Judith Whetzel, Carol (Evans) Munro, Lorna Kneeland
Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural, and Charitable Organizations (PONCHO) was formed in 1963 by a group of civic leaders who banded together to host a gala fundraiser to rescue the Seattle Symphony Orchestra from bankruptcy after their production of Aida during the 1962 World’s Fair left them $35,000 in debt. When that first event raised over $100,000, PONCHO continued to host annual galas to support arts and cultural organizations. PONCHO is credited with creating the charitable auction industry in Seattle. The organization raised $35 million for over 200 organizations during its 50-year history. Ceasing operations in 2013, it became a legacy fund of the Seattle Foundation which supports the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Opera, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and a K-12 arts education initiative.
Organization or Event
Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural, and Charitable Organizations (PONCHO)
Form of Entity
Area of Activity
Multidisciplinary Arts (multiple disciplines)
Deacon, Justine, "PONCHO: Because the Arts Can’t Flourish on Imagination Alone" (2019). Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations (PONCHO). 1.