Quick-Thinking Creativity And Generous Hearts

Guild group photos

We are so proud of our guilds for their quick-thinking creativity and resolute courage as they forge ahead with new fundraising tactics. Together, we are ensuring that kids’ health remains a top priority during the pandemic.

Director’s Note

Aileen Kelly

In August, Aileen Kelly swam across Lake Washington to commemorate her Swim for Children’s Guild event that had to be canceled due to COVID-19. She misses her fellow guild members and the inspiring swimmers and volunteers, and can’t wait to see them next year!

As we enter the fall of a challenging year, I’m so thankful for the relationships and community that make our Guild Association strong. As I’ve connected with many of you over the past few months, I’ve been struck by shared themes in your stories marked by compassion, friendship, courage and dedication to Seattle Children’s mission. You are a group that rolls with the punches, cares for each other, gets to work and moves forward! In this issue, we highlight several ingenious ways you have remained socially connected even while physically distant — from themed virtual parties to mask-sewing marathons. Our guild members make me proud every day.

This issue of Guild News also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC). (See our feature story.) During this time, as our culture grapples with embedded social injustice and inequality, I hope you will join me in advocating for change. Our association upholds the hospital’s value of equity for all children and all people, and it is through our actions to fight racism and our efforts to truly gain equality that we will benefit and grow as a community. We are so grateful for the amazing care provided at OBCC and the guilds that support the critical work they do!

With deepest gratitude,

Aileen Kelly, executive director, Seattle Children’s Guild Association

Signature Friends of Costco Guild Event Reinvented

Friends of Costco Guild Founder Jan Sinegal and her husband, Jim (right), with their daughter, Soozi McGill

Friends of Costco Guild Founder Jan Sinegal and her husband, Jim (right), with their daughter, Soozi McGill, tune in for the event.

On August 15, Friends of Costco Guild members surpassed their highest expectations, raising more than $8,550,000 for uncompensated care! Guild leaders were thrilled by the results – especially considering their annual event normally kicks off with a huge stadium concert at Safeco Field followed by a golf tournament held at multiple area courses.

“When faced with hard choices, we knew one thing for certain: Our guild members wanted to continue to be a strong pillar of support for Seattle Children’s,” says Kendy Sasaki-Ross, guild president. “So, we got creative and the key to our success was partnering with the right people to make our virtual event a reality. With the talent and heart of our guild’s leadership, guild members and the generosity of our donors, we are able to make a difference for the families who walk through the doors of Seattle Children’s. A huge thank you to every one of you for helping us surpass our goal!”

The guild’s online fundraiser, emceed by patient parent and Q13 TV anchor Matt Lorch, highlighted inspiring stories including that of patient ambassador Makenna Schwab, who also raises money for the hospital. Costco CEO Craig Jelinek and other company executives thanked donors for their continued support of the guild in this unusual year and for championing Seattle Children’s. “I am immensely grateful to our incredible sponsors for standing by our guild and Seattle Children’s even though we couldn’t meet in person this year,” says Jan Sinegal, guild founder. “We feel truly blessed to have such a loyal group of supporters who recognize that children need us now more than ever.”

Guilds Say Yes!

Dr. Jeff and Amie Sperring“I am so grateful to our guilds for being adaptable, staying committed and moving forward with hosting virtual events over the past few months. Thank you for being innovative during these unprecedented times. Your support remains essential!”
– Dr. Jeff Sperring, CEO, Seattle Children’s (pictured with Friends of Costco Guild member Amie Sperring “at” her guild’s event)

Auctions and parties

On June 25, the Friends of Alyssa Burnett Center Guild held a virtual auction celebration. The event featured performances by the center’s students, a live auction and a paddle raise. Featured speakers included Tammy Mitchel, Dr. Gary Stobbe and Barbara Burnett. Generous donors raised $287,000 to support the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center.

