The Friends of CTC Guild hosts their annual Wine Tasting and Auction on Friday, June 2. Learn more here!
Describe the early history of the friends of CTC Guild. Why were you formed, and who were members?
Stacy Daniels: Lois Maier [CTC’s former development director] and Jon [Botten, former CEO] wanted to form Guilds for CTC similar to the ones at Seattle Children’s as a way to expand the outreach to the community for fundraising opportunities. My son Zachary had just transitioned out of CTC, and I was hoping to give something back.
Susie Schunzel: Lois and Jon approached Vicki, Judy and me with the idea and it generated a lot of interest. Two Women’s Guilds were formed, and eventually a Men’s Guild as well.
SD: Only women showed up at the first meeting and since the interest was so great, the group was divided into two groups: the West Group and the East Group. You were placed in a group based on your residence.
SS: The West Group was known as the “WWW Guild” – Wild West Women! Stacy did not want to be with us. She was very disappointed to be stuck with us!
SD: I wasn’t exactly thrilled because all the parents I knew through play group and therapy were in the East Group!
SS: We have now been together 14 years. We started as strangers with a common goal of raising money for CTC, and became a family. As a group we have experienced major personal loss, divorce, marriage, cancer. We have raised kids together and welcomed grandchildren. We are the only CTC Guild left and I do believe it is because of our personal connection. I know that I would have had a very hard time without these amazing women.
Patty Ensign: I joined the Guild while working as a special education preschool teacher in the Kent School District. I wanted to make the connection with CTC [and learn more about their mission] because little ones turning 3 were coming into my program. But even before that I had been attending CTC events for at least 20 years with friends who knew staff. The Guild has become my family of friends. We laugh, cry, drink wine, and vacation together!
Kelli Berger: The Guild was formed by moms whose kids were born with delays. They formed a group for support and met at CTC’s Kent location. Leslie was the keeper of the building keys, and she opened and closed for them so they could meet there. She then became a member. From then on other members have been brought in, some with a broken wing of their own, so that they could heal, get support and feel the love.
Describe the very first Guild wine event – your funniest recollection or biggest milestone.
Judy Haferbecker: Oh, I remember our first event. Stacy was so pregnant and miserable, but still worked through the whole night. The best “first” event ever!
SD: Our first wine event was May of 2002 at the Seattle Design Center. I was pregnant with my second son, Rylan. During the planning stages of this event the Guild members were unaware of the pregnancy, and they thought I didn’t quite fit in because I would only drink water at the meetings! They finally put it all together after I started to show. I volunteered to record for the live auction but just before the event I developed terrible sciatic pain that made it difficult for me to sit too long. I explained my situation to our Guild president and tried to be excused from my position, but there was no one who could replace me! I agreed to do it, but decided that this would be my last event with the Guild and I would quit at the next meeting. Shortly after the event was over, we were notified that we raised $13K. I was so overwhelmed that I changed my mind and decided to stick it out with the Guild.
PE: I remember once when Jon had to shave his head at the end of the night because we had reached our goal. And of course we can’t forget “Vanna,” otherwise known as Susie, who was not afraid to sit on laps to coax more money and higher bids!
SS: We raised MONEY!
KB: The event is amazing and the fact that such a small group [of volunteers] puts it on is awesome – dedication to the kids at the highest level.
What is your favorite wine of all time?
SS: The one that tastes good while I am drinking it.
JH: My favorite wine? Anything donated to the event! Or red (this week).
Aryn Schunzel: My favorite wine is a syrah! You can get ones that are spicy, jammy, even funky. I love the variety and depth of flavor you can get with syrahs!
KB: Any bottle, box or glass of white.
Candy Senger: Any white wine.
Cheri Prosser: Guardian Chalk Line.
SD: Kestrel Co Ferment Syrah. This is not necessarily my favorite wine of all time but it was one of our tastings at our wine event and turned my husband into a wine enthusiast. Life as a wine connoisseur has been so much easier since this event!
Betty Hicker: Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Ste. Michelle -2009
What’s one word that best describes the personality of the Guild?
CP: Only one? We are too diverse for that! Loyal!
PE: Passionate! We do it for the kids. We are a strong circle of friends.
JH: Passion, love, family, support, KIDS. That’s four!
Let’s say someone you invited to the Guild Wine Tasting and Auction has to choose between this one and another the same night. What would you tell them to persuade them to come to your event?
SS: Our event isn’t your normal charity auction. It is loud and boisterous and you get to drink wine!
JH: Our event is cheaper, loud, crazy, fun. A damn good time!
AS: There’s more wine at this event than the one you’re going to! But really, it’s for the kids. You can’t compete with kids.
KB: WE have the best event! You will meet amazing people and make forever friends. The venue is out of this world and the food is the best. Then you get to try fabulous wines all night! AND most importantly, you get the opportunity to support a great organization that provides services to kids in our community.
BH: It is the most fun event of the year. There is so much wine and such a relaxed atmosphere. I love this event! I love it so much, I joined the Guild!
CS and CP: It’s for the kids!