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Love Without Boundaries: A Valentine's Day fundraiser for Rosehedge
Love Without Boundaries: A Valentine's Day fundraiser for Rosehedge
by Eric Andrews-Katz - SNG Contributing Writer

On February 14, 2009 while Washington State was celebrating Valentine's Day, a part of Seattle's glitterati was participating in a different night of love; a fundraiser entitled Love Without Boundaries. Benefiting the original Seattle AIDS hospice Rosehedge, the night consisted of a champagne reception, a silent auction, and dinner and dancing, which made for a truly romantic evening.

Love Without Boundaries, currently in its second year, was hosted at the Arctic Hotel in Seattle's downtown. King County Councilmember Dow Constantine repeated his role of Master of Ceremonies from last year's event. Friendly volunteers and candlelit hallways strewn with rose petals greeted the guests upon arrival. After registration for the evening's prize drawing (a magnum of DeLille Cellars wine), guests were treated to a hosted champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception and were welcomed to start bidding on a plethora of silent auction items.

Auction items covered a range of prices and choices for bidding. Entertainment packages were available including a set of four movie tickets and popcorn as well as different ticket sets for the Seattle Men & Women's Choruses, The 5th Avenue, Intiman and Act Theatres, among others. Restaurant dinners were popular and included certificates to Ruth Chris' Steak House, Elliott's Oyster House, and even a private meal (for up to 12 people) cooked by Chef Benjamin Tyron. Other wonderful choices included boutique handbags, Nordstrom shopping sprees; several framed pieces of art, tickets to a Mariner's game, and even a signed football by Seattle Seahawk Quarterback Matt Hasselback.

Following the auction, the dinner doors opened to a myriad of beautifully set tables, both in group fashion and some set aside for more private and intimate dining. A raise-the-paddle (where guests bid on and donated the costs of daily or monthly expenses for Rosehedge clients) fundraiser was held during dinner as the guests ate a wonderful meal (prepared by Chef Thomas Kollasch), enjoyed Dina Blade and Her Fabulous Jazz Band, and danced under the beauty of the Arctic Hotel's Dome Room.

Rosehedge is the lesser-known sister of Bailey-Boushay House, but was actually set up first. Opening its doors in 1988, it was Seattle's original AIDS hospice while Bailey-Boushay was being built. "Rosehedge continues to work with Bailey-Boushay," said Theressia Hazelmyer, Rosehedge's director of development. "Unfortunately, there is enough need for both establishments to continue." There may be the need, but not necessarily the funding. "Love Without Boundaries is down [financially] from last year," Hazelmyer said. Sharon Lucas, executive interim director, added, "Rosehedge relies on private donations." With the financial cuts, it's more important now than ever; the amount of people suffering hasn't decreased.

Rosehedge is an independent assisted-living facility that caters to 18 clients in three different Seattle houses, one on Capitol Hill and two by Northgate. Since its doors opened in 1988, more than 500 people living with HIV/AIDS have lived at Rosehedge, receiving medical/dental care and counseling 24/7; a good majority who are also dealing with homelessness, AIDS-related dementia and chemical dependency. Rosehedge helps with medications, bathing, transportation to/from different doctor appointments and general care with a sense of dignity.

With the governmental financial cuts, the Rosehedge must raise an extra $30 each day to meet the expenses that are not covered, equaling $900 of private funding needed to help only one person for a month. Love Without Boundaries' goal for the evening was to raise $30,000 to cover the additional daily costs of their 18 residential clientele. The goal was achieved (with the help of a partial financial matching by Lucky Seven Foundation), but it is only a start for the year's expenses. Nonetheless, it is a good one. According to Ms. Hazelmyer, "$60,000 was raised from ticket sales, sponsorships, silent auction and raise-the-paddle."

Rosehedge is always accepting donations. They are in need of many things including (new items only, please): twin sheets sets, blankets and clothes. They can always use gift certificates for local stores, DVD movies for their guests and, of course, anything financial is greatly appreciated.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Jennifer at 206-365-6806, ext. 229.

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