Great Bend Center for Music

2022 Gala Auction

benefitting early childhood education

Dessert Auction Items

  • Chocolate Bread Pudding

Baked by Great Bend Board Member and Smoking Mo’s own Monica Carvajal-Beben.

  • Bourbon Pecan Pie

Baked by Great Bend Board Member and Smoking Mo’s own Monica Carvajal-Beben.

  • Table Top S’mores Kit

Provided by Great Bend Root Beer Choir Crew.

  • McGavin Bakery’s famous Pink Champagne Cake

Provided by Great Bend Deputy Director Amber Wiltgen.

  • Lemon Blueberry Bars

Baked by Great Bend Marketing Director Laura Horon and Sound Scholars student Talaria R.

  • (GF) Lavender Creme Brûlée

Baked by Great Bend General Director Matthew Melendez. Gluten free, and Matthew’s own recipe.

  • (GF) Chocolate Espresso Pots de Crème

Gluten free, and Matthew’s own recipe.

  • Chocolate Caramel Tart

Baked by Matthew.

  • Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Baked this morning by Matthew with this season’s rhubarb out of Matthew & Eric’s garden.

  • Blueberry Pie

Baked this morning by Matthew.

  • Three Berry Pie: blackberry, blueberry and raspberry

Baked this morning by Matthew.

  • Raspberry Pie

Baked this morning by Matthew from raspberries fresh out of Matthew & Eric’s garden.

 You’ll Come A Long Way Baby: About Our Auctioneer, Laura Michalek

Fundraising Auctioneer Laura Michalek still relies on the endurance and discipline she possessed when at the age of 15, when she was the first female winner of the Chicago Marathon. While Ms. Michalek has hardly missed a day of running since then, it’s this intention to excel at what she loves that is most evident. “To me Auctioneering is about giving all of yourself, before and during the event, in a way that most folks wouldn’t expect.” (You can hear Ms. Michalek’s full story about her Marathon win through local NPR affiliate KNKX’s weekly Sound Effect broadcast, Episode #173.) Her style, fundraising insight, and commitment to her clients, and their mission, not only sets her apart, but has created a career beyond Ms. Michalek’s wildest dreams. “I’ve always been deeply interested in how non-profits I care about are going to sustain themselves, so it is nothing less than a thrill to know I can personally and professionally be part of that.” For 15 years prior to becoming a full time Fundraising Professional, Ms. Michalek owned and operated several nationally recognized vintage modern furniture stores in Seattle. “My critical eye, intuition, and energy level has been pretty consistent all these years, so whenever I set out to do something, it’s the same set of skills, just a slightly more developed new chapter.” As the youngest winner in the history of the Chicago Marathon, it has not been lost on Ms. Michalek that this experience informed her whole life. “When I start Auctioneering, it’s like being in the starting block all over again. I still set out to win, however, this time it’s for the organization I’m representing.” To hear what folks are saying about Ms. Michalek visit or email or call direct at 206.464.0850.

For a glimpse into her vintage world — please visit Etsy at: theoldwayvintage or on Instagram: lauramichalekvintage.

auction item descriptions

1. Go Around the Bend ($400 value)

Take a day or two to explore the finest experiences around the Great Bend of the Hood Canal: spending the night at the beautiful Alderbrook Resort & Spa, visiting the Saloon at Hama Hama Oyster Company with $100 of OysterGrams to spend, along a keepsake gift box with a notebook, original Hama Hama recipe cards, Hama Hama lip balm, and shucking knife — with an abundance of opportunities to explore the best of Union and Hoodsport along the way!

Special thanks to Shawn Tucker and Alderbrook Resort, Justin Stang, Michelle Blanchett, and the whole Hama Hama crew for this package.

2. Hardware Distillery Private Tasting and Tour Package ($323 value)

The Hardware Distillery has made a huge splash on the Great Bend of Hood Canal since their arrival, racking up awards both nationally and internationally for their unique spirits and even earning a feature in USA Today. In addition to this beautiful basket packed with a bottle of their Little Owl liqueur, flask, specialty cup, designer t-shirt, recipe cards and more, you’ll enjoy a private tasting for 6 with specially paired hors d’oeuvres in the distillery itself. 

Special thanks to Chuck and Jan Morris of the Hardware Distillery.

