A Spectacular Night of Celebration and Giving

As we wrap up auction season, we’d like to share with you some of the lovely pictures taken at the 2014 Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Auction and Gala. The Ripple of Giving was truly felt as hundreds gave to benefit the programs of Inspire Youth Project and The Healing Center. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, or donated items. Your generosity inspires us and the work we do!








Top 3 Reasons We Loved The 2014 May Day Walk

On May 4th 2014, The Healing Center celebrated it’s 6th Annual May Day Walk at Gas Works Park with over 60 participants and 25 volunteers. Here are our top 3 reasons why we loved the day and are excited to keep the May Day Walk tradition going for our Healing Center community. Be sure to check out the pictures below.

1. YOU – Nothing makes us happier than seeing our Healing Center friends and families come together. We believe so much benefit comes from meeting others that have shared the experience of walking through grief. While this year it was under more drops of rain than rays of sun, we are so grateful for all who joined us and those who couldn’t make it but supported their friends and family in other ways. You are our inspiration.

2. The chance to remember – Transitional periods can be difficult – even the transition between seasons. As we move swiftly into spring, we enjoyed the opportunity to do some reflection during the art activities during the Walk. We wrote a message to our loved one on a message flag. We considered what we’d say to them in a private message. We contemplated the meaning of short-blooming cherry blossoms during origami folding. We stood with everyone and felt the words of the poem, “We Remember Them”.

3. Support for our programs – With the combined donations from The May Day Walk and GiveBIG two days later, we received $63,053 from our generous supporters. This doesn’t even include the GiveBIG “stretch funds” that will be applied to our GiveBIG donations soon. These funds mean so much to The Healing Center and our community. They keep our doors open, buy pizza for our weekly children’s groups, make healing client retreats possible, and help to train our dedicated volunteers – all contributing to our overall mission of offering a safe, loving place that honors grief, helping you to move through it and heal. We thank those who fund-raised for us, our wonderful donors, and our $5,000 sponsors, Safe Crossings Foundation, Nintendo, and University District Kiwanis. THANK YOU!



Marshall's Story, and a Holiday Request

The families who come to The Healing Center have had their lives shattered. The unthinkable has happened – their husband, wife, or partner, their father or mother, has died.  We give them a safe space to heal and regroup, to grieve as they need, and to figure out how to live their lives now that everything has changed. By giving to The Healing Center, you can help grieving families put the pieces back together. 


Marshall Peabody joined The Healing Center community in 2006 after his wife Terri died.  Since 2006, Marshall has been an integral part of The Healing Center’s growth and evolution.  From client in the new house, to volunteer co-facilitator of the only Men’s Grief Group in Seattle, Marshall’s healing journey is an inspiration for many.  Here is a part of his story:

How did you come to find The Healing Center?

Urged by my guy John, I searched the web and found three places.  One in Federal Way, another in Bellevue, and one right in my neighborhood, The Healing Center.  I set up an appointment to talk to Kath, “come see the place..,” she said.  I didn’t realize it was an “intake,” it was more like meeting the family – the cozy space, her warm presence – I literally felt right at home, a MOST welcome feeling.

I’d found a place where I could be me; express and experience my grief, and at the same time be part of a larger community, a place where I not only “received,” but also had something to “give;” a place where I saw and felt like I had something to contribute.

My loss experience had two sides, I realized even back then, with little idea how things would evolve.

I remember that first meeting, me feeling like I didn’t need the organization as much as it could use me; that I had something to offer the group since I was already doing so well – HA!  Not that I wasn’t, or aren’t, but the experience continues to unfold in so many rich and unexpected ways, growth keeps happening in ways unimagined.  Who could have guessed I’d find such solace and affirmation in group facilitating, hospice volunteering, organ music, and our Men’s Group?

How did it make you feel to be a part of The Healing Center?

Like many widows/widowers, I found being at The Healing Center calming, nurturing; I came away feeling lifted, supported.

In a natural move towards something that felt good, I came early and stayed late. During a period of unemployment, I’d stop by to chat, hang out; after groups, I do the dishes – they’re there, they need to be done, I have the skill, and I don’t want to leave.  Hanging out morphed into hanger-on.  Help setting up the auction, serving at the auction, potlucks… I love potlucks, the opportunity to cook for other people, socialize with others who ‘get it’, drink wine, and begin to create a new ‘normal’ for otherwise solitary Saturday nights.

After 8 years, why do you choose to stay connected to The Healing Center?

