From Government Energy Policy to Classic Italian Design – and Opening an Amina Rubinacci Boutique

October 26, 2016

Merribel Ayres, a seasoned professional in Washington’s energy and environmental policy community, is spreading her wings on the Georgetown retail scene. Ayres opened an Amina Rubinacci boutique this month on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few doors down from the Four Seasons.

Her passion for the designs of Amina Rubinacci began 12 years ago, when Ayres was in Rome for a business trip and wandered into a boutique selling some of the designer’s line.
“I instantly was fascinated by the fit and fabric of her clothes and wondered why there was not a greater presence of these Italian heritage family brands in the U.S,” said Ayres as she sat in her simple corner office on the second floor of the boutique.

The boutique is all white and very airy. The narrow floors of the Georgetown row house are filled with natural light, allowing the clothes – which are simply displayed on long racks along the wall – to be the main feature in each of the rooms.

Amina Rubinacci began creating her collections in Naples in the 1970s. She is often referred to in the Italian fashion community as “the queen of wool” for her knowledge and use of the fabric. Her designs are well known in Italy and France as well as in the U.S., where there are three other boutiques: in Palm Beach, Charlotte and Greenwich.

After spending 36 years in D.C., Ayres knows quite a bit about its residents’ fashion preferences. She believes that Rubinacci’s attention to detail regarding color, cut and fabric supports the needs of the Washington woman, who often wears many hats – in a single day having to be a wife, a mother, a businesswoman, a philanthropist and many other things. Rubinacci’s designs are appropriate for several different types of occasions, according to Ayres.

Ayres is also the president of Lighthouse Consulting Group, which she founded in 1996 to put her government experience to use. Lighthouse provides knowledge-based government and public affairs services to clients focused on energy and environmental policy issues. After spending more than three decades in that world, Ayres felt it was the right time to explore a new – and very different – business. Since October 2013, the boutique has become almost a second full-time job and a major investment for her.

“I am lucky to be able to share my love and passion of Italian design with local Washingtonians and visitors from around the world,” said Ayres, noting how varied the customer base has been in the few weeks the boutique has been open. She has seen students, professional women and men buying gifts for their wives coming in and discovering Rubinacci’s designs.

Personally, Ayres loves Rubinacci’s jackets and her sweaters trimmed with linen. They are just some of her go-to pieces when getting herself ready for the day. She is very pleased with the store’s initial reception and looks forward to integrating herself into the Georgetown business community, having already joining several neighborhood and business associations.

The Amina Rubinacci boutique in Georgetown is located at 2822 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.

Little Acre Flowers: Locally Sourced With Love

April 11, 2016

A lifelong love of flowers turned into a career opportunity for former international relations consultant Tobie Whitman.
Whitman recently launched Little Acre Flowers, D.C.’s first and only locally sourced, online based florist. All bouquets and arrangements come from farms in the D.C., Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland area, bringing the ever popular “farm to fork” experience from the garden to vase. Every order is unique to whatever is freshest that day to guarantee a more fragrant, natural arrangement than other commercial offerings.

“A lot people don’t think about where their flowers come from– it’s an extension of the local food movement,” Whitman said. “People are thinking about where their food is grown and we are making them aware of where their flowers come from now.”
During her her part-time policy work she found time to work in the floral industry and realized how much she enjoyed working with her hands in a more creative and colorful profession.

After reading “Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful” and the “Fast Food Nation” of the floral industry, Whitman learned the history of flowers, what goes into importing them and how it affects the quality of the product. The books served as part of her inspiration for pursuing local products. She also has a personal connection to flowers. As a child she loved to visit her grandmother’s garden and one of her first memories is visiting the Kunkenhof tulip garden in Holland.

Before launching Little Acres, Whitman visited farmer markets in search of partnering with local farmers in her new business venture. She also plans to return to markets like the DuPont Farmers Market and conduct floral arrangement demonstrations to make more of a presence in the community. Little Acre Flowers does not have a brick and mortar store, but is a thriving web-based shop.

Little Acre Flowers’ web-based business has been booming since its launch in the last month. According to Whitman, Valentine’s Day orders were rolling in and this time of year is a busy one. Currently, Little Acre delivers to the area they source from. Exact zip codes of delivery can be found on their website.

Each arrangement is one of a kind and comes wrapped in reused burlap from Mayorga coffee or reusable glass vases. The arrangements come in a variety of sizes and price points.

