2023 Believe gifts to date raised $80,134 for families in crisis

THE 2023 JUST BELIEVE YWCA party in September brought together a community dedicated to better lives for women and families.

One-of-a-kind live and silent auction items – including treasures like Gonzaga basketball tickets (court side!); homemade, delivered soup meals; and a stunning handmade king-size quilt – focused on experiences that bring people together.

After a friend’s daughter, Emily Harris, lost her life to domestic violence in 2020, the YWCA mission became personal to Derek Wood, our talented auctioneer. Watching him work to ensure every package made the most possible impact was a high- light of the evening.

Greg Kettner stepped in as MC, talking up the auction items and put- ting everyone at ease.

A special shout-out goes to Marty Bray of A Chef’s Creation, our caterer for the evening, who crafted a creative and delicious dinner that left everyone raving.

Gary and longtime board member Michelle Southern donated an intimate Italian dinner at their home, complete with a stunning Blue Mountain backdrop. As bidding soared, Gary and Michelle put a heartfelt twist on their generous gift – the promise to create the feast not just once, but three times. Gifts like theirs pushed the total raised past $80,000.

“We are grateful that our community recognizes and supports survivors,” said Events and Donor Engagement Coordinator Kirsten Schober. “It’s important for them to believe they are worthy and able to build healthy new futures.”

Many amazing volunteers set up chairs, ironed tablecloths, displayed auction items, checked guests in and out, managed sales of donated items from the Wine & Dine Wall, monitored bidding, and more.


An Anonymous sponsor was joined by Banner Bank, MacArthur Co, Rotie Cellars, and Seven Hills Winery in providing the foundation for the event.

As we reflect on the evening’s success, we’re so grateful for all who contributed, bid, and supported this cause, who believe in creating a world where no one has to face domestic violence or assault alone.