(Photos/video courtesy South Seattle College)
A student’s inspiring story keynoted tonight’s recordsetting “Gifts from the Earth” fundraiser at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). Above, David Yama spoke to the sold-out crowd of 300. Here’s the full recap by SSC’s communications director Kevin Maloney:
South Seattle College announced tonight that the annual Gifts from the Earth fundraising event raised nearly $215,000, a new record in its 12-year history. Proceeds from the event benefit South’s Foundation in its mission to support South students and programs with scholarships, internships, emergency funding, tutoring, and more.
“Gifts from the Earth is an inspiring event where philanthropists and our sponsors come together for the common goal of supporting South students in their pursuit of a higher education and a fulfilling career,” South Seattle College President Gary Oertli said. “Their support has an enormous impact on our students’ ability to realize their dreams.”
South’s supporters started their night with a silent auction accompanied by appetizers and wines crafted by South’s Culinary Arts, Pastry and Baking Arts, and Northwest Wine Academy students and alumni. Next, the sold-out event moved to the Jerry M. Brockey Center, where guests enjoyed a multi-course meal created by 15 celebrity Northwest chefs (including South alumni). Students from the college’s culinary, wine and Hospitality Management B.A.S. programs helped the chefs prep, cook and serve.
A highlight of the evening came after dinner and a live auction, when South student David Michael Patrick Yama shared his story of emerging from poverty to succeeding in college with the help of a Foundation scholarship:
“I sought out a Foundation scholarship because I needed more money, but money was the smallest thing it gave me,” said Yama, who hopes to obtain a doctorate in biomedical engineering. “The greatest thing it gave to me was validation. Validation that I belong here, that I could succeed in school.”
Gifts from the Earth is made possible by the support of the following sponsors: Food Services of America (title sponsor), Boeing, Union Bank, Rebar and Associates, McGranahan Architects, GM Nameplate, QBSI, Interbay Food Company, WSECU, Vigor Industrial, The Gene Colin and Susan Janus Charitable Fund, Pedersen’s and Ferguson Construction.
(Watch SSC’s Facebook page for a photo gallery next week.) The college is headquartered on West Seattle’s Puget Ridge.