3. Tall Ship Seattle Sunset Sail for 8 ($400 value)

You and seven guests will sail aboard the incredible Bay Lady Tall ship for two hours and be transported in luxury back to the age of exploration of Elliott Bay in the Puget Sound, where the thunder of cannons echoed in the air and traditional sailing craft explored our picturesque shorelines. An impressive 85 foot length, with a massive 87 foot mast and 2500 square foot sail area, the Bay lady is a truly unforgettable sailing experience. She was custom built specifically for charter sailing in 1989, and the love and attention of the craftspeople who built her resounds in her hull to this day. Featuring American ash, Honduran mahogany and Brazilian rosewood all varnished to perfection, she is equipped with a large passenger deck with plenty of seating, two onboard bathrooms and an onboard bar. She even has a cannon! This trip is suitable for all ages, and is valid for 2 years from tonight’s event date during the period between May 1 and October 31. Scheduling is based on availability, and upgrades are available for additional people.

Special thanks to Friends of Great Bend for soliciting this package for tonight!

4. Washington Wine Package for 6 ($600 value)

The town of Woodinville, as home to the beautiful headquarters of Chateau Ste Michelle Estate — Washington’s largest, most venerable, and famous producer of fine wines, has become a center of the Washington Wine Industry. Just 25 minutes from Seattle, Woodinville also includes the public facilities of other major producers and a growing number of smaller family-owned wineries, specializing in small-lot premium wines. On your day tour, you will visit one or two of the larger producers as well three or four smaller, winemaker-owned wineries. Your group of six will be picked up and dropped off at your downtown Seattle hotel or other convenient Seattle or Eastside meeting place. We will make reservations at an attractive and reasonably-priced restaurant and wine bar for you to purchase your lunch in the congenial company of our other tour guests. Please note: for 21 and over only, and tasting fees not included!

Special thanks to Friends of Great Bend for soliciting this package for tonight!

5. 2-hour Case Inlet Cocktail Cruise with Specialty Cocktail Kit from Hardware Distillery ($700 value)

Schedule a two-hour cocktail cruise aboard the beautiful “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” on a date mutually agreeable with your hosts, June – August 2023. You’lll depart from the Allyn Dock enjoying views of Mt. Rainier, the Olympics, Harstine Island, Treasure Island, and other gorgeous areas around Case Inlet – and if you’re lucky, you might even see seals and orcas! Along the ride, break open the specially assembled custom cocktail kit from the Hardware Distillery for a round or two of specialty old-fashioneds featuring their award-winning Plum Bees Knees liqueur. 

Special thanks to Gina and Alan Finley for captaining and hosting, and Chuck and Jan Morris of the Hardware Distillery for the specialty cocktail kit! 

6. Crazy Hill Nursery, Garden & Botanicals Coaching Session ($250 value)

A garden coaching session with Belfair’s Crazy Hill Garden & Botanicals, the 2022 Northwest Flower & Garden Show Gold Medal & People’s Choice Award winners. With specialties in water wise native plantings and the unique — from carnivorous plants to rare blossoms — the Crazy Hill team will visit your garden space and get to know you, your garden, and help answer your tough questions. Only a couple of questions? Great. Need ongoing advice? That’s cool too. You set the pace, they’ll play along!

Special thanks to designers and garden artists Michael Kerkes and Elton Busby for this contribution. 

7. Sculptor James Kelsey Studio Tour, Wine and Cheese Extravaganza for 1 or 2 people ($350 value)

You can’t travel through Belfair without noting the iconic metal sculptures that have become a part of the town’s beautiful landscape. Sculptor James Kelsey’s spiraling forms, polished surfaces, and translucent glass work seem to defy gravity while remaining grounded. Here’s your opportunity to pull back the curtain on what a professional artist does when no one is looking! Talk about all sorts of artsy things! Ask questions you’ve always wanted to know about an artist but were afraid to ask. Watch or even try your hand at cutting steel with a plasma torch or welding two pieces of metal together — under the watchful eye of an artist now in his 26th year of a career! Spend an afternoon or evening with this charismatic artist in his iconic studio alongside wine and appetizers provided by Great Bend founder, Matthew Melendez. 

Special thanks to sculptor James Kelsey for this contribution. 

8. Private Lunch with US Congressional Representative Derek Kilmer (Priceless)

Working for Washigton’s 6th Congressional District, Representative Derek Kilmer has been a steadfast champion of the arts and our work at Great Bend in many ways, including advocacy that was vital in securing our recent Challenge America Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. And his support continues tonight as Rep. Kilmer is graciously offering a private lunch meeting! 

Special thanks to Rep. Derek Kilmer and his entire amazing team including Kevin Schilling, Andrew Roper and Katy Crabtree for this and so much more. 