Going through this experience, these experiences, your perspective shifts – it wants to, it HAS to… but finding support and help exploring this new view of life and death, it’s not easily found, certainly not in the “old world,” of people wanting me to “be over it,” to “move on.”  It’s an intense experience, with profound lessons, dearly paid for.  You can try to view it as rotten luck, the worst possible accident… but there’s a sneaky suspicion that this wasn’t an accident, or if it was, there’s some meaning buried deep down inside it.  If it didn’t happen to Terri or Jill now, something else would, eventually.

Seeing others pour through the door, in that state of total shock, absolute dismay, trying to reconcile their personal experiences of loss with their expectations of “happily ever after” – it is not just a sneaky little change, a minor tweak in my understanding of reality… NO, it is life changing, a sublime shift in consciousness, if we dare unwrap the package so ungratefully delivered.  Our loved ones died ahead of us, perhaps to help us learn a lesson, the lesson of life?

Kath, our Founder, loved to say, “be patient with yourself” and “relax around it.”  These are words of wisdom we continue to practice here at The Healing Center, and we are honored that Marshall continues to share his story with our newly grieving so as to provide hope and inspiration.  Please make a year-end gift so that more widows & widowers like Marshall can get the support they need to continue their grief and healing journeys.

Please donate to The Healing Center this holiday season – your gift will support grieving families. Click the donate button below to make your tax deductible donation now, or send a check made out to The Healing Center to 6409 ½ Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle WA, 98115.

Donate Button

Thank you for being part of the The Healing Center community, and for helping us keep our doors open for the grieving widows, widowers and families of King County.

Oktoberfest 2013 – Raise a Stein for The Healing Center


Oktoberfest 2013 Beer & Wheat Header

What: The Healing Center Oktoberfest Benefit
Where: Georgetown Brewing Company
When: Saturday, October 19th from 6-11pm
Why: To support The Healing Center and celebrate Oktoberfest in style!

Oktoberfest 2013 Beer & Wheat Header

Kath McCormack & Rebecca Soukakos_NovFest 2011Support The Healing Center while you celebrate Oktoberfest at Georgetown Brewing Co.!  The Healing Center Oktoberfest Benefit will feature fine bier courtesy of the Georgetown Brewing Company and delicious German food courtesy of Prost!, traditional German music, an exciting door prize drawing and a select Silent Auction. Most importantly, it will include moving stories by Healing Center clients and moments of great gratitude.

If you’d like to help us put on the event, feel free to volunteer!  You can sign up here to volunteer and help us make this the best Oktoberfest ever.

If you or your company is interested in helping grieving families, please consider sponsoring our Oktoberfest Benefit.  We have both memorial and corporate sponsorships available. If you’re interested in giving honor of a loved one or as a charitable donation from a business, please contact Jen Power, Development Coordinator, at jenp@healingcenterseattle.org or 206-523-1206.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Memorial Sponsors

Jane Bergerson in memory of Tom Bergerson

Resa Moore & The Lissy Moore Foundation in memory of Lissy Moore

Grady Paden in memory of Ralph Paden and Kay Monahan

Bill Healey in honor of Anna Harvey

In Honor Sponsors

Suzanne Tripp and Bill Healey in honor of Kath McCormack

Das Bierzelt Presenting Sponsors (up to $10,000)

MedGTownLogo_2 feierabend

Our thanks to our generous presenting sponsors, Feierabend and Georgetown Brewing Company, without whom we would not be able to put such an amazing event.



Prost! Sponsors (up to $2,500)


People's Injury Network NW

Die Bierkrug Sponsors (up to $1,000)

cartwright projects logo_katie cartwrightThank you so much to Katie Cartwright of Cartwright Designs for donating her graphic design skills to create our beautiful Oktoberfest logos & materials.



Danke schon to The Essential Baking Company for donating the delicious delicacies for our Oktoberfest Dessert Dash!


DT Marshall Printing logo

Our gratitude to DT Marshall Printing for their help with printing all of our Oktoberfest mailings!






Extra Auction Items – Bid & Take One Home Today!

champagne on iceHello Healing Center community!

We have some extra items that were unable to be auctioned off at our Gala and Auction (which was a great success – thank you again to our guests and to our amazing volunteers!). We’re hoping to find buyers for these fantastic tickets, tours and trips within our community.  If you are interested in any of these fabulous items, please contact our Development Coordinator Jen Power at jenp@healingcenterseattle.org by July 19th!

Here’s what we have available:

  • Awbrey Glen Golf Foursome *NEW ITEM*
    Value: $375/ Starting Bid: $94
    Four 18-hole rounds of gold with cart. Valid Sunday through Thursday after 1:00pm. Expires 6/30/14.  