A great amount of detail at Little Acre is put into sustainability, an effort Whitman feels passionate about. Her husband owns Opower, an energy efficient software company and has made her very aware of the options a company has to be green. One example is the personal notes that can be added to arrangements written with soy based ink on recycled paper. Not having a store front also saves a lot of energy since the floral industry is conveniently online based.

“There’s so much growing in the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole and it seems like there is a need for a locally grown and sourced florist,” Whitman said.

Little Acre Flowers provides flowers for events and weddings and is looking to be represented at local wedding expos soon.
Learn more about the company and their products at or call 202-524-0812. [gallery ids="101634,146073" nav="thumbs"]

Keep The Curtain Open!

January 16, 2015

The spring theater season is off to a strong start, with some venues pushing boundaries with their productions and others bringing mainstream favorites to town.

For it’s production of Richard III, running through March 16, the Folger Theatre reconfigured it’s Elizabethan Theatre into its first ever theatre in the round. Traditionally used as a proscenium space, the stage has been flipped, making the playing space a central square ring with seats on all sides creating a very tense environment that thrusts spectators into the action of the play. A promo video showing how the space was transformed is at

Keegan Theatre is bringing a very different feel-good musical to town: “Hair,” opening Mar. 15. Last winter, Keegan produced a very successful run of “Cabaret,” so “Hair” – with several of the same cast members – is likely to be an equally successful production.

The Washington Ballet will present a special limited engagement at the Kennedy Center, “British Invasion: The Beatles & The Rolling Stones,” Mar. 5-9. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America, this thrilling and thought-provoking performance is set to classic tunes by the Beatles and the Stones. The featured choreographers include Trey McIntyre, Christopher Bruce and Christopher Wheeldon.

The Studio Theatre is bringing D.C. a show with a lot of buzz: “Water by the Spoonful,” the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The second play in her trilogy, the play is about Elliot, a combat veteran who lives in North Philadelphia. Elliot, who is taking care of his dying mother, relies on his cousin Yaz as he tries to adjust to civilian life. Other characters face the challenge of getting clean and sober as they struggle against adversity. Described by the New York Times as “a moving collage of lives in crisis,” the show opens Mar. 5.

Check out the spring performance guide to learn more about the productions on D.C.-area stages in the coming months.

Valentine’s Day Events in DC

Find your own way to say ‘I love you’ to a
special someone on Valentine’s Day this
year. There are a variety of different events
and restaurant features in the District to fit any
couple or individual looking for their special

**DC Metro Chocolate Tours**
Take a two-hour interactive walking tour
in Georgetown highlighting the history of the
neighborhood while indulging in fine local
chocolates. Highlights of the tour include
chocolate-dipped bacon lollipops, chocolate
tea, chocolate sugar, chocolate salt, chocolate
crepes, chocolate skincare products and
more. Advance tickets are required. Tickets:

**Crimes of Passion: ‘Til Death Do Us Part’**
Tour the Crime Museum after hours on
Valentine’s Day. The self-guided tour includes
a rose, a take-home pair of furry handcuffs,
hands-on forensic demonstrations, and lessons
on “crimes of passion” such as the St. Valentine’s
Day Massacre. 6 p.m.-12 a.m., 575 7th St NW.
Tickets $80-$150 [](

**Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Party at the Postal Museum**
Back before the age of the Internet, lovers
exchanged messages through the mail sealed
with a kiss. The Smithsonian’s National Postal
Museum is the ideal place to look back to see the
role mail played in bringing couples together. The
event will feature music by DJ Trayze, dancing,
drinks, and more to be delivered at the museum
Feb. 13, from 8-11 p.m. 2 Massachusetts Ave.,
NE. [](

**Valentine’s Tea and Chocolate-Tasting at Tudor Place**
Enjoy and learn the rich history of a variety
of 18th and 19th-century teas and chocolates,
followed by a guided tour of the 1816 mansion, a
National Historic Landmark, featuring a display
of vintage Valentines. 1 p.m. Feb. 15, 1644 31st
St NW. [](

**Vintage Valentine: An Evening with the Washingtons at Tudor Place**
See an original letter George Washington
wrote to Martha in 1775 while enjoying wine
and hors d’oeuvres. There will also be the
opportunity to view other objects from the
museum’s Washington Collection and chat with
docents and curatorial staff. 5 p.m. Feb. 15,
1644 31st St., NW. For pricing details visit,

