During these unnerving and uncertain times, we’ve watched countless businesses shutter their doors to try and weather the storm that is COVID-19.
Local concert venues have watched their calendars clear and their employees go home, with no shows to watch or drinks to serve. In order to lighten the load of employees affected by the lack of work at Jammin Java in Vienna and Union Stage in Washington, DC, the company moved to start a GoFundMe page on March 17, in an email newsletter.
“We have always said that our staff is the ‘secret sauce’ that sets our clubs apart,” wrote Luke, Jonathan and Daniel Brindley on the GoFundMe page. “We are now asking the Jammin Java and Union Stage community to ensure our staff has a job to come back to after this terrible pandemic passes.”
Three days later, after only a handful of shares on social media, and the aforementioned email announcement, the fundraiser has raised nearly $15,000 out of its $20,000 goal, with 296 donors. As of publication, the total reached $14,660.
According to the page, every cent goes back to the staff, and the founder/owners will be matching every donation up to $20,000 to ensure their employees are well taken care of during the both venues hiatus.
Comments on the page read, “We’ve spent so many happy hours at Jammin Java, giving a bit back to its wonderful staff is the least we can do. Be well all,” and, “Great people, great venue. Hope you’re back in business very soon!” // Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave E., Vienna and Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, Washington, DC
When Brad Nirenberg found out his best friend’s daughter had an aggressive spinal cord tumor at the young age of 2, he immediately wanted to do something about it. With the help of his friends, the Arlington-based entrepreneur gathered a small group of about 20 people for a poker tournament to raise both funds and the spirit of his friend, Jeff Snyder.
That was 15 years ago. Today, the friendly poker tournament has transformed to become Chance for Life, one of the largest charity events in the Washington, DC region happening on Saturday, Feb. 22 at MGM National Harbor.
As the CEO and founder of experiential marketing agency RedPeg, Nirenberg has utilized his expertise to curate a one-of-a-kind event to help end pediatric cancer, featuring a day-long poker tournament, an evening celebrity chef tasting with nearly 30 local chefs and an after party. As for the latter, the highlight of the night is the surprise celebrity entertainer who makes an appearance, which in the past has included stars Robin Thicke, Blues Traveler and Joe Montana.
A post shared by Chance for Life (@chanceforlifedc) on Feb 12, 2020 at 5:00am PST
Of the 29 chefs from the DMV making an appearance at this year’s event, two are leaders of NoVA-born concepts—Victor Albisu of Taco Bamba and Peter Saran Kannasute of Yume Sushi. Here, they share their take on the upcoming affair.
You’ve both attended this event before. What’s it been like and why do you think it’s important?
Chef Albisu: I’ve done it every year and there’s great energy. There are so many charity events here and they are all worthwhile, but this one stands out from the perspective of how much fun everyone is having while they are giving. It’s lighthearted for a serious cause. They bring so much positivity to it, and it just has a great feeling.
Chef Kannasute: The charity supports these special children, and kids of our future. So, we need to support them. For us, it’s special because we [Peter and wife, Cici] have two kids and it means a lot to us. We want to appreciate these people who are spending their time working toward this cause.
What are you most looking forward to about the Chance for Life event this year?
Chef Albisu: I hope to be involved with this way into the future, it’s one of my favorite events. The ability to come together with restaurateurs really feels good, and I love that it’s not hundreds of restaurants, it’s a few. That gives us the opportunity to lean into the experience for the guests.
Chef Kannasute: I’m excited to help bring people together and share my creations of food while raising funds toward a meaningful subject.
What food will you be preparing this year?
Chef Albisu: We will be doing some funky, spicy tacos. We are still working on it but we have a pretty spicy chipotle mushroom taco that is fun, and we are creating another one right now.
Chef Kannasute: This year, I will add a sake tasting bar to complement the dishes, and we will serve specialty cocktails too. As always, there will be traditional sushi rolls. I am also including a scallop shooter, which will be inside a lemon shell to add fragrance.
For Nirenberg and his wife, Callie, who is also a founder, elements like the surprise guest and gourmet tastings are what make this event special.
“For people to want to take part in a cause, you have to connect to the heart and the minds,” Nirenberg explains. “Then they make the conscious decision to donate, get involved, to sponsor. They have to believe what we are doing. And when you create an experience that people have an emotional reaction to, they are more likely to invest.”
According to the National Pediatric Research Foundation, of the billions of dollars spent annually on cancer research and treatments, just 4% are dedicated toward treating childhood cancer. Over the course of 15 years, Chance for Life—now a certified nonprofit—has raised $6.5 million in support of childhood cancer research. This year, the goal is to make $3 million as a result of the event.
