Bellevue LifeSpring is thrilled to introduce our 2019 Step Up to the Plate Chairs, Jeri Boettcher, Marilyn Herzberg and Tracy Wort. All three are longtime supporters of Bellevue LifeSpring; Marilyn and Tracy serve on Bellevue LifeSpring’s Board of Directors and Jeri and Marilyn are members of the Hunts Point Membership Circle.
This year marks Bellevue LifeSpring’s 20th annual Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon, to be held on Tuesday, March 19 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. This incredible afternoon brings together friends, neighbors and colleagues to learn about the needs in our community and provide support to the 3,600+ Bellevue children and their families living in poverty. It’s a chance to learn, lunch and create a lasting impact for local students and their families in need. But why take our word for it?
We asked this year’s chairs what inspired them to “step up to the plate” and why you should join them.
How did you first become involved with Bellevue LifeSpring?
“Years ago, the Eastside was a new community for us,” shared Jeri. “Meeting the neighbors and being involved in the community was a top priority for my family and me. Luckily, our neighbors introduced me to Hunts Point Circle! Quickly I discovered not only did we have an amazing group of neighbors but they were neighbors with a phenomenal purpose: helping Bellevue students in need.”
“I first became involved with Bellevue LifeSpring when we purchased our Hunts Point home in 2003,” Marilyn recalled. “One of the women in the neighborhood suggested I really needed to join the Hunts Point Circle. I knew it would be a great opportunity to get to know my new neighbors, so I joined right away. I served as Chair of Hunts Point Circle for several years, and I’ve been on the Bellevue LifeSpring Board for many years now.”
“Step Up to the Plate was the first event I attended for Bellevue LifeSpring prior to me joining the Board,” Tracy said. As Community Relations Director for Symetra, Tracy’s first encounters with Bellevue LifeSpring were through employee food drives and volunteerism. “Symetra became involved on a more formal, corporate level, participating in Holiday Adopt-A-Family™ and sponsoring events, and then I was asked to join the Board.”
Why do you think it’s important to support Bellevue LifeSpring?
“I personally feel so very grateful to be living the life that I lead,” shared Marilyn. “It’s only natural to want to give back to those in need.”
“The need in our community is not going away,” stated Tracy. “Parents who have to choose between rent or food for their children don’t really have a choice, and, to me, that’s unacceptable. The community at large needs to do more to support those in need – it doesn’t take much to change someone’s life forever.”
“I believe in the vision of Bellevue LifeSpring,” Jeri said. “The thousands of volunteer hours the community contributes each year is proof I’m not alone. Offering tangible needs such as food, clothing, scholarships, holiday gifts and other emergency needs, allows students and families to focus on successful classroom performance, self-sufficiency and family stability.”
Why are you “stepping up to the plate” to co-chair this year’s event?
“Step up to the Plate is Bellevue LifeSpring’s largest fundraising event of the year,” Marilyn said. “It gives us an opportunity to bring the community together to learn what the needs are within our city – and how we can all be part of the solution.”
“Driving down Bellevue Way makes it difficult to comprehend the need for food, clothing, scholarships and emergency services experienced by some of the families in the shadows of Bellevue,” stated Jeri. “As co-chair, I’m excited to share ways to help. Volunteering, financial contributions, attending special events like Step Up to the Plate and donating gently-used items to the Thrift Culture thrift store in Bellevue Square are great ways to help.”
“This is my second time as a chair of the event,” Tracy said. “I enjoy the opportunity to shape how we tell Bellevue LifeSpring’s story. We have a great organization and we do great work in the local community – I want everyone to know about us and the families we serve.”
What’s your favorite part of the event?
“This one is easy,” said Tracy. “I love the video and the heartfelt client stories. They demonstrate both the need and the successes in our community. Hearing these stories reaffirms that I’m working with the right organization.”
“I love every part of the luncheon,” Jeri shared. “Seeing friends and community leaders gather to support this great event is amazing.”
“I love that Bellevue LifeSpring is helping children and their families right here in our local community,” Marilyn adds. “I love that we’re all about neighbors helping neighbors. “
Join Jeri, Marilyn and Tracy at this year’s Step Up to the Plate! The event is free to attend and includes a “Sip & Shop” social hour prior to the program. Register as an individual or table captain today!