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Skagit Valley Hospital

Reflections of a Benefit Luncheon Junkie



Is there really a recession underway? 

I am a benefit luncheon junkie.  I attend an amazing amount every year and I never fail to be inspired, renewed, and rejuvenated at the impact I can have in making our world a better place.  Last week I attended the annual luncheon for Hopelink.  For those of you not familiar with Hopelink, it provides basic needs, housing, and hope to residents of north and east King County, which includes Duvall where I happen to live.  I have been a supporter of Hopelink for a very long time, longer than they have had lunches asking for gifts.  More than 15 years ago, I introduced my kids to charitable giving by sponsoring a Hopelink family in need during the holiday season.  While the program has changed over the years, we still take “wishes” from the giving tree at our church and fill them because we can afford to and we know many cannot. 

Back to the luncheon…1,800 people – an exciting “who’s who on the Eastside” –  attended the two-ballroom event at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Bellevue.  The next day Hopelink announced that they had met their goal of raising $1 million; in fact they surpassed their goal by over $50, 000!

I have been to three events like this in the past month, and would have attended a fourth if they hadn’t been oversubscribed.  All have surpassed their previous attendance levels, or sold out, and have reached or surpassed their fundraising levels from previous years.  It’s clear that our community continues to invest locally and globally to help improve the lives of others and to preserve our planet.  While we see headlines of organizations that report fundraising is well below previous levels, we are also seeing significant philanthropic investment and joy in doing what we can do, sharing what we have, and supporting nonprofits with strong leaders and important missions that resonate with our values. 

Asking with urgency, compassion, and engagement really does make a positive difference.


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About the Author

Aggie Sweeney

Aggie Sweeney CFRE

President & CEO

Aggie is a sought-after consultant and speaker. Nonprofit leaders trust that she can tackle complex campaign issues and give them solid advice.


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