Destination Delridge 2023 Recap

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Our biggest fundraiser party of the year, Destination Delridge, happened June 2nd, at the beautiful Youngstown Cultural Arts Center! Over 200 neighbors and friends gathered under a theme of Connect the Dots, for an exciting time of reflective celebration and looking ahead.  

If you didn’t make it to DD23, or if you just want to relive the day, here’s a recap!


The Party
Upon entering the historic building on sunny Friday, June 2nd, you were serenaded by the sweet sounds of

Benjamin Hunter’s vocals, violin, and guitar wafting through the corridor. Once greeted with a welcome wine farther down the hall, you were invited to pick your adventure anywhere in this gala-meets-festival experience! Live painting by Carolyn Hitt, funky grooves by Blue Wave Band, and wonderful food grilled to perfection by Chef Mulu of Phresh Eats – all at the outdoor party zone. Sipping a yummy signature cocktail – either the Dot Delridge or the Dot Connect – while mingling with friends and making new ones, you could play a game of Wine Ring Toss in the bright and beautiful Movement Studio, or join in the interactive art activity created by our EcoArts team, in the Theatre, where more food and drink abound.

On the theatre stage, a showcase of top-notch talent and an awe-inspiring atmosphere wowed the crowd. Mouths were agape at the aerial feats performed by Acrobatic Conundrum and hearts were pumping with the high-energy dance performances by Tracey Wong of Malicious Vixens and Totem Star. It was a show to remember!

The Program
Friends and partners of DNDA, Fahmi Guled and Annie Von Essen guided us through a lovely program centering DNDA’s work and community members. Civic Poet of Seattle, Shin Yu Pai, shared beautiful tone-setting poetry before the introduction of DNDA’s new Co-Executive Director, Mesha Florentino. Inspiring shares on the growth and goals of the organization by both Mesha and Co-Executive Director David Bestock unfolded to a wonderful video presentation highlighting the work of our Environmental Justice Program, which is led by Jules Hepp, our Environmental Education Coordinator.

DNDA’s new Development Director, Imani Sims, called raffle winners throughout the evening to claim the coveted prizes generously donated by local businesses and community partners – boat rides, staycations, self-care and entertainment packages, and more. Teens from our summer and fall basketball program, Adnan and Ahmed, shared about their experiences playing and scorekeeping games, and overcoming personal challenges through guidance from co-founder and co-emcee, Fahmi Guled.

With hearts of renewed passion, our 200+ community members raised their paddles in support of continued vital youth programming and resources for the Delridge community and beyond. We are pleased to announce $110,000 (!!!) was raised toward supporting DNDA’s general operations, and elevating all of our programs in art, nature and neighborhood.

We love a dance party!
And who better to bring the vibes than DJ Topspin a.k.a. Blendiana Jones, with his masterful mix of pop, urban, and reggae mash-ups?! We danced the night away in celebration of another amazing Destination Delridge.

Deep gratitude to all the performing artists, Chef Mulu and team, DIWAS Photography, our generous donors, sponsors, volunteers, staff, and board members who made this event a success. And thank you, our community, for supporting DNDA! 

Check out some of our favorite event photos below, or view the full album on Facebook.