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YachtCon: Nights broke fundraising records

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But it’s not too late to donate even more.

yachtcon, will bruin Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

The inclination after hosting a recurring event is to proclaim the just finished version to be the “best ever.” We’ll let the people who attended YachtCon: Nights decide for themselves how this stacks up to previous events in terms of quality, but it was definitely the “best ever” in terms of our fundraising efforts. We’ve not yet closed the books on the event, but even before we have we’ve already set a new record and will end up donating somewhere between $5,500-$6,000 to the Seattle Children’s Autism Center (something you can still do!).

Truth be told, though, this event felt especially satisfying because there were times leading up to this that made it feel like we might have to cancel. I won’t get into all the details, but little things were going wrong with just about every aspect of the show and we ended up having to completely reorder the agenda about an hour before the doors opened. Ultimately, we felt that despite these challenges we were able to accomplish our two main goals: Putting on a fun event and raising money for charity.

Hopefully, you agree.

Among the highlights were Brian Schmetzer futilely attempting to win the silent auction for a Chad Marshall pillow; Will Bruin celebrating his “Line ‘em Up” victory like he’d just won MLS Cup; Steve Zakuani agreeing to an impromptu interview while we were killing time between segments; and Garth Lagerwey proclaiming that the Sounders hope to do player development better than anyone else in the world.

The reason we managed to pull this off was because of the tireless work of dozens of volunteers. At the top of that list is Emily Cummings, who wore so many behind-the-scenes hats that it feels unfair to try to tick them all off. Jacob Cristobal and Susie Rantz did a wonderful job organizing and conducting the Reign FC panel. Jose Rivera designed our event poster and logo. Adam Wygle and his Bootstrapper Studios staff of Brian Henley, Jack Brinkley and Shannon Grey put in hours of hard work to make sure we had a functional video stream. Nate Bowling, again, did a wonderful job hosting our game.

We should also thank the volunteers who helped us before and during the event, Dave Clark Jeremy Hardwick, Mark Kastner, Andrew Beck, Joe Towner, Kelly Stevens, and Hope Teague Bowling.

We very much appreciate the time and effort it takes from organizations like the Sounders and Reign to send their players and staff to events like this.

Similarly, the willingness of Full Pull Wines, Scott Levy, James Woollard, Jane Gershovich, Matt Pentz, Glenn White, Brendan Portolese and the Zach Scott Fan Club to donate prizes are what make the auction even possible.

Finally, we should thank Seattle Children’s Hospital for having an organization people are so excited to help and to Optimism Brewing for allowing us to use their space.

YachtCon: Nights was a ton of fun and you all made it feel worth doing. Here’s hoping we make it to Year 5.