Hot Tickets!

Welcome to the Fall Gala Season

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Michelle Korsmo, Amy Porter Stroh and Colman Riddell, co-chairs of this year’s Georgetown Gala on Oct. 21 outside the Four Seasons on Pennsylvania Avenue, as Eskinder Isayas looks on. Photo by Patrick G. Ryan.

Bring on the autumnal coolness, O Muses, and if it please you, let us go to galas that are stunning, graceful and happy. And let us be at ease, meeting old friends and meeting new ones, all in the name of charity — by and large.

The Georgetowner sought answers from a few friends around town about the hottest galas coming up this fall, their all-time favorites and their favorite charities.

One of the first and most amusing replies was from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd: “I don’t do galas! Try Sally Quinn.” And so, we did.

Sally Quinn replied: “Hottest gala in fall 2017 is going to be the Alzheimer’s gala at the Reagan Building.” A favorite charity? Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Linda Roth wrote: “’Tis the season and there certainly are lots of galas. Hottest gala this fall is Knock Out Abuse Against Women on Nov. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton. They have always been a charity that is near and dear to me. My all-time favorite that no longer happens was the Larry King Cardiac Foundation gala. The performers were awesome: Celine Dion, Seal, Tim McGraw, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Wynonna Judd, Ricky Martin, Bill Maher, James Brown, Martin Short, Lewis Black.”

Stephanie Green chimed in: “It’s not really my thing, but I’m looking forward to the Meridian Ball. Most memorable: Opera Ball of 2010, the year that Russia hosted. It was so extravagant (caviar buffets, huge ice sculptures of bears and these cakes that were designed to look like Fabergé eggs). It looked like a Fabergé egg — I’ve never seen anything like that and probably never will.”

Pamela Lynne Sorensen replied: “I’m looking forward to the Colon Cancer Alliance Blue Hope Bash at the Mellon Auditorium Oct. 19. It’s a cause near and dear to me (my friend Michael Sapienza is the CEO) and I love that venue. I have to say, the Shakespeare Theatre Company gala and Will Award each year has blown me away — from the performances, to the fun walk over to the Building Museum where the dinner is, to the out-of-this-world decor, to the dancing, to the star-studded stage.” Favorite charity? “Humane Rescue Alliance!”

Kristin Rae Cecchi, one of last year’s co-chairs of the Georgetown Gala, wrote: “The Georgetown Gala is always one of the best parties in town, and the Meridian Ball is also a hot ticket this fall! The spring 2017 gala for the 30th anniversary of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is my favorite. I co-chaired this event with Amy Baier, Jamie Dorros and Cindy Jones, board president. The flowers and decor (designed by Cindy Jones) were absolutely breathtaking. It was the most beautiful event I have ever attended.

“There is no shortage of worthy and deserving causes in this city, but Children’s National Medical Center is always one of my favorites. It is near and dear to the heart of the Cecchi family, especially to my in-laws, Mercedes and Giuseppe Cecchi. They credit Children’s Hospital for saving the life of their youngest son and my husband, G. John Cecchi, when he was an infant more than 40 years ago.”

Michelle Korsmo, Colman Riddell and Amy Porter Stroh, co-chairs of this year’s Georgetown Gala, put on by the Citizens Association of Georgetown at the Four Seasons Oct. 21, agreed that hottest gala this fall is — no surprise — “the Georgetown Gala, of course!”

One favorite Stroh recalled was the 2013 Children’s Hospital Heroes Gala. Riddell said the CAG gala’s theme will be “The Streets of Georgetown” and urged: “Come and represent all the streets you’ve lived on in Georgetown!” Her favorite charity is the Georgetown Ministry Center.

Mary Bird, The Georgetowner’s veteran social correspondent, also spoke up: “I am not the best on choosing the hottest gala. I think it is a matter of what people like and want to support: the arts, medical research, food, animal welfare, etc. The National Symphony season-opening gala, Ambassadors Ball, Harman Center for the Arts gala, Meridian Ball, Knock Out Abuse Gala and Fight Night, Lombardi Gala and the Choral Arts Society of Washington’s Holiday Concert and Gala are all important. The Kennedy Center Honors will be interesting with the first family not attending.”

All-time favorites? “I am a huge animal supporter and love the summer Bark Ball supporting the Humane Rescue Alliance.”

What are your favorites, dear reader? Visit The Georgetowner’s Facebook page and share your thoughts about this fall’s hot tickets.

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