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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "galas"

DC’s Dancing Stars Gala celebrates six years in November

Westlake Legal Group 2019-awards-ceremony-of-dcs-dancing-with-stars DC’s Dancing Stars Gala celebrates six years in November washington D.C. Things to Do Features Things to Do Philanthropy performing arts galas gala fundraiser Events DC events Dancing with the stars Dancing dance
The awards ceremony at the 2018 DC’s Dancing with Stars event. (Photo courtesy of Maria Coackley David)

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. 

The participation of notable locals is what makes DC’s Dancing Stars Gala—the annual fundraiser in Tysons Corner inspired by hit TV show Dancing with the Stars—so successful, according to founder Maria Coackley David. 

“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.”

For more updates on all the best events coming to Northern Virginia, subscribe to our Things to Do newsletter.

Westlake Legal Group dancers-spinning DC’s Dancing Stars Gala celebrates six years in November washington D.C. Things to Do Features Things to Do Philanthropy performing arts galas gala fundraiser Events DC events Dancing with the stars Dancing dance
Darren Haynes of WUSA9 spins a dancer at last year’s event. (Photo courtesy of Maria Coackley David)

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. 

This year, seven well-known individuals, including United States Olympian Julie Culley, Great Day Washington host Kristen Berset-Harris and Mike Manatos, who serves as chairman of the board of the Mid-Atlantic branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will perform alongside dance professionals in front of hundreds of people.

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.  

Westlake Legal Group judges-with-the-number-10 DC’s Dancing Stars Gala celebrates six years in November washington D.C. Things to Do Features Things to Do Philanthropy performing arts galas gala fundraiser Events DC events Dancing with the stars Dancing dance
Last year’s judges were Monte Durham from Say Yes to the Dress (left), Chelsie Hightower (center) and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (right). (Photo courtesy of Maria Coackley David)

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

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Here are 12 ways to help.

Westlake Legal Group stop-domestic-violence October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Here are 12 ways to help. workshops Things to Do Features Things to Do Philanthropy mental health Health galas Education domestic violence awareness month domestic violence
© nito / stock.adobe.com

October is a time for local communities to come together and support one another, as it marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men over the age of 18 have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner, which has long-term affects on both the body and the mind. While the problem is a common one, it is rarely discussed openly in public. That’s why this October, Northern Virginia residents will come together to support survivors of domestic violence, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence and psychological and physical abuse. 

From formal galas to community walks, here’s how to raise awareness in the region.   

Fill your calendar with more meaningful events by subscribing to our Things to Do newsletter.

Support Teenage Victims of Sexual Assault: Dinner by Nascent Solutions
Sept. 28, 8 p.m.
Nascent Solutions is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing change in Africa through humanitarian and developmental efforts. This year, as part of the group’s “Girl Reach Initiative,” representatives are hosting a reception consisting of dinner, live entertainment and lectures from leaders around the world, all in support of survivors of sexual violence caught in the sociopolitical crisis in Cameroon. // Waterford at Springfield: 6715 Commerce St., Springfield; $100

Party for a Cause
Sept. 28, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
At this evening event, Inca Social will be honoring survivors of domestic violence by raising money for local nonprofits that advocate for individuals affected by sexual assault and family abuse. Come out for a cocktail in support of a good cause. // Inca Social: 2670 Avenir Place, Vienna; donations encouraged

Rahma Gala
Oct. 4, 7-11 p.m.
This inaugural gala is meant to educate the Ethiopian Muslim community about domestic violence, and also celebrate the hard work of those who have committed to advocating on behalf of survivors. Be sure to don your finest attire and prepare for an evening of motivational speakers, prepared food and education. // Waterford at Springfield: 6715 Commerce St., Springfield; $50-$70

Family Abuse: What is it and What Can You Do About It?
Oct. 7, 6-9 p.m.
What exactly does family abuse look like? Has this happened to someone you know? At this special lecture, hosted by The Women’s Center in Vienna, you’ll learn to identify the signs and patterns of family abuse, as well as the proper ways to effectively handle situations of violence. Plus, a survivor will share her story and experiences with the group. // The Women’s Center: 127 Park St. NE, Room 32, Vienna; free

The Clothesline Project
Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Clothesline Project is a nationwide visual display of T-shirts showcasing the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault, primarily on college campuses. For one day only, come out to Northern Virginia Community College to read powerful, personal stories of survivors. // Northern Virginia Community College, Howsmon Hall: 6901 Sudley Road, Manassas; free

Personal Safety for Women Presentation
Oct. 8, 6-8 p.m.
Every October, members from the Fairfax County Police Department host a safety workshop to introduce women to self-protective options without bringing violence into the room. Topics discussed will include prevention strategies, ways to identify at-risk situations and methods of evaluating your own personal strengths. // West Springfield District Station: 6140 Rolling Road, West Springfield; free

2019 K9 Krawl 5K
Oct. 12, 9-11 a.m.
For the 13th year in a row, the Fairfax County Police Department is hosting a free walk to bring awareness to the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal abusers are five times as likely to harm humans, too. This event will bring the community together for a walk with canines and humans alike, a pet costume contest, face painting, resource tables and so much more. // Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters: 12099 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; free 

The Struggle is Real: Pink and Purple Zumbanation
Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-noon
This month, bring awareness to the cause through discussion, physical exercise and overall mental healing at this morning event hosted by Naomi’s House, an organization dedicated to assisting women who have suffered from commercial sexual exploitation. Whether you choose to participate in the Zumba courses or simply want to seek out resources, the choice is yours. // The Osprey’s at Belmont Bay: 401 Belmont Bay Drive, Woodbridge; donations encouraged

Dolls Against Domestic Violence
Oct. 19, 2-5 p.m.
Join members of the Fredericksburg community for the second annual Dolls Against Domestic Violence event. While the event started with just a few survivors coming together for healing, it has since become an organized program featuring keynote speakers, breakout sessions and T-shirts from the Clothesline Project. // Salem Church Library Conference Area: 2607 Salem Church Road, Fredericksburg; free 

Break Through Summit & Fashion Show with Purple Runway
Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5 p.m.
For the past five years, the organization Purple Runway has been pairing fashion and advocacy at an annual fashion show event to raise funds for survivors, thrivers and conquerors of domestic violence. In addition to the showcase featuring local designers and boutique vendors, the organization is hosting a summit throughout the day for survivors to come together and heal with workshops, lectures and engaging sessions. // Mercedes-Benz of Arlington: 585 N. Glebe Road, Arlington; $69-$89

CEO Training: Trauma, Violence and Abuse
Oct. 25, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
At the end of October, The Women’s Center will host a day-long event aiming to teach women and men alike about the cycle of violence, symptoms of trauma and skills needed when working with survivors of domestic abuse, violence and sexual assault. From hands-on, scenario-based workshops to talks by survivors and clinical experts, this event will leave you feeling informed and prepared to help. // Attain Training Room: 1600 Tysons Blvd., McLean; $25-$135

26th Annual Knock Out Abuse Gala
Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Every year, locals and visitors alike travel to Washington, DC for the annual Knock Out Abuse Gala, which has raised more than $11 million to organizations with the mission of supporting survivors of domestic violence and their families. From the silent auction to the after-party, the entire evening is an affair to remember. // The Ritz-Carlton: 1150 22nd St. NW, Washington, DC; $750-$50,000  

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com