Bellevue LifeSpring’s 15th annual wine tasting and auction, Uncork the Night: A Celebration of Wine and Giving raised $526,683 to benefit Bellevue children.
The event was held on Oct. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Funds support Bellevue LifeSpring programs that provide food, clothing, education and emergency assistance to more than 3,600 Bellevue students living in poverty.
Bellevue residents Julie Cheng Bui, Beth Halvorsen and Beth McCaw co-chaired the event. All three women are dedicated Bellevue LifeSpring board members, philanthropists and community leaders.
“The success of Uncork the Night is critical to the organization – raising awareness of the tremendous need in Bellevue for children and their families living in poverty, and raising the funds to support the cause is an important aspect of serving the community,” Beth Halvorsen said.
The evening began with a wine tasting and silent auction, followed by the main program and live auction. During the raise-the-paddle portion of the evening, guests watched a video of 18-year-old Alejandra, a recipient of Bellevue LifeSpring services, who shared the struggles she faced growing up with a single mother who worked three jobs to try and make ends meet.
When the lights came up after the video, guests were surprised to see Alejandra on-stage, four years older and now a college graduate, thanks to a scholarship from Bellevue LifeSpring. Alejandra spoke to the audience about her success and about her new job as a preschool teacher in Bellevue.
“With the love and support from my family and friends and Bellevue LifeSpring I was able to work and pursue a degree towards something that I love doing,” Alejandra said. “I am grateful for my education every day.”
Guests raised a record $220,170 during the following “Fund-A-Need” raise-the-paddle.