On February 8, 2019, the Fulcrum Foundation made the unprecedented decision to cancel the 2019 Celebration of Light. The National Weather Service was calling for a blizzard, and snow had already started falling to the north. Due to the safety risks associated with the snow storm and in consideration of attendees traveling for the evening from as far away as Bellingham and Vancouver, the decision was made to cancel.
The last time Seattle experienced a snow event similar to this year’s was 1962. The 2019 snow storm impacted Seattle’s neighborhoods and communities in different ways, and forced the cancellation of Fulcrum Foundation’s critical fundraising event.
The money raised during the event represents nearly half of what the foundation distributes in tuition assistance each year. “When we made the difficult decision to cancel the event, we were in the process of awarding over two million dollars in tuition assistance grants to over 1,500 students for the 2019/20 school year. The award letters were mailed out at the end of February. Well over half of this money was raised at last year’s Celebration of Light,” said Julie Coleman, Fulcrum Interim Executive Director.
The response from the community has been extraordinary, sending donations to counteract those lost the night of the event. Schools and parishes have communicated to their individual communities asking for support. There has been an increase of new donors, and many dedicated donors have made gifts in support of our three core programs: tuition assistance, school partnerships, and leadership initiatives.
This is a defining moment for Fulcrum and for our entire community. Together, the community has ensured that Fulcrum’s programs will not be adversely impacted next year.