Eden Hills and Eden Hills Provisions chef Maximillian Petty, center, and crew work to put out steak tartare in waffle cone taco shells and Big Max sliders during the Taste of Queen Anne on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Eden Hills and Eden Hills Provisions chef Maximillian Petty, center, and crew work to put out steak tartare in waffle cone taco shells and Big Max sliders during the Taste of Queen Anne on Saturday, Oct. 19.
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Pamela Davis was working at Queen Anne Thriftway when financial challenges started mounting 27 years ago. She needed help, but was concerned about maintaining privacy and dignity.

She received that discretion then, but on Saturday night she shared her story in a very public and meaningful way — during the Taste of Queen Anne.

The Helpline’s major fall fundraiser, the Taste of Queen Anne brings people together to load up on culinary offerings from local restaurants, raise a paddle during a humorously orchestrated auction and, at the end of the night, simply pledge all they can to support the nonprofit’s charter.

Davis said the support she received from the Queen Anne Helpline, which offers financial assistance and wraparound supports to keep people housed, lasted for a few months. She used that support to work on making changes, she said, including taking financial planning classes.

Davis moved back to Queen Anne seven years ago. She’s now an enrollment advisor for City University’s School of Education.

And she’s giving back to the Queen Anne Helpline.

“I’m a proud monthly donor,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for about a year.”

Queen Anne Helpline executive director Cara Lauer said Davis forgot to mention that she’d designed the nonprofit’s 1992 fun run T-shirt, and did it again for this year’s Run for Home shirts.

“I became a little bit of a drop-in volunteer to help them,” Davis said.

She’d been walking near the Helpline office, 311 W. McGraw St., when she decided to pop in, she said.

Davis saw her 1992 T-shirt woven into a large quilt in the lobby, and was asked to come up with another Run for Home design, she said. Her invitation to share her story at Taste of Queen Anne came later.

Since the last fall fundraiser, the Helpline has served 2,313 households and prevented 577 evictions, Lauer said. The key is listening to people’s stories and asking questions to determine how best to help, she said.

“We don’t try to solve it with a blanket solution,” she said. “Each person is unique.”

On top of the emergency financial assistance the Helpline provides to cover rent or a utility bill, the nonprofit also has food and clothing banks, and volunteers meet regularly to pack hygiene bags.

This year’s Queen Anne Helpline attendees, with a boost from challenge-match sponsor Metropolitan Market, brought Saturday night’s total to more than $200,000, beating last year’s $178,000 fundraising amount.

“We don’t know all these people, but we’re all here because we have a sense that we’re all connected around this thread,” Lauer said.

On top of making a pledge to the Helpline, Maureen Lonergan made a big winning bid for the “Dine Around The Town” package during the auction. She said she’ll probably make Chef Maximillian Petty’s new Eden Hill Provisions her first stop.

Lonergan works at Amazon, a presenting sponsor of the Taste of Queen Anne with HomeStreet Bank this year. Her friend Pamela Mattsson, executive development principal at Amazon, serves on the Helpline’s board of directors. She spoke highly of the organization, she said. This was Lonergan’s first Taste of Queen Anne.

“It’s amazing. I’ve lived in Queen Anne for seven years, and I feel fortunate,” Lonergan said,” and I’m happy to be here to help in any way I can.”

Learn more about ways to volunteer and support the nonprofit at queenannehelpline.org.