As the foundation has grown, it has partnered with Children’s National and Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help fund research and trials. The most recent work by Chance for Life has led to research initiatives that give 16 children and families the resources needed to successfully fight the battle of childhood cancer.
Each year, Jeff Snyder’s now 17-year-old daughter, Kennedy, steps on stage to share a word with the attendees and, according to Nirenberg, she is a guiding light for people in a similar situation.
“Every time Kennedy comes up is another year she is with us,” says Nirenberg. “This event is a trampoline for her and always has been, even when she was having a bad day with chemo or radiation. The powerful spirits of 1,000 people saying, ‘You’re incredible; we’re behind you’ … it’s great medicine. And she inspires others. It’s a great gift to be able to give hope to these families going through the worst moment of their lives.”
While the Chance for Life event is sold out, those who are interested in donating to the cause can do so here.
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It might sound like something straight out of an embarrassing dream: running down the streets of Washington, DC in your underwear. But make the underwear bright red and Valentine’s Day-themed and it all sounds a lot more fun.
We’re talking about running down the streets of the nation’s capital at the 2020 Cupid’s Undie Run with thousands of other partially clothed friends in honor of neurofibromatosis (NF).
Ten years ago, Cupid’s Charity became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and began its mission to raise funds for NF, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nerves throughout the body. One of the founders of the nonprofit, Chad Leathers, saw his brother get diagnosed with the disease at age 16, only to later watch him become paralyzed from the neck down due to the tumors attached to his spine.
Leathers and two friends decided to create a fun run and dance party to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. The thought behind no pants? Those with NF can’t hide their tumors from others, so runners strip down in their honor, showing off as much as they’re comfortable with (as long as it’s within legal limitations).
The fun runs are now held across the United States and have gathered over 107,000 runners, and raised over $18,900,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
The 2020 Cupid’s Undie Run in Washington, DC will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. Join the undie-wearing crew for a mile-ish run, and celebrate afterward with a fundraising bash featuring food, drinks and lots of no-pants dancing. // Penn Social: 801 E St. NW, Washington, DC; $45
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When you put professional dancers and elite celebrities like athletes, singers and journalists together on a stage, it’s bound to be entertaining. Throw in a grand prize of $10,000 for a nearby charity and it gets even better.
“It’s so similar to the show and it’s an experience that all our participants say is one of the best things they’ve done in their lifetime,” says Coakley David. “Yet, the best part is that people get to see their community members on stage working so hard for a charity close to their heart, which really resonates.”
While the inaugural event began just six years ago, Coackley David and her husband Jim were introduced to dance over a decade ago when the pair took ballroom dance lessons for Valentine’s Day. Not long after, the duo decided to start Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which has since grown into an international franchise.
Today, both Jim and Maria are leaders in their respective industries, as well as passionate dance enthusiasts who have worked together to generate over $1 million for local charities from this annual event.
Leading up to the competition, each participant is encouraged to raise money for their designated charity, which all benefit a variety of causes, such as economically vulnerable mothers, those impacted with breast cancer, leukemia and other critical illnesses, and more.
On the evening of the affair, each participant will dance it out with their professional partner, whom they’ve been practicing with over the course of the past few months, for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 for their respective charity. Whether they go for ballroom, salsa or a ballet performance, the choice is theirs.
In addition to the on-stage entertainment, guests will enjoy a sit-down dinner, a silent auction, a live DJ and specialty cocktails throughout the event. Plus, this year’s emcees include Emmy-award winning television personality Will Thomas and founder of media consulting company Laura Evans Media, Laura Evans Manatos. As for who decides the winner? Emmy-nominated ballroom dancer Chelsie Hightower, who has been featured as a regular dance partner, trainer and choreographer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, will make the final decision.
“Most of these people have zero dance background, which just makes it so much fun,” says Coackley David of this year’s featured participants. “With so many charity events in this town, I think this is really different and stands out.”
For tickets to the DC’s Dancing the Stars Gala or for more information on sponsors, competitors and benefiting charities, click here. // Four Seasons Hotel: 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC; $35-$375
According to a 2015 study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 34% of LGBTQ adolescents were bullied on school property within the prior school year, and 10% were threatened or injured with a weapon.
Safe Space NOVA is a nonprofit looking to change those statistics by supporting local LGBTQ youth, while also offering a safe place for students and young adults to find helpful resources, connect with their peers and have a space to discuss the challenges students may be facing at home, school or elsewhere.