**Woo at the Zoo**
This year’s adults-only event emphasizes the
mating habits of giant pandas and how science
stepped in to help create the zoo’s newest baby
panda, Bao Bao. Enjoy one complimentary drink
and light snacks, visit a Valentine Fortuneteller,
decorate a sweet for your sweetie and watch an
animal demonstration. A cash bar with specialty
drinks will also be available. All festivites
take place in the Zoo’s Visitor Center starting
at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 14, 3001 Connecticut Ave
NW. Tickets and info: [

**Special Valentine’s Day Menus at Georgetown Restaurants
Georgetown favorites such as**:

1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St., NW,

The Caucus Room (401 9th St., NW,

Café Milano (3251 Prospect St., NW,

Mate (3101 K St., NW, 202-333-2006)

The Grill Room (1050 31st St NW,

Sea Catch (1054 31st St., NW, 202-

Rialto (2915 M Street NW, 202-337-

Clyde’s (3236 M St., NW, 202-333-

All will offer prix fixe Valentine’s Day
menus. Reservations can be made at [www.]( for the restaurants listed above or
by phone.

Pork Week Pops Up at Capella, Feb. 6 to 8

The Grill Room at the Capella Georgetown is hosting a Pork Cook Off to celebrate a full snout-to-tail dining experience Feb. 6 to 8. Diners can choose from one of two five-course pork-filled menus to taste the difference in the eco-friendly raised and processed pork provided by EcoFriendly Foods.

Bev Eggleston founded EcoFriendly Foods in 2001 after 12 years of farming in Mendota, Va. As a farmer, Eggleston experienced the frustration balancing raising great animals and making the most out of the product he raised. This gave him a first-hand look at how small family farms have to compete with the large-scale, corporate-owned, industrial-based agriculture that seem to dominate the industry. EcoFriendly Foods offers small farmers the opportunity to take care of the business end of processing, marketing and distribution of their animals, all done in-house.

Grill Room executive chef Jakob Esko and sous-chef Robert Sargent invited Eggleston to join them in the celebration of locally raised and processed pork. The team also invited D.C. chef John Manolatos of Cashion’s Eat Place and Yvan Mucharraz from Don Manuel’s at Capella in Pedregal, Mexico, to participate in the cook-off. Together, they created a menu that features such dishes as pork shank ravioli with radicchio, rapini, parmesan and smoked ham hock cream as well as pork–rib broth with poached Jidori egg and winter truffles. Chef Esko also invented two pork-inspired desserts, including an apple tart tatin with candied pecan and bacon ice cream and a caramelia chocolate mousse with hazelnut cake and fig and prosciutto ice cream.

The pork menu is exclusively available Thursday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., when the featured chefs will be on-hand for the kick off.

Feb. 7 and 8 will feature a blend between pork tasting and regular Grill Room items during dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The five-course pork tasting menus are $95 per person (excluding gratuities.) If guests would prefer to order the dishes a la carte, they can do so on Feb. 7 and 8. Starters are priced between $14-18; the main courses are $32-38; and $10 for desserts. View the full pork filled menu at, or call 202-617-2429. The Grill Room, 1050 31st St., NW. [gallery ids="101616,146755,146751,146758" nav="thumbs"]

‘The Admission’: Israeli-Palestinian Secrets

June 9, 2014

“The Admission” lives on at the Mead Theatre at the Studio Theatre after its run as a workshop at Theater J. This controversial piece by Motti Lerner, an Israeli, addresses the often difficult conversations that can go on between Arabs and Jews across the world.

Andy Shallal, former mayoral candidate, restaurateur and owner of Bus Boys and Poets, is producing this second run of this show. Lerner’s inspiration for “The Admission” comes from the story of Giora, a wounded veteran of a military action in Lebanon. Giora tried to retrospectively understand the motives behind the murder of a group of Palestinian civilians by a unit under the command of his father – an Israeli soldier — some 40 years earlier during the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.

The talented Danny Gavigan plays Giora, the wounded veteran who is physically reminded every day of the constant conflict of his country, as he can only get around on crutches. Michael Tolaydo plays Avigdor, his father, a man who is cares very much about his family and their future, as he carries the weight of his actions of the past with him. Both actors beautifully portray the conflict we all have with letting go of the guilt and memory of our past actions to prevent us from moving forward and embracing the present.

