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Posts Tagged: Local Roots


UW alumna Elisha Logue started the Innovator’s Network

UW alumni Elisha Logue, left, started the Innovator's Network.

A new way to donate and help fight cancer has come, and with it comes the full support of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Innovator’s Network strengthens the ties between donors and scientists to fund the future of cancer research. It was started by Scott Hutchinson, great-nephew of the center’s namesake, and UW alumna Elisha Logue as a way to get a younger demographic to begin donating. 

According to a 2008 report, people in their 30s and younger were donating just 1 percent of the total amount received by the center each year. By connecting with potential donors 45 and under, the Innovator’s Network can create a bond that will grow as the people become more stabilized in their life. In order to make joining the Innovator’s Network easier, the group organizes events such as happy hours to fit into the lives of younger individuals. 

You can watch this video to see how the network is committed to getting new donors involved with the new group. 

“The (people) we are looking for, they really want to give—but they may not have felt they could make a big difference on their own,” Logue says. “And they may still be searching for that thing they feel connected with, and want to give to. This generation is about giving back and involvement—and it’s about networking with people of other backgrounds we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Social interaction is important to us.”

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Five UW alumni raising money for cancer at The Madhouse Project

At the University of Washington, five great friends came together: Phil Friedman, John Fiala, Mitch Morando, Brad Newcomer, and Kurt Shintaffer. After graduation in 1996, they lived together near campus in a house dubbed “The Madhouse” before moving on, and out, to the rest of what life was bringing their way.

From playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers to attending graduate school, they left Seattle behind. But when eight years had passed, they had all returned and were looking to give back in a meaningful way. Thus was born The Madhouse Project, a Seattle charity that has been operating since 2005 in support of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Every year, this influential group of UW alumni, along with Randy Tennant, a friend of Friedman’s from the MBA program at UCLA, organize the Night Out for a Cure cocktail fundraiser to donate to the SCCA. Since its inception, the Night Out for a Cure has progressed from raising more than $16,000 in a single night to more than $150,000.

To learn more about the project and its five UW alumni directors, visit The Madhouse Project site.

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Life’s a dish for “Orangette” author Molly Wizenberg

UW alum and Orangette author Molly WizenbergAn intense love of food is nothing new to Molly Wizenberg, a former Ph.D. student at the University of Washington who now writes a popular food blog along with a full plate of other goodies.

Molly came to the UW after graduating from Stanford to study the cultural values surrounding the French social security system in the pursuit of becoming a medical anthropologist. Today, she is very far from that goal. Now she’s the author of Orangette, a tasty blog that mixes Molly’s life experiences with the foods she loves. She’s also the co-host of the humorous food podcast Spilled Milk as well as a columnist for various food magazines, author of the best-selling book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, and co-owner of the Ballard pizzeria Delancey with husband Brandon Pettit.

Molly has become a true foodie of Seattle. “I’m just grateful to earn a living doing work that I love,” she said. “That’s the best part, hands down.”

Orangette is the blog Molly began in 2004 just after leaving the cultural anthropology program atCake by Molly Wizenberg UW. Since then, she has shared with readers stories about her past, her love of food and many innovations on new and old recipes. Molly recently announced she had sent out her new book proposal, and while she cannot divulge the secrets of her new book she did say it will be similar to her previous book, which intertwined memories with the food that made them memorable; much like the blog does on a day-to-day basis.

The stories Molly tells on Orangette are heartfelt and honest, and her inner self shows through completely. In the story of living in France and having leeks vinaigrette prepared by her host mother, readers can feel the love of learning about new food. Likewise, her enjoyment of summer is evident in the raspberry yogurt popsicles she shared with readers last July.

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UW alum Ken Hughes and the JaK’s Grill community

UW alumni Ken Hughes of JaK's Grill (Harley Soltes)The story of JaK’s Grill is the story of community.

Ken Hughes and his business partner, John, both UW alums and the principal owners of the popular JaK’s Grill family, started the restaurant in 1996 in the Admiral District of West Seattle. They were hands-on from the beginning, bringing in their own equipment and building their own stuff, including the wood benches that are now a staple of the JaK’s experience.

Today, there are three JaK’s Grills: the original in West Seattle—albeit in a new location down the street—and two additional spots in Issaquah and Laurelhurst. Opening in Laurelhurst, with its close proximity to the UW campus, was like coming home for Ken and John. “It’s a nice place to celebrate a victory,” Ken says. “We’ve had some bad years recently, but I see a lot of Cougars buying after the Apple Cup.”

The two Huskies, both economics majors at the UW, wanted to excel at customer service and aimed to become “the Nordstrom of neighborhood steakhouses.” Ken is proud of the restaurant’s local roots and the fact it supports roughly 100 employees who work in the JaK’s community.

“It feels good giving people a place to work, especially at the UW,” he says. “We see a lot of really good young people working their way through college.”

Last year, the JaK’s team opened the Sunset Alehouse in Issaquah that is Husky-themed. It’s not your traditional bar, but a hybrid with “a little pub feel, a little alehouse feel.” So far, the restaurant has given the loyal JaK’s following a place to enjoy in addition to their favorite Grill.

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UW alums open showroom for digital printing shop

UW shirts from Maverick Apparel PrintingA pair of UW alums have opened a downtown Seattle showroom for their custom printing business, Maverick Apparel Printing. Co-founders Mark Pattison and Greg Smith are committed to a fun, hip and “100% customer-centric” experience, and Maverick’s clients speak for themselves—Seattle Art Museum, Cherry Street Coffee and The Triple Door, to name a few.

Pattison played football for the UW and spent several seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He launched a few start-ups and still operates The Pattison Group located here in Seattle, a branded merchandising company, before partnering with Smith on the Maverick venture, which utilizes direct-to-garment digital technology.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Urban Visions, a sustainable real estate development company. He has moderated lectures for the University of Washington and holds a certificate in commercial real estate from the UW’s extension program. His work in sustainable living helped put Seattle on the list of top green cities in America.

Read more about the showroom on the Seattle Met blog.

Enjoy this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • A story in the Washington Post explains how colleges can identify depressed students and includes survey results from UW students.
  • The Wall Street Journal interviews UW alum Andrew Okpeaha MacLean about his coming-of-age drama “On the Ice,” which is playing at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Two UW alums are developing a video game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules. Dr. Rhiju Das, a physicist at Stanford, and Adrien Treuille, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon, met as postgraduate researchers at the UW, where they were on the team that created Foldit.
  • Get the CliffsNotes for the Cliff Mass Weather Blog.
  • Artist and UW alum David C. Kane was featured in the Artdish blog and highlights his show at Eidelauer Picture Club in Seattle.
  • UW Public Health Professor Michelle Williams won a presidential award for excellence in science mentoring, The White House announced recently. Williams established a program to train students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds for research and leadership careers in public health.

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