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TheStreet Open House

Threshold Group Hosts 50 Seattle-Based Wealth Owners, Philanthropists And Business Leaders To Explore Real-World Implications Of Major Charitable Gifts

SEATTLE, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A small but diverse group of about 50 Seattle-based philanthropists, wealth owners and business leaders gathered at The Hub in Seattle's stadium district on Feb. 27 to discuss how innovation, transparency and a major philanthropic gift are helping provide clean water for orphaned kids in some of the most impoverished urban environments in Asia.

The private forum, organized and hosted by Kristen Bauer and Craig Muska of Threshold Group, provided insights and honest stories about, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization and recipient of personal philanthropic funding from George F. Russell, Jr. Storytellers and guest speakers included Eric Stowe, founder and Director of Splash; Vijay Talwar, Board President of Splash and President and General Manager International of Blue Nile; and Richard Woo, CEO of The Russell Family Foundation and a philanthropy advisor to George Russell through Threshold Group.

The group openly explored the challenges and opportunities that accompany any major philanthropic mission, and provided a case study for other private family foundations that may be looking for ways to increase charitable impacts in their own communities or philanthropic circles.

"For George Russell, this was a way to step away from the big-picture systems, and it was a chance to think about what's happening on the ground, with real people, and what happens when you don't pay enough attention to trying to balance out the haves and the have nots," said Mr. Woo.

"One-quarter of our world's population by 2030 is going to be living in urban slums, and this particular demographic is not being focused on," said Mr. Stowe. "This is not looming – it's already at our doorstep. It's going to be an absolute disaster if people aren't assessing how we scale up our work so that kids have appropriate food, clothing, housing, education. For us, the first rung in a very long social and economic ladder is clean water. If that step is missing, it makes reaching the heights of health, education and opportunity much harder."

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