Last night's Sophia Way Culinary Journey Dinner and Auction in the Symetra Building was crowded with patrons of the only shelter for homeless women on the Eastside. Across the street at the Bellevue First Congregational Church, Sophia Way's homeless are allowed to stay at the shelter from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Guests at the event such as Nina Kahn, a friend of Sophia Way's Executive Director Helen Leuzzi, was dressed regally in her Bangladeshi sari, "I want to support Helen and Sophia Way's mission by donating some jewelry for the auction."
Two other friends of Leuzzi's, Cory Scalone and Kim Stohler, both of Bellevue came with other friends to support what Scalone called a "wonderful cause."
"This auction has some of the best items I have ever seen at a charity event," said Stohler. "It's a great value and an opportunity to do my gift shopping for the year and support Sophia's Way."
Auction items included all manner of things from a hand woven potholder donated by a six-year-old girl to a handmade quilt, a handmade Native American "Sunburst" necklace, Red Sky Winery Magnum of wine and chocolate basket.
Kathy Burns Olendorf of Issaquah noted that her family was hosting three tables at the event. "It's a great fun evening and my husband keeps doing guaranteed bids," said Burns Olendorf. "I bidded on a silver mirror, a painting and a gift certificate to the Canlis."