When my wife, Peggy and I were packing for an overnight stay in Seattle I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this?” We were off on a twenty-four hour adventure that would costs us hundreds of dollars, earn us no money, and probably provide a boring evening where we couldn’t hear our friends next to us and possibly be served bad banquet food. Boy, were we wrong.
Our friends Theresa Pan-Hosley and husband Larry Hosley invited us as their guests to a fundraising gala for Bright Water Waldorf School on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A private school? Why would I help a private school? Well, our kids attended St. Patrick’s, our daughter Andrea went to Bellarmine Prep, a granddaughter attended Heritage Christian in University Place, and I helped Harrison Preparatory of Lakewood with their video production curriculum, so there is a history here. But why Seattle? Dr. Jayasri Ghosh is head of school. I’ve known Jayasri since she was a member of the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 and headmaster of Annie Wright School in Tacoma. A couple of years ago Jayasri married our long time friend Dennis Flannigan (“former Washington state legislator and pioneering Tacoma community leader”). They both now live in Seattle.
Really, the question is why did Theresa and Larry invite us to the Bright Water Waldorf School fundraiser. Theresa is the Executive Director of the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, and Larry is a board member. Theresa, Larry, Denny, Peggy, and I have been working on the annual dinner for CRPF for the past year and a half. What is the reason for all this work? We want to improve our community and the world. – tacomachinesepark.org/community/events/annual-dinner/
Peg and I would have probably begged off except we were able to book our usual room at Mildred’s B & B on Capitol Hill. When we walked in the front door, owner Melodee Sarver greeted us with a plate of warm banana bread fresh from the oven! That’s style . . and class. Great place to stay in Seattle . . . and an excellent location across the street from Volunteer Park. We quickly unpacked then read and napped until it was time to dress and leave for the gala. Melodee suggested Orange Cab. They arrived right on time and we headed to Orfeo Italian restraurant.
Most fund-raising is done in banquet rooms. This was unusual to have a fund-raiser (sold out no less) in a restaurant as a private Party. Orfeo (2107 3rd Ave Seattle) did a wonderful job serving and the food was exceptional. For appetizers we had Prosciutto di Parma, hand made mozzarella bocconcini, and crispy polenta fritters. I could have popped the polenta fritters into my mouth all night long, but I held my resolve and only had two. Peg had the grilled wild king salmon for dinner. Orfeo didn’t skimp on the salmon, the seasonal fruit, nor the smoked almond brown butter.
I had the boneless braised beef short ribs, topped with spinach and onions, and sitting on a bed of perfectly prepared polenta. Orfeo is well known for their polenta. The beef simply fell apart with a touch of my fork. Each bite combined beef, polenta, and a drizzle of san marzano tomato sauce. A table mate sat between Peg and me, otherwise we would have been sharing and rolling our eyes.
Larry, Theresa, and I kept track of the bidding results and enjoyed and appreciated the innovations in auctioneering by professional Kevin Joyce, who always does a nice job. Student art sold well and we loved the story by Sam Blackman, amateur writer and storyteller describing one of his high school teachers and how he changed Sam’s life.
At the end of the evening Peg and I had made a new friend, enjoyed our current friends, had a great meal and helped raise over $100,000 for a private school, which enhances the learning experience of its students. We called Orange Cab and rode back to Mildred’s. The total cost of the two cab rides was only $29. By hiring cabs, we didn’t have to drive around Seattle searching for parking on a Friday night, which could have cost us even more in time, money, and frustration. We were dropped off and picked up within twenty feet of the restaurant’s front door.
Saturday morning I was up early reading, and making notes to myself. When I went downstairs to the dining room, the table was already set for me and Peggy. I chatted with Melodee about an hour before Peggy joined us. When we she came, we went over my notes and had additonal brainstorming suggestions. I finished off two more pieces of banana bread, a piece of a blueberry cake, and numerous cups of coffee.
Mildred’s B & B is across the street from Volunteer Park. Melodee’s favorite part of the park is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. A wonderful watercolor of the conservatory graces the living room wall. We had a wonderful time at the B & B, the Bright Water gala, and Orfeo. Sometimes Seattle is worth coping with Friday night traffic.