National Rehabilitation Hospital Gala

November 17, 2010

Shahin Mafi and Mona St. Leger co-chaired the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s Nov. 10 Gala Victory Awards at the Organization of American States. The evening featured a buffet of North and South American specialties as well as silent and live auctions which included a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 provided by Windows Catering Company, an air combat mission and a week for two at the Half Moon in Jamaica. This year’s recipients of the Victory Awards celebrating exceptional strength and courage in the face of physical adversity were Cheryl Douglas, a quadruple amputee as the result of a rare bacterial infection, and Tim Strachan, who suffered a spinal core injury during a beach accident before his senior year in high school. He praised the staff at NRH for instilling “the belief that you can move on despite a disability.” He went on to say “you give a gift.” [gallery ids="99557,104594,104610,104606,104599,104602" nav="thumbs"]

Knock Out Abuse Gala

The 17th Annual Knock Out Abuse Against Women Gala took place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Nov. 11. Andrea Roane of WUSA 9 emceed. This year honored television pioneer and Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Agnes Nixon with the Aggie Award for her lifetime contribution of bringing social issues to the forefront of America’s consciousness. New York Times best selling author of Crazy Love Leslie Morgan Steiner was the keynote speaker. KOA was co-founded by Jill Sorensen and Cheryl Masri to help women and children suffering from domestic violence. Activist and philanthropist Sarah Guinan Nixon chaired the evening, hailing it as “a true celebration of the power of women to effect change for the most vulnerable women and children in our community.” What 17 years ago began as a dinner party among 20 friends has raised close to $7 million and is today a city-wide celebration of 750 women. [gallery ids="99556,104584,104596,104589,104593" nav="thumbs"]

Dress for Success Washington, D.C.

November 10, 2010

Over 200 supporters of Dress for Success gathered at an 8th anniversary celebration luncheon at the J. W. Marriott on Oct. 28 for what event chair Joyce Gates heralded as accomplishing “ near miracles on a daily basis” to empower disadvantaged women in our area to regain confidence and enter the work force. Shawn Yancy of FOX5 News emceed. Testimonial speaker Shecara Vardiman touched hearts speaking of her success attributed to “a group of women who have overcome.” Keynote speaker Stacie Turner left her recent TV celebrity aside to speak of links between her charity Extra-Ordinary Life founded to inspire girls in foster care and the goals of Dress for Success. There were accolades galore, particularly for the support of DC Councilmember Michael A. Brown, who helped secure a $150,000 grant from the D.C. Department of Employment Services. – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99520,104485,104479,104482" nav="thumbs"]


October 29, 2010

The Washington Savoyards present THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at the Atlas Performing Arts Center ( 1333 H Street, NE Washington DC), running through November 7, 2010.
The Washington Savoyards is the light opera company of Washington. It performs comic and light opera, operetta, and musical theatre. Remembering its roots as a Gilbert and Sullivan company, it mounts at least one of their popular light operas each season.
(All photos by Jeff Malet [gallery ids="99360,99377,99376,99375,99374,99373,99372,99371,99370,99369,99368,99367,99366,99365,99364,99363,99362,99361,99378" nav="thumbs"]

Newsbabes Bash for Breast Cancer

October 27, 2010

It was packed, it was hot and it was pink (yeah, baby). The second annual Newsbabes Bash for Breast Cancer took over the Georgetown Ritz-Carlton on South Street, May 10, to benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. As she left the overwhelmed bar, race founder and Ambassador Nancy Brinker got to say hello to D.C. First Lady Michelle Fenty who was arriving amid the squeezed bodies (more than 500 attended). After a few speeches in the heat, the women retreated outside for a calmer and cooler photo op. Other notables included Tommy McFly, Luke Russert and soccer players Chris Pontius and Devon McTavish, along with Andy Baldwin and former pageant winners Kate Marie Grinold (D.C.), Kate Michael (D.C) and Tara Wheeler (Virginia). – Robert Devaney [gallery ids="99353,99354,99355,99356,99357,99358,99359" nav="thumbs"]

