named after Rose,” said Haakenson, the three-term Edmonds mayor who along with Cantwell and Buckshnis chaired the capital campaign. “None of this would have happened without the great board members from the EWC and early on from the senior center board. Daniel and his staff have done an amazing job and the best days are yet to come. And a huge thanks to all donors who believed in us when we said we could raise $16.5 million dollars. Proud to be a part of the effort.”

Leadership Award recipient Patsy Ethridge-Neal “has been in the trenches since 2008, including four, three-terms on the board,” Johnson said. She served as treasurer and as president, chaired the governance committee and continues to serve on the finance committee. “During construction, Pasty hosted executive committee meetings in her kitchen for nearly two years,” Johnson added. “Most meetings over the past 15 years include the phrase ‘ask Patsy.'”

Ethridge-Neal said she was “surprised and honored” by the recognition. “I think it is wonderful that the award is now recognizing Rose Cantwell,” she added.

Edmonds Waterfront Center Board Member Haifa Alhussieni, center, with husband Nabil (left) and Janel Wohlers (right). (Photo by Ashlyn Rucker)
Sierra Noble, left, with Robin Ullman, Edmonds Waterfront Center human resources director and executive assistant to the CEO. (Photo by Ashlyn Rucker)

In remarks during Saturday night’s gala, Johnson noted the Edmonds Senior Center’s evolution “into the multigenerational/multicultural waterfront center — bringing generations together. The EWC has been open for just 18 months. Our membership has grown from 1,200 to 3,600. With classes, events and celebrations we operate from early until late, seven days a week. We continue to innovate, form new partnerships and expand programs. Our potential is limitless.”





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