2016 Ambassador Training & Rally

written by Tarin Schalow

On September 14th, almost 100 new and returning ambassadors filled the meeting space in the Chinook building to get ready for the 2016 Annual Giving Drive. This was the largest turnout the program has seen for a single training and the annual rally to date.

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Training started out with a question that’s important to being an EGP Ambassador… “Why?” Ambassadors were encouraged to share with the group WHY they were an EGP Ambassador. Answers ranged from “I was volun-told” to “My community needs me” and “I was homeless” to “My white privilege”.

Hear from some Ambassadors about their reasons for participating. 

No matter the reason, it’s undeniable that ambassadors are the heart and soul of the EGP, and many of the great things that the EGP accomplishes couldn’t be done without them.

After the “Why?” exercise, the gloves came off and the thinking caps came on for a friendly game of EGP Jeopardy. Fun EGP facts, and important guidelines for the Annual Giving drive were outlined while Junelle gave Alex Trebek a run for his money.

Later, ambassadors learned more about each other with EGP bingo. Ambassadors sought out and connected with others over experiences like: “Served in the Military”, “Traveled to another Country”, and “Adopted a Pet”. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find someone who could introduce me to Justin Bieber.

Following a light lunch, the 2016 Annual Giving Drive Rally officially began! This year, ambassadors saw a short video about why it’s important to be an ambassador and heard from two EGP Committee members Mark Sherard and Tricia Barbachan.

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The group was also introduced to the 2016 Honorary co-chairs, Councilmember Claudia Balducci and DAJD Director William “Willie” Hayes. While Director Hayes wasn’t able to attend in person, he did “Skype-in” from his tropical cruise to express his support. Councilmember Balducci spoke to the group about the importance of participating in activities like the EGP, and her enthusiasm to be part of the upcoming giving season events.

As an effective tool for inspiration, ambassadors are encouraged to bring in nonprofit speakers to events, so that they can share how King County Employee contributions directly impact their organizations. This year’s Ambassador Rally nonprofit speaker was Christina Shimizu from Solid Ground. Christina shared with the ambassadors how donations to Solid Ground benefit a network of resources that work together to support and establish permanent housing for the homeless in Seattle.

Because of the success of the training session and rally, another one has been scheduled to accommodate employees from the south end who weren’t able to make the training downtown. The second training session will be held September 26, 2016 from 1:00-4:00pm at the Elections Multi-purpose room in Renton.

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Thank you so much to those ambassadors who made it out for training and the rally to make this year’s event the biggest one yet!

Interested in being an Ambassador? We are still recruiting!  Find out more here. 

Any questions or comments you have can be sent to Junelle Kroontje at Junelle.Kroontje@kingcounty.gov or (206) 263-9405.