Updated: Nov 14
Have you ever seen a girafficorn in real life? Turns out, they all showed up at the SheJumps’ Sweet 16 Anniversary Party.
We had more than 175 amazing humans walk through the threshold of Seattle's Sodo Park venue and seemingly transform into Girafficorns before our eyes to celebrate a SheJumps' milestone with flair.
We are so grateful to everyone who joined us in person and to those who supported SheJumps in the days and months leading up to the event. We’re still finishing our final tallies but more than $106,000 was raised from the Sweet 16! This sets a record for the most funds raised at a single initiative in SheJumps’ 16 year history!
Thank you for making a difference and elevating our vision to unearth the potential of all women and girls through outdoor play and connection to nature.
Fun fact: SheJumps has never hosted an in-person event at this scale, but taking a “jump” of faith is our MO. It was indeed as fun as you’d expect from an organization that has a mythical creature for a mascot.
SheJumps events are never complete without some kind of adventure. Guests were greeted with our ‘Pop Up River School’ and a Spin to Win game generously donated by Crystal Mountain.
The Pop-Up River School included fishing guides for hire and a challenge to catch as many fish as possible in 60 seconds. We had an active leaderboard that (not surprisingly) had folks returning to defend their score! We’d like to give a huge thank you to our Pacific Coast Regional Director, Kate Sandoval, for her vision to make this game come to life. She built the entire installation from scratch, and people loved it!
Our cocktail hour of the event featured two signature drinks sponsored by Simple Goodness Sisters, who generously donated their handcrafted simple syrup for the event. We had a well-stocked bar to welcome our supporters thanks to Diageo and Precept wine, Athletic Brewing, Fremont Brewing, and Olympic Distributing,
Of course, the real highlight of the night was hearing the stories of how SheJumps has impacted people through the years. We were fortunate to have professional emcee and auctioneer Ashley Northup guide us through the evening and help our event be so successful. Ashley and her partner Fred Northup, Jr. are some of the most sought-after emcees and auctioneers in the Seattle area and beyond. They offered unlimited pre-event consultation, and the thought and care they put into helping our event succeed was in every detail from the moment the doors opened until our last sip of wine.
The stage was graced with diverse voices (and some interpretive dancing!) from our community. Starting with our fearless leader, Claire Smallwood, we then heard from co-founder Vanessa Pierce about her journey of self-discovery as a queer woman.
Next, we had a trio of friends who all met through SheJumps. As former Colorado Regional Coordinator Laraine Martin put it, she was having an “out of body experience wearing sequins and shoulder pads” being on stage with her two best friends, current SheJumps’ Board Chair Sara Boilen and our newest staff member (also a former volunteer), Sarah Foster.
Before our wild and crazy live auction, we heard from our youngest-ever fundraising climb participant, Lily Toepfer, and her mother Diana Toepfer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they described Lily and her mom’s adventures together climbing Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier with SheJumps. They’ve now signed up to climb the Grand Teton in the summer of 2024 with SheJumps.
With a little help from one of our favorite girafficorns, Christy Pelland, our live auction was so much fun it was impossible NOT to bid. When the “Ski with Claire Smallwood” prize came up, she even brought her “Claire Smallwood would Ski That!” T-shirt on stage!
Our final speaker of the night was Dioné Rodriguez. Dioné is a former scholarship recipient (Ikon Pass Scholarship of 2021-2022) and now works part-time for SheJumps as program coordinator for our SheJumps into the Canyon event in Utah. Dioné’s speech was powerful and sobering to remember how the work and donations impact people in such different ways. Not only has Dioné gained experience and knowledge from SheJumps, but she has also found new ways to give back and be a confident leader in her immigrant community.
There were big smiles and misty eyes, which by any measure indicates a powerful and successful event. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in our organization and our mission. Thank you to all of the girafficorns for helping us celebrate 16 years!
If we have this fundraising party again, get your tickets fast because no one, and we mean no one, will want to miss seeing and being a girafficorn for a special moment.
SheJumps Co-Founder and Executive Director
The event was successful thanks to the partners providing in-kind gifts for the live auction, raffles, and games.