White Center Block Party raises more than $20,000 for fire victims
The White Center Block Party on Aug. 29 raised more than $20,600 to benefit seven businesses that were damaged in an arson fire on July 5. That fire which began at the Lumberyard Bar, quickly spread through the all wooden structure to the others in the building through the ceiling. That meant fire fighters could not enter the building to fight the flames from inside. The result was either total destruction or heavy smoke damage.
A series of GoFundMe pages were set up to help and they quickly drew donations. But more was needed to aid the employees suddenly out of work.
The business community sprang into action, announcing the next day their intent to hold a fundraising block party. On Sunday, August 29 nearly every business in the "downtown" area of White Center was taking part with restaurants serving people at outdoor seating, live music coming from two stages. Lots of art and vendors on the street selling goods and many of the restaurants participating in a pub crawl. A raffle and silent auction raised money too. A ukelele signed by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder went for $3500 and a gourmet dinner for four at the new TOMO restaurant opening Sept. 9, went for $1300.
The whole event was staged, with logistics and music coordinated by Monumental Undertaking, the event specialist company who has staged the West Seattle Summerfest and White Center Jubilee Days for the last few years. An entirely volunteer crew came together to assist Oliver Little and associates to pull it off.
The distribution of the money will be determined by the committee who organized the event.
If you'd like to donate to help those businesses and their employees you can do so through Venmo @WhiteCenterBlockParty