BILL: As always, so nice to see you on Saturday. Community Connection, here on the radio, which is KGMI News Talk 790, kgmi.com, and 96.5 FM in Bellingham. I’m Bill Davis, your host, by the way, we were mentioning kgmi.com. If you go to our website, click on podcasts, scroll down to Community Connection, we always load our interviews up so you can listen to them any time you want to, in case, you know, you missed something, a phone number, or you just want to hear the interview again, and who wouldn’t want to hear it again and again and again when you’re talking to Kristin Nguyen with Cascade Connections. She has been so nice to grace me with her presence and come back again and visit. Because, it has been, I don’t know, months, since you were here? Well, I know you were here a couple weeks ago, but before that
KRISTIN: It hasn’t been that long!
BILL: But before that it’s been years, I’ve missed you so much.
KRISTIN: It has not been years, it had definitely not been years.
BILL: If feels like years and years, but it’s nice to have you back. I know that you, that we talk about your big title. You, you always, your administrate things at Cascade Connections, don’t you?
KRISTIN: I do, I do. I am the administrator of our Vocational Services program.
BILL: Which means she just about bosses everybody around, right?
KRISTIN: Yeah, I’m just super bossy.
BILL: So hey, where’s George, George Beanblossom, where is he these days?
KRISTIN: George is out working.
BILL: Yeah, okay
KRISTIN: Doing the deed.
BILL: Okay, just making sure. He’s the Executive Director.
KRISTIN: Yep, he’s the Executive director.
BILL: Talk about getting stiffed, I haven’t, I haven’t talked to George in, uh,
KRISTIN: It probably has been a bit.
BILL: A decade, at least.
KRISTIN: It definitely has not been a decade.
BILL: Are you accusing me of over embellishing
KRISTIN: I think you might be, I think you might be.
BILL: the length of time
KRISTIN: Just a bit
BILL: Well, it is always good to have you in here. For those who don’t know about Cascade Connections, and I don’t know why they wouldn’t, because you guys are so famous for doing good stuff, let’s give them an overview about Cascade Connections and what you do there.
KRISTIN: Alrighty, Cascade Connections is a local non-profit. We’ve been in business for over 38 years. Our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to enhance their quality of life. Uh, essentially what we do is we support people to live and work in our community.
BILL: Well, and I know, uh, you need money. You need money to do, uh, I mean it takes money to run the place.
KRISTIN: It does.
BILL: And it’s not like the federal government gives you hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
KRISTIN: Nope, they sure don’t.
BILL: So, you have to do fundraisers from time to time, and I am so pleased that it has come around again. Now, I know you did the Hamster Crawl a few months ago
KRISTIN: Yes, we did
BILL: And that was a lot of fun.
KRSITIN: It was.
BILL: But you’ve got one coming up
KRISTIN: We do
BILL: On, next month, in November?
KRISTIN: November, yes, November 9th.
BILL: What is it?
KRISTIN: It’s called the Hamster Ball, it’s
BILL: Yeah, mhmm
KRISTIN: our fourth annual Hamster Ball
KRISTIN: We’ve partnered with Haggen Food & Pharmacy and KISM once again.
BILL: Oh, wait a minute, you mean the guys down the hall? You mean like Brad and John?
KRSITIN: The guys down the hall
BILL: Like, like, uh, Guy Ovenell, and Scott Less and all those people who play the evil demon rock and roll?
KRISTIN: All those people that play my favorite music
BILL: Nice. But, uh, you partner with them and they do a great job.
KRISTIN: They absolutely do.
BILL: Yeah, now, now when’s the actual event?
KRSITIN: The event is on Friday night, November 9th. Um, we are starting a little earlier this year at 5:30, so we’ll have a cocktail hour and then 5:30 to 6:30
BILL: Oh, wow wow wow, back on the play, adult beverages early?
KRSITIN: Adult beverages early
BILL: In other words, you’re starting it early so you can be in a happier frame of mind later.
KRISTIN: Well, yes, and we really wanted people to have a little bit more of a chance to mingle before we started the music.
KRISTIN: It’s going to be held at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal once again, and we also have a silent auction throughout the evening, so that first hour people can go collect their beverages, check out the silent auction items, and then we’ll have dinner served that will be catered by Market Street Catering from Haggen Food and Pharmacy.
BILL: From our friends at Haggen. No, no, and uh, this is an old Texas phrase I use, hey no flies on that, which
KRISTIN: No, it’s some good stuff
BILL: Which means it’s some good food
KRISTIN: Absolutely, absolutely.
BILL: And it’s at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, you guys, it’s the fourth annual, right, the fourth annual is pretty incredible
BILL: Uh, and, for those who are thinking, oh, well, is it going to be a long evening, you usually wrap up, 10, 10:30 or so?
KRISTIN: Yes, about 10:30, uh, we’ll also have Oh Snap there to take some beautiful photos
BILL: Pictures, yeah
KRISTIN: to capture the event.
