Four years ago, sitting at a table with seven girlfriends at a charity auction, I was happily enjoying a much-needed afternoon with friends. That I was much less focused on whom this particular auction was benefiting than with how fun it was to catch up and drink wine at 2:00 in the afternoon would later strike me as ironic. By the end of the event, I not only felt closer to those women than I had that morning, I realized that all of our lives were about to become much more intertwined.
As we listened to personal stories from mothers, nurses, pediatricians, and sweet, angelic-faced patients, we all began to quietly reflect on the question that was so eloquently and emotionally being answered by these amazing kindred spirits: how has Seattle Children’s changed my life? A quick and surprising round-the-table survey soon told us every one of us had a personal, first-hand experience with Children’s. And that each experience, while scary and profound, was overwhelmingly positive.
From a gathering of friends that day, The Project Grace Guild was born. We realized how significant it was that eight women who happened to attend an auction together were all personally affected by the quality of care, humanitarianism and commitment to excellence that exists at Seattle Children’s. And we were humbled by the volumes of local families that clearly had to have experienced the same. We also knew that not only had Children’s changed our lives, we wanted to know how we could give back. After researching and learning about Children’s Hospital guilds, what was even more humbling was the number of local families who cannot afford their child’s medical costs, and that Children’s treats and cares for all children regardless of their families’ ability to pay. A unanimous decision was quickly made that our newly-formed guild would raise funds to support uncompensated care, and that we would hold an annual event to support that cause.
The Project Grace Guild has grown from eight founding members to its current 15 and our September 23 Harvest Moon Soiree dinner and auction represents our fourth annual fundraising event. Located at Pickering Barn in Issaquah, a reception and silent auction begin at 6 pm with dinner and a live auction begins at 7:45. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased by email or at the door.
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Andrea Stiles is a member of The Project Grace Guild.