Seattle University welcomed many supporters of the athletics department to the Grand Hyatt Saturday, May 31, for the second annual Red Tie Celebration, and those supporters made significant contributions to the athletics program.

Over 400 people attended the annual fundraising event, with proceeds benefitting the Seattle U athletics department as it completes its second year as a full Division I member of the NCAA. Organizers, led by co-chairs Dino and Terry Rossi, are extremely happy with the results of the event, as all attendance and fundraising goals were met.

This year’s Red Tie Celebration honored legendary basketball player Elgin Baylor, who led the 1957-58 Seattle U men’s basketball team to the NCAA title game and was named Most Outstanding Player of that year’s tournament. Despite Baylor not being in attendance due to a medical issue, his presence was felt throughout the night, thanks to videos featuring the Hall of Famer as well as speeches from John Castellani, the head coach of the 1957-58 Seattle U men’s basketball squad, and Bill Russell, also considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Unique experiences attending athletic events were among the auction items that helped the event reach its fundraising goal, including a trip to Arizona on a private jet to attend a Seattle Seahawks game. Dinners and other outings with Seattle University President Fr. Stephen Sundborg and various Seattle U head coaches were also among the most popular items up for bid during the night.

About 40 to 45 current Seattle U student-athletes volunteered their time to assist the organizers at the event, and many of the guests took the opportunity to talk to those student-athletes to receive a first-hand account of how money raised at the Red Tie Celebration is used by the Seattle U athletics program.

After taking some time to revisit this year’s event, organizers within the athletics department will begin planning for the 2015 Red Tie Celebration, starting with the appointment of new chairpeople and the naming of the honoree to follow Baylor and Jim Whittaker, the 2013 Red Tie Celebration honoree. Next year’s event is set for Saturday, May 30, 2015, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, located at 411 University Street in downtown Seattle.

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