I know that warmed-up quiche and fruit skewers in Seattle Center at 8 a.m. isn't for everybody, but I wish that every one of you could have been there this morning when about 470 of our friends joined us for breakfast. As a fundraiser, the event was a record-breaking success, raising $102,165 to support our work.
As a gathering of the tribe, everyone in attendance left knowing exactly why our work matters and how much it means to our community. Vendors of the Year Catherine Condeff and Kenneth Chow stole the show with their wonderful, hardworking presence, and reminded us of why we do what we do.
City Councilmember Mike O'Brien let us all know how much our work means to him, from our journalism to our support of the vendors and our gutsy and informed activism. O'Brien triggered a flurry of check writing that netted $71,000 on the spot.
Cary Moon, recipient of our 2011 Change Agent Award, reminded us that fighting for priorities that matter builds bonds that last and coalitions that endure.
Rev. Craig Rennebohm, founder of the Mental Health Chaplaincy and author of "Souls in the Hands of a Tender God," appealed to our higher selves with a clear-eyed call to action that explored the true meaning of Real Change.
For myself, I stood up and represented, and the audience stood too as I reminded us of our duty to "speak truth, do justice, and walk humbly alongside the poor to build a new world that has love enough for us all."
Their applause was for all of us. It honored our heroic vendors, who every day put themselves on the line in the streets, making friends, building community and talking about issues.
It honored our volunteers, who we recognized this morning for their unselfish support of our work and the countless hours of quality service that they provide.
It honored our remarkable staff, who bring their whole hearts, minds and hands to work every day and make this organization sing.
And it honored all of you, our readers, who help our vendors daily with your love, money and friendship, as well as the generous donors whose grassroots support make the work we do possible.
We needed this fundraising breakfast to count, and our supporters delivered. Thank you.
If you weren't able to attend on Oct. 4, but would still like to support our work, your gift will help us rise to the enormous challenge of our times. Please mail your tax-deductible support to 219 1st Ave. S., Ste. 220, Seattle, WA, 98104, or visit our secure website at
realchangenews.org. We're all in this together. Thank you.