IGNITE Press Release – IGNITE Spring Gala Raises $90K for Girls STEM Programs


Puget Sound-area Women and Men of Tech Gather at Museum of Flight to Help Raise Awareness and Funds to Support Girls STEM Education Programs

SEATTLE, WA (5.3.16) – IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution) raised $90K at its Spring “Taking Flight” gala held Friday, April 29th at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. Over 170 guests and volunteers enjoyed a festive evening that featured a hosted sunset cocktail reception, silent auction, awards ceremony and dinner program with live auction and video presentation. We celebrated our extraordinary year that included 30 events to inspire more than 4,000 IGNITE girls.

IGNITE Founder and Director Cathi Rodgveller presented awards to four teachers who exemplify the IGNITE spirit of inspiring girls and introducing them to the benefits and opportunities of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and careers. Julie Larson-Green, Chief Experience Officer at Microsoft, delivered the keynote address and Sarah Bird, CEO of MOZ, acted as emcee.

Fundraising highlights included a trip to New York City to take in a sold out Adele show in Madison Square Garden, flying fighter planes in Southern California and the Inspire-A-Girl Paddle Raise which brought in nearly $50,000 in donations. Fundraising auctioneer Nelson Jay of Gavelo Auctions presided over the live auction and provided pre-event consultation.

“Groups from Microsoft, MOZ, REI, IGOR Institute, Nordstrom, Strong Bridge Consulting, and Tune, along with generous donors, volunteers and attendees resulted in the IGNITE Spring Gala being a great success,” said IGNITE Director of Development and Operations, Audra Eng. “We’re so appreciative of the tech community’s support of our mission and look forward to engaging more girls in STEM opportunities in the year ahead.”

IGNITE Worldwide has been inspiring girls for more than 16 years. IGNITE provides equal access to career and technical education for underrepresented populations. We have discovered that inviting girls to informational programs where they met women working in STEM careers immediately increased girls interest and enrollment in STEM programs offered by the school district, increasing enrollment of girls from 10% to over 50% in one semester. IGNITE introduces school girls from grades 6-12 to technology careers via panel discussions, job shadowing, technology workshops, mentoring, and field trips throughout the school year to visit the work places of professional women in STEM careers. IGNITE has educated and empowered over 30,000 young women in middle school and high school grades to pursue education and careers in STEM.

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Audra Eng
Director of Development and Operations
IGNITE Worldwide