RENTON, Wash. — A local 13-year-old lived his birthday dream Friday, despite the many obstacles his family has faced.
Renton-based Birthday Dreams was built to celebrate birthdays for those who don’t have the means. On Friday, founders Chris Spahn and Shannon Avery worked alongside her team of passionate volunteers, and former Seahawk Randall Morris, to put on a birthday party for a Seahawks fan named Sam.
Morris said he believes in the importance of providing kids with a party to boost their self-worth. The Randall Morris Foundation for Youth and Families has raised over $750,000 to help those in need and became a year-long sponsor and supporter of Birthday Dreams after learning about the organization on KING 5.
“My wife and I knew that’s where we wanted to direct some money from our foundation,” Morris said.
Morris isn’t just supporting the nonprofit financially, he’s actually delivering the party. A “ride-a-long with Randall” had the former running back packing up decorations, cupcakes, and, of course, a stack of birthday gifts wrapped up for Sam on Friday. Sam got to celebrate his first year as a teenager alongside family, Randall and mentors at Friends of the Children Seattle, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring.
Edgar Masmela leads the outreach and engagement and said simply seeing people show up for Sam makes a big impact.
“Somebody they saw on TV or YouTube coming down and caring about them gives them a spark, that oomph to live another day and be better,” Masmela said.
The Randall Morris Foundation hosts several fundraisers, including a celebrity Gala & Auction, poker and golf Tournaments that benefit Birthday Dreams.
“I hope to support Birthday Dreams for a long time,” said Morris.
Birthday Dreams is preparing for a busy summer and can always use more volunteers as they’ve served more than 12,000 parties for local kids.
Birthday Dreams was founded in 2009 by Spahn and Avery, who discovered there was a need that no other local organization filled. More than 12,000 local birthday parties later, Birthday Dreams is thriving thanks to volunteers and community donations.