When Jeff and Carin Towne’s rambunctious two-year-old, Ben, was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer, the couple was shocked to learn how inadequate treatment resources were. Not only were most protocols designed for adults—which can cause serious harm in young bodies—but just 3 percent of research funds were going toward pediatric cancer. And while Ben, despite an aggressive treatment regimen, eventually succumbed to the disease, his parents never lost their commitment to finding a cure. Their Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation has raised millions of dollars, all in just a few short years, and we are proud to honor it, along with 13 other extraordinary local nonprofits, in Seattle Met’s second annual Light a Fire awards.
Light a Fire is just one of the many ways in which Seattle Met tries to give back to our community. In the past year, we partnered with no fewer than 85 local nonprofits (the National Parks Foundation, the Seattle Symphony, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Moyer Foundation among them). Seattle Met–sponsored fundraising efforts have brought in over $250,000, even as we contributed in-kind donations totaling almost $300,000. Each month, our Met Pages feature (with its famous mustachioed photo booth!) opens a window onto the remarkable people and events that make our city such a vibrant, large-hearted place. So far, we’ve attended more than 70 events, witnessing Seattle’s game changers firsthand, the ones who lead the conversations and write the checks that bridge the gap between good ideas and life-saving realities.
During this season of giving thanks, we at Seattle Met are humbled by our long list of blessings and deeply grateful to our trusted partners and loyal readers who share our affection for and pride in this astonishing city. It is our genuine joy and privilege to hold up the mirror and reflect that city from every angle—and we are thrilled about what is to come. Seattle, you’re looking good!
This article appeared in the November 2013 issue of Seattle Met.