The NVC Foundation (NVCF) hosted a “Mardi Gras” themed fundraising event on February 4, 2023. This was the first large gala event hosted by the NVCF since our Luau event of October 2017. The COVID pandemic played a large role in this hiatus between the two events. COVID touched each one of us in some fashion or another. Some of us lost loved ones to this illness, and we all experienced a disruption in our daily lives whether it be school, work, business, or just not being able to get out of the house to buy groceries.
The Mardi Gras event was held with two goals in mind. The number one goal was to help put the memories of the COVID pandemic in the “rear view mirror” and look ahead toward the future. That is not to say that the effects of COVID are gone. We all know that our lives have been impacted and changed and that we will be experiencing a “new normal”—a more cautious and thoughtful approach to interaction with one another (especially in large group settings).
The second goal was to replenish the program funds of the organization. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the NVC Foundation will use Mardi Gras proceeds to support its many educational and cultural programs.
This year’s Mardi Gras was held at the Renton Pavilion Event Center and was attended by over 250 guests. The event featured a Silent and Live Auction, a New Orleans-style Buffet meal, Dessert prepared by many talented local home and professional bakers, and a Photo Booth. Among the many highlights of the evening was dancing to the music of OBG’s. The OBG’s are a Seattle based band focusing on dance music from the 60’s – 80’s of the R&B funk genre.
The NVCF would like to thank those that attended the Mardi Gras, and we are especially gratified and thankful for your generous and enthusiastic support of the evening program. There was a positive atmosphere of energy and excitement created throughout the event, from beginning to end. There was an air of a reunion of sorts. Many of the guest’s hadn’t seen each other since COVID and the event was a great place to catch up and get reacquainted with one another.
A critical segment of any fundraising effort is the quality and selection of the Silent and Live Auctions being offered. The selection of auction items offered this year was outstanding! All told, the number of Live Auction items, Silent Auction items, Cash Donors, and Dessert Dash donations were well over 120 items! Thank you to all of those that donated auction items, dessert donations, and cash donations.
There are so many “unsung heroes” when undertaking a large event such the NVCF Mardi Gras. The NVCF recognizes the following companies and individuals for their participation:
- Geri Lynne Egler, NVCF President
- Jay Deguchi, NVCF Vice President
- Harold Taniguchi, MC Extraordinaire
- Rain City Catering, Food/Venue
- Hardcastle AV
- Quality Press, Program Printing
- Daniel Tabadero, Photo Booth
- Larry Snyder Auctions
- Anthony Howard, Howard Security Solutions
- Aldis Quan, Howard Security Solutions
- deSyne Graphic Arts
- D & K Events/Denise Glaser, Registration Support
- Janice Kunitsugu, Photography
I also want to acknowledge the 2023 Mardi Gras Organizing Committee for their hard work and dedication to the project:
- Mardi Gras Committee Co-Chairpersons -- Denise Inaba, Keith Yamaguchi
- Silent & Live Auction -- *Denise Inaba, *Annette Aratani
- Corporate Sponsorships -- *Dale Kaku
- Social Media & Promotion -- *Tana Watanabe
- Dessert Dash -- *Danielle Higa, *Kristen Pomper
- AV/Sound -- *Dale Watanabe, *Geri Lynne Egeler, Tana Watanabe
- Security -- *Kevin Aratani
- Graphic Design -- *G. Page Tanagi
- Table Decorations -- *Susan Uyeji, Shizu Kaku, June Nakamoto, Janet Tomita
- Registration & Check Out -- *Les Inaba, *Denise Inaba, Alexa Aratani, Aaron Bright, Lauren Inaba, Brianna Ishihara, Derek Ishihara, Shina Kashino, Jami Mori, Jordan Nakamura, Alyssa Shoji, Justin Shoji, Robby Takeuchi, Ryan Takeuchi
*Chair or Co-Chair of Sub-Committee
The NVCF thanks our Title Sponsors for their generosity and support. And finally, to the countless additional volunteers who helped support this event…. Thank you!