Naniette Coleman's Favorite Charity: The Naniette Coleman Fund

Send a big kid to college: Naniette Coleman on YouTube.
Send a big kid to college: Naniette Coleman on YouTube. (YouTube)
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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Naniette Coleman was headed back to grad school this fall but worried about the cost. So the staffer for the U.S. Trade Representative's office turned to YouTube, with a video making a pitch to friends, or strangers, to help foot the $65,000 bill.

"Over the next few minutes you're going to get to know me," she begins. " . . . what I hope to accomplish and how you can help."

Two thoughts: Why didn't we think of that? and, Uh-oh, is everyone going to start doing this now?

Does she really think this is going to work? "I'm one of those exceptionally optimistic people," she told us. (Example: "I'm a 'Date Lab' survivor," once featured in The Post's weekly column.)

Coleman, 30, the USTR's deputy director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said she fears the cost of finishing her degree at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government would force her into the private sector; what she really wants is a "public service" career as a broadcast journalist or college professor. "It's a position that allows you to have an impact on a variety of people. It allows you to be a mentor." And yes, she's looking at loans and scholarships . . . but in the meantime she's trying the YouTube route. (Also, a Web page, through a "microgiving" site.)

"I've gotten amazing feedback from most people," she said. "I'm not expecting a person writing to me saying, here's $65,000. But people offer a few thousand here and there."

At the Building Museum, Blissing Out on Fashion

Ten days after Hillary Clinton ended her campaign there, the National Building Museum held another celebration of female muscle: the power of the purse. Knock Out Abuse Against Women partnered with Nordstrom for Tuesday's charity fashion show, where almost 500 women paid $125 or more to preview the fall designer collections and shop, shop, shop. This was about as close as D.C. gets to a "Sex and the City" scene: cosmos, cleavage and $800 Jimmy Choos. Chairman Cindy Jones snapped up an $8,800 Dolce & Gabbana fur jacket: "I broke down and bought that darling brown mink. I wanted to support the charity."

Love, Etc.

· Married: Very Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, 47, to Head Start teacher Jennifer Letzkus, 35, sometime "last week," a rep for the Chicago federal prosecutor (once the most eligible bachelor in Washington wonkdom) confirmed yesterday. Spokesman Randy Samborn would not tell us exactly when or where, only that "he is wearing a ring." What about a honeymoon? "He's back at work."

· Split: Anne Hathaway and her boyfriend of four years, Raffaello Follieri, according to multiple reports. The "Devil Wears Prada" star showed up at the "Get Smart" premiere Monday without the controversial Italian businessman, who was arrested in New York this spring for bouncing a $215,000 check and is under investigation for other financial shenanigans.

Hey, Isn't That . . . ?

· Harry Hamlin, Sabrina Le Beauf and Avery Brooks catching Tuesday's performance of "Antony and Cleopatra" at the Shakespeare Theatre, where all three TV stalwarts have acted before. All were in town for a dinner with the theater's artistic director, Michael Kahn, and the American Theatre Critics Association conference.

· Donald Trump Jr. in a dark gray suit chatting on a phone in the lobby of the Park Hyatt yesterday while former NBA star Isiah Thomas, wearing a black hat, lunched with friends on the patio of the hotel's Blue Duck Tavern.


· Against all odds, Nathans restaurant may survive. Owner Carol Joynt expected that the Georgetown eatery would close next April when her lease runs out because her landlord was angling for a big-name retailer to take over the building on the corner of M and Wisconsin. To everyone's surprise, there were no nibbles; now the longtime owners have offered to sell the property to Joynt for a whopping $18 million. The society blogger/barkeep told us yesterday she's exploring her options: "I think Georgetown needs Nathans."

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