Successful fundraiser for Anna Bui endowment

David and Anny Bui with Mark Wright, right

David and Anny Bui with event master of ceremonies Mark Wright, right. (Photo courtesy of Mark Wright and David Nguyen)

About 200 people attended a fundraiser in Mukilteo, Washington, that brought in nearly $41,000 for the Anna Bui World of Hope Scholarship at the University of Washington Bothell.

With previous donations, the endowment fund now has nearly $59,000 to support study abroad experiences for other UW Bothell students in memory of 19-year-old Bui who was killed last summer shortly after traveling in Europe for three weeks.

“This endowment is about far more than the money raised. It's about making something good out of a terrible tragedy. It's about finding peace, and it's about creating a lasting legacy for a life cut needlessly and tragically short,” said Phil Akers, vice chancellor for advancement and external relations.

The Aug. 3 gathering at the Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo brought together friends of the Bui family, members of the Vietnamese, UW Bothell and Mukilteo communities “and people we didn’t even know,” said Anny Bui who helped organize the event with her brother, David.

“I’m just amazed the crowd is so diverse. That really says a lot about how Anna was. She had a great mix of people in her life. She’s impacted a lot of people,” Anny said.

“The level of commitment from the family to make a difference in the face of tragedy was outstanding,” said Sean Marsh, director of alumni engagement and philanthropy at UW Bothell. “It will have a lasting effect for years to come on UW Bothell and its students.”

Among those at the fundraiser were a choir from Kamiak High School where Anna and two other people who were killed had graduated. There were silent and live auctions. Mark Wright of KING5-TV, who had personal connection to the tragedy, emceed the program. Businesses donated gift certificates and food for a half-dozen food stations with different cuisines, echoing the travel theme.

“I want to thank all of our donors and supporters for this event. We’ve had so many. I want each and every one them to know they have made a huge impact,” Anny said.

The Bui family is already thinking about a similar event next year and looking forward to the first scholarships.

“I really want the best experience possible for the students who are going to be getting these scholarships,” Anny said.

The Bui family is doing better in dealing with the tragedy a year later, said Anny, a 2015 UW graduate with a Bachelor of Science in speech and hearing sciences, who now works as a substitute teacher in Mukilteo. 

“Some days it’s difficult to describe what we’re going through. Some days we’re a little bit better and can get through it and go about our day,” she said.