The organization is hosting its very first Safe Space NoVA 2019 Brunch Fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. in Alexandria. WUSA9’s Lorenzo Hall will emcee the event, which will award scholarships to local students, honor volunteer commitments and be awarded with a proclamation of community service by Virginia Del. Karrie Delaney (D-Chantilly).
Attendees of the event will enjoy food and drinks with community members and LGBTQ youth supporters, as well as get to know more about the organization’s mission, and contribute to the organization’s $5,000 fundraising goal. // The Garden: 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite C, Alexandria; $50
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You would think that while preparing for a town hall-style event focused solely on climate change, a presidential candidate’s staff might mention that a fundraiser the very next day is being hosted by a fossil fuel industry executive. That is, assuming the candidate prepared for the event.
CNN devoted seven hours to some of the Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination. It turned out to be one long in-kind donation to the re-election of President Trump. I was able to dip in and out of a couple of the candidate’s interviews and oh, boy. What an experience that turned out to be. The candidates are hell-bent to out-crazy one another when it comes to grandiose ideas about saving the planet. There is no idea too outlandish for them and no limit to taxpayer money they are willing to commit to it.
Joe Biden was first up during the prime time hours – 7:00 P.M. Central Time. His host was Anderson Cooper. The lesser candidates went first in the late afternoon time slots with host Wolf Blitzer. The three candidates with an actual shot at the Democrat nomination – Biden, Sanders, and Warren – were among those in prime time. Biden went first because I assume he had an early bedtime to get to.
Things took an awkward turn when Cooper questioned Biden about a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday co-hosted by Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of Western LNG. LNG is liquified natural gas. Natural gas is brought to us by the fossil fuel industry. Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been cooled down to liquid form to make it easy and safe for non-pressurized storage or transport. Western LNG, according to the company’s website is a Houston-based energy company that delivers affordable Canadian natural gas to overseas markets.
Uncle Joe feigned ignorance, or maybe it isn’t an act, and when Anderson Cooper explained Goldman’s tie to the fossil fuel industry, Biden said he’d look into that. He said he’d been assured that Goldman wasn’t an energy sector executive.
The former vice president told the CNN host Anderson Cooper that Mr. Goldman was not listed as an executive in fossil fuel company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “That’s what we look at,’’ Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Cooper, who seemed apprised in advance of the issue raised by the audience member, pressed Mr. Biden, saying Mr. Goldman “has a company called Western LNG” that announced it was building an offshore terminal in western Canada to export natural gas.
“Well, I didn’t realize he does that,’’ Mr. Biden replied. “I’m going to look at what you just told me and find out if that’s accurate.’
A senior adviser to Biden’s campaign, Symone D. Sanders, quickly tweeted out that Cooper had it wrong and Goldman isn’t an executive in the company.
What @andersoncooper just said about VP Biden's fundraiser is factually incorrect. Andrew Goldman isn't a fossil fuel executive. He's not involved in the day to day operation. He's not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.
That’s an interesting take from the campaign. Looking at the website, under the “About” tab, Andrew Goldman is described as a founder of the company. His background is described as one in finance and investment. Are we to believe that he simply founded a company using his background in investments in the energy sector and then just faded into the background? Maybe but that doesn’t sound logical.
There is this little nugget on that website page, too. He’s no stranger to Biden.
Prior to founding De Cordova Goldman Holdings, Mr. Goldman served as an advisor to Senator Joseph R. Biden III until his inauguration as Vice President of the United States in early 2009.
It all just sounds fishy. It sounds like Team Biden got caught trying to dance around the perimeters of the agreement all the Democrat candidates signed onto, a No Fossil Fuel Money pledge.
David Turnbull, a spokesman for the group Oil Change U.S., which is involved in the “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge that Mr. Biden and other candidates have signed, said that while the fund-raiser with Mr. Goldman “may not technically violate the ‘No Fossil Fuel Money’ pledge as we have defined it, it pretty clearly goes against the spirit of the pledge.”
“We defined the rules of the pledge with the intent of making it easier for candidates to live up to it, not to provide loopholes for candidates to exploit in order to keep raising funding from fossil fuel related sources,” Mr. Turnbull said.
At the end of Biden’s segment of the televised event, Anderson Cooper tried one last time to get a straight answer out of Biden about his relationship with Goldman as a fundraiser. He threw his staff under the bus.
At the end of Mr. Biden’s segment during the climate forum, which included 10 top Democratic presidential candidates, Mr. Cooper returned to the topic to clarify that Mr. Goldman “currently doesn’t have day to day responsibilities” in the gas exporter.