Kimberly Schraf (Yona) commits whole-heartedly for the two-hour run of the show as the wife and mother to these two and tries to keep the family together as well as her husband’s construction business going. Yona is also dealing with the loss of one son as the result of the conflict and mourns his loss with grace, while trying to keep her husband and son from doing something they will regret.

Where it seems Lerner took some creative liberties is in the relationships in Giora’s personal life. He is engaged to a lovely Jewish girl, Neta, played by Elizabeth Anne Jernigan. Jernigan’s performance is a tender display of the struggle many wives of veterans would sympathize with. Giora is also involved with a young and feisty Arab woman, Samya, played by Nora Achrati. He works with her at the university in Haifa, and they have an ongoing affair that his family and finance are aware of, but their relationship is not accepted due to their religious differences. This aspect of the play seems a little like a soap opera. There is no real way to reinvent the plot line of boy and girl should get married, but boy gets distracted by a more unique girl he can’t ever really be with because of societal or religious pressures.

In the same vein, the play also struggles structurally at points in that the show is broken down into more than a dozen short scenes. This left the piece feeling choppy and ending abruptly at times, lots of small two- or three-person scenes, when the full cast is only seven characters. The structure almost felt like the piece would play better as a movie script.

Design-wise, the production was very clean and simple. This could be due to the relocation of the production, or just to allow the audience to follow the actors through the half a dozen locations the play takes place. Klyph Shoham designed the projections, which were displayed on a screen that when not in use matched the design on the deck of the stage in a simple grid pattern. When in use, the screen displayed dull images on green landscapes, construction in the city and some images of historic ruins. The projections were only used in the beginning and very end of the show. I was left wanting them used more consistently throughout the production. It might have helped bring the audience be more easily aware of the multiple locations.
One choice that I appreciated in the design of the show was that when actors “exited” the stage they were simply seated off the stage but still intentionally in sight of the audience. They sat in silence at well-lit café tables awaiting their next scene intently watching what was happening on stage. This speaks to one of the overarching metaphors of the piece that the actions of our loved ones truly affect us whether we see their choices play out or not.

Lerner’s work takes a hard look at the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It presents difficult conversations between family members and different families trying to live and work freely in the same community. Each performance is followed by a discussion, led by a Theatre J staffer and a few of the actors. They hope to continue the dialogue the production inspires.
“The Admission” will run at the Mead Theatre at the Studio Theatre through May 18. For tickets, visit the Bus Boys and Poets [website](

Fred Maroon’s ‘Far Out Fashions’ at Artist’s Proof

May 9, 2014

Fred Maroon might be famous in D.C. for his notable photographs around the Capitol and Georgetown, but how many know that he traveled the work to produce spectacular fashion editorial spreads?

Peggy Sparks, owner of Artist’s Proof, is currently working with her team on an exhibition of Maroon’s editorial work at the intimate gallery, located just off M Street in Cady’s Alley. The show, “Far Out Fashions: An Exhibition of Fashion Photography by the Late Fred J. Maroon,” will be open to the public from May 16 to June 1. “We try to create a space for artists from around the world to come and share the stories they so very strongly put into their art,” said Sparks. She believes that Artist’s Proof is a place where the public can step into these stories.

Maroon’s story began when he was sweet-talked by the editor of London’s Weekend Telegraph Magazine in 1966. This first series was meant to highlight the cashmere wool made from the underbelly of Mongolian goats. Maroon traveled to the outskirts of Mongolia for the shoot. Look magazine (which stopped publishing in 1971) also bought the photos. The New York Times even dedicated half a page to displaying these ambitious photos of models in elaborate wool outfits in snowy landscapes. Maroon’s next destination was Leningrad. However, the clothes the group had brought with them could not be used. Maroon was only allowed to take the photos with a Soviet woman as the model and clothes from a Moscow designer. He agreed, and produced the series “Furs in Russia.”

