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Dupont Circle Village 6th Annual Fundraiser Featured Local Celebs, Music, Food and More

Accompanying images can be viewed in the May 2016 issue pdf

By Iris Molotsky*

It was a special night. The Dupont Circle Village 6th annual Gala officially started when the sellout crowd entered the ballroom at the Woman’s National Democratic Club, which had been imaginatively decorated to emphasize the night’s theme, “Politics, Taxes and All That Jazz.”

As hors d’oeuvres were passed, people had a chance to sign up for one of this year’s 12 stellar “CelebSalons,” which were informal conversations with local celebrities held in villagers’ homes. This year’s lineup included Jim and Kate Lehrer; Ashok Baja, owner of many of DC’s top restaurants; Washington native and award-winning actress Holly Twyford; New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Elisabeth Bumiller; Washington Post’s senior regional correspondent Robert McCartney; Ari Roth; founding artistic director of Mosaic Theatre Company and six additional local luminaries.

International travelers submitted bids on destinations like a week in a Paris apartment or a stay in a hill town in the south of France, while others favored a week in Santa Fe or the weekend package in San Francisco that included a dinner at a local jazz club and a stay at the Hilton San Francisco. Closer to home, bidders had a choice of a picnic on Sycamore Island in the Potomac River, a night’s stay at historic B&B Swann House near Dupont Circle, or a weekend in a country home in Rappahannock County.

For devotees of estate sales and thrift markets, this year’s Gala featured a Sunday morning guided tour for six of the venerable Georgetown Flea Market followed by lunch, led by Annie Groer, former Washington Post columnist.

Jazz melodies played softly in the background while everyone enjoyed a sit-down dinner and dessert buffet. Dupont Circle Village’s president, Lois Berlin, welcomed guests and spoke briefly about the organization, which now has more than 200 members, and its mission to assist people remain in their homes and our community through educational, cultural, and social programs, which are partially funded through the annual fundraiser Gala.

From its beginning, the Village has been dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness, which has been fostered by providing subsidized memberships to lower income community residents and placing no restrictions based on race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

This year’s Gala was a bittersweet event for many in the Village and guests; it was dedicated to a beloved Dupont Circle figure, Michael Feldstein, who died the previous week. Mike, a longtime ANC 2B commissioner, founder of the 17th Street Festival, booster of all things related to our community, and dedicated Villager, will be greatly missed. Michael Kain, a leading Dupont Circle businessman and community activist who worked closely with Mike on many neighborhood projects, spoke lovingly of Mike’s many achievements and delight in helping others. Mike Feldstein was an early and strong supporter of the Village and a donation the subsidized membership fund in his honor was suggested by his family.

Dupont Circle Village’s appreciation for the support of its major donors, Kain & Associates, The Kaiser Permanente Foundation, and Georgetown HomeCare was graciously announced. Further, appreciation was expressed for the support of Firehook Bakery, Yamas Mediterranean Grill and Lauriol Plaza, and the many local businesses that were advertisers and sponsors.

*Iris Molotsky, a long-time resident of Dupont Circle, served as this year’s co-chair for the Gala event. Dupont Circle Village is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people remain independent in their homes and community as they age. For more information, see “Aging-in-Place Movement Grows With Formation of Dupont Circle Village,” March 2009 issue PDFpage 1.

Copyright © 2016 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Dupont Circle Village. All rights reserved.