As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolved and Washington state approached a stay-at-home order, it became increasingly apparent that Solid Ground wouldn’t be able to bring hundreds of people together at our Annual Building Community Luncheon on March 24.
Months of planning and energy went into our largest fundraising event of the year, so simply cancelling the event was not an option. In the face of tremendous adversity and uncertainty, an extraordinary team of people stepped up, worked countless hours, and pulled off an incredible Virtual Recipe for Change Lunch-IN.
“We basically planned and executed an entirely new event and campaign in about a week and a half’s time, in the midst of dynamic conditions of a pandemic,” shares Phoenica Zhang, Corporate Engagement Officer of Solid Ground’s Giving Team. “It wouldn’t have blossomed into the fun livestream event without an amazing team that mobilized quickly and understanding partners that flexed with us.”
The Virtual Lunch-IN was a success thanks to the collaboration of an entire community of people. Behind every moment leading up to this year’s event were amazing teams of folks that made it all possible. We would like to thank:
- Keynote speaker Chef Edouardo Jordan and his gracious team
- Our Sand Point Housing staff, and the youth and their families who participated in cooking workshops with Chef
- Our videographer, Amy Piñon, and photographer, Vivian Hsu, who captured these moments
- Our designer, Enjoli Izidor, who brought to life the beautiful collaborative cookbook that resulted from the workshops
- The PSAV crew at the Sheraton who brought the program to people’s screens
- Our amazing team at Solid Ground, which worked tirelessly to make lemonade out of lemons
Mike Buchman, Communications Director, expresses that “These three weeks were the most intense collaborative process I have ever had the privilege to participate in. A number of people stepped up in huge ways. Jalayna Carter and Liz Reed Hawk from our Communications staff – and Lorie Ransom from our web developer, Tiny Whale Creative – masterminded and set up all of the behind-the-scenes tech connections to make it work and a stunning webpage to host the campaign.”
Further, Mike highlights, “On the Resource Development (RD) operations side, Leslie Wallace and event coordinator Talia Wright of Assembly Fundraising managed hundreds of moving parts. Gary Rubin and Phoenica from the Giving Team – and Jalayna – made sure our supporters were aware of the change and stayed at the table with us. Phoenica reluctantly agreed to host the live show, and we witnessed in her performance a star being born. This was truly one of the highlights of my 25-year career at Solid Ground.”
We must also give a major shoutout to Chef Edouardo Jordan and his team for being the star of the show! As a restaurateur, Chef is a master at pivoting and improvising in the moment. He was open to our ideas and adapted to our needs, shifting at every step. We couldn’t have pulled off the Virtual Lunch-IN without him.
During these challenging times, Chef Jordan’s team is doing their own part to support those impacted by the service industry disruption, turning his restaurant Salare into a relief center for those who need it. You can support his restaurants and efforts by ordering takeout from JuneBaby and purchasing his newly released merchandise online.
Our Virtual Lunch-IN truly shows that in the face of adversity, we can and will overcome it with the collective support of the community. Support for Solid Ground’s services is needed more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. We would like to express our gratitude for all of our awesome donors and supporters who came together to raise $188,342.51 to help meet basic needs, nurture success, and spread change!
“I am truly inspired by the outpouring of support from our community during these extraordinary times,” says Gary Rubin, Solid Ground’s Giving Manager. “Individuals and organizations shifted with Solid Ground as we quickly pivoted to a virtual event. I am grateful for their generosity that helps us help those in need.”
Lastly, we must recognize the 22 amazing companies and organizations that joined us as sponsors of the Annual Building Community Luncheon. These supporters are essential in bringing these fundraising events to life. They underwrite the costs of producing the event, allowing donations to go directly to support our programs.
We are so incredibly grateful to all of our event sponsors for adapting with us as we shifted to our Virtual Lunch-IN and week-long campaign. A different kind of event meant different recognition for sponsors, so their continued support is a testament to their unwavering commitment of our mission and community at Solid Ground.
A special thanks to Whole Foods Market, this year’s presenting sponsor, for their thoughtful partnership. Not only did Whole Foods support Chef Jordan’s cooking workshops with our Sand Point Housing youth, they also donated the Berbere spice that you may have received with your donation!
No matter how big or small the gift, we would like to thank each and every person who contributed to this year’s event. Your support has been the key ingredient in making our Virtual Lunch-IN a LITERAL recipe for success!
Check out our Facebook album for more behind-the-scenes Lunch-IN pictures! And in case you missed or want to rewatch them, you can view this sweet video of Chef’s cooking classes with Sand Point Housing youth (6:46) and the recorded livestream of the event! (57:32)
… or if you only have 1/2 a minute, watch this speedy timelapse! (0:25)