Afghanistan was next, with a feature on the native silks of the region. A local prince who took a liking to a model granted them access to temples and religious locations where the group would not ordinarily be allowed to photograph. The photos from this trip are also important because they document locations that no longer exist, a result of the country’s war-torn recent history. Several feature models walking in lush green fields, an image of Afghanistan unfamiliar to most Americans.
One of Maroon’s final international stops was Japan, when he shot in several different temples and more remote regions. Maroon worked to record contemporary Japan and its natural features, avoiding the stereotyped, “Madama Butterfly” conceptions of the country.
Fred’s wife, Suzy, and his son, Mark, both Georgetown residents, were the ones who approached Artist’s Proof with the idea of displaying his unpublished editorial work. The current plan is to display different series of Maroon’s photographs, according to Sparks.
Old Town Editions of Alexandria is printing the enlarged prints. Patrick McMahon, co-owner of the studios, said that he is excited about the project and aims to create prints with colors as close as possible to the original slides. Since the photos were originally published in magazines and newspapers, the work is being displayed as it has never been before. The larger-than-life prints will allow the public to see the world through Maroon’s lens with a fresh perspective, said Sparks.

Look for the opening of the Maroon exhibit on May 16 and check out the other works, events and artists displayed at Artist’s Proof at
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Celebrate D.C. Emancipation Day on April 16

April 17, 2014

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. This act marked an important moment in American history, preceding Lincoln’s more famous Emancipation Proclamation, and is celebrated in D.C. with citywide events.

During the Civil War, D.C. was a common place of escape for slaves running from the slave states of the South. There was a lot of pressure on the president to abolish slavery in the city. In 1862, with the help of Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, Lincoln signed the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act, a unique law by Congress that abolished slavery in the District and allowed compensation to the former owners.

The black community of the city organized a parade to celebrate the anniversary in 1866. After an absence of 100 years, the parade returned in the 21st Century as part of an annual tradition – and a heightened awareness by citizens of this important step in the march of freedom. Several additional events around April 16 have come along since then.
The D.C. Emancipation Day Parade will run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between Third Street and 13th Streets. The parade will feature public officials, government agencies, community organizations, D.C. schools, the military, churches and universities. Since 2005, April 16 has been an official public holiday in the District of Columbia; local government offices will be closed.

At 3 p.m., Wednesday, there will be a free concert near the end of the parade location on 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The concert will include performances by Talib Kweli, Dough E. Fresh, DJ Kool, J Ivy, and D.C.’s own Black Alley Band. There will be vendors with food and drinks to add to the celebration.

To end the day of celebration on a more contemplative note, go the Walter Pierce Park on Calvert Street, NW, at the Duke Ellington Bridge. There will be a luminaire to honor the 8,428 African Americans who are buried in the park.

For more information on Emancipation Day events and the history of the holiday, visit:

Photos below are from The Emancipation Day Panel; Celebrity Town Hall Discussion at the Lincoln Theatre, April 13.

Centric, a BET Network, the Office of Cable Television, the office of District Council member Vincent Orange and Howard University’s WHUT partner to present the Emancipation Day Panel, a town hall-style discussion focused on important topics affecting youth and the African-American community. Topics involved education, employment, closures of hospitals and healthcare facilities, anti-violence, prison reform and other social issues. Moderated by TV host, reporter and producer Robyn Murphy, the event’s panelists included actress and recording artist Toni Blackman, hip hop artist MC Hammer, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, social and political correspondent Michael Skolnik, president of Russell Simmon’s, and recording artist Monie Love, founder of the Ladies First Women’s Empowerment Organization. The town hall will air as a one-hour television special, complemented with highlights from all official D.C. Emancipation Day celebrations, for future broadcast on CentricTV and WHUT Television.
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Restaurants Infuse ‘Cherry Picks’ into Menu 2014

April 11, 2014

Every year the D.C. restaurant scene gets a little more creative when spring rolls around. In conjunction with the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, a number of Cherry Picked restaurants feature special Japanese or cherry blossom inspired menu items to embrace the spirit of the festival. Find a full list of restaurants and reservation information at [](

**Entrees and Appetizers**

[Fourth Estate]( at the National Press Club will feature a Brie and Prosciutto crostini with cherry chutney appetizer, and a Goat cheese stuffed Chicken Breast with Cherry and Peach Salsa entrée. Both will be served during the brunch, lunch and dinner services. 529 14th Street NW, Ste. 1300

[Ici Urban Bistro]( is offering a Prosciutto wrapped asparagus poached egg, cherry jam with balsamic vinegar as an appetizer. For an entrée, Atlantic salmon couscous pistachio and dried cherries, spiced pearl onion, lemon and cilantro relish. 806 15th Street, NW

[Jaleo]( will be offering three different dishes including: “Panceta confitada con salsa de cereza,” pork belly confit with cherry sauce and “Queso Murcia al vino tinto con mermelada de cereza y pan tostado,” which is ‘the drunken goat’ Murcia cheese with cherry marmalade and toasted bread.