Mr. Biden said his campaign vets every contribution.
“What I was told by my staff is that he did not have any responsibility related to the company,” he said, referring to Mr. Goldman. “He was not on the board, he was not involved at all in the operation of the company at all. But if that turns out to be true, then I will not in any way accept his help.”
Symone Sanders played clean-up on Twitter. Here’s the clip of the final attempt by Cooper to get an answer from Biden.
At the end of VP Biden’s time on stage, Anderson Cooper clarified that Andrew Goldman is in fact NOT a fossil fuel exec. pic.twitter.com/Ryn7zxQFiM
Joe’s going to have to get better on his feet than that when he gets blindsided by a question. He is still a bad candidate, even after decades of serving in elected office. He truly is the Hillary Clinton of 2020.
Via the Free Beacon. Given all the ResistanceBucks the left showered on him after he was fired, it’s only proper that he return the favor.
Did I miss a news story somewhere or isn’t this guy still under threat of indictment? The interest in him lately from across the aisle would have you believe that he’s a political rising star, not a man staring at the possibility of prison. He just landed a CNN contributor’s gig, he has a book out, now he’s giving speeches for the opposition party in 2020 swing states. When did Andrew McCabe become Stacey Abrams? Are Democrats lining him up for a House run or something?
In the age of FaceTime and Skype, he could conduct a front-porch campaign from behind the glass at the federal pen, I suppose.
McCabe is now also participating in Democratic fundraising events. According to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s website, McCabe is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a fundraising banquet for the Lancaster County Democratic Committee.
Tickets for the event, which can be purchased through ActBlue, range from $80 to $160. The more expensive “Speaker’s Circle” tickets come with access to a private reception with McCabe and photograph with him. He is scheduled to speak for 45 minutes and take questions for 15 minutes, according to the site…
McCabe told event organizers that he plans to discuss his “one-on-one interactions with Donald Trump” during the event. He also will cover the “fallout and aftermath” of former FBI director James Comey’s firing, “Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The idea of hating Trump so much that you’d pop for 160 bucks for a personal photo with Andrew McCabe fills me with a degree of dread normally only experienced when contemplating death. It’s one notch up from paying for an audience with the Krassenstein brothers.
For cripes sake, you can buy a house in parts of the midwest for $160. In Detroit, certainly.
My first thought upon hearing that McCabe was now in demand on the Democratic political circuit was naturally, “What about Comey?” If McCabe’s appeal to the left derives from Trump’s antipathy to him, surely a man whom Trump loathes even more like Big Jim would be that much more appealing. Plus, Comey was nearly charged by the DOJ for his anti-Trump activities in leaking memos. What better proof of commitment to the Resistance could there be than that? He’s even been donating money to the party! But then I remembered: Oh, right, his last-minute letter about reopening the Emailgate probe may have tanked Hillary’s chances of winning the election, thus enabling the very presidency that Democrats so despise. Comey will never overcome that to regain respectability among them, no matter how many nasty tweets Trump posts about him. He’ll have to watch the Democratic romance with disgraced Trump-hating former FBI officials play out from the outside, with his face pressed against the window.
Hollywood actress Debra Messing, best known for her role as “Grace” in the show “Will and Grace,” called for the creation of a list of Hollywood industry professionals who are pro-Trump so that would allow the leftist elite in Hollywood to never work with them again.
It all started when Will McCormack learned that President Donald Trump would be holding a fundraiser in Beverly Hills during Emmy week. McCormack told The Hollywood Reporter to compile a list of people attending the event so that everyone else can be clear about who not to work with in the future.
Hey, @THR, kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t wanna work with. Thx. https://t.co/7W3xPG3bI2
Both of these tweets were greeted with criticism and anger, and rightfully so. This is pure McCarthyism in a time when people who support Trump are punished. In Hollywood, which is dominated by radical leftism, any actor seen promoting Trump would likely lose the ability to work in that town ever again.
On Tuesday, McCormack attempted to assure everyone that he’s not creating a blacklist and despises discrimination of any kind. Messing posted the message on her own Instagram, reassuring everyone of their intent behind collecting the names and forming a list of Trump supporters.
My friend eric_mccormack posted this today. It perfectly explains the intent behind each of our posts concerning the fundraiser. I am posting it here because, honestly, I couldn’t have said it better. https://t.co/Jqe4l6ZeJj
The problem is that McCormack and Messing both endorsed putting people’s names on a list compiled by the media in order to make it hard for them to get work in the future. This is the very definition of blacklisting. McCormack and Messing are attempting to tell us that what they’re doing is something different than the very definition of what they’re doing.
