Seahawks fans come out for 12 Days of Goodness kickoff at Rosehill
Last updated 12/19/2018 at Noon
Fresh off a big home win against the Minnesota Vikings last Monday night (we’re not going to bring up this Sunday’s game), Seahawks fever took over Rosehill Community Center Wednesday, Dec. 12.
The “12s” were out in full force, and even though it wasn’t “Blue Friday,” the big Point Elliot Room was full of Seahawks jerseys and shirts.
The occasion? The kickoff even for 12 Days of Goodness, a 12-day, 12-city celebration for local seniors to celebrate the holiday season with fellow Seattle Seahawks fans as well as past Seahawks players. There were also multiple companies tailored towards senior living.
Pinnacle Senior Placements and the Mukilteo Senior Association were the event’s prime sponsors, and Ivar’s catered the event.
This is the sixth year of 12 Days of Goodness, and the fifth year the Seahawks have been involved.
Suzanne Perkins Newman, who lives on Beverly Park Road in unincorporated Snohomish County, created 12 Days of Goodness.
Despite her Edmonds mailing address, Newman says she is a Mukilteo resident.
“It takes me five minutes to drive into Mukilteo and 20-plus to get into Edmonds,” she said, laughing. “I live in Mukilteo.”
Newman, a lifelong Seahawk fan, started 12 Days of Goodness to help seniors in the area connect with others during the holiday season. She said the idea took shape due to her experience of taking care of her mother during the last six years of her life, as well as a lifetime of enjoying Seahawk games with her father.
“When I was taking care of my mom, I saw the same people sitting alone day after day,” she said. “Numerous studies show that nearly 60 percent of seniors are without regular visitors. Seniors have been forgotten.”
Newman said that is especially true during the holiday season, when most people are accustomed to spending that time with family.
“I felt like the holidays were the hardest for them,” she said. “I felt like if I can do something over the holiday season, it would be amazing.”
Newman, who started “Answers for Elders,” a website full of resources for seniors, also hosts the “Answers for Elders” radio show, which is broadcast on three Western Washington radio stations. Through all this, she has a deep pocket of resources at her disposal, many of which had booths at the kickoff event at Rosehill.
“I have no problem getting vendors to show up,” Newman said. “They want to be in on the enthusiasm.”
Before she started 12 Days of Goodness, Newman said she talked to 300 experts on what else she could do for seniors during the holiday season. Being the avid Seahawks fan she is, 12 Days of Goodness was born.
“I thought I could tap into the enthusiasm of the ‘12s’ to make a difference,” Newman said. “One of the biggest unifiers in the holiday season is football. People of all ages sit down together and watch the games. I felt like that was an area where everyone could come together.”
Newman felt that despite having such a die-hard fan base of senior citizens, the Seahawks organization wasn’t doing much community outreach.
“I wrote to them with all these statistics and they hopped right on board,” she said.
Ex-players Fred Anderson (defensive lineman, 1980-1982), Edwin Bailey (offensive lineman, 1981-1991), and Antonio Edwards (defensive lineman, 1993-1997) came to Rosehill, mingling with Mukilteo seniors, signing autographs and taking pictures.
“The ex-players love it,” Newman said. “Fred Anderson, who most people wouldn’t recognize walking down the street, they just go crazy for him.”
Seahawk “super fans,” “Seahawks Rooster” video blogger Norb Cam, and Patti Hammond, known as “Mama Blue,” an 87-year-old woman who has gained notoriety nationwide for her fandom, also showed up at Rosehill. Newman said Mama Blue holds a special place in her heart.
“Mama Blue is just amazing. She’s a character-and-a-half,” Newman said. “She and I talk all the time, and she’s just a riot-and-a-half.”
Newman said she was happy to have Mukilteo as one of the 12 cities on their tour, especially as the kickoff city, as she has some very strong feelings regarding seniors in town.
“I’ve always felt like seniors in Mukilteo got the raw end of the deal with the new community center,” she said. “I always wanted to do something for the seniors in my hometown.”
For more information on Answers for Elders or 12 Days of Goodness, visit AnswersForElders.com and 12daysofgoodness.com.