Most Influential 2010: Dave Ross and Tom Douglas

Radio host Dave Ross and Restaurateur Tom Douglas show their patriotism and democracy
Dave Ross and Tom Douglas in the Safeco Field parking garage, September 7, 2010

On April 1, Dave Ross, host of The Dave Ross Show on KIRO-FM, opened his morning broadcast with the news that One Reel, the nonprofit organization that runs the Fourth of July festivities at Lake Union, had failed to secure a corporate sponsor and was canceling the event. It was no April Fool’s joke. “It seemed so ridiculous that a city the size of Seattle wasn’t going to have an official fireworks show,” says Ross, whose commentary struck a chord.

“I was driving to work listening to Dave,” says Seattle ultra-restaurateur Tom Douglas. “I turned to my wife and said, ‘I can’t let this happen.’” Douglas called the station and pledged $5,000 to a spur-of-the-moment campaign to preserve the rockets’ red glare. Ross added $1,000, and they challenged Seattle businesses to raise the remaining $494,000 needed to save the show.

The phone lines lit up. As momentum built, Starbucks and Microsoft each pledged $125,000 to match up to $250,000 raised in the community. Miraculously, the entire sum was raised within 24 hours. For Ross, it was an example of patriotism and democracy in action. “Power really does come from the people,” he says.

Published November 2010

More articles from our Most Influential issue

Person of the Year: The Police Officer

Most Influential: CEO Ben Huh

Most Influential: Bill Gates Sr.

Most Influential: Partners on the Cascadia Center

Most Influential: Dave Ross and Tom Douglas

Most Influential: Group Health Cooperative

Most Influential: Hanson Hosein

Most Influential: Football player Jake Locker

Most Influential: F5 Networks CEO John McAdam

Most Influential: Activist Keli Carender

Most Influential: Founder Kim O'Donnel

Most Influential: Broker Laura Miller

Most Influential: Seattle Storm Lauren Jackson

Most Influential: Consultant Mike Donlin

Most Influential: Mike McGinn and Dow Constantine

Most Influential: M.D. and CEO Mitchell Gold

Most Influential: Ones to Watch

Most Influential: Our Selection Panel

Most Influential: CEO Paul Davis

Most Influential: Robb Hunt and Steve Tomkins

Most Influential: Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Most Influential: Speight Jenkins

Most Influential: King-5 News Susannah Frame

Most Influential: Co-founder Tad McGeer

Most Influential: The Seattle Times Staff

Most Influential: Real Change's Tim Harris

Most Influential: Senator Tracey Eide

Most Influential: Zoran Popovic and David Baker

Comments