Nothing Spartan About This Fund-Raiser
The fur was flying Tuesday night at the Greek Embassy, but there were no catfights, we're happy to report. Minks, sables and other luxuries were just a sideshow at the reception hosted by Greek Ambassador Alexander Philon and his wife, Helen, for Washington's School for Educational Evolution and Development.
"I have always been interested in education, especially how you impart knowledge to children," said Helen Philon, an art historian and museum curator.
The charter school, which opened last year, is the first urban public boarding school in the country. SEED is the brainchild of Rajiv Vinnakota, a 28-year-old Princeton graduate, and Swarthmore alum Eric Adler, 35. They quit their day jobs to apply their education and business backgrounds to teaching 70 seventh- and eighth-grade students. Helen Philon was introduced to SEED last year and it became a pet project: "The children told me, 'I like the school because we can learn.' "
At her suggestion, SEED's curriculum includes a course in the history and mythology of Greece, and she has arranged for eight students and two teachers to go there for 10 days next summer.
Tuesday's reception for students, teachers and supporters raised $25,000, and included another Greek treasure: designer Anastasia Alexandros, who donated a fur-trimmed cashmere shawl and created a near riot in the oh-so-elegant dining room, where proper social ladies slipped on full-length furs, looked at the price tags and giggled madly. Aniko Gaal Schott snapped up a suede-and-fur reversible jacket: "Just perfect for Paris!"
Hey, what about Athens?
Clearing the Bases for Hank Greenberg
There were yarmulkes and baseball caps, kosher hot dogs, peanuts and "He'Brew" ale ("The Chosen Beer") at Thursday night's premiere of "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg," which celebrates major league baseball's first Jewish star. It took Washington filmmaker Aviva Kempner, below with Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, 13 years to complete the documentary: "This is like a bat mitzvah for me," she told the audience at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. Before the screening, guests wolfed ballpark franks served by Yong Seaman, Dalia Schulman and Lisa Webster, bottom from left. Kempner presented Democrats Levin and his brother, Rep. Sander Levin, with dirt from Tiger Stadium in Detroit, where Greenberg rose to fame in the '30s. "I think he really paved the way for people being true to themselves and to their religion," the senator said.
Hearts and Flowers
Ron Green and Kathy Garde, below, share a special bond. "He is a man of good heart," said Garde, who tearfully gave the best possible tribute to her friend: In 1994 Green received the heart of Garde's 16-year-old son, Andrew, who was killed in a car accident. Virginia Rep. Tom Davis was on hand to honor state Sen. Joe Gartlan, heart recipient Claude Brady, doctors and volunteers at the Committee for Transplant Awareness gala Friday night at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly.