Our 2017 Cause: Mary’s Place

 

Marys Place Logo

With Seattle roots firmly planted for decades, and more charitable donations to our credit than we could list in this blog post, Ray’s decided in 2017 to focus the bulk of its team’s time and charitable resources to a fitting cause: Mary’s Place (marysplaceseattle.org).

Mary’s Place is a leading voice for homeless women, children, and families in emergency situations. It empowers women to reclaim their lives by offering community, acceptance, hope and dignity. Its work keeps struggling families together and provides practical tools and resources that help them find housing and employment. Mary’s Place inspires the community to support homeless women, children, and families through advocacy, partnerships, volunteerism and philanthropy.

We kicked off the year by closing the restaurant for one day on Jan. 2, to host a staff party that included a successful coat drive for Mary’s Place. Each quarter we work with this incredible organization on a different initiative. This spring, Ray’s will bring meals to shelter guests, where up to 100 people may find respite in a given night.

Recently, Mary’s Place raised a record $4.5 million during its “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign. The campaign raised funds to respond to our growing community crisis of hundreds of families and children sleeping outside in King County, many of whom are living in cars or tents, waiting months for shelter.

If you would like to help, you can donate to Mary’s Place at its website: marysplaceseattle.org, or donate shelter-related items from its Amazon Wish List.

Featured: Olympia Oysters and Schramsberg sparkling wine, extended through Valentine’s day!

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Feb 10-14 while they last, savor your chance to taste a rare Northwest treasure: the Olympia oyster!

The Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida) is one of the rarest, most treasured of our Pacific Northwest native species. James Beard, champion of American cuisine, called the petite Olympia “the most distinguished of the oysters” for its distinctive sweet taste and coppery finish.

Ray’s, in conjunction with Seattle oyster enthusiast and historian Jon Rowley, first introduced this treasured oyster to the restaurant world in 1983.

“Up to that point,” Rowley recalled, “Olympias had only been available in jars, if you could find them at all. Then Clam Cove Oyster Company brought us some live ones. I sent out a letter to the people who worked in the food press, and we served nothing else that night — just Olympia oysters and Schramsberg sparkling wine. It was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.”

After two near-brushes with extinction (first from over-harvesting in the gold rush era, then in the 1920s and 30s threatened by pulp mill pollution), the Olympia oyster, which takes five years to reach maturity, is available in limited supply thanks to careful cultivation and sustainable harvesting!

Take advantage of a six-pack of shucked Olympia oysters from Taylor Shellfish with a glass of Schramsberg sparkling wine for $29. Make it a memorable Valentine’s weekend, or just try it because it’s not something you’ll find here every day! See you soon!