Tickets for the 63rd annual Seattle–King County First Citizen Awards banquet are now available. Seattle native Herbert (“Herb”) M. Bridge, this year’s recipient, will be honored at a public ceremony on May 30 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.
Family, military officers, fellow business leaders, public officials and friends will be on hand to honor the man known affectionately as “Mr. Downtown” in recognition of his enthusiastic promotion of downtown Seattle. Program participants include family members Robert Bridge, Rabbi Daniel Bridge, Janis Bridge, M.D., M.P.H., Jon Bridge, The Hon. Bobbe Bridge, plus civic leaders George Duff, John Gilmore and retired Navy Adm. Thomas Hayward. KIRO-TV News Anchors Susan Hutchison and Steve Raible are emcees for the event.
Tickets for the civic banquet, which is open to the public, may be reserved by contacting the Seattle–King County Association of REALTORS® (SKCAR) office in Kirkland at 425-820-3277. The cost for the dinner event is $85 per person.
The Seattle–King County First Citizen Award, presented annually since 1939, celebrates community leadership, volunteerism and public service. In announcing the 2001 honoree, event co-chair Craig Ellis said Bridge, 76, is being saluted for his extraordinary, multi-decade involvement in civic, business, humanitarian and charitable causes.
Bridge, a certified gemologist, is co-chairman of Ben Bridge Jeweler with his brother Bob, who will be among the speakers at the First Citizen banquet. Both are semi-retired from the business, which in 2000 became affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the holding company run by Warren Buffet. Jon Bridge (Herb’s son) and Ed Bridge (Bob’s son) — members of the family’s fourth generation — share management of the business, which currently includes 65 locations in 11 states.
Jon Bridge also will share the dais with his father. The father-son team co-chaired the 2000–01 annual campaign for United Way of King County (raising more than $93.3 million) and also shares ties to the U.S. Navy. Herb Bridge served as an active reservist, becoming the Naval Reserve’s senior admiral. Jon Bridge is a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy Reserve and currently serves as co-CEO and general counsel at Ben Bridge Jeweler, Inc.
Civic tributes to this year’s First Citizen will open with remarks by John Gilmore, past president of the Downtown Seattle Association. Adm. Thomas Hayward, who retired from the U.S. Navy as chief of naval operations in July 1982, will provide insight into Bridge’s distinguished military career. Representatives of the family include speakers Jon Bridge and his wife, state Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge. The honoree’s younger son, Rabbi Daniel Bridge and his wife, Janis Bridge, M.D., M.P.H., will offer the invocation and blessing. Dan Bridge is rabbi of Hillel, The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life at the University of Washington.