I Am Seattle Children's

Pete Funicello: I Am Fulfilled

Pete Funicello

Imagine Guild member since 1999, Lynnwood, Washington

In 1999, I felt like my life was ending. My first marriage had crumbled and I left Montana (and the property I loved) for Washington.

My buddy told me about a weeklong motorcycle trip to raise money for Seattle Children’s. I didn’t know anything about the hospital, but I knew I needed to blow off some steam, so I signed up.

Never did I imagine that a tough kid from Brooklyn would find new beginnings on a charity ride.

But that’s exactly what happened.

I met and fell in love with the woman who is now my wife, and I joined the Imagine Guild.

I could have chosen to do that ride and walk away; after all, I got the girl! But I stayed because the other guild members – all motorcyclists – gave me a sense of worth, a sense of community and a sense of hope that I could make a great place like Children’s even better.

Once, on a tour of the hospital, I saw a young girl on the cancer unit. Big clumps of her beautiful black wavy hair had fallen out of her head onto the bed. I wondered how many degrees separated me from someone who loved her.

I always joke that being involved with Children’s is my ticket to heaven. The real truth is that the friends I’ve made raising money for the hospital have helped me break down my own barriers to compassion. Because of them, it’s my heart – and not my head – that's so much bigger.

Learn more about how to join a guild or start your own.

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