Holly House hosts ‘Harlequin Nights’ gala for children in need

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    The Fifth Annual Holly House Gala had a record turnout at the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center on Saturday, March 9. The “Harlequin Nights” theme offered guests a chance to paint their faces and don collarettes as they enjoyed food and wine while taking part in silent and live auctions.

    Auction proceeds go to the Holly House Christmas Gift Program, which provides gifts and necessities to low-income children.

    Director Pam Martinez said her passion for helping children in need extends back to her own childhood and seeing children from families less fortunate than hers.

    She used to think, “I’m just a kid, I don’t know what I can do to help,” she said. Now, through her 12 years of work with Holly House, Martinez has been able to do something — providing holiday gifts and necessities for 2,200 children in 16 schools in the Edmonds School District.

    One of the evening’s speakers was Sydney Kies, who shared her own story of growing up in a low-income family and helping to care for her younger sister after her mother died. She said it was because of organizations like Holly House that her sister was able to have presents at Christmas.

    “I just remember my dad and I going in there and being able to shop without paying money we didn’t have for her,” she said. “You don’t realize what low-income people don’t have.”

    Auction items included:

    • A ride-a-long with a Lynnwood police officer
    • A gift certificate to Gene Juarez Salon
    • Seven wines and 14 boxes of Girl Scout cookies
    • A basket of Star Wars memorabilia
    • A basket of “priceless” Seahawks merchandise — including a signed football and miniature helmet.
    • University of Washington Huskies game tickets
    • Mariners game tickets
    • A wine tasting for 20 at Total Wine and More
    • Woodland Park Zoo tickets

    For more information about Holly House, visit their website or Facebook page.

    — Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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