At the far edge of Belltown in the Vela Lounge, partyers have gathered at the VIP Sports Charity Gala for the opportunity to mingle with the Seattle Sounders FC (swoon!), take pictures with the Sea Gals (unswoon, but okay), and schmooze with local celebrities (no thanks)—all for the benefit of Child United, an international organization that empowers children through education. Since all proceeds go directly to Child United, everyone in attendance has the opportunity to drink as much as they want and say that it is really for the children.
While people are dressed in varying degrees of formal wear and there is a table full of foods that are identifiably party snacks, this event does not have the gala vibe. Instead, I feel like an audience member in an after-hours PBS telethon. Between sets by DJ Hollywood, the moderator implores her audience to drink and participate in the games, raffles, and auctions. Jell-O shots make their way through the crowd, to which she announces, "Every shot you take goes to helping an impoverished child."
By the end of the evening, the Sea Gals and Sounders have failed to appear, but I get a chance to talk to Child United founder Christine Umayam. Earlier in the evening, a friend introduced her as someone who does not throw back paper balls thrown at her. I do not witness or test this assertion myself, but anyone whose goal is to help "children everywhere who really need a chance" is probably too busy to engage in horseplay, anyway. The Jell-O shots eventually make their way outside and to us. I shoot mine. Never before has charity tasted so much like vodka.
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