Press Release: Seattle Hotel Association’s Evening of Hope Gala raises over $940,000 benefiting Mary’s Place


Media Contact:
Allan Aquila
Phone (206) 948-1997





Seattle, Washington (Feb. 6, 2018) — The Seattle Hotel Association’s 21st “Evening of Hope” gala held on Feb. 3 was a show-stopping affair with feverish bidding and an amazing raise the paddle auction, totaling over $940,000 to benefit Mary’s Place, This special night was celebrated by more than 375 bounteous patrons who were dressed to the nines celebrating classic Hollywood Glitz and Glam. The Spanish Ballroom was decked out for a glamorous Hollywood Premiere, where guests dined on delicious fare at the Fairmont Hotel and sipped Washington state wines from Chateau Ste Michelle.

At the beginning of the festivities, Evening of Hope Co-Chair, Amanda Parsons, took the stage and shared the City of Seattle’s Proclamation, which proclaims Feb. 3, 2018, “To Be The Seattle Hotel Association Evening of Hope,” signed by Mayor of Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan.

During the paddle raise, three Mary’s Place clients shared their incredible, heartbreaking journey of what initially led them to Mary’s Place. With the help of the Mary’s Place family, they were able to put their lives back together and move into stable housing.

This year’s honorees were Tom and Sue Ellison, who have for many years fostered deep ties to Mary’s Place and the health of our local community. Tom and Sue are also the founders of the “Ellison Foundation,” which allows them to actively support nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and individuals dedicated to empowering the lives of others. Mary’s Place represents an important example of an organization that fits the Ellison Foundation’s model of supporting strong, well-run nonprofits with a clear mission and programs.

“It was a beautiful night full of wonderful people overflowing with love! The Seattle Hotel Association’s passion to come beside families experiencing homelessness has transformed our city and our county! Thank you for being the force behind the solution to ensure that no child sleeps outside. We are forever grateful,” said Marty Hartman, Mary’s Place Executive Director.

The funding received during the Seattle Hotel Association’s 21st Annual “Evening of Hope” gala will help Mary’s Place provide essential services to women, children, and families experiencing homelessness. These items include:

  • Beds and mattresses to outfit a new shelter
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Hot meals and kids’ snacks
  • Bus tickets to help children and families get to school and work
  • Hot water and heat to keep to keep shelters warm
  • Housing advocates and staff to help families find permanent and stable housing
  • Nursing care to treat newborns, Band-Aids for those little scrapes, and life-threatening illnesses
  • Employment navigators to help families connect with jobs and training programs to secure financial stability
  • Kids Club programming to ensure children have access to tutors, sports, theater, music, camps, art, and the opportunity to be a kid
  • Providing overnight shelter for hundreds of families

During the past 21 years, the Seattle Hotel Association has enjoyed being a devoted community collaborator in helping to raise the essential funding for many of Seattle’s nonprofits, such as Lifelong, Susan G. Komen, Plymouth Housing Group, Pike Place Market Foundation, Seattle Police Foundation, and Mary’s Place. By leveraging the combined influence of downtown Seattle hotel members, the gala has raised $9.85 million to date.

Previous honorees include: The Bartell Family, Suzie Burke; Scott & Laurie Oki; Peter & Julie Rose; James Sinegal; Gil Kerlikowske & Anna Laszlo; Howard & Sheri Schultz; Tom & Jackie Douglas; H.S. Wright III & Kate Janeway; Jeff & Tricia Raikes; Dan & Cindy Brettler; John & Deanna Oppenheimer; Jerry & Charlene Lee; Gene & Deborah Juarez; Karen & Jamie Moyer; Chap & Eve Alvord; Bill & Mimi Gates; Paul & Pam Schell; Norm & Constance Rice; and Carl & Renee Behnke.

Seattle Hotel Association’s 22nd Annual “Evening of Hope” gala will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The Association would like to also announce their new beneficiary starting in 2019—StolenYouth. For more information about StolenYouth, visit their website here.


About Seattle Hotel Association

Established in 1986, the Seattle Hotel Association promotes tourism, street safety, industry-related education, and reinvesting in the local Seattle community through philanthropy. The Association works closely with Mary’s Place, homeless advocates, local business organizations, and human service providers to reduce the city’s homeless population. The objective of the organization is to develop an effective working relationship between hotel member properties; promote the highest standards of the lodging industry among the association’s members; provide legislative and regulatory advocacy on matters pertaining to the lodging and tourism industry, and create a favorable climate that promotes the economic well-being of the hospitality industry.

About Evening of Hope

The Seattle Hotel Association created the “Evening of Hope” gala in 1996 to showcase the organization’s effort to make a difference for people in the community. Over the past 21 years, proceeds from this annual event have benefited many local charities by leveraging the collective strength of downtown Seattle member hotels. All proceeds from the Gala benefit a selected charity. To date, the Association has raised $9.85 million.

About Mary’s Place

Mary’s Place empowers women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, and hope in a safe community. They provide resources for employment, housing, and medical care. Mary’s Place operates eight area emergency night shelters, offering families experiencing homelessness a safe place inside and together.


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