Two years ago, the Robert Vasen Foundation and Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue partnered to launch, “Be Great, Graduate!”  It is an overwhelming success. This groundbreaking program mentors at-risk teens, guiding them to high school graduation and beyond. And it works. It is the latest of programs supported by the Foundation to honor the memory of a deeply missed young man.

On a Saturday evening in March of 2006, 20-year-old UW student Robert Vasen, was riding with friends to a downtown Bellevue restaurant when a drunk driver slammed into their car. Robert was killed and life changed forever for his family and wide circle of friends. Robert was extraordinary. Charismatic and caring, he had a gift for engaging the heart of anyone he met, from toddlers to parents to CEOs. He loved life, engaging in sports despite painful injuries, traveling throughout the world, and sharing ideas with diverse acquaintances.

Today, proud new graduates know of Robert’s legacy and are inspired to succeed. Dedicated Boys and Girls Club staff monitor students throughout their high school years, offering any help needed from transportation to snacks to tutoring. This unique program works – it creates hope, strength, and a vision for the future in underprivileged teens. The Robert Vasen Foundation also funds counseling for youth affected by alcohol or drug abuse in their home, sponsors Sounders FC soccer camp scholarships for children who could not otherwise attend and supports an endowment at Children’s Hospital, where Robert was a volunteer, providing integrative medicine for children in pain. There is a prestigious Robert J. Vasen Management Internship at Virginia Mason. David Vasen, Robert’s brother and President of the Foundation, explains that one hundred percent of funds raised go directly to these youth initiatives. Volunteers do foundation work and sponsors cover expenses.

Robert had an innate ability for unconditional giving and, in that spirit; the Robert Vasen Foundation is committed to helping young people and continue Robert’s actions.  Robert’s school friends organize a fundraising swim-athon every summer and the Foundation hosts an annual luncheon to help raise funds to carry forward Robert’s dreams of helping others.

On October 26th, the public is invited to the Robert Vasen Foundation Benefit Luncheon at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field), sponsored by the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Washington Dental Service. Please register for the luncheon at where there is more information about Robert, Foundation initiatives and opportunities to help.  You may also register by emailing

Robert was a loving, giving friend.  The Robert Vasen Foundation is following in his spirit, reaching out a hand to young people in need in our community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *