"There are so many incredible items tonight. This is the time to go to all the tables, check out all the items," KING 5's Chris Egan told a room full of people as he and brother Mike helped set the tone for the evening at the annual Corks and Crush fundraiser.
The event raises money for the Mary Bridge Children's Therapy Unit (CTU) at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. In the sea of tuxedos, were some bright green t-shirts. Some kids were showing some of the would-be bidders what it's like to ordinary things with an extraordinary condition.
In this case, stacking blocks with the non-dominant hand, gloved, with no thumb... to simulate 12-year-old Liam's cerebral palsy. Among the crowd was a quiet couple, Abby and Kyle Schneidmiller.
Their daughter was featured Saturday in a special video shown on big screens surrounding the dining room.
"She's a very motivated, strong-willed, very determined little girl," said Abby.
Little Lucy had a stroke at birth and lives with a condition called Hemiplegia, a paralysis or weakness on one side of the body. In Lucy's case, she has limited use of her right side. Like Liam, she doesn't just get by; she pushes herself.
"Lucy said, dad, I want to be able to tie my shoes. I want my certificate on the wall. We hit it hard one weekend and she went in on a Monday, and she tied her shoes one-handed," said Kyle.
Lucy and Liam are just two of thousands of kids treated at CTU for a variety of conditions from delayed development to genetic disorders.
"Every service you need is in that building, and that whole team works together as one unit," said CTU Director Marianne Bastin.
The children get special services that insurance doesn't always cover.
Which is why Saturday night's auction is huge, not just for CTU, but for the kids who discover each other through the program and find out they aren't so unique after all. For Abby and Kyle, CTU has meant a place for their daughter to develop life skills and a place for them to find hope.
"Give her a strong sense of who she is so she can overcome tough situations, that's what I'm worried about," he said.
But they both say the program has had a profound impact on Lucy's life and hope the community continues to embrace its successes.