Seattle Hotel Association announces 2019 “Evening of Hope” Honorees: The Women of Wonder
The 22nd Annual Gala will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Benefiting StolenYouth
The Seattle Hotel Association is pleased to announce StolenYouth Founders known as the Women of Wonder to be their 2019 honorees for the upcoming “Evening of Hope” Gala being held Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s historic Spanish Ballroom.
The 13 women chosen for this distinguished honor are Amy Schottenstein, Ginny Meisenbach (in loving memory), Jane Charles, Patty Fleischmann, Judy Greenstein, Jennifer Reibman, Paula Clapp, Anne Phelps, Claire Angel, Lynn Thomsen, Alexandra Brookshire, Nancy Kritzer, and Melinda Giovengo.
For the first time, the Seattle Hotel Association will partner with local charity StolenYouth, an organization that is committed to ending child sex trafficking in Washington state.
“We are extremely grateful to the Seattle Hotel Association for selecting StolenYouth as their beneficiary at its annual Evening of Hope gala,” said Pam Norick, president of StolenYouth. “Seven years ago, in the spring of 2012, our founders established StolenYouth with the noble mission to protect some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our communities from the painful reality of child sex trafficking. The Seattle Hotel Association will be a tremendous partner for us as we continue our work to take the issue of child sex trafficking out of the dark corners of our cities and communities and into the light of day where we can offer support and healing as we chart solutions.”
“The Seattle Hotel Association is honored to be working alongside StolenYouth to help end child sex trafficking in Washington state. We truly embrace our partnership with StolenYouth who is working every day to help our citizens in need, with a deep passion and commitment to rebuilding their lives. Our members take great care in protecting their teams, guests, and families in our community so the work that StolenYouth is carrying out significantly resonates with all of us,” shares Amanda Parsons, Seattle Hotel Association’s Gala Chair.
The Seattle Hotel Association bestows the Community Service Award to families and individuals who take a community leadership role in the Seattle area with a commitment to making a difference for those in need.
The Founders/Women of Wonder journey started with the award-winning book SOLD, by Patricia McCormick, that tells the story of a Nepali girl trafficked into the brothels of India. Inspired by what they learned from the book, a group of them went to India to visit the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) doing the hard work on the ground. They discovered that under the direst of circumstances and with the humblest of resources, NGOs were making a difference in the lives of these girls.
Upon their return, the Founders realized that they have a horrific problem right here in their own backyard. A recent study identified that Seattle has one of the top 20 worst records for the sexual exploitation of children in the United States. This was their call to action, and StolenYouth was born.
If a tiny group of individuals in India can make a difference with the humblest amount of resources, the Founders realized that they should be able to effectively deal with the problem in the Greater Seattle Area where they could use their combined talents and available resources to start making a difference immediately. With a strong coalition and a caring community, the Founders have been able to intervene and give the victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation a voice, and a future.
The Gala’s Casbah Social Hour is priced at $100 per person, and this ticket includes entrance to the social hour and silent auction from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Evening of Hope Gala tickets are priced at $375 per person and includes the entire evening’s festivities and the post-auction after party. Both ticket tiers are available for purchase by visiting the Seattle Hotel Association website here or by contacting the Association’s event director, Suzanne Hight, at 206.236.6167.
About Seattle Hotel Association
Established in 1986, the Seattle Hotel Association promotes tourism, street safety, industry-related education, and reinvesting in the local Seattle community through philanthropy. The Association is working closely with StolenYouth to eradicate child sex trafficking, increasing awareness and action within the courts, law enforcement, education system, social services, and the private sector. The objective of the organization is to develop an effective working relationship between hotel member properties; promote the highest standards of the lodging industry among the association’s members; provide legislative and regulatory advocacy on matters pertaining to the lodging and tourism industry, and create a favorable climate that promotes the economic well-being of the hospitality industry.
About Evening of Hope
The Seattle Hotel Association created the “Evening of Hope” gala in 1996 to showcase the organization’s effort to make a difference for people in the community. Over the past 21 years, proceeds from this annual event have benefited many local charities by leveraging the collective strength of 54 downtown Seattle member hotels. All proceeds from the Gala benefit a selected charity. To date, the Association has raised more than $9.85 million.
StolenYouth is a Seattle-based non-profit committed to ending child sex trafficking in Washington state while supporting and empowering those who have been affected by this unimaginable cruelty. Founded in 2012, StolenYouth inspires action, fundraises and invests in a coalition of highly effective, local organizations to dismantle the marketplace exploiting children for sex.
StolenYouth’s work began with raising funds for service providers that offer sex-trafficked youth vital support such as counseling, stable housing, and access to education. Today, their innovative coalition model brings together the strengths of awareness building, direct service, policy development, advocacy, and the public sector to target critical aspects of this issue from prevention and demand reduction to survivor support services. StolenYouth’s motivation is simple: No child should be bought or sold for sex. The lives we save are precious and priceless.