Be The Bridge – 2021 Event

Thank you for being The Bridge for students!

We are excited to announce that Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s Be the Bridge benefit raised more than $186,000 to benefit students and families in the Lake Washington School District!

​Our live-streamed event celebrated our 15 years of service with laughter, tears, and hope including heartfelt messages from celebrity guests such as comedian Jeff Dye, local radio legend B.J. Shea and Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion K.J. Wright.

To everyone who made a donation to students through this event, and to everyone who works, volunteers, and advocates to make our world a better place for our children, thank you.

It’s not too late to Be The Bridge

Our Be the Bridge benefit on April 29, 2021, was an evening full of stories, laughter, and discovery about how your contributions make an impact on the lives of students and families in the Lake Washington School District.

​Help us reach our fundraising goal by making a donation today to support students and families of LWSD.

With Gratitude to Our Event Sponsors
Cornerstone General Contractors
Northshore Church
Overlake Medical Center & Clinics

Featured Clips

Welcome from LWSF

Lake Washington Schools Foundation Interim Executive Director Katy Philips welcomes us to the evening and talks about the effect of the pandemic on the Foundation.

Student Needs

Colleen Rutherford from Pantry Packs talks about the challenges volunteers faced in delivering weekend meal packs to food-insecure children this year. Katy Philips and Jamie Holland from Lake Washington Schools Foundation discuss the ways in which LWSF has responded to the needs of students this year through grants to the Lake Washington School District.

Stay Connected

From Kids Coming Together, Deborah Carmichael talks about helping kids in grades 3-8 build friendships with peers through community service led by local teens. Longtime volunteer and philanthropist Nancy Remak, program coordinator Victoria Goetze-Nelson, and mentor J.R. Lipana discuss the impact of LINKS mentoring. Mary Pat O’Neil, founder and volunteer program leader of Find Your Fit, talks about providing free college counseling workshops and office hours through LWSF.

Youth Mental Wellness

Hear from Johnny Phu, Director of Student Services at Lake Washington School District, about Youth Mental Health First Aid and Lake Washington Schools Foundation’s plan to train 200 teachers this year. Then, Balance in Mind volunteers Bonnie McDaniel and Valerie Horvath talk about their work bringing more mental health resources to our community.

What’s New

Lake Washington School District Board Member Cassandra Sage tells us about the Foundation’s support of Spanish translation videos. Eastlake High School Librarian Kathleen Story describes LWSF’s help in the anti-racist effort to remodel the district’s libraries to better reflect and support student diversity. Johnny Phu, LWSD’s Director of Student Services, explains the work of Communities in Schools, which brings personalized connections to social services into our schools.

LWSD Superintendent

Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent of Lake Washington School District, speaks from the heart about the Foundation’s work in the community and the school district’s role in helping families and students.

Shannon’s Favorite Teacher

Event co-host Shannon O’Donnell, an award-winning broadcast meteorologist and proud alumna of the Lake Washington School District, reminisces about a favorite teacher from Redmond High School and the advice he gave her that she’s never forgotten.

Happy 15 Years

Lake Washington Schools Foundation Board President Roy Captain speaks about the Foundation’s 15 years of service, plus “happy birthday” messages from our partners.

Waste Management

Celebrity Support

K.J. Wright

Beloved Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks shares a pivotal role that a teacher played in his life.

B.J. Shea

30-year veteran of Seattle radio and 99.9 KISW drivetime deejay B.J. Shea gives his sincere support to the work of teachers in our district.

Jeff Dye

Comedian and actor Jeff Dye reveals his local roots and sends his love to teachers, Justin Rupple, and the Foundation in this message of support.

Evergreen Health
Kaiser Permanente
McGranahan Architects
Peterson Russell Kelly Livengood PLLC


The Royals Jazz Ensemble

What’s an evening benefit without a little music? This jazz ensemble comprised of 10th graders at Eastlake and Tesla STEM High Schools was a hit! Featuring Nate Dauz on bass, Seth DeWhitt on tenor saxophone, Michael Hoffman on drums, Aadithya Manoj on alto saxophone, Rian Pai on baritone saxophone and Keyboard, and Marko Vidich on guitar and keyboard. Playing “Moanin’” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1958), “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago (1969), “Birdland” by Weather Report (1977), and “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock (1962).

The Royals
The Royals Jazz Ensemble
D A Davidson
Integrus Architecture
Lake Washington Education Association
Pacific Mobile Structures
Redmond Kiwanis Club
Sound Credit Union

How to make a virual event zero waste?

By reducing waste in your home.

Listen in as Karissa Jones with Waste Management shares clever tips on how to reduce waste in your home, and see how Waste Management is working with Tesla STEM High School to engage student interns in the latest strategies and technology in waste reduction.

For more information, check out Waste Management’s online Waste Reduction education.