An Electric Celebration: A Recap of Our May Donor Appreciation Event

On May 22, 2019, we hosted an "Electric Celebration" at the Seattle Program Center. This event was held to commemorate the official launch of solar power and to show deep appreciation for the donors, super volunteers, and key leaders in our community.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 23, 2019

On May 22, 2019, we hosted an "Electric Celebration" at the Seattle Program Center to commemorate the official launch of solar power and say thank you to  the donors, super volunteers, and key leaders in our community. As part of the event, guests could take tours of our roof to observe the solar panels firsthand, and heard from Charlie Michel, who along with his wife Carol made the solar panels possible, and Greg Hill, the "Electric Adventurer". 

Each May we hold an event to show appreciation for our donors, super volunteers, and key leaders who dedicate their time, money, and leadership to our organization, helping us to get as many people outside as safely and responsibly as possible. Part of this responsibility means looking at the impact we have on the environment while we recreate, especially through energy consumption and carbon emissions. That's why, in accordance with our Seattle Program Center  going solar, we selected the theme of this year's event to be "electric".


Thanks to the generous donation of Charlie and Carol Michel, we were able to move forward with the implementation of solar power installation at our Seattle Program Center. The solar array went live on January 17, and the Electric Celebration provided an opportunity to host the official ribbon cutting ceremony!

The Mountaineers CEO Tom Vogl kicked off the event by greeting the crowd of 120 attendees with impressive stats about our volunteer and donor support.Charlie and Carol  joined Tom  on stage for the ceremonial ribbon cutting, beaming as they officially christened our new solar panels. Before handing off the microphone, Tom surprised the Michels with a small gift as a token of our deep appreciation. As a thank you, we worked with NativeEnergy to purchase a carbon offset for the entire Electric Celebration as well as a portion of the next Mountaineers trip each person in the room will take. In total, the thank you gift offset 6.51 tons of carbon.


Charlie took the stage and gave a powerful presentation about his former life in the oil industry, ways in which he's witnessed a changing climate affecting the environment, and why he decided to make carbon offsetting a priority in his life. He ended on an optimistic note by inviting the crowd to start making  immediate changes in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint.

To conclude the evening, Greg Hill, the "Electric Adventurer", took the stage. Greg was the perfect guest speaker for this celebration because over the last few years he's made the intentional decision to remove fossil fuels from his outdoor pursuits. He has since summit 79 mountains, out of a goal of 100, using only electric and human power.

Greg's presentation took us through his story of winning his first Randonnee race, skiing 50,000 feet in 24 hours, and climbing/skiing 2 million feet in a single year.

Greg discussed how he barely survived an avalanche in Pakistan, which awoke him to the more selfish nature of his adventuring. This reflection made him start thinking about his personal impact on the earth and how actions speak louder than words. He has since dedicated himself to seeking new ways to adventure - like diet change, destination selection, and commute choices - that contribute less to environmental degradation.


Overall, the evening was  highly inspirational and engaging. We look forward to pushing forward with our Vision 2022 strategic priorities and making carbon footprint reduction a key focus as we continue to adventure with purpose. Thank you to all of our donors, super volunteers, and key leaders who allow us to continue with these efforts.

Thank you to our sponsor and partner support for the evening: Kaspars Catering, Ghostfish Brewery, Redhook Brewery, Tinte Cellars, DRY Soda, NW Wind and Solar, and Onda Origins Coffee.

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