By Rich Osbourne
In late 2016, I was selling my “All Things Rich” spices and oil at the Saturday Farmers Market. My friend, Patty was crying. I asked, “What’s wrong?” She told me, “I can’t afford Garrett’s ferry home from his cancer treatment.”
That Tuesday, at Vashon Community Care where I lead the Music Mends Minds singalong, I talked to my friend Kathy. She told me “Rich, when I take my husband in for his cancer treatment, we can’t afford lunch.” This hit me hard.
I texted my Sufi teacher, Sheikh Tosun Bayrak of the Halveti Jerrahi Order of America. “I need your advice.” He told me that this is why I am on Vashon. Three weeks later, I received a $3,000 check from the Jerrahi Order to get things started. A few days after that, my teacher died.
I found out that Vashon Youth and Family Services provides free Medical ferry tickets. I spoke to Carol Goertzel, VYFS executive director. I proposed Home2Vashon, an ongoing annual fundraising event to raise funds. She agreed. I talked to a lot of people. I got donations.
We had a concert at Camp Burton on October 25, 2017 with The Balkan Womens’ Choir and The Curvettes. Vashon Thriftway and Vashon Fresh IGA donated salmon and beef. Chef Dre Neeley of Gravy was our Celebrity Chef. He provided the rest of the meal.
We had a raffle and an auction. Vashon Rotary stepped up to help in a big way. We raised $10,000. With this success, we continued. Every dime we raise goes directly to VYFS, which has 501(C)(3) tax status.
In 2018, our concert moved to Open Space; “Ladies in the Kitchen” performed. In 2019, it was Open Space again, and “The Mongols of Rock & Roll’ performed. In 2020, we went virtual; “Jennifer Stills & Friends” performed. In 2021, we moved to the Vashon Center for the Arts, where Kat Eggleston performed. VCA has become a great partner for us. They help us in too many ways to recount here.
On 6 PM November 5, 2022 we will be at VCA again. Alchemy (The Curvettes, rebooted) will perform. We will be auctioning experiences and other things. Tickets are available at VCA. Or call VYFS at 206-463-5511.
My business is doing well enough that I now donate $1,000 each year. I invite you to join me. I never ask people to “Give until it hurts.” I quote my friend and co-conspirator, the late David Carleton, who we lost last week: “Give until it feels good.”
(We love you, man.) So come. Give. It’s good for you.