  • Batch 206 Distillery Tour and Tasting
    Value: $600/ Starting Bid: $150
    Batch 206 Distillery, makers of the award-winning COUNTER gin the ever-smooth BATCH 206 vodka, the delicious MAD MINT vodka, and SEE SEVEN STARS corn whisky, will host 12 guests for a VIP distillery tour and tasting at their Seattle premises. The tour will feature a tutorial on making brandy and whisky, gin and vodka, and an opportunity to sample some of the finest spirits made in Washington. You will be hosted by master distiller Berle (Rusty) Figgins, Jr., who will conduct an educational and entertaining presentation.
    This VIP spirits tasting experience will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable date and time.


  • Bellevue Youth Symphony 4 Season Tickets
    Value: $480/ Starting Bid: $120
    The Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra provides an instrumental music experience not to be missed! These exceptional young musicians will take you on a musical journal with a Family of 4 Season Tickets for all of next season’s performances. Included with these items to further show your support of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra is a logo water bottle and logo t-shirt.  Tickets expire 3/25/14 at the end of the concert season in May. Tickets may not be re-sold, are non-refundable and are not transferable.


  • Eagle Crest Resort Homestay in Redmond, OR
    Value: $2,500/ Starting Bid: $625
    The package includes an owner hosted retreat of three nights & four days for 2 people, where you will enjoy home-cooked meals for breakfast and dinner, and have the use of an entire floor of the house, which includes a bedroom suite with a king size bed, a large TV room with a 50” TV, and a large bathroom suite.


  • Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix on Aug. 1st 4 tickets
    Value: $198 /Starting Bid: $50
  • Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta  July 14 – 4 tickets
    Value: $198/ Starting Bid: $50
  • Seattle Storm vs. Tulsa on July 17 – 4 tickets
    Value: $198/ Starting Bid: $50
  • Seattle Storm vs. San Antonio on Aug. 9 – 4 tickets
    Value: $198/ Starting Bid: $50
  • Seattle Storm vs. Chicago on Aug. 15 – 4 tickets
    Value: $198/ Starting Bid: $50
  • Seattle Storm: A Roller-coaster Season DVD
    Value: $20/ Starting Bid: $5

See something you like? Contact our Development Coordinator Jen Power at jenp@healingcenterseattle.org by July 12th!


Volunteer at our Celebrity Gala & Auction!

champage glasses with confettiVolunteer at our Celebrity Gala & Auction!

DATES: Shifts available Friday, June 21st through Sunday, June 23rd
RSVP/ MORE INFO: Click here for info on volunteer shifts and to SIGN UP
CONTACT/ QUESTIONS:  Jen Power, Development Coordinator – jenp@healingcenterseattle.org


The Healing Center had been named a beneficiary of The Detlef Schempf Foundation’s 2013 Celebrity Gala & Auction. Yay! In exchange we’ve been asked to fill some volunteer needs to help make sure this auction a huge success.

Think Delicious Food, Dancing, Wine & Cocktails, Silent Auction, and a Lively Live Auction coupled with a local community of wonderfully generous people and celebrities – a fun time awaits.  Lend your us your heart, energy, enthusiasm and support, and help us make sure grieving families in your community have the support they need when they need it.

Since Mary Jean is out of town this week, please direct any questions to Jen Power, Development Coordinator, at jenp@healingcenterseattle.org – she will be happy to answer them for you!

Give Big Results!! Thank you!

GiveBIG2013$14,525 was donated to The Healing Center through The Seattle Foundation’s “Give Big” initiative on May 15th. That’s enough to cover all the expenses of The Healing Center for two weeks, and you raised it all in one day! Thank you for making our work possible – you help us build a community of hope.

Our beautiful May Day Walk

This last Sunday, May 5th, was our fifth annual May Day Walk. For the last five year we’ve raised funds to keep The Healing Center’s doors open, gathered together as a community, and commemorated the loved ones that we’ve lost. This year we also celebrated an early taste of summer at Gas Works Park, with some of the most beautiful weather we’ve seen all year.

Enough words. I’ll let the pictures tell the story of the day.

Pictures courtesy of Healing Center staff and Andrew Taylor

Volunteer at the May Day Walk!

spring-kids-main_MDW vol post picSunday, May 5th is the magical day!

Spring is in the air and we are gearing up for our 5th Annual May Day Walk. Come one, come all volunteers. There is plenty of room for everyone!

