Seattle Symphony Musicians Kick Off the 2010 Challenge!

Musicians’ Unprecedented Gift Matched Twice, Raising over a Half-Million Dollars

Community Invited to Join Musicians in Fundraising Campaign

The musicians of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization (SSOPO) have kicked off the 2010 Challenge, a community fundraising campaign with the goal of raising an additional $1 million for the Seattle Symphony’s Annual Fund. In a generous move, the musicians launched the campaign with a contribution of $168,840, representing a donation of $2,010 for each of the 84 musicians of the Orchestra.

“The musicians see this as an opportunity to take a leadership role in our future. As we celebrate our achievements with our Music Director, Gerard Schwarz, and look forward to new successes with our next Music Director, we offer this gift as a catalyst toward ever-greater artistic success. We invite our entire community to join us,” explained Timothy Hale, violist and chair of the SSOPO.

Following this major gift from the Orchestra, members of the Symphony’s Board of Directors began to make special contributions of $2,010 in an effort to raise another $168,840 in honor of the musicians. To further inspire Board giving, Symphony donors Becky and Jack Benaroya challenged the Board with a matching gift of up to $168,840, bringing the total in gifts and pledges to just over half a million dollars.

“The mission of our organization is to produce great art, and the musicians’ gift is a powerful statement of their commitment to that goal,” commented Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly. “Our musicians are an inspiration not only to our Board, but to our entire community, and we hope that everyone will get involved in helping us to reach the $1 million mark, and beyond.”

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