Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties returned to the Seattle Convention Center on Thursday, June 2 to host our annual fundraising luncheon Beyond the Build – held in person for the first time in two years. And, we are thrilled to report that it raised more than $1.7M to combat our region’s affordable housing crisis!
Emceed by KIRO7 anchor and reporter Aaron Wright and attended by more than 600 people, it featured keynote speaker Jessica Bruder, award-winning author of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. Bruder illustrated the clear connection between Habitat’s mission and the people portrayed in her novel and Oscar-winning film – specifically its Repairs Program, which helps to keep people housed and allows seniors to Age in Place.
Habitat Board President Kat Sims presented Bank of America with the Community Leader of the Year award. Habitat SKC’s partnership with Bank of America has spanned 25 years and incorporates engagement of its employees with significant financial support. In presenting the award, Sims said: “As a long-standing partner, Bank of America sets the gold standard for what it means to be a Habitat corporate partner. Since 1995, in King County alone, Bank of America has donated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and filled more than 155 volunteer shifts across 19 different group volunteer days.”
Kerri Schroeder, Seattle Market President, Bank of America who accepted the award stated: “Habitat for Humanity has been one of those steadfast partners for decades, so we’re deeply honored by this recognition as we continue to work together to find solutions that expand safe and stable housing here in King County and beyond.”
Bank of America’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity International dates from the early years of the Jimmy and Roslyn Carter Work Project and has continued to grow. Today, Bank of America’s contributions to Habitat for Humanity International total $75 million of support, with more than $55 million in cash and property donations.
Habitat’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Steve Hill for his service on the Weyerhaeuser Alumni Campaign. Steve led a group of eight retired Weyerhaeuser Company executives on a campaign to sponsor a “Habitat House a Year,” which resulted in pledges from 94 former colleagues who committed $1.18 million over five years to two Habitat affiliates. The funds Steve and his colleagues collected will provide housing for ten families over five years.
Additionally, luncheon guests heard directly from Habitat Partner Families about how their donations have made a direct impact on their lives and futures. Habitat CEO Brett D’Antonio declared this year’s Beyond the Build luncheon a resounding success, both for the generosity of those who attended and for the profound insights provided by keynote speaker Jessica Bruder.
All photos taken by Alabastro Photography.