Bellevue LifeSpring to honor three at benefit luncheon


Local children’s charity Bellevue LifeSpring will present awards to three of Bellevue’s philanthropic leaders at its 15th annual Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon on Thursday, March 27 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Bellevue LifeSpring’s Lifetime Philanthropy Award recognizes extraordinary, visionary leadership and commitment to the advocacy and well-being of the community and beyond. The nonprofit’s Wings Award recognizes community leaders dedicated to helping others take flight.

A Lifetime Philanthropy Award will be given to Kemper and Betty Freeman and Kemper Development Company for their decades of leadership, contributions to the enrichment of the Bellevue community and their personal commitment to effecting positive change in the next generation.

The Freemans and their family have been long-time supporters of Bellevue LifeSpring, donating time, effort, financial support. The Bellevue LifeSpring Thrift Shop, located in The Bellevue Collection’s Bellevue Square, pays just $1 a year in rent, thanks to the Freemans’ generosity. Staffed by volunteers, the Thrift Shop contributes financially to Bellevue LifeSpring’s programs and services as well as providing low-income families and children with free clothing.

A second Lifetime Philanthropy Award is being given to Bellevue-based inome and its founders Naveen and Anu Jain, along with their children. The philanthropic family is being honored for their personal and corporate commitment in support of Bellevue LifeSpring.

The three Jain children are supporters of Bellevue LifeSpring as well and inome employees also have supported Bellevue LifeSpring with their time and money.

The recipient of the first annual 2014 Wings Award is the luncheon’s keynote speaker, Chef John Howie of Bellevue’s John Howie Steak and Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar. Howie is being recognized for his commitment to effecting solutions to the problem of hunger in his own community.

One of his largest charitable events is the Thanksgiving dinner he puts on at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar. Bellevue LifeSpring has partnered with Howie on this event since its inception and this year he provided the holiday meal to over 600 people. Since 2002, Howie has contributed over $4.5 million to local feeding programs.

The Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon is free and open to all individuals and groups. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Registration information is available online at The luncheon is supported by Guardian Angel Sponsor Cary Falk, Event Sponsor inome, Major Sponsor The Bellevue Collection and many other community partners.

Bellevue LifeSpring has been a part of the community since its beginning in 1911.

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