Macklemore’s surprise West Seattle visit, as Roxhill Elementary gets a ‘buddy bench’

May 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 27 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
Roxhill Elementary has had some high-profile visitors. But this afternoon’s surprise visitor might have topped them all – the most famous Seattleite on the music scene right now – Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Macklemore. He came to Roxhill a little while ago for the presentation of a “buddy bench” (explained here).

ADDED: More photos, and we have video in the works. Here’s Macklemore on the bench with (left) fiancee Tricia Davis and (right) Roxhill principal Sahnica Washington:

He signed the bench, of course:

Though his appearance was a surprise in the classic sense of the word, but it’s not surprising, given his involvement in pro-acceptance and anti-bullying advocacy.

“Helping other people – that’s what life is all about,” you’ll hear him say in our video of the assembly; he first appears about 10 minutes in, after principal Washington explains the buddy bench. He then joined in a skit demonstrating it:

Roxhill’s Youth Ambassadors were the official assembly hosts. Macklemore (better known as Ben Haggerty in his own school days) said he and the YA program “go way back.”


Roxhill’s head teacher Marcie Sheppard Shaw explained to WSB’s Christopher Boffoli how this all happened:

One super-fan of Macklemore, Lashaunycee O’Cain, was overwhelmed to meet him:

A memorable day for Roxhill’s scholars!


  1. Anybody care to enlighten the ignorant (me) as to what is a “Buddy Bench”?

    Comment by LBJ — 3:45 pm May 29, 2014 #

  2. @LBJ: from the article: >>He came to Roxhill a little while ago for the presentation of a “buddy bench” (explained here).<<
    Lets make it easier…
    Or go here:

    Comment by Serious? — 3:53 pm May 29, 2014 #

  3. And even more elaboration on how schools are using them:
    Stand by for video. Our crew tells me that it was demonstrated in some play-acting featuring Roxhill’s visitor. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:07 pm May 29, 2014 #

  4. That’s so awesome!

    Comment by Mona — 4:39 pm May 29, 2014 #

  5. WSB- thanks for adding the link to the PDF, couldn’t do the video explanation

    Comment by sam-c — 5:03 pm May 29, 2014 #

  6. While Mr. Macklemore and I share different musical tastes, I have a great appreciation for everything that he does for the city of Seattle.


    I am proud to live in the same city as him.

    Comment by WEST SEATTLE HIPSTER — 5:08 pm May 29, 2014 #

  7. My son is a 3rd grader there and even though he’s been potty trained for years, I’m sure he peed himself today! He’s also been a victim of bullying, more than once, so I’m sure this meant so much to him and other victims on many different levels. Thank you.

    Comment by h — 5:31 pm May 29, 2014 #

  8. I’m impressed w/ how fast she got them quiet after he showed. nice!

    Comment by fj — 5:53 pm May 29, 2014 #

  9. Ha!!!!!!! That was him!!!! I saw him at Starbucks today. I thought this guy looked like him and it WAS him!!!!!! He got an iced coffee.

    Comment by coffee anyone — 6:29 pm May 29, 2014 #

  10. Which Starbucks?

    Comment by WSB — 6:49 pm May 29, 2014 #

  11. YES to Macklemore and YES to buddy benches. There’s one at Schmitz Park Elem and I think it’s a beautiful idea.

    Comment by Alice — 8:21 pm May 29, 2014 #

  12. He is awesome!!!

    Comment by SJ2 — 8:31 pm May 29, 2014 #

  13. I love Mackelmore, Ms. Washington, Roxhill and the buddy bench. Best 20 minutes spent ever!

    Comment by trl — 8:49 pm May 29, 2014 #

  14. I am a huge fan. I believe he questioned in a Rolling Stones article why parents let their kids listen to Macklemore. I think he is a great role model for our kids b/c he is not afraid to voice his opinions, is an independent thinker, and stands up for important issues. Also, I love his city pride! I don’t play all of the songs on his album for my kids, but a few cuss words don’t scare us a way. Even my three year old knows thrift shop. His music is empowering. Those Roxhill kids really lucked out today.

    Comment by evergreen — 9:24 pm May 29, 2014 #

  15. Macklemore ROCKS!!! Maybe Joe Rogan should sit on the buddy bench with Macklemore.

    Comment by MACFAN — 10:25 pm May 29, 2014 #

  16. Macklemore is a standup guy. He shows up, isn’t full of himself, is generous of spirit, and doesn’t require sponsorship signs like I’ve seen at similar visits by sports professionals. He represents the best of Seattle IMO!

    Comment by I. Ponder — 10:58 pm May 29, 2014 #

  17. I appreciate that he is real and has a heart to serve! That is a true leader when you use you power to impact the lives of others around and lift them up to greater heights! This school is well deserving as all schools! Inspires me as a parents to think of things we can do to inspire our kids to greatness! Take a Bow Ben!

    Comment by Marie — 11:23 pm May 29, 2014 #

  18. The great thing about Macklemore, he really does want to be a positive role model for youth. Awesome to see this on WSB.

    Comment by Mike — 12:41 am May 30, 2014 #

  19. Great guy, I wonder if the rest of the hip hop community does this much in other cities?

    Nice job Macklemore, you set a good example on what being a real man is all about.

    Comment by T Rex — 7:33 am May 30, 2014 #

  20. This is so awesome – I love to see strong role models show kids how important it is to stand up for one another and the buddy bench is such a great way to display friendship and support!

    Comment by Elizagrace — 8:47 am May 30, 2014 #

  21. A few cuss words? Read the lyrics to his songs….motherfu**ers, fu**, bit*hes, ho’s and more are not just a few cuss words. Read the lyrics to his popular Penis song. Does a “real man” refer to women as bit*hes and ho’s? Great role model for the kids?

    Comment by j — 11:38 am May 30, 2014 #

  22. As if I didn’t love Macklemore enough already…

    This guy is terrific.

    Comment by Real Estate Gals — 12:15 pm May 30, 2014 #

  23. J, I counter with “Ten Thousand Hours”, “Can’t Hold Us”, “Same Love”, “Make the Money”, “Neon Cathedral”, and “Wing$”. Great stuff for deep conversations with kids about what really matters in life.

    Comment by evergreen — 12:45 pm May 30, 2014 #

  24. @J: Amen!

    Comment by Bradley — 1:55 pm May 30, 2014 #

  25. I just read the lyrics to the penis song, so ‘j’ i don’t know your talking about. Have you read the lyrics yourself? That song is sort of a parody of the baller song, you know, i wish i was a baller, i wish i was taller, or something like that. Plus he’s talking about our cultural expectations and penis size and how that’s supposed to ‘make’ a man and how his is not so big. Also he doesn’t refer to girls as bitches and ho’s in it.
    Why you dissin’ Macklemore anyway?

    Comment by au — 5:11 pm May 30, 2014 #

  26. Sure, he does have a few songs not for children. So do the things we see on television. Macklemore is never violent and it is done in humor. My boys love Ten Thousand. Gives them hope and inspiration. They have no idea that the Penis Song exists. Parenting. Interesting concept.

    Thank you Mr.Hagerty for supporting your community. <3

    Comment by Liz — 5:31 pm May 30, 2014 #

  27. evergreen: i counter your counter with a “meh” and a yawn.
    i appreciate that he wants to be a stand-up guy and a positive role model. i just wish he wasn’t so intent on boring everyone to death in the process.
    [cue the rotten tomatoes in 3...2...1...]

    Comment by redblack — 8:34 pm May 31, 2014 #

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