BILL: Do you need to come in black tie
KRISTIN: Oh absolutely not. It is just
BILL: Does anybody even own a black tie outfit in Bellingham?
KRISTIN: I don’t think that it’s, uh, ever really kosher to be black tie in Bellingham anywhere, I don’t know
BILL: You’ll never see a tux here, I know, you’ll just stand out and you’ll just look so funny. Gotcha
KRISTIN: I mean, it’s a semi-formal event, kind of a cocktail hour dress type thing
BILL: It’s okay, it’s okay, if you want to wear a suit, you’re alright
KRISTIN: Absolutely, and if you don’t own one it’s okay too.
BILL: Nice, uh, proceeds benefit you guys, right?
KRISTIN: Yes, uh, we obviously have a lot of needs in our community to support people with disabilities to live, and not all of those things are funded for us.
BILL: Well, you, you mentioned, uh, music, uh, and entertainment. Who, who’s performing?
KRISTIN: Yeah, we are lucky enough to a local band called The Penny Stinkers come back again
BILL: Oh, they were at, uh, um, I think they were just at Oktoberfest. I hear they’re very good.
KRISTIN: Oh, they were awesome. They came last year and we had overwhelmingly positive responses and booked them the next day after last year. We’re excited.
BILL: I bet they don’t cost a penny, though, I mean
KRISTIN: No, they are awesome
BILL: Well, obviously, oh, and you said a silent auction, so
KRISTIN: We’re having a silent auction, yes
BILL: Is it silent, you don’t have a live auction, do you?
KRISTIN: We don’t have a live auction; we will have some raffle items that we will be selling some raffle tickets as well.
BILL: I’m assuming, that uh, you have a lot of help with this. Community plays a big role, don’t they?
KRISTIN: The community does, um, we are currently looking for, and have obtained a number of, business sponsors that I’d like to tell you about.
BILL: Sure, go ahead.
KRISTIN: Um, we have, um, sponsors from Bay City Supply, Cascade DAFO, Farmer’s Equipment, HUB, Larson and Gross, Lynden Door, Lynden Lube, Lynden Sheet Metal,
BILL: Man, Lynden’s really representing
KIRSTIN, Lynden really came out, yeah. Um, Marin’s, Mills Electric, Oasys, People’s Bank, Rusty Wagon, Van’s Plumbing and Electric, and Whatcom Educational Credit Union.
BILL: Oh, WECU folks, oh, you’ve got quite a list there, but you’d like to add to it, I bet
KRISTIN: Oh absolutely. We wanna, we wanna connect with you if you want to be a business that wants to be seen as recognizing that a diverse workplace and a diverse community is important to you.
BILL: Yeah, Hamster Ball is always huge fun. Uh, Kristin Nguyen is with us today from Cascade Connections, telling us all about it. Well, I know now that, uh, everybody who either does not have a black tie or does not have a suit and doesn’t mind coming casual to the Hamster Ball, they want to, they want to learn more about the event. So where do we send them for that?
KRISTIN: Alright, well, you can start by tuning in to KISM 92.9.
BILL: Hold on a second, now she just, she just told you to tune away from KGMI and tune in to KISM. And by the way, might I add, they play that evil demon rock and roll. Ah, but that’s okay, cause I’m a rock and roller too. No, we’re all part of the same family at Cascade Radio Group, so they can go over to KISM 92.9 any time?
KRISTIN: Well, they’re going to be giving away some tickets
BILL: Oh they are? Sweet
KRISTIN: in the weeks prior to the event
KRISTIN: Um, but if you don’t win the tickets, don’t worry, you can still buy them.
KRISTIN: Or if you want to plan ahead, you can buy tickets at cascadeconnections.org. They are $50 a person until October 9th, and then they’ll go up to $55 per person.
BILL: But don’t wait, because they may sell you
KRISTIN: Yes, they may
BILL: And you won’t get it.
KRISTIN: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.
BILL: Nice, okay, so that’s it. Casadeconnections.org, or, uh, just listen to Classic Rock 92.9 KISM to win tickets all throughout the day.
KRISTIN: Yes, and there will be some information at Haggen Food & Pharmacy’s as well
BILL: Excellent. Uh, do me a favor, then, come back after the Hamster Ball, if you’re able to, because I realize you do a lot of wrap up and it may take you while to recover from it. Come back and tell us what a big success it was
KRISTIN: I can’t wait.
BILL: Or, you might, we might be able to get you back in the week before the event
KRISTIN: Alright, sounds fabulous
BILL: Do a quick update, tell us how the ticket sales are going
BILL: But it’s always a huge deal, Hamster Ball. Uh, my good friend Kristin Nguyen, and thank you so much for coming in
KRISTIN: Thank you
BILL: She’s with Cascade Connections and you can find out more about them at cascadeconections.org. We’ll continue with Community Connection here in just a moment on KGMI.