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Edmonds College Foundation raises $315,000 during INSPIRE Benefit


The Edmonds College Foundation raised $315,000 during the INSPIRE 2023 Benefit held on Friday, April 21, at the Lynnwood Event Center. The benefit raises money for the Student Success Fund, which helps students succeed in their educational journey through scholarships, emergency funding, and essential programs. 

Guests were in a generous mood as they gathered to celebrate alums, current students, and the transformational power of education during the INSPIRE 2023 Benefit.

Guests were in a generous mood during the INSPIRE 2023 Benefit.  (photo courtesy of Arutyun Sargsyan)

"The INSPIRE event was an unforgettable night,” said Executive Director of the Edmonds College Foundation Tom Bull. “The community support for Edmonds College remains strong from both members of the community and employees of the college. We are very grateful for their continued support."

The 2023 INSPIRE Benefit featured a reception, dinner, and live auction. Guests were in a generous mood as they gathered to celebrate alums, current students, and the transformational power of education. 

Attendees also got to see the talents of students from different programs on campus. During the reception, culinary students served appetizers from the Triton Food Truck while the EC Jazz Trio serenaded the arriving guests. Centerpieces at the dinner tables were designed and produced by the horticulture department. The baking and pastry arts department created cakes for the Dessert Dash, which raised over $24,000. Guests concluded the evening by dancing to the Edmonds College Jazz and Salsa Band.

Former Edmonds College Foundation scholarship recipient, Azi Bayati, was the featured speaker during the INSPIRE 2023 Benefit. (photo courtesy of Arutyun Sargsyan)

Azi Bayati (photo courtesy of Arutyun Sargsyan

The event’s keynote speaker was Azi Bayati, an Edmonds grad, a past recipient of scholarship funds from the Edmonds College Foundation, and a current donor. Bayati, who now works at Meta, gave an impassioned speech about how her scholarship money allowed her to continue her education while balancing life as a single mother of two. Her speech inspired many attendees to donate generously during the event's paddle-raising and live auction portions of the benefit. 

“I am humbled by the community support for Edmonds College, our students, and the Foundation,” said President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “The generosity of our donors and sponsors allows us to continue meeting the many needs of our students and ensure that they can continue their educational pursuits uninterrupted.”

The 2023 INSPRIRE Benefit. (photo by Arutyun Sargsyan)

The 2023 INSPRIRE Benefit. (photo by Arutyun Sargsyan)

The title sponsor for a third consecutive year was Fortive. The Dream Builder sponsor was the Associated Students of Edmonds College. The Spotlight sponsor was the Boeing Company. Among the Impact sponsors were Gesa Credit Union, First Security Bank, Community Transit, TFS Advisors, and the Tulalip Tribes. There were ten mission partners and corporate sponsors, including First Financial Northwest Bank, Building Innovations, Molina Healthcare, Vine Dahlen, Heritage Bank, Lynnwood Honda, US Bank, Optum, Law Offices of Sherri M. Anderson, Inc. P.S., and Coastal Community Bank. The committee chair was Edmonds faculty member and alumnus Nicole Galipeau.

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Brian Tom