Patrick Robinson
SW Historical Society Executive Director Clay Eals, at far right, spoke to those gathered at a special invitation only event at the Pacific Institute on Harbor Ave SW Wed, Aug. 28. The event was a kickoff for the upcoming Champagne Gala Lunch fundraiser for the Historical Society taking place at Salty's on Alki, Nov. 9.

SW Historical Society gets the ball rolling on their upcoming gala

A special, invitation only event was held at West Seattle based Pacific Institute on Aug. 28 to get the fundraising and auction items going for the SW Historical Society's upcoming gala in November.

"Tripping the Lighthouse Fantastic" is set for Nov. 9 at Salty's on Alki.

That event will feature a program including a dessert dash, silent auction, and an inspirational presentation.

At the fundraising kickoff event Wednesday evening, Executive Director Clay Eals introduced the attendees who included former Port Commissioner Jack Block, his wife Vicki Schmitz, David Terry Jones and Maryanne Tagney Jones owners of the Colman Estate, Sharon Huling, Jennifer Peterson, Joan Stover, Ann Anderson, Alki Arts Diane Venti, Patrick and Ruta Jablonski of Nucor Steel, Marcy Johnsen, Earl and Adah Cruzen, Al Bentley, Juda Youngstrom, Joey Richesson Cheryl Brones, representing Diane Tice and The Pacific Institute
Christine Clark, Tia Hallberg, and others.

Eals talked about the history of the society itself and spoke movingly about its founder, Elliott Couden, reading from an essay Couden wrote about the responsibility we have to honor and preserve the best of what we create for those who follow us. Quoting from that essay, "I do firmly believe that there are enough people in this Southwest Seattle area who care enough to meet our opportunity to form, undergird and develop a viable, exciting format whereby we and others may preserve our heritage for the education and benefit of future generations. We can do for others what others have done for us. ... I want to find out if others share my dream."

The gala lunch at Salty's is still seeking auction donations and volunteers. Already in place for the event are a vintage rowboat from David and Maryanne Tagney-Jones, and a woodframe couch and chairs from the Alki Lighthouse. If you'd like to take part they ask you contact Juda Youngstrom at 206-484-8008.

The cost of the event is $75 per adult, $45 for teens (13-18) and $25 for children with 4 and under free.
To reserve your seat at the event call 206 938-5293 or visit, click Make a Donation and type Gala in the "purpose" box.

Eals also spoke about a special event coming up Sept. 8 at Alki Arts. It will commemorate the events here in West Seattle that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That day, many people came to the Statue of Liberty on Alki Beach and carried personalized luminaries, that lined up along the Alki Promenade. The SW Historical Society preserved the bags. They will be displayed one night only beginning at 6:30pm at Alki Arts, 2820 Alki Ave. SW in a event called "The Earth Cried Out". King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert will speak at the event.

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