The West Seattle Helpline held its 14th Annual Gall Fundraiser dinner event last night at the Duwamish Longhouse. Pictured is featured speaker Loreena Lafontaine, a former client, and now a volunteer at the Helpline. Behind her is Native flutist and storyteller Paul "Che oke ten" Wagner who performed. CLICK ABOVE PHOTO FOR MORE.
SLIDESHOW: Helpline Fall Dinner Fundraiser nets $1,000's, including $545 for carrot cake
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The West Seattle Helpline held its 14th Annual Gala Fundraiser dinner event last night at the Duwamish Longhouse. Proceeds, including the $545 for Rose Frey's homemade carrot cake grabbed first during the "dessert dash" will be used to help families that have faced emergency situations with rent and utilities so that they may remain in their homes with heat and water. This mission becomes even more vital as the weather turns colder and the need is especially great this year, according to the organization.
Several speakers were featured including West Seattle Chamber Board Chair Dave Montoure of West 5, Helpline Board Member Terry Burns, and a touching talk by featured speaker Loreena Lafontaine. She was a former Helpline client, a recipient of clothes and home utility assistance who then became a volunteer for the organization. She said it was a special evening being honored, particularly at the Duwamish Longhouse, because she is Native American.
Silent auction items included "Freshy's (Coffee) West Seattleite Survival Kit", four Avalon Glass Works gourds, and Batholomew wine tasting party in SODO for 20.
Before the speeches Native flutist and storyteller Paul "Che oke ten" Wagner performed.
King County Council member Joe McDermott
King County Council member, and West Seattle resident, Joe McDermott, later told the West Seattle Herald why he felt the Helpline was of such value to the community.
"It's about neighbors helping neighbors in need," he said of the Helpline. "I had the pleasure of serving on the West Seattle Helpline board for a decade and am a former president. I know what a help they are to people throughout West Seattle who find themselves in need, and sometimes very unexpectedly. They help West Seattle residents in short-term emergency assistance with clothing, housing, utilities. If all of a sudden your car just dies, or someone in their family gets sick and medical expenses come up, even if you had some savings something that could wipe it out . People in need should know to call 932-HELP, and people in a position for helping neighbors, should be encouraged to call, too."
The West Seattle Helpline is located on the southeast corner of Morgan and 35th, in the same building as the food bank, in what is called the West Seattle Community Resource Center.
Said McDermott, "When the food bank built their new building it was done with the idea of co-locating with several the non-profits and making it a one-stop place for human services in West Seattle."
Tara Byrne, Exec. Dir. Helpline
"We now have an AmeriCorps member, one more staff member added to our team," Helpline Executive Director Tara Byrne told the West Seattle Herald, who added that Blue Willow Catering in the Alaska Junction "has done a fabulous job."
"We're doing several coat drives at the West Seattle Food Bank," she noted. "People can donate at our office Monday to Thursday, 10:30 through 2:30 or cal us for different times. 932-HELP."
West 5's Dave Montoure
After Dave Montoure's speech, he told the West Seattle Herald he plans to organize a delegation to Japan as an extension of his "West Seattle for Japan Relief" drive we covered here.
"It's my goal to set up a tour through the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, a delegation to visit the affected Japanese coastal areas," said Montoure, who taught English in Morioka, Japan following college in 1990-92. "We want to see how the reconstruction is going and lend what help we can. They need tourist dollars. People are obviously afraid to go into a place affected by such a calamity."
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