Safeway’s Big Social Debut

The new Safeway store on Wisconsin Avenue had a gala debut May 5, as Georgetowners and others were treated to a champagne, food-filled (of course) party that got lots of positive buzz and publicity. Neighbors, politicos and Safeway execs mingled throughout D.C.’s largest grocery store, which is open 24 hours a day. “I was first in the store in the 1950s. I think it’s a great place,” said Washington Post Company CEO Don Graham, who grew up on nearby R Street. “This is the Social Safeway,” said Kate Michael of the Web site K Street Kate. “You may well see people shopping in the future in cocktails dresses.” Katherine Tallmadge, who writes a nutrition column for the Georgetowner, observed of the new store, “The nutritional options are amazing, the produce section is gorgeous and the selections of wines really surprise me. Mary Beth Albright summed up the evening: “It is the best time I have ever had in a grocery store!” – Robert Devaney and Elle Fergusson [gallery ids="99347,99348,99349,99350,99351,99352" nav="thumbs"]

Lani Hay’s Mixology/Book Party

Lani Hay, president and CEO of Lanmark Technology, hosted a dinner party for Michelin three-star mixologist and author Brian Van Flandern on May 13 to celebrate his new book, “Vintage Cocktails.” A veteran bartender and now consultant, Van Flandern holds many awards and is known for using the best, purest and most historical ingredients to mix his drinks. He has worked at the Carlyle Hotel and at Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant in New York. On hand were the book’s publishers, Prosper and Martine Assouline, along with event sponsors, DC Magazine’s Karen Sommer Shalett and George Stone. Seen at the dinner tables were D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Barbara Lang, CNN’s Edie Em-ery, Karen Feld, Erwin Gomez and Sharon Yang. – Robert Devaney


October 26, 2010

WTOP’s Man About Town Bob Madigan emceed Tickled Pink VII, a mother/daughter afternoon tea and fashion show to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc. at the Fairmont, Washington, DC on May 15. Fashions were presented by The Pink Palm as the grown up and little ladies twirled in vintage and current Lilly designs. Jessica Soklow thanked guests for “opening your hearts and your wallets.” The foundation fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in categories of wish to have, wish to go, wish to meet and wish to be. The most recent recipient, 15-year-old Daniela of Silver Spring aspiring to a modeling career, received VIP treatment for three magical days in New York capped by a photo shoot with flash bulbs popping. – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99342,99343,99344,99345,99346" nav="thumbs"]

An Evening of Hope for Afghanistan

Ambassador of France Pierre Vimont welcomed guests to his residence on May 14 for a Spring Soirée Nooristan Foundation benefit. Foundation President Marie Kux spoke of the reaffirmation of the American commitment to Afghanistan with more schools, more roads and more jobs. Ambassador Vimont cited the long tradition of a French presence in Afghanistan and paid tribute to projects consistent with the needs of the local population. Caroline Hudson Firestone was honored with the Humanitarian Award for creating “people to people linkages.” – Mary Bird [gallery ids="99326,99327,99328,99329,99330,99331" nav="thumbs"]

Monaco Celebrates

This year’s celebration of the fifth anniversary of the reign of Prince Albert II of Monaco was particularly festive as Ambassador Gilles Noghes shared the delight of his compatriots at the announcement of the Prince’s engagement to Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa. Their union will give the principality its first crown princess since the death of Princess Grace in 1982. The July 13 reception at the Metropolitan Club was attended by members of Monaco’s consular corps, who came from posts throughout the United States and Canada. Guests enjoyed The Little Singers of Monaco, who sing each Sunday in the Cathedral and were making their ninth visit to America. They sang the national anthems of Monaco and the U.S., a Monagasque folk song and concluded with “America the Beautiful.”
— Mary Bird [gallery ids="99314,99315,99316,99317,99318,99319,99320" nav="thumbs"]