Golfing for Good

August 4, 2023

What better way to spend a sunny Friday in the Pacific Northwest than playing golf and raising funds to support FareStart’s mission?

We gathered at The Golf Club at Newcastle for Amazon’s 22nd Annual Amazon Golf Tournament, where 260 golfers, 100 volunteers and staff turned out to raise $229,995 that will directly fund our job training and food security programs. Over the past five years, the tournament has raised over $1.1 million to support FareStart.

We are so grateful to Amazon for all of their support, not only as the title sponsor of this event but for their overall support of FareStart including the generous donation of funds and in-kind spaces where we train our students for future careers in the food industry. Amazon donates valuable space for our FareStart Café, which is open to the public in the lobby of the company’s Houdini North building on Fairview Avenue. Revenues support FareStart’s mission and enable us to train young people in our Barista and Customer Service Program. Amazon also built out and donated a 7,000 sq ft kitchen space in Amazon’s Galaxy building located in Interbay where we prepare meals to feed our community and train our students. And we are fortunate to receive thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year from Amazon’s rooftop gardens that go right back into our Community Meals Program.

"The Amazon Golf Tournament celebrates its 22nd year in 2023, which is the fifth installment supporting our neighbors at FareStart. Back in 2018, our Amazon Golf Committee endeavored to evolve our “fun little tradition” into a bigger affair. One that could continue to boost comradery among Amazonians, while also attracting like-minded corporate sponsors that would rally around a truly great cause. After connecting some dots with our Amazon in the Community Team, we forged a partnership with FareStart. The hard-working staff and volunteers at FareStart have stepped up to own every aspect of the experience and it has been a true joy to work alongside them in pursuit of our vision. With the continued support of Amazon and our generous sponsors, we look forward to making this tournament bigger, better and more impactful for FareStart so they can continue their incredible work in our community.” - Jake Iwen, Amazon Golf Committee Member

We couldn’t have put on this event without our amazing fleet of volunteers. We had over 100 people sign up to check in golfers, provide golf cart transportation for attendees, man the activities stations, break down the event and set up the evening reception.

“I’ve done a bunch of different things for FareStart, and what I really love is FareStart’s wraparound approach for what they do for people who get involved in the program. It’s changed over time as needs have changed – from basic information about how to get a job, how to show up on time, training in diverse skills which you can transfer to other areas. It’s a way for people to find a career that they may otherwise not have been able to get access to and gain stability.” - FareStart Volunteer

Golfers enjoyed spectacular views as they competed for the grand prize trophy and had some fun along the way. The day ended with a dinner reception, auction, awards ceremony and stories about FareStart’s transformative work in the community. CEO Patrick D’Amelio shared with golfers the impact that these funds have on FareStart’s mission.

“We were so happy to once again partner with Amazon and our sponsors on this wonderful event, which brings our community together and supports such an important cause. Events such as this play a critical role in generating awarenesss of and funding for FareStart’s mission, and this is especially important right now as FareStart works to rebuild in our post-pandemic landscape. Thank you for all your support!” - Patrick D’Amelio, FareStart CEO

We want to express our deepest gratitude to all of our sponsors who made this event possible and, in so doing, help us transform lives and feed our community: Amazon, AWS/AMD, Callaway Golf, Salesforce, Dick's Drive-In, Slalom Consulting and BCRA. Your generosity directly impacts our food security and job training programs. Thanks also to our exceptional golfers, fantastic volunteers and amazing community for your continued support.

*Photos by Glenda Toro