Written by Larry Vogel. Originally published by MyEdmondsNews, August 25, 2019.

The fourth annual Cascadia Museum gala fundraiser broke a record Saturday, with donors contributing more than $435,000 — an increase of $40,000-plus over last year’s event.

The event got off to a festive start Saturday afternoon, as guests gathered at the home of Lindsey and Caroline Echelbarger for what has become the signature Edmonds summer fundraising event.

The afternoon began with mingling and socializing on the expansive lawn overlooking Puget Sound, as flamenco music from the Amigos Nobles trio filled the air, drinks were served up from several open bars, servers from Shooby Do Catering passed through with trays of finger food, and guests had the chance to bid on an array of silent auction items ranging from original art to jewelry to vacation experiences.

As dinner was announced guests found their seats under a large tent, where they were welcomed by emcee Carolyn Douglas, and host Cascadia Museum founder and board president Lindsey Echelbarger.

“Welcome to our fourth annual summer gala,” Echelbarger began. “This is our major fundraising event, providing more than forty percent our budget that allows us to continue and build on our mission of celebrating the rich tradition of Northwest art.  Thanks to your support Cascadia Museum can continue to offer community programs that connect with a broad spectrum of the people who live here, from school children to seniors.”

Also providing comments was newly-minted Cascadia Executive Director Leigh Ann Gilmer.

“One of the first things that struck me when I began working here was how Cascadia contributes to and enhances our community’s sense of place,” she began. “We have a rich legacy of art in our region, much of which has not received the recognition it deserves. At Cascadia we make sure that these artists and their works are not lost to history. Through our community programs we foster knowledge and appreciation of our region’s artistic heritage, and pass this legacy from one generation to the next ensuring that it remains alive.  And your support is key to making this happen.”

But then it was time for a sumptuous dinner prepared by Shooby Doo Catering, and a gala auction featuring original art, vacations, food and drink and more. Northwest auctioneer extraordinaire David Silverman kept the energy and the bidding going at a fever pitch.

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