[Oyamel]( – Their main specialty dish for the festival will be a Chile relleno filled with a duck picadillo and topped with a cherry sauce and pomegranate seeds. 401 7th Street, NW

[Cafe Deluxe]( For a lighter cherry inspired dish, they will offer the Sherry Cherry Crispy Goat Cheese Salad, which blends mixed greens with sherry soaked cherries and corn nuts all topped with sherry vinaigrette and crispy pieces of goat cheese. 3228 Wisconsin Ave NW

**Specialty Cocktails**

[District Commons]( – Even though we all hope the blossoms will come on time, you can still try the “Late Bloomer” which has Leopold’s Maraschino Liqueur, Leopold’s Michigan Cherry Liqueur, and Gruet Sparkling Wine. 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW

[Acadiana]( – The “Black Cherry Punch” features Jim Beam Red Stagg Black Cherry infused Bourbon, Combier Cherry Liqueur, club soda and simple syrup. 901 New York Avenue, NW


[Georgetown Cupcake]( brings back their regular cherry blossom cupcakes including the Cherry Blossom, which is a classic Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake baked with fresh cherries and topped with a cherry infused cream cheese frosting and a fondant cherry blossom. They will also have cherry cheesecake. 3301 M Street NW

[Ovvio Osteria]( will offer multiple cherry desserts including chocolate cherry ganache filled cupcakes, sour cherry tarts, white chocolate cherry cookies, and cherry-misu. 2727 Merrilee Drive, Merrifield, Va.

[Olivia Macaron]( – March flavors include Lady Grey, mimosa, Cherry Blossom, and Irish Cream. 3222 M Street NW

‘Where to Draw the Line’ on Eating Disorders

March 13, 2014

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs Feb. 23 through March 1. This year’s theme is “I Had No Idea: Food Issues, Emotional Eating & Eating Disorders . . . Where to Draw the Line?”

The purpose of the annual event, sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association and now in its 27th year, is to bring public attention and support to the needs of those with eating disorders and their families. The events and initiatives of this week are meant to bring people together in communities across the country in raising awareness about the severity of eating disorders, which are bio-psycho-social illnesses. The signs may be hard to recognize but can be life-threatening.

There will be lots of events going on next week across the country. In and around Washington, D.C., there will be a few events open to the public. If you can’t attend any of the events listed below and want to find out more information about eating disorders, organizers will be hosting several webinars addressing a variety of issue surrounding eating disorders. Participants can sign up at [](
Below is a selection of events where you can learn more about eating disorders.

**Presentation – Hungry for What? Empowerment Against Disordered Eating: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.**

American University’s School of International Service, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Founders Room. Join Rock Recovery and AU’s Active Minds chapter for Hungry for What?, an eye-opening presentation that de-mystifies and de-stigmatizes the issue of disordered eating by uncovering its true nature and causes. A $10 donation is suggested which will be donated to Rock Recovery’s programs in the D.C. community and nationwide. For more information, visit [](, or call 571-255-9906.

**The Great Jeans Giveaway: Monday, Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.**

Kogan Plaza, 2121 I St. N.W. Hosted by Students Promoting Eating Disorder Awareness and Knowledge of George Washington University (SPEAK GW), this event is designed to persuade the public to think twice about trying to change our bodies to fit fashion trends and unattainable standards of beauty. Volunteers will be collecting gently used denim that will be donated to local charities.

**Screening – “Someday Melissa”: Thursday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.**

George Mason University, Johnson Center Cinema, 4400 University Drive. Screening of “Someday Melissa: The Story of an Eating Disorder, Loss and Hope,” a documentary by filmmaker Judy Avrin, who was inspired by the journal writings of her daughter Melissa, who lost her life to an eating disorder. For more information, contact Tracy McClair at

**Inaugural Fairfax NEDA Walk, themed NEDA Walk. Save a Life. Saturday, March 1, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.** (Registration/check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.)

George Mason University, Johnson Center North Plaza, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA NEDA invites friends and family to help spread awareness of the seriousness of eating disorders so more people will receive the help they or their loved ones so desperately need. . For more information, contact Jordan White at or 908-675-7613. To pre-register, visit []( or call 212-575-6200. $25 per adult, $15 per student, $10 per child under 12, $5 per pet.