Air quality levels put event plans in limbo

Air quality levels put event plans in limbo

Spokane’s summer of smoke has proven to be a nightmare for event planners across the region and one group of local volunteers were on edge last week, hoping their event wouldn’t be the latest to be rescheduled or canceled.

Project Beauty Share hosted its first fundraiser Sunday night, called “Evening en Blanc” in Kendall Yards. The non-profit collects and distributes makeup and personal hygiene projects to women struggling with low income, abuse, homelessness or poverty.

Volunteer Tamara McGregor told KXLY 4 the non-profit worked with the National Weather Service to determine if it needed to move the event indoors due to poor air quality.

“In all honesty we’ve been on pins and needles all week,” McGregor said.

Sunday’s air quality levels peaked at unhealthy in the morning but progressed to moderate throughout the day as rain rolled in.

McGregor said volunteers thought of the homeless women they serve when deciding to keep their fundraiser outdoors on Summit Parkway.

“They’re not living with this air quality for four hours — they’re living with this 24/7, and so we were thinking about that as we were making the decision,” McGregor said. “It really did have us thinking about our homeless women that we serve and really felt that it was important to press on.”

McGregor said the non-profit planned to cycle volunteers out of the smoke every hour. Whether it was indoors or outdoors, McGregor was happy to serve those who need the help most in our community.

“Yeah, we give people toothpaste and deodorant, but it’s not about the products. What we really provide is confidence, it’s dignity, it’s hope,” McGregor said. “It’s women saying to another woman, ‘you know what, you may not see the beauty in yourself but we see it.'”