It’s tough to say whether the more compelling story was inside or outside of the Westin Bellevue Hotel on Sept. 23 as the Freedom Foundation marked its 25th anniversary with a gala banquet headlined by Seattle Seahawk legend and former U.S. Rep. Steve Largent and the largest crowd of any event in Freedom Foundation history.
Meanwhile, on the sidewalk outside the building, a motley assortment of professional protesters – many of whom clearly had no idea what the Freedom Foundation even does – staged a comical, choreographed demonstration that only served to underscore the successes being celebrated inside.
“They attack us because we’re effective.” Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe reminded the capacity crowd of 350 guests and supporters who packed the ballroom. “If we weren’t having an impact, they wouldn’t bother.”
In the past two years, he noted. The Freedom Foundation has helped more than 7,000 home healthcare and childcare workers gain their freedom from SEIU 925 and SEIU 775. It is rewarding and inspiring to see a number of home healthcare and childcare workers here tonight who recently gained their freedom. These brave individuals are an inspiration to all of us.”
“We have SEIU on the ropes, and we’re just getting started,” McCabe said.
In his keynote address, Largent listed the qualities that define an effective leader. Weaving together quotes from Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill. Oliver Wendall Holmes, Norman Schwartzkopf and others, he cited courage, preparation, teamwork and character as being the most indispensable.
True leadership, he noted, is a commodity in woefully short supply in government these days.
But it’s on display every day at the Freedom Foundation, and the results bear it out.
Photos from the event (click the photo to see more):
Steve Largent’s Speech
Protestor Photos (click the photo to see more):