The Be Strong Go Gold Gala 2017 Final Report
As we put the final touches on the second annual Be Strong, Go Gold Gala 2017 and have had a few days to catch our breath, we wanted to make sure we thank all of the different people, organizations, companies, sponsors and volunteers who made our second event a tremendous success.
We raised over $92,000 this year, $17,000 more than a year ago, and setting our goal for 2018 for over $100,000. In a little less than 18 months, since it was established in May of 2016, the Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation alone has raised over $250,000 for research and funding to find a cure for DIPG.
This year, our sponsorship levels jumped and made a huge contribution to our event.
For the first time, we had a Platinum Sponsor: The Ketola-Klehr Family. In addition, the Ketola/Klehr family was also our Swag Bag Gift sponsor, the green and black umbrellas with the AHDDF Logo were made in part by their Gift Donation.
We had three Gold Sponsors this year: Nu-Ray Metals, Inc. (Mike & Erin Bankers), Vision Media (Steve Reed) and Shannon and Falon Terry (the Terry Family). Their sponsorship and support of the foundation isn’t limited to the Gala either, and we are extremely grateful for their support!
For the second year, Outpatient Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (The Pennington’s) were Gala sponsors, our Silver Sponsors this year.
Of our five Bronze Sponsors, one was a returning sponsor Greg Dobbs, Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Greg Dobbs and we welcomed four new sponsors this year! This year’s new Bronze Sponsors were: Sysmex America, Inc. (Deborah Nelson), TJ Navilio – Keller Williams (TJ Navilio, Realtor), Theodora Cornelia, Metropolist Group (Theodora Cornelia in honor of her nephew, DIPG angel R.J. Cornelia) and Entertainment Technology, LLC (Natalie Huffman Wald & James Wald, Avery’s aunt and uncle).
Our table sponsors made for a fun evening and plenty of bidding and we are grateful for their sponsorship this year! 2017 Table Sponsors were Kiet & Pauline Lam, Woloshyn Orthodontics (Dr. Woloshyn and staff) and Alaskan Brewing Co. (Steve & Katie Cook)
And our in-kind sponsors, who added the touch to the evening that made it such a wonderful night: Rock Creek Gardens, for hosting the event, The Meaningful Details, for the decorations and accessories, Contend and Rob Poznanski for the 2017 Defeat DIPG short, Cassandra Hamilton Photography for Gala and Red Carpet pictures, Charlie’s Produce (Steve & Telisa Cole-Kuboyama) for the floral centerpieces, Main Street Baking Co.(Jenae Cross Cartwright) for the Avery Strong cookies in the Swag Bag.
The food and drink were a major part of the event- so thank you to The Nordland Family for the wine (Jason & Stephanie Ell Nordland, Half Lion Brewing Co.. (Jason- Katie Nelson and Adam Shay) and Alaskan Brewing Co. (Steve Cook) for the beer and Mama Stortini’s Restaurant & Bar for catering and serving. In addition, a huge thank you to Dianna & Russ Miller and Gina Greco for procuring all of the desserts for the Dessert Dash.
To our emcee and auctioneer, Gee Scott from 710 ESPN Seattle/Seahawks, for spending an evening with all of our AveryStrong supporters, for his passion for our cause and for all the extras he threw in to see our donations level jump from a year ago. If you ever need an emcee for an event, Gee is your man!
To the Thursday Night Bookclub for staffing the event, helping with check in and check out, set up and clean up.
And lastly, but most notably, the Gala Planning Team that helped for the last 6+ months, securing donations, auction items and so much more: Melissa Poznanski, Elena Nelson and Erika Moore. This event truly couldn’t have happened without your tireless efforts!
We were so happy to have a number of families that have been affected by pediatric brain cancer- several who are in heaven with Avery and some who are still fighting and we continue to pray for and think about in their fight. Thank you for joining us and we continue to stand with each one of you.
We sold out for the second straight year. So for that, a HEARTY THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Gala and allowed for a sellout again!
We are so grateful for the continued love for Avery and our family and the constant support for our fight to #DefeatDIPG.
Thank you, truly and sincerely, for standing with us in this fight.
-Amanda, Brandon and the Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation