It’s Jolkona’s 5th anniversary this fall: 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, by connecting small donors with meaningful giving opportunities that make a big difference locally and globally.

1st Fundraiser

We’re celebrating with our Corks & Forks dinner/auction on Oct. 10, 2013 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center. Will you join us?

The evening will include gourmet cooking and cocktail lessons, fine dining and wine. We can’t wait to thank all our supporters so far, and make some new friends!

We’ve come a long way since Jolkona’s early years, when co-founders Adnan and Nadia Mahmud held small kitchen parties to help raise money for our partners and operations! Check out this archive photo and blog post for a little #ThrowbackThursday trip down memory lane:

Our 1st Ever Fundraiser!

We had a turn out of about 20 people and we were able to raise little over $1000 during the event!!! We are very encouraged by the turn out of mostly college students and young professionals and by the fact that we were able to raise $1000 from such a small crowd.

Bidding Our Time

The money raised at Corks & Forks helps cover Jolkona’s basic operations (rent, equipment, staff). In October 2012, the first time we held this dinner/auction, we raised $32,000 — and we’ve already sold more tickets for this year’s event!

Much of the ticket price goes to the event costs, so we are especially grateful to our generous sponsors: Inome, Outerwall, the Seattle International Foundation and others. Also, our auction donations look absolutely amazing — get your paddle arms ready!

A sneak preview:


  • Four Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper Tickets, valued at $548.

Passes are valid during normal operating hours and provide admission to a magical experience at both DisneylandPark and Disney California Adventure Park for one day. A magical experience for all ages!




  • Elephant Bath at the Woodland Park Zoo, valued at $1,000.

You and five guests get to step behind the scenes at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Elephant Barn and watch up close as one of the magnificent elephants receives her daily bath and check-up! 



  • Seattle Pop Art, valued at $130.

Stretched canvas print by Parinita Salian. This would make a stylish addition to your home or office, or a great holiday gift!

  • And many more!

Hope to see you there: Get your Corks & Forks tickets quickly, before we sell out!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this page

Jeans donned, tie loosely knotted, and shirt un-tucked, I followed the instincts of my sufficiently empty stomach and made a bee-line down the hill to the Blue Ribbon Cooking School on South Lake Union. My only hold up was a seemingly interminable red light whilst trying to cross the I-5. The rest of the evening was a go!

Food, glorious food!

Soon after a beer and a few too many appetizers later, I was rolling gnocchi and chopping sage with a group of friendly strangers – there’s nothing like the preparation of food to get people interacting! Who rolled the best gnocchi? Despite my three years in Italy, not me. I then powered straight onto Cocktail Mixology, where I learnt all about muddling and a French 75, named after the 19th Century French 75 mm field gun (Why? Think boom. Enough said).

I also connected with a couple fellow Brits. We dubbed ourselves Team GB. Many a “God Save The Queen!” later and I was onto the steak and salmon. Feeling the delicacies of the fish were a little too on the dexterous side for me, I passed to the meat. Steak in pan. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. Turn. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. That part went swimmingly. But when it came to the sauce, it was my pronunciation of tomato that drew heavy criticism. I made amends at the crepe station, however, where I teamed up with one of my fellow Team GB companions. We practically ran the show – our crepes looking as bright, round, and winsome as any gold medal.

To follow was the shrewdly observed silent auction with an incredible array of items. Then we were called to the table where we were treated to the buzz and clamor of our live auction and, of course, our much anticipated dinner. Everything- auction, dinner, and all – was as delectable as it was full of mirth.

One person’s determination to engender change

There were many memorable moments from the evening – the cooking classes, the food, the incredible auction items, Team GB – but, for me, one thing stood above all those: Adnan’s story about Jolkona. It was compassionate and compelling; an extraordinary reminder of how one person’s idea and determination could result in so much change – change for the good. It was truly inspiring to see how from the desire to help one Bengali man, who couldn’t afford to bury his own son, it could end up with where Jolkona is today: over 150 projects and over $500,000 donated. And more importantly, the numerous lives that have been impacted the world over.

The Jolkona team produced a special film for the event. Check it out:


The evening’s impact

Thanks to everyone who participated, donated, and put their time, energy and compassion into the Corks & Forks fundraiser, we were able to raise over….


Thank yous

First of all to everyone who donated so generously to the Kona fund.

We have to thank, of course, our brilliant sponsors: Coinstar inc., Ja Warren Hooker Fitness Performance Group, and Cornerstone Advisors. Little could have been achieved without them.