The Project Kids’ Cancer Cure Guild was the first guild to hold their event in a virtual format during the pandemic. The May 30 event included silent and live auctions and a paddle raise. Attendees enjoyed musical entertainment by the band Prom Date MixTape. The Night IN for Good raised $125,000 to support cancer clinical trials.

The Friends Helping Friends Guild hosted its Gin & Jazz – Play for Children’s event on March 7. (This was the last in-person guild event before state stay-at-home orders went into effect.) Guests enjoyed a silent auction, games and a delicious appetizer spread. Patient ambassador and singer-songwriter Cass Huff shared her story and sang “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King. They raised $68,000 for uncompensated care!

In June, the Focus on Kids Laboratory Guild held its annual Beakers and Bubbly event, this year as an online silent auction. Guests had three days to bid on their favorite items – from a Seattle Mariners baseball package to a sailboat outing on Lake Union. Their efforts raised more than $60,000 for Seattle Children’s Department of Laboratories, which has played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pub crawl

The Olympia Cares Guild hosted its annual Olympia Pub Crawl – Virtual Edition on August 1. Participants could choose to enjoy a cocktail from the comfort of their homes and donate online or enjoy takeout from or dine in at one of 15 local business sponsors. (Participants wore face masks and followed social distancing guidelines at participating businesses.) The guild raised $3,000 for Seattle Children’s Cancer Clinical Trials Fund.


After a three-year break, the Team Seattle Guild Heart of Racing raced in Daytona, Florida, in January behind the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage GT during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With the continued support of the car-racing community, the guild raised more than $120,000 for Seattle Children’s Heart Center. Over the past 16 years, the guild’s donations have topped $6 million!

Virtual sales and online donations

Despite having to cancel an in-person event this April, Seattle Area High School Dance Marathon benefiting Seattle University Dance Marathon Guild continued fundraising efforts virtually. Projects included direct donation campaigns and two glassybaby sales. They raised more than $10,000 (doubling their original goal!) for teen mental health at Seattle Children’s.

In April, Imagine Guild members made the difficult decision to cancel Children’s Ride Weekend, which would have been its 25th anniversary (see page 8). To date, their online fundraising effort has raised nearly $50,000 for uncompensated care!

The Friends of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Guild held two online fundraisers this year: one to celebrate the 100th anniversary of clinic founder Odessa Brown’s birth and the other to honor the clinic’s 50th anniversary. Combined, they raised more than $300,000! The monies will benefit the clinic’s discretionary fund to support pandemic urgent needs.

This summer the Sequim Guild hosted its Annual Garage and Plant Sale and a Pie, Jam and Jelly Sale. At the garage sale, shoppers found treasures including outdoor furniture, World War II trunks and a piano. Guests wore face masks and kept six feet apart to ensure a safe shopping experience. The guild raised more than $13,000 for Seattle Children’s uncompensated care!

In February, the O’Dea Fighting Irish Fighting Cancer Junior Guild kicked off their annual Beards for Bros fundraising campaign. In the spirit of fun, students who raise $100 or more can break a school rule of no facial hair and grow a beard during the month of March. Even though students couldn’t host their in-person Best Beard Contest this year, their efforts raised nearly $7,000 for Seattle Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program!

In recognition of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, several Seattle Children’s guilds and other community members (Hannah’s Hopeful Hearts, Jaquish Dukelow Memorial Cancer Research Guild, Kitsap Friends for Children’s Guild, Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Guild, Pink Polka Dots Junior Guild and the Team Rohan Guild) united to launch Optimizers: Many Hearts, One Mission. This recurring monthly gift club to support pediatric brain tumor research at Seattle Children’s raised more than $75,000 in just the month of May!

The Kent Guild’s annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show was canceled due to COVID-19. Members and supporters made donations in lieu of attendance and raised $5,000 for uncompensated care!

On June 13, the Color Me Happy Guild hosted a virtual Drive for Children’s benefiting Seattle Children’s Child Life Department. Friends and supporters were invited to visit the guild’s Facebook page to purchase books and art supplies from an Amazon wish list. The 12-hour event resulted in contributions totaling 304 items and $2,600!