What angers me about this is that Messing is essentially trying to sell the idea that she’s completely innocent of something horrible, and the problem is that we’re actually at fault because we’re just misunderstanding her.
In other words, we’re the stupid ones, not her.
The reality is that Messing and McCormack are both trying to destroy the lives of others because they disagree with them politically. This is disgusting. It’s a testament to their character that they’re not only willing and ready to sink careers over a vote, but that they’re willing to blatantly lie about the fact that they’re trying to do it as well.
Messing and McCormack do discriminate. They do seek to punish Republicans for being Republican. That’s the bottom line.
They need to own it and do one of two things. They can admit their fault and apologize for not only trying to urge the creation of a blacklist but trying to convince everyone that they’re mistaken for believing it, or they can own it and double down on it.
I’d almost rather them do the latter. At this point, at least I could say they’re being honest. An apology would be great, but I’m not sure I’d believe it.
That smells like a call for a blacklist, something with which Hollywood has some experience and which has new currency on the left in the age of Resistance. Arguably Messing’s impulse is less obnoxious than what Joaquin Castro did to Trump donors in San Antonio for the simple reason that anyone who can afford to attend a presidential fundraiser in Beverly Hills can afford private security and a few lost job opportunities. But the point of both efforts is the same — making support for Trump a sanctionable offense, whether professionally or personally in the form of harassment by fringey wackjobs.
And one could argue that what Messing is doing is worse. The info on Trump donors posted by Castro was publicly available in FEC reports. I don’t think that’s much of a defense to the charge of “doxxing” since the intent behind curating and amplifying the list of donors to cause them grief is the same as it is in true doxxing, but the fact remains that the info is out there and accessible. The fundraiser is a private affair. If the attendees don’t want their participation to be publicly known, what’s the ethical reason to reveal it? Is it a matter of such burning public interest that it qualifies as “news” if Adam Sandler, say, shows up to give Trump a check? Are there complete lists available of the attendees at every Democratic presidential fundraising event this year?
I don’t recall there being a clamor for that information to be revealed.
One point to counter Whoopi, though. The public *should* know when a donor contributes so lavishly to a top official’s campaign (or to associated Super PACs) that he or she is conceivably buying influence over policy, no? One of the egregious things about Castro’s quasi-doxxing effort was that it roped in people who had given nothing more than a few thousand dollars to the Trump campaign. They were “maxxed out” donors, but no one’s setting pharma policy based on what a retiree who cut Trump a check for $2,800 thinks about the issue. Those people have no influence. A Charles Koch or George Soros who can plow tens of millions into a politician’s operation really does move the needle potentially on what the U.S. government does with policy, though. How much dough should a private citizen have to donate before his or her interest in privacy is outweighed by the public’s interest in knowing who’s buying and selling its leaders? The San Antonio “maxxed out” threshold is way too small. Is a Beverly Hills fundraiser also still too small? Laying aside that Messing’s intimation of a blacklist is pernicious, should the public know when six-figure checks are changing hands between citizens and politicians?
Animal lovers unite: the third annual Bipawtisan March is making its way back to the District on Sept. 7, for an evening of celebration, unity and entertainment for humans and furry friends alike.
Since 2017, nonprofit organization We the Dogs DC has been hosting community events to raise money for local animal rescue organizations that need it most, and it all started with the Bipawtisan March.
The passion project came to fruition with a simple direct message from founder Amber Duggan (via her pooch Izzy’s Instagram account) to other dog-focused Instagram pages from the Washington, DC area. The small group of dog owners decided to use their social influence for good. At that first march in 2017, about 300 people showed up at the Capitol, raising about $10,000 for the local charities.
A post shared by KingstonBudz (@kingstonbudz) on Sep 7, 2018 at 12:22pm PDT
“We all come from different backgrounds to volunteer,” says Duggan of the founders, who each have full-time jobs ranging from government work to law, in Duggan’s case. “We are passionate about the animal community here and saw an opportunity to do something more.”
While in the past the event was held at the Capitol, the team decided to move the location to Yards Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, as there is more space for attendees and their dogs, too.
The festivities will begin with the actual march at Yards Park and continue with a yappy hour event held at Dacha Navy Yard’s beer garden that can hold up to 700 guests. Following the glow theme, there will be a neon photo booth, a DIY bandana station, food and drinks for you and Fido, and more.
To register for this one-of-a-kind event, click here.
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