Ray’s Partnership In Caring

by Doug Zellers, Ray’s General Manager


Chef Wayne Johnson and GM Doug Zellers

As the sunny days of August reach their peak, it marks the coming of what I consider to be the most meaningful task I complete each year.

Since 2004, I have volunteered  to assist with the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) annual events. AWW is the philanthropic organization representing the Washington wine industry and the nation’s largest charity auction showcasing Washington wine.  The three-day event (Aug. 15-17)  is the wine industry’s annual gift to its communities across the state, benefiting Uncompensated Care for patients and families at Seattle Children’s Hospital and it has raised more than $26 million since its inception in 1988.

My role grew from that of a Sommelier to a Captain to the task I have now -coordinating more than 30 of Seattle’s best Sommeliers as they volunteer their time to serve patrons at 14 intimate winemakers dinners Friday night and at the Wine Gala live auction dinner ( 700 guests) Saturday night.


The team of sommeliers for the 2009 AWW events

Over the past nine years at AWW, I have worked side-by-side with some of the best service teams in our great city.  This year being my first at Ray’s, I have a partner in caring – Chef Wayne Johnson.  While Chef Wayne (and before him Chef Peter Birk) and I have been at opposite ends of the event in the past, I finally get the chance to work in tandem from within the same organization.  Ray’s is proud to support such a noble cause and I am more than proud to be co-leader with Chef Wayne as we present his offering – the main course entrée for the Gala.

Great things happen when teams come together and work as one. This year’s AWW auction, and the money we help raise for the children that need it most, should be nothing short of spectacular.  The partnership I have with Chef Wayne and the great things we do as a family at Ray’s is already leading to great things, and we are just getting started…


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