Our Seattle Seahawks won a title in Minneapolis over the weekend. It wasn’t that title, but a remarkable one nonetheless.
The Taste of the NFL’s Kick Hunger Challenge is a friendly fundraising competition between all 32 NFL teams to raise money for food banks nationwide. This year, the Seattle Seahawks led by Chef John Howie and Craig Terrill raised $244,044 for Food Lifeline, enough for almost a million meals!
The title was announced during the 27th annual Party with a Purpose during Super Bowl LII Weekend in Minnesota. The New England Patriots finished second raising $107,237, and the Minnesota Vikings right behind with $107,229. Overall more than $620,000 was raised, a new Kick Hunger Challenge record.
“It would not have been possible to reach this remarkable milestone for Food Lifeline without the partnership of our presenting sponsor Microsoft, the support of the Seattle Seahawks, the commitment of community-minded celebrities like event co-hosts Walter Jones and Jordan Babineaux, and – most importantly – hundreds of generous 12s who supported us throughout the season,” commented Chef John Howie. “It feels great to win the Kick Hunger Challenge, but knowing our efforts will provide 978,000 meals for Food Lifeline to distribute throughout Washington is an achievement I am proud to have been part of.”
Over the last six seasons, the Seattle team has won the Kick Hunger Challenge four times, providing $770,000 for Food Lifeline – or 3.5 million meals – for those in need around Western Washington.
With the generous help of Microsoft, the presenting sponsor of Seattle’s Kick Hunger Challenge, the Seattle team held three signature fundraising events that contributed to the $234,044 raised – enough for a first place finish. The additional $10,000 first place prize from the Taste of the NFL increased the total Food Lifeline donation to $244,044. For every $1 donated, Food Lifeline is able to provide four nutritious meals to hungry
people in Western Washington.
First, the Kick Hunger Challenge Celebrity Poker Tournament held last June was co-hosted by Jordan Babineaux and Chef John Howie and held at CenturyLink Field. Ticketed guests joined 40 current and former Seattle Seahawks, former Seattle SuperSonics legends, players from the Seattle Reign and Seattle Sounders, and other famous faces from the Seattle area. The tournament, played Texas Hold ‘Em style, included dinner, a whiskey tasting and a silent auction.
Second, the inaugural #TasteOfTheSeahawks held in November at CenturyLink Field was a strolling food and beverage experience featuring Seattle’s finest restaurants and award-winning chefs, along with the best wineries, breweries and distilleries from Washington and beyond. Approximately 1,000 guests mingled with Seattle sports celebrities while enjoying live music by the Craig Terrill Band and a charitable auction. The event also benefited Ben’s Fund, launched by Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider and wife Traci to provide grant opportunities to families in Washington State who have a child or children with autism.
Third, the sixth annual Kick Hunger Challenge Dinner and Auction in January was co-hosted by Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Jones and Chef Howie at SPORT Restaurant & Bar. The evening included a silent auction and spirited live auction, a Minnesota-style Super Bowl-themed dinner, music by The Herding Cats and appearances by Seattle SuperSonics Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens, Seahawks Legends and Blitz – the official mascot of the Seattle Seahawks.
Additionally, John Howie Restaurants donated one dollar from each hand-crafted specialty Kick Hunger Challenge cocktail served from October-January at Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar (Bellevue), John Howie Steak (Bellevue), SPORT Restaurant & Bar (Seattle) and Beardslee Public House (Bothell).
“We want to extend our deepest thanks to Chef John Howie for his compassion, energy and hard work. His dedication to helping serve our hungry neighbors is remarkable,” commented Linda Nageotte, Food Lifeline President & CEO. “Thanks, Chef John, for leading us to another winning season!”