Group 2 6 min Read

Meet the Chairs! Bellevue Leaders Step Up to the Plate for Bellevue Kids

Bellevue LifeSpring is thrilled to introduce our 2022 Step Up to the Plate Chairs: Molly McConkey from the Hunts Point Circle, Scott Paine from 425 Magazine, and Tracy Wort from Symetra. All three chairs are dedicated community members and longtime supporters of Bellevue students.  

This year marks Bellevue LifeSpring’s 21st annual Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon, to be held on Tuesday, May 24, at the Meydenbauer Center. It’s been two years since the last luncheon because of the pandemic — making this year’s event that much more important.

The needs of Bellevue children are more urgent than ever. One in five Bellevue students, nearly 3,900 children in our community, are experiencing food insecurity. This is the highest number of reported students in eight years.

For this year’s luncheon, we are inviting community members to make an advance gift so that we can continue to provide immediate food support for Bellevue students and their families. On May 24, local leaders, neighbors, and colleagues will gather together to learn about the needs of the community and celebrate the impact made for local children and their families.

Our Step Up to the Plate Event Chairs serve as the luncheon’s fearless leaders! We are so grateful for the wealth of knowledge, support, and expertise that they bring to the table. We asked Molly, Scott, and Tracy to tell us a bit about what inspires them to step up to the plate.

Meet Molly!

Molly McConkey is the Chair of the Bellevue LifeSpring Hunts Point Membership Circle. Molly first became a circle member 20 years ago and started volunteering at the Bellevue LifeSpring thrift store. She’s been deeply involved in the mission ever since.  

Why are you stepping up to the plate to co-chair the 2022 luncheon? 

“Bellevue LifeSpring has made tremendous headway this year in visibility and service to our community. We are over a hundred years old and have helped our neighbors during two world wars, a depression, financial crashes, and now a pandemic. Thanks to the community’s support, our mission is stronger than ever. Our community members see the need and are willing to step up and help. I love that I am able to be part of this momentum.”

Why do you think it’s important to give where you live? 

“Sharing our gifts strengthens our personal values. I love that as a community, we can effect change and, in even a small way, make the world a better place. When we give where we live, we see the impact.”

What’s your favorite part of the luncheon? 

“I love seeing all the different members of our community that support us. I always run into old friends and love meeting new ones at the luncheon. Our worlds have been small the last couple of years. I can’t wait to see familiar faces at the luncheon. I also love that we are being flexible this year. If you can’t make the event, you can tune in and still support.”

Meet Scott!

Scott Paine is the Associate Publisher at 425 Magazine and was born and raised here in Bellevue. Scott became aware of Bellevue LifeSpring’s mission at our 100-year anniversary celebration over a decade ago. He’s been a trusted media partner ever since.

Why do you think the Bellevue LifeSpring mission is so important?

“Having grown up in Bellevue, I’ve seen tremendous growth and change over the years. The truth is that with that growth has also come a significant increase in the demand for basic needs and emergency services for children throughout Bellevue.

When most people think of Bellevue, they don’t think of a city that has needs like this — but it does. In these unusual times that we’re currently living in, the need is more widespread than ever before.  That’s where Bellevue LifeSpring steps in and steps up to meet those needs. Supporting Bellevue Lifespring gives each of us the opportunity to show some compassion and empathy to our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers!” 

Why are you stepping up to the plate to co-chair the 2022 luncheon? 

“I feel it’s time for me to share and contribute to something I believe in. Doing that feels good! If I can contribute just one idea or help make one connection that will help Bellevue LifeSpring raise a few more dollars to prevent hunger for children this year, then my time will have been very well spent.” 

What’s your favorite part of the luncheon? 

“It’s meaningful to me to hear the stories from those who have benefited from the services provided by Bellevue LifeSpring.”    

Meet Tracy!

Tracy is the Assistant Director of Community Relations at Symetra and has been a member of the Bellevue LifeSpring’s Board of Directors since 2015. Tracy served as Board President and Chair from 2019 to 2021, leading Bellevue LifeSpring through the complex challenges of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why do you think it’s important to give where you live? 

“One of the best messages from Bellevue LifeSpring is that the organization is all about neighbors helping neighbors. The mission has been that way for over a hundred years, and I don’t see that changing. This value is at the core of everything we do. Giving where you live is about supporting your neighbors when you can, and that’s so important.

We all know that the pandemic has hit our communities hard. Many more people than usual had to ask for help and support with basic needs like feeding their children or paying the rent. Knowing that every school in the Bellevue School District has children enrolled in the free and reduced-price meal program is a sobering thought. I can also relate. My family enrolled in the UK version of the free lunch program for a time when I was a child. I know the stress of needing this help weighed heavily on my parents at the time.

The support we provide to these families is a lifeline, a hand up in desperate times, and I am incredibly grateful to know that Bellevue LifeSpring has played a part in helping families get through the pandemic. 

This year will be your third luncheon serving as a chair! What keeps you motivated to step up to the plate once again as a co-chair for the 2022 luncheon?

“My third time, I must be crazy! Just kidding, I love the annual luncheon. It’s a great event, an opportunity to celebrate the work our community has done together and introduce people to our organization. As a board member, it’s also a time to center the work I do with the organization on the foundation of the community’s needs.

I find the luncheon is grounding but incredibly inspiring at the same time. Our community always ‘steps up to the plate’ to support those who need it. Even throughout the pandemic, we have managed to grow and help more children and families than ever. That being said, the need is still there. It hasn’t gone away, and we have more work to do. That’s why I am back. Let’s get to work together.

What’s your favorite part of the event? 

“I think my favorite part for this year is that we are finally able (hopefully) to come back together in person. Together we can reflect on the past two years and acknowledge the work we have done as a community and the work we still have ahead of us. I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow board members in person too!


For information on sponsorship levels and opportunities OR to register for the luncheon, please contact Kris Howard at

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