Editor's Note: Goodbyes and Charity Guides

Seattle Magazine and Seattle's charities will miss Dick Friel

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Seattle Magazine and Seattle's charities will miss Dick Friel

The week before we shipped this magazine I got an urgent call from public relations executive Tamara Wilson, and her news came out of the blue and absolutely broke my heart. Our mutual friend Dick Friel—überauctioneer, marketing executive and aviation pioneer—passed away on January 13 at the age of 76. I first got to know Dick when I volunteered at the PONCHO gala auction shortly after moving here 13 years ago. He was impressed by my lightning-fast computer skills (I entered bidder numbers so he could graciously recognize top bidders by name), and I was impressed by his trademark colorful and lyrical auctioneering style (“TEN thouuuuuusand dollars once. Ten thousand dollars twice. Last call. Fair warning,… [foot stomp] sold!”). I then got to know his wife, Sharon, and fell in love with their mutual adoration and dedication to raising funds for charities here at home and all over the world.

Dick loved Seattle magazine, and we loved him right back. He appeared in our Flash/Talk society photos more than anyone else, simply because he was Seattle’s charity scene. He and Sharon were our closest advisers when we launched our biannual Charitable Events Guide in 2006 and remained our biggest supporters. Over the last couple of years, Dick and Sharon were at the helm of fewer events, but one thing is certain: Seattle will never have a brighter star and champion of philanthropic causes in our community.

We’ve traditionally published our Charitable Events Guide in March and September, but starting this month, in order to broaden our coverage of the region’s growing and well-supported (yes, even in this economy!) number of philanthropic events, it will be available exclusively online at seattlemag.com. The online Charitable Events Guide will provide up-to-the-minute information and the option for you to search by date, type of event or type of charitable organization you want to support. Although we still can’t publish every event out there—for our guidelines, visit seattlemag.com and click on “charitable events guide” under “Guides”—we’re really excited that the online tool lets you post your own charitable fundraising event. I know Dick, with his polished, old-school way of doing business, would miss the print edition, but I also think he’d really like that we’re supporting more ofthe smaller but equally deserving charitable events in the community.

Another fond farewell: This is managing editor Virginia Smyth’s last issue. During her five-plus-year tenure, her touch—while perhaps not always visible in a byline—was on every page of this magazine, from her patient corralling of stories, brilliant line editing and overseeing of copyediting and fact checking to mentoring our outstanding crews of interns and being the even force that kept us calm. All of us at Seattle magazine wish her well on her new adventures.

Originally published in March 2010