Connection and Community For Foster Youth: YMCA Volunteers At Cinematique

Last updated: January 18, 2024, at 5:15 a.m. PT

Originally published: January 18, 2024, at 5:12 a.m. PT

A family poses with Santa in front of a photobooth background and the Cinematique logo

Bellevue, WA - December 23, 2023 

In a splendid display of community spirit, volunteers from the YMCA of Greater Seattle came together at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency for Cinematique: Fostering Community and Connection. The community partner event, held on December 23, 2023, attracted more than a thousand community members, transforming the venue into a hub of support for local foster families and underserved youth. 

YMCA volunteers adorned in red and festive accessories welcomed families to the annual event filled with joy – and community services. Healthcare services provided by the YMCA and Neighborcare Health offered crucial support, while an array of resources, including children's books (donated by Big Brothers and Big Sisters), gifts, and phones from Assurance Wireless, added to the event's impact. 

Cinematique was a collaborative effort, boasting partnerships with organizations such as Amara, Seattle Central College, Community Passageways, National Council of Negro Women, Inc, Treehouse, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bellevue LifeSpring, and more. Swim Seattle's involvement, representing the collaboration between YMCA of Greater Seattle, the City of Seattle, No More Under, and Splashforward, brought an extra layer of engagement to sign youth up for free lifesaving swimming lessons.

Beyond resource distribution, the event sought to infuse joy into the lives of attendees. A raffle drew excitement, with participants walking away with prizes from UW basketball games, gift sets, and more. Plus, each family received Amazon gift cards, tickets to local museums and events, and gift cards for family movie nights. 

The day was graced by special guests, including Santa Claus, Harry the Husky, and DeVaughn Williams - Ms. Washington Global Continental 2023. The Smile Patrol booth captured cherished moments, adding a touch of magic to the proceedings. 

Check out photos from 2023 Cinematique>> 

In reflection, Cinematique 2023 stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration and the impact of volunteers in fostering connections and support. As the event looks toward the future, the organizers express gratitude to all who made Cinematique 2023 a resounding success, painting a narrative of warmth, generosity, and community cohesion. 


Preparing for Cinematique 2024 

As the curtains closed on Cinematique 2023, organizers immediately began laying the groundwork for the sequel. Cinematique 2024, in collaboration with Essex Community Outreach Corporation, Casey Family Programs, the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and other sponsors, aims to extend its reach to even more foster and underserved youth and families. 

We will need more help next year to serve the growing need. Interested in partnering with Cinematique? Visit their website to learn more. Or interested in volunteering with the YMCA next year? Email us at to join our interest list. 

Registration for Cinematique 2024 is set to open on October 14, 2024, promising a larger venue at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Emerald Ballroom and Foyer to accommodate the growing interest. The tentative date for the event is Saturday, December 14, 2024.  

Registered youth and families for Cinematique 2024 can anticipate a range of perks, including movie passes, Amazon gift cards, Cinemark cards, YMCA Try-It Memberships, and gift bags filled with sponsored tickets, passes, and gifts from generous sponsors such as ice skating, Seattle Art Museum, MoPop, Lucky Strike, Seattle Aquarium, Bellevue Botanical Gardens, and more. 

Learn more>> 

Category: Volunteer