Before volunteering for a community event, Puyallup resident Jamie Gregory asks himself three questions.
The first is simple: Does he have a passion for the project or the mission of the organization?
“I have to have a passion for it,” said Gregory, 57. “It’s only (causes) that I feel passionate about.”
If the passion is there, the willingness to participate and to commit personally and financially also have to be there. More often than not, Gregory finds the answer to these questions to be yes.
Over the past 20 years, Gregory has helped organizations and businesses all over the local area, raising an estimated $10 million altogether.
From sports teams and schools to clubs and festivals, Gregory hosts eight to 12 events over the course of a year with an average return of $500,000 per year.
The events depend on the organization, but Gregory partakes in a larger number of auctions. His next auction is the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth Annual Chamber Bash and Auction Fundraiser to raise funds for the chamber’s programs.
“He’s been our auctioneer for the past three years,” said Shelly Schlumpf, president and CEO of the chamber. “He’s very good at it … he has a lot of great relationships within the community. He has a unique talent of being able to connect and create good partnerships in our community and for the residents who live here.”
He’s been our auctioneer for the past three years. He’s very good at it … he has a lot of great relationships within the community. He has a unique talent of being able to connect and create good partnerships in our community and for the residents who live here.
Shelly Schlumpf, president and CEO of the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce
Growing up, Gregory lived on a farm in Ellensburg with his family, and was used to participating in livestock auctions. When he moved to Puyallup 33 years ago and became involved with the community, volunteering came easily.
“I know the community,” Gregory said. “I look out and it’s not a bunch of strangers but friends.”
In January, Gregory was chosen to receive the John Porter Memorial Award by the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce during its Economic Forecast Breakfast. The award, named after the late John Porter, recognizes those involved in community service.
“It’s sort of our premiere award to recognize people who are active in the community and have ties with the community,” Schlumpf said.
“(John Porter) was a real connector of people,” Gregory added.
Aside from his volunteering, Gregory works as the Puyallup campaign manager for Wesley Homes, a 72-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to creating retirement communities for older adults. The organization is building its third location near Bradley Park in Puyallup — an $80 million project that is expected to open in June 2018.
The organization makes it so that older adults “won’t have to move,” Gregory said. “The most important thing for seniors is being able to live with purpose.”
Between volunteering and his work with Wesley Homes, Gregory draws some similarities in that both build a sense of community.
I enjoy seeing organizations achieve their goals and build support and bring the community together.
“I enjoy seeing organizations achieve their goals and build support and bring the community together,” Gregory said.
Gregory has done events for:
▪ Puyallup Rotary
▪ Sumner Rotary
▪ Communities in Schools of Puyallup
▪ Communities in Schools of Orting
▪ Washington Premier Soccer Club
▪ Daffodil Festival
▪ Fruitland Elementary School
▪ Y-Run for Kids
▪ Pierce and Kitsap County YMCA
▪ Tacoma School District
▪ Santa’s Castle Charity Event at the Temple Theater
▪ Tacoma Lutheran Home
▪ Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation
▪ Wesley Homes Foundation
▪ Washington State Fair Wranglers
▪ Puyallup-Sumner Chamber of Commerce
▪ Pierce College
▪ Bellarmine Prep