Earlier this month the iconic Queen Anne restaurant Canlis celebrated its 60th anniversary with a community wide challenge. In the days leading up to the celebration, brothers Mark and Brian Canlis had a little fun giving away chances for people to dine at the famed restaurants at 1950s prices—they signed 50 menus from 1950 and hid them throughout the Seattle area, releasing daily clues to the hiding places (which usually required some pretty quirky knowledge of Pacific Northwest history) via the @Canlis Twitter account and the Canlis Facebook page.
The restaurant held a private dinner party celebrating its 60th on December 12, and invited 230 local influential non-profits, private foundations, artists, business leaders and politicians, who all are making a positive impact on the Seattle community, to attend. Focusing on the importance of community giving and generosity, the restaurant used the evening as an opportunity to “give a gift to the city”, a $500,000 Matching Campaign for non-profit organizations in which Canlis will match up to $500,000 in gift certificates purchased from the restaurant for donation to any non-profit organization in the city.
“Alice and I are so proud of our sons for continuing the Canlis legacy of community philanthropy and choosing to celebrate our 60th birthday with those who are making a difference in this community,” Chris Canlis, son of Canlis founder Peter Canlis, said to the crowd. “The people in this room are the revolutionaries—the influencers who are defining Seattle in a new way: by its generosity.”
“Generosity is not a financial word,” said owner Mark Canlis. “The Matching Campaign is the third leg of the stool: the model invites the people of our city to partner with businesses in order to support Seattle’s non-profit movement.”
“Every person has been given something they can be generous with,” he said as he introduced Canlis’ own giving campaign.
And that’s not all. Today, Friday, December 31, the 50 winners from the menu hunt are taking part in another local scavenger hunt, this time for a grand prize of dinner for life at the restaurant.
In the spirit of generosity, these participants will be competing for the opportunity to give this dinner for life away every year to a person or charitable organization that embodies the spirit of philanthropy.
The crazy-costumed menu finders are Tweeting their way through the hunt. Follow that here.