We also need to thank all those beneficent people who donated auction items: Adnan and Nadia Mahmud, Alexander Resource Group, Amazon, Andy Hytjan, Art Wolfe, Axtion Club, Barbara Grant Consulting Group, Barri Rind, Big Dipper Wax Works, Bob Colleran, Canlis, Carisa Marie, Chateau St. Michelle, Christos on Alki, Coach Aina, Coinstar Inc., Dave Henderson, David Jofre, Dennis Tom, Dreams Performing Arts, Edgar & Holli MartinezEnvy on Alki, Fairmont Hotel Group, FlyWheel Spin Cycle Studio, Gary Manuel Salon, Gene Juarez, Heide and Matthew Felton, IvarsKid Valley, JaWarren Hooker, Jen Duffy, Jenny Almukhtar, Jordan Belmonte, Justin and Jen Spelhaug, K2 Sports, Lauren Burman, Lisa Arlint, Long Provincial, Mary Hoy Shampoo, Material Good, Megan Fleming, Microsoft, Miir, Mission Latin Restaurant, Moshe Dunie, Mynt Expressions, Nancy Xu, Pacific Science Center, Parichey Gandhi, Pavan Potaraju, Pete Morse, Pete’s Market, Punit Java, Raghu Murti, Reconstruct Remodel, Quixotic Designs, Salon 08, Santina Rigano, Seattle Symphony, Tam Nguyen, Teatro Zinzanni, The Bridge, Trudy Muller, WaxDiva Lucy, Wing Luke Museum, Woodland Park Zoo.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this page

Jolkona’s 1st annual Corks & Forks auction and dinner event is coming up quick! Join us on October 4th from 6:30-9:30pm at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School for an evening of cooking, drink-making, and bidding to unite the community around a mission of giving. Hosted by auctioneer Jim Dever of Evening Magazine, the night is sure to be full of laughs and fun!

The assortment of hands-on classes will teach you how to craft everything from savory truffles to sophisticated cocktails to mouth-watering soups and salads. Come ready to wow family, friends, and co-workers at future dinner parties!

Excellent prizes and getaways will be up for auction – not to mention the plethora of items available in the silent auction! Take a look at the complete auction item list for the big night.

Grab yourself a ticket while they are still available right here!


A huge thank you goes out to the major sponsors of Corks & Forks, Coinstar, Inc. and Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance. We went ahead and asked them a couple of questions about partnering with Jolkona and the importance of food to them.

Coinstar, Inc.

A local company, Coinstar, Inc got its start in Bellevue, WA in 1991. Jolkona is so excited to have Coinstar onboard for the upcoming auction and fundraising event. By backing our mission, their resources and reputation help illuminate the projects we are dedicated to.

Thank you Coinstar for your sponsorship and support!

Why are you a sponsor for Jolkona?
Coinstar, Inc. is proud to sponsor Jolkona for its innovative approach to giving. Jolkona’s use of technology brings donors and grantees closer together by reporting on impact. It’s an excellent method to entice more people to give!

What has food meant to you?
Like Jolkona, we feel lucky our company is headquartered in Seattle, surrounded by a robust local food movement. Our region’s focus on food feels special and serves as another way to bring our community together, whether that’s at the community garden, co-op grocery or family dinner table.

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance is made up of a team of fitness professionals who provide mobile services for exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation needs. Jolkona is thrilled to have Jaa’ Warren’s involvement and support. It means a lot to have meaningful, local sponsors for a special event like Corks & Forks.

Once more, thank you to Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance!

What has food meant to you?

Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, gathering with friends and family to tell stories and create a positive community. Besides the food always being spectacular, food brings people together.

Local Projects

Jolkona works intimately with a number of local organizations dedicated to furthering education, employment, and personal well-being. We would like to spotlight a few of these to give you a better idea about the kinds of non-profits we support in our own backyard.

Washington CASH aims to educate and motivate low-income individuals with entrepreneurial ambitions. Their means of empowerment include personalized business training, professional workshops, business development training courses, and even microloans to help legitimately finance start up businesses. CASH strives to give people the skill sets and confidence necessary to achieve success in today’s tumultuous economy.

The Pacific Science Center is a leading light for education and culture in Seattle. It has been a pillar of the community for fifty years as the nation’s first science and technology-based museum. Jolkona partners with the Pacific Science Center to give children the opportunity to attend science camp by sponsoring campers. Camps for Curious Minds are made up of countless programs for every age and inclination. These experiences prove to be exciting, edifying, and life-changing for our youth.

Jubilee Women’s Center provides housing, staffing resources, and life improvement services for homeless women in the community. They are determined in their undertaking to restore dignity and self-sufficiency to the lives of women who have endured an array of struggles. Jolkona facilitates shopping excursions for women to boost self-confidence, as well as thorough one-on-one professional care. Jubilee’s focus on comprehensive services from employment to education to mental health makes it a meaningful hub in our community.


100% of the proceeds from Corks & Forks go to the Kona Fund for Jolkona, which sustains our goals in several ways. The contributions help maintain our operations, which allow us to take young philanthropists under our wing, while also ensuring 100% of the donations we receive are given to their rightful cause and actualized. It is because of your generous support that Jolkona is able to devote its time and energy to those in need.

Please, come join us for this exceptional opportunity to show your support for one another in the community and Jolkona!

General Tickets are currently $120, while tickets for our NextGen young philanthropists are at the special price of $100. VIP Tickets (which include awesome bonuses like champagne and wine, appetizers, and your own apron) are $175 a piece.

Buy tickets now for you and your party before ticket prices increase on Oct. 3rd at 5pm!

See you at Corks & Forks on Oct. 4th to celebrate the generous world of giving!

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