9. 1-hour Hood Canal Cruise for 6 on the MV Twanoh with Private Chef, Charcuterie and Oysters from Hood Canal Events ($900 value)

Set sail with Captain Lee Geist for a 1-hour Hood Canal cruise on the gorgeous MV Twanoh. You’ll depart from the dock at Alderbrook Resort and Spa and enjoy not only a narrated cruise about the history of our area, abundant PNW wildlife, and the natural environment, but a charcuterie board, oysters shucked on-board by Hood Canal Events’ Chef Casey, and Mosquito Fleet wine. Your cruise also includes a custom tote provided by Hood Canal Events, our community’s luxury guest concierge and one-stop source for vacation rentals, property management, event coordinating, private chef/wine services, and an array of unique experiences.

Special thanks to Captain Lee,Kathy Geist, and Travelin’ Red Kerry Myers from Hood Canal Events.

10. Leavenworth Winter Weekend for 4 ($1,300 value)

Spend two nights in Leavenworth, Washington, at the beautiful Icicle Village Resort in a double queen room plus a horse drawn sleigh ride! The perfect mountain getaway and just minutes away from the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Icicle Village Resort has something for everyone. From mini golf and the game room to the rejuvenating Alpine Spa, they’re ready to welcome you and give you the memory-making vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Spend some time in the Village Plaza by the fountain for a romantic atmosphere, escape to downtown Leavenworth, or take a dip in the hotel pool, heated to perfection year-round. A plethora of quaint shops, wine tasting, and Bavarian delights are steps away from your home base of Icicle Village Resort. Perfect for a wintertime vacation, the town of Leavenworth has multiple activities throughout the year to enjoy.

Upgrades are available for extra nights, additional people, or a summertime package. Valid two years from tonight’s event, and scheduling is based on availability.

Special thanks to Friends of Great Bend for soliciting this package for tonight!

11. Seattle Classic Yacht Wine Cruise for Six ($715 value)

In the days before mass production, classic wooden yachts eloquently graced the waters of Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Step back into that unhurried time by enjoying a 90-minute cruise for six (21 and over) with local wine and cheese for a tour of glittering Lake Union and its vibrant houseboat community in a classic fantail motor launch built for year-round touring on the waters of the Pacific Northwest. You’ll be enveloped by her rich, old growth cedar and mahogany woodwork framing large stagelike windows perfect for all around viewing. Cruise departs from the Museum of History and Industry at the South end of Seattle’s Lake Union.

Special thanks to Friends of Great Bend for soliciting this package for tonight!

12. Walla Walla Wine Weekend for Two ($1,050 value)

The finest hotel for hundreds of miles, the historic Marcus Whitman in downtown Walla Walla, Washington, has drawn presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries with its elegant rooms, friendly service, and famous restaurant. A major renovation at the turn of the 21st century touched up its classic style — and added up-to-the-minute technology throughout its storied halls. So today, this grand dame in the heart of Walla Walla’s historic downtown continues to celebrate the past while looking far into the future as well. You’ll spend two nights in the West Wing at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel and make memories with a wine tour, tasting, and tapas at Valdemar Estate Winery; delight your taste buds at an Olive Oil Tasting at D’Olivo Tasting Bar; and of course enjoy even more Walla Walla wine tasting along with a charcuterie board at Long Shadows Winery.

Please note: must be 21 and older and upgrades are available for extra nights and additional people. Valid two years from event date and scheduling is based on availability.

Special thanks to Friends of Great Bend for soliciting this package for tonight!

Help us turn ripples into tidal waves!

Pod Squad members enjoy perks and discounted or free admission to everything we have to offer. It’s a fantastic deal for families or individuals and helps us meet the increasing need for our research-based programs! 

First Wave


  • Quarterly Newsletter & Annual Report
  • Recital & Concert Live Streams
  • Monthly Podcast Episodes
  • 15% Discount On All Fee-Based Programs
  • 15% Off Event & Concert Tickets
    • Individual: One 10-Week Term and Special 3-Week Term of Sound Scholars™ for One Student
    • Family: One 10-Week Term of Sound Scholars™ for Three Students

    Second Wave


    • All First Wave Benefits, Plus:
    • Free Chorale and/or Youth Chorale Membership
    • Free Admission to All Fee-Based Programs
    • Free Event & Concert Admission
    • Individual: One 10-Week Term and Special 3-Week Term of Sound Scholars™ for One Student
    • Family: One 10-Week Term of Sound Scholars™ for Three Students

    Third Wave

    FAMILY: $150/MONTH

    • All First & Second Wave Benefits, Plus:
    • Tickets to New Music Gala (August 2022)
    • Advance Reservation Window and Priority Seating to All Events
    • Special Pod Squad Swag 
    • Acknowledgement in Annual Report
    • Individual: A Year of Sound Scholars™ For One Student Plus Cost of Instruments
    • Family: A Year of Sound Scholars™ Plus Cost of Instruments and Cutting Edge Technology