Photo, top, by Alexander R. King Photography, & courtesy of Joshua Watler. Photos, bottom, courtesy Lauren Berkowitz
Popular community organizer & musician, Joshua Watler, 31, lives in Tukwila and founded two non-profit organizations based in Burien. He has leukemia. A fundraiser will be held Jan. 5 at Bison Creek Pizza, & there is an online site to donate toward his bone marrow transplant and other expenses. Area businesses, and individuals, are coming foreword to donate raffle and silent auction items, including, bottom left, Desert Sun Tanning Salon in Normandy Park, & Cupcake Royal at the Ak. Junction in West Seattle.

UPDATE: Local businesses rally, donate: Fundraiser at Bison Creek Pizza for community organizer with leukemia, Joshua Watler, 31


Businesses, and individuals, in Burien, White Center, West Seattle, and beyond have been generously donating items for the raffle and silent auction at a fundraiser to be held at the Bison Creek Pizza Extravaganza fundraiser, described below, for Joshua Watler, 31, who needs a bone marrow transplant and after-care due to leukemia. The event is now scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m., a bit earlier than previously planned.

In Burien: Holiday Mart, B-Town Blog ad, Vino Bello Wine Bar & Shop, Bikram Yoga Burien, HiLine Lanes, Eat Local

In Normandy Park: Desert Sun

In West Seattle & White Center: Beer Junction, Cupcake Royale, 3.14 Bakery, Company Bar, Full Tilt, Proletariat Pizza

...And the list is growing.

Highline Times/West Seattle Herald reporter/photographer Steve Shay will offer two enlargements including a framed Native American image he took at the Pow Pow here, and a framed 1962 image of Elizabeth Taylor taken by his father, journalist Art Shay, in Chicago. Our newspapers will also be covering the event.

Bands Playing: Pearl Django and Buffalo Stagecoach


Cherished, Burien-based community organizer and Tukwila resident, Joshua Watler, 31, is fighting for his life. He has a very aggressive form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or (ALL). Luckily, he has his family, friends, and modern medicine to help him battle his second round of leukemia. His sister Eva, learned this month she is a bone marrow match for him, critical if he is to survive.

His mother and sister organized a fundraising page on the website with a $10,000 goal, his cost of the transplant beyond his health insurance. (So far he is nearly two-thirds there.) He will also need financial help after the operation during a long recovery process when he will not be able to work.

In addition to the virtual fundraiser, his friends have organized a fundraising event for Saturday, Jan. 5, 5:00pm to 10:30pm at Bison Creek Pizza, 630 SW 153rd St., in Burien. You can find details here on Facebook.

Friend and fundraiser organizer Lauren Berkowitz of Burien named it "the "Bison Creek Extravaganza for Joshua". Her invitation reads, "Something for all! Family Friendly, Local Beer Special (Mystery, to be announced closer to the event), Raffle, and Local Bands! Let's Show Joshua how much we want him to get healthy by coming out to Bison Creek, bringing family and friends, and showing the power of the community of which he's such an integral part!"

To donate raffle items, please post on the Facebook page and a host will contact you.

Community Organizer

Joshua Watler started a unique community union, OUR Washington, to help organize, as Joshua puts it, "communities of low to moderate income people in an effort to end a myriad of economic, racial, and civil injustices that affect the everyday lives of working poor families in Western Washington."

He then started a second nonprofit, Washington Working Families Prosperity Center, to connect the members of his community union and the members of the larger community with available services. He did this while undergoing cancer treatment.

He was first diagnosed in 2009 and receives treatment from Highline Medical Center in Burien. Working closely with him is Dr. Steve Ginsberg, or "Gins" as Joshua calls him.

A musician from Nashville, Joshua most recently performed alternative rock and soul with the band Rowe.

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