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A Gala Reimagined: Going Virtual to Support Imagine Housing

September 14, 2020 - by Mason Luvera

Category What's Happening

A Gala Reimagined: Going Virtual to Support Imagine Housing

If you miss dressing up and enjoying an evening out, you’re not alone. Many of our favorite galas and gatherings are looking different this year, but there’s one we’re just as excited to attend from home: Imagine Housing’s Virtual Auction starting September 26. We learned more about this exciting event and the impressive work it makes possible – so get ready to dress up (or lounge down) in support of this great organization, virtually.

As the largest non-profit builder of safe, permanent and affordable housing on the Eastside, Imagine Housing brings critically-needed accessible homes to our often-unaffordable market. The organization also provides supportive services to more than 1400 seniors, veterans, former foster youth, families and formerly homeless residents – helping them stay secure in their home and get the support they need.  

Making this all possible takes investment from the organization’s partners alongside individual contributions from members of our community. For the past 27 years, Imagine Housing’s annual gala gathered folks for an evening of celebration to help raise these funds. This year, amidst the pandemic, their team got creative and developed a new virtual opportunity. They wanted to keep people safe while providing a fun and inviting experience to help build up the vital support they provide.

“This event helps us to continue to build permanent, affordable housing throughout the Eastside today and for the future,” Imagine Housing’s Regina Meyer, said. “We’ve had a gala for 27 years but this will be our first Virtual Auction, we’re excited for what’s in store.”

The Virtual Auction kicks off on Saturday, September 26 and runs through October 3. Guests can register for free and bid virtually on over 100 auction items, culminating with a livestream grand finale in "Roaring 20's" style from 5:00pm – 6:30pm on the 3rd. Anyone interested simply needs to register online by September 25 to become a guest.

To help people get in the gala mood, the organization is also offering a Dinner Party Pack and a Cocktail Party Pack for the grand finale evening. The Dinner Party Pack includes a mouth-watering starter, sides, entrée and dessert for two from A Platinum Event Catering, plus a bottle of DeLille D2 Heart label OR a bottle of DeLille Chaleur Blanc for $125. Award-winning bartender, Josef Dietrich, has crafted two refreshing options for the Cocktail Party Kits: a modern take on the classic Bee’s Knees from the 20’s or a Champagne cocktail crafted to match the season. The first 50 orders are eligible for delivery, or packs can be retrieved at their drive through pick up location. Of course, all proceeds will go to support Imagine Housing’s work in the community.

Providing affordable and stable housing is more important, especially now, as many of Imagine Housing’s residents work in industries deeply impacted by the pandemic. Servers at restaurants or employees at local retailers call their properties home, and many were critically impacted by the shutdown, Meyer said.  As the economic fallout increases, so will the need for more affordable housing.

To afford an average one bedroom apartment in Bellevue, you would have to make at least $75,000 to not be rent burdened (considered to be paying more than 30% of your income towards rent), Meyer said. The communities Imagine Housing builds enable many of these workers to live where they work, attend school and take care of their families. The organization currently has 15 properties, with four in Bellevue. They also broke ground on their 16th building last December and are in the early planning stages of a new senior residence in Bothell.

As the economic impacts from the pandemic continue, our ever increasing need for affordable housing is squeezed even more. Supporting organizations like Imagine Housing is a great way to help our community form a better future – and with their Virtual Auction, you can have a great time too. Sign up today for the auction and enjoy!

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.