For a list of volunteer opportunities, take a look at our Sign Up Genius page. Most needs do not require pre-training or clinical expertise. Simply click on the “Sign Up” button next to each task or tasks that grab you!

Imagine HUGE balloons, AWESOME crafts, YUMMILICIOUS food, FUN games, WILD tattoos, INSPIRING prayer flags, CHILLIN’ OUT with other volunteers at Gas Works Park, and an opportunity to make this a very special day for our grieving families.

We hope you’ll be willing to support our fun and magical event. We can’t do it without you!

An Ofrenda for Mike (and me)

6 Days till Dia de los Muertos Celebration

We hope you are planning to join us for this wonderful fundraiser for programs and services at The Healing Center.  If you have not purchased tickets or signed up for volunteering, there is still time to do so.  Click here for Tickets and here for Volunteer Sign-up.

For those of you who’ve already registered, consider bringing a photo of your loved ones for our communal ofrenda.  What is an ofrenda you might ask?  Check out the one I made for my Michael at The Healing Center, visit my YouTube Video.  Mike was a river rafting guide and mountain climber so I included postcards he sent me from his adventures, as well as the journal he wrote while climbing Mt. Everest (Mike died on Mt. Everest in May 2005, he was 39 and I was 30.)  I’ve also added two pictures of Mike, his favorite candy, food and water for his journey, a candle, and marigolds to light his way to the celebration we are having on November 2.

The Day of the Dead celebration is very new to me and I enjoy thinking of Mike continuing to celebrate life with me.  Since his death I have felt his presence and guidance in so many ways.  I love the idea of sharing a piece of him with all of you on this celebratory day to benefit new grieving widows and widowers who will walk through our door tomorrow.

3/4 of the money that supports clients and programs at The Healing Center, comes from individuals and events like this fall fundraiser.  Please consider inviting friends, family and co-workers who will help support our life-saving and life-renewing programs.

More info on how to create an ofrenda

Ofrendas are made for the souls of the loved ones who have passed on. Though each altar is unique to each person, the premise is to honor the loved ones and welcome them back to this earth. Ofrendas contain many different items…

  •  Pictures of the loved one who the altar is dedicated to are placed around the table. Mostly, a main picture is placed as a sort of “centerpiece” to the Ofrenda.
  •  Pan de muerto, or bread of the dead, is a traditional food that is placed on most altars. The essence of the bread is said to be eaten by the souls of the dead who return during El Día de los Muertos. Other traditional food items, such as Tamales and Mole, are set out as well. Favorite foods of the dead can also be displayed in order to personalize the altars. (11)
  • Calacas, or skeletons, are placed around the tables as well. These are said to let people in our world see and hold something tangible that can hold the spirit of each loved one. Skulls have been a huge symbol of death and then rebirth for the Meso-Americans and were used to honor the dead during this ritual. Sugar skulls are also a huge part of El Día de los Muertos. They are decorated by children and adults alike, and are set out around the altars and homes of the loved ones. Sugar skulls, though the thought of skulls may seem undesirable, are meant to be decorated in bright colors and symbolize the happiness of this holiday. (9)
  •  Marigolds are an incredibly important part of El Día de los Muertos, especially yellow marigolds. This specific type of flower is known as the sacred flower of the dead. They are hung on crosses and giant arches that are meant to welcome souls home. They are placed around altars and graves, as well as pathways through cemeteries. (4,11)
  • Candles are another major part of El Día de los Muertos. They are placed around not only the Altars but the graves of loved ones, houses, streets, and entire towns in order to light the path back home for the spirits. Certain colors have significance, especially purple, which symbolizes mourning, and also white and pink which symbolize hope and celebration.  In contemporary time, colors may reflect the favorite colors of loved ones or any colors that suit the families. (6)
  •  Grooming items, such as soaps and towels, are put on the altar. It is believed that because the dead have been traveling a long way to arrive back home, they would like to freshen up. (11)
  •  Strong fragrances are also laid out for the dead along with the traditional incense of copal.  Both are supposed to guide the dead to the altar and back home.  Copal was regarded by the Mayans as extremely sacred, and has been a traditional form of incense throughout Aztec and Mexican culture. (7)

El Día de los Muertos is an amazing celebration that has made its way out of just Mayan culture and into the traditions and cultures of people around the world.  The holiday lets people remember those they have lost in a happy and cheerful way, and lets people celebrate and honor the lives of their loved ones. El Día de los Muertos isn’t just a holiday, but a way to cherish everything their loved ones once loved and commemorate the memories they hold dear.

We hope you can join us for our El Día de los Muertos celebration on November 2nd!