Highlights of the 2014 Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast
The 15th Annual Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast was held Thursday, September 18, 2014, at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.
The event was one of breaking records: not only was it the largest of its kind, it had also raised the largest amount: $3.6 million. Over 1,100 attendees enjoyed breakfast before settling in and listening to stories of determination, perseverance, and ultimately, success.
Emcees’ extended a warm welcome on behalf of Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek, as well as Costco Co-founders (and breakfast founders) Jeff Brotman and Jim Sinegal. This year’s breakfast took a new direction: Emcee Mary Rodriguez explained the Costco executives would give the floor to Costco Scholar Alumni. The crowd gave its approval, and the breakfast officially began.
The audience listened as Rodriguez and coemcee Dr. Christopher Holder shared moving stories: of tuition struggles, of Costco Scholarship Fund (CSF) and its life-changing gift, and of their fervent desire to pay forward the opportunity afforded them by the scholarship fund.
Fellow Costco Scholar Alumni echoed the same sentiments, and the audience then enjoyed video messages from two of the newest class of Costco Scholars.
“We talk about people changing lives,” said Bob Hurlbut, advisor of freshman student Bryan Santiago-Benitez. “We don’t change anybody’s lives. We create opportunities to allow people to change their own lives.”
The suppliers were enthusiastically thanked for their ability to provide such opportunities to so many. Jeff Ansell of supplier Sun Products, a supporter since the CSF inception, addressed the crowd via video, quoting Thomas Edison: “‘If we did the things we were capable of, we would astound ourselves.’ Thank you, Costco, for allowing students to astound themselves.”
Four Alumni and an Alumnus moderator participated in a panel that spoke of the CSF’s enormous impact. From a first grade teacher to a marketer, business manager, senior auditor and vice president of media relations, all agreed the action for altruism was one of “joyful compulsion.”
Suppliers were invited to two events: Costco & You on Feb. 5, 2015, introducing suppliers to Costco Scholars, and next year’s CSF breakfast on Sept. 30, 2015. The audience was then left with a last thought. “The tremendous progress we’ve made in the last 15 years is incredible, “ said Alumna Vanessa Castaneda, “but we still have much more work ahead of us.”
About the Costco Scholarship Fund
Costco has joined forces with the University of Washington and Seattle University to create scholarships for underrepresented students. Our goal is to fill the financial gap and offer access for many deserving students to attend these universities. The Costco Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to highly qualified underrepresented minority students who wish to attend Seattle University or the University of Washington. The Costco Scholarship Fund is administered by the College Success Foundation, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #91-2036088. All gifts, excluding the value of goods and services received, are fully tax-deductible charitable contributions to the Foundation. You will receive a letter for your files confirming the gift. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-416-2035.