November 30, 2012
Media Contact: Rachael Brister, Deputy Director, email@example.com, 206.363.9188
Greater Seattle Business Association Raises More Than $460,000 at Annual TASTE of GSBA Gala Dinner and Auction
GSBA’s Signature TASTE of GSBA fundraiser supports undergraduate scholarship program investing in the next generation of leaders; GSBA has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships in 22 years
SEATTLE – The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the nation’s largest LGBT and allied chamber of commerce, announced that their annual TASTE of GSBA benefit dinner and auction recorded a record-breaking donation total. The event raised more than $460,000 to support scholarships for LGBTQ and allied students. On Saturday, November 17, more than 600 business, nonprofit leaders and elected officials attended the TASTE of GSBA gala, filling the Seattle Sheraton Hotel’s Metropolitan Ballroom.
“I had received a few other scholarships that year, but this one was special… because they were celebrating all of me. Wonderful people care about me – a gay, Filipino kid in Lakewood, Washington,” explained Ryan Digges, a former scholarship recipient, about the particular importance of receiving a GSBA Scholarship.
From the enthusiastic and generous bidding, it was clear that the GSBA Scholarship Fund, often referred to as the “heart” of GSBA, has strong community support. As business leaders, GSBA members understand the importance of giving back and investing in the next generation of leaders. Notable donations included a $20,000 donation from Microsoft and a matching donation from Glenn Johnson, President and CEO of Horizon Air and Michael Melancon.
Among other items, a package created by the Seattle Storm, including a limited edition jersey (1 of only 5 made) commemorating the 40th anniversary of Title IX and an exclusive dinner with Storm owners. With a surprise last-minute addition of a second package, the two top bidders raised $12,000.
TASTE also showcased member restaurants and caterers, featured silent and live auctions, a sit-down dinner with celebrity chefs Chris Keff of Flying Fish, Tamara Murphy of Terra Plata, John Sarich of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Jerry Traunfeld of Poppy. Key Bank Broadway at the Paramount performed music from the upcoming Flashdance – The Musical.
2012 TASTE Sponsors included 1st Security Bank, Alaska Airlines, Coinstar, JPMorgan Chase, and Seattle Storm.
The GSBA Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to LGBTQ and allied students who exhibit leadership potential, demonstrate strong academic abilities and who are actively involved in school and community organizations. In 2013, GSBA will be awarding its first scholarships for graduate-level students, in addition to the undergraduate students who have been the Scholarship Fund’s focus for the last 22 years. The GSBA Scholarship Fund is available to students of any age who are LGBTQ or allied who are committed to working for civil rights in the LGBT community. Prospective scholars can find an application online at thegsbascholarship.org/apply.php.
About the Greater Seattle Business Association
The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) is this region’s LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce proudly serving the business and nonprofit community since 1981. GSBA is the largest LGBT Chamber in the United States with over 1000 members. More than a chamber, GSBA is a vibrant community organization with a broad and diverse membership base. GSBA is widely known throughout the Puget Sound region for its work on business development, connecting community through business, advocacy on both civil rights and business and promoting LGBT Tourism through its Travel Gay Seattle tourism initiative. In addition, GSBA invests in the next generation of leaders by sponsoring a Scholarship Fund which, since 1990, has given out over $1.4 million in scholarships to undergraduates in Washington State. GSBA’s mission is to combine business development, social action and leadership to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT community and those who support equality for all. For more information about GSBA, visit www.thegsba.org.