Abuse Gets a TKO at the Ritz
After 11 years of hosting the Knock Out Abuse Against Women gala, Jill Sorensen Robert and Cheryl Davis Masri know what girls want at a party. Lots of swag, lots of champagne, lots of pink, and lots of eye candy of the hot-guy variety -- think designer bachelorette party. And that's exactly what revelers got Thursday night at the Ritz-Carlton.
"It's like a big family reunion," Robert said -- if the family were really blond, really rich and really rowdy. The guests at the women-only event were greeted by a pink carpet and a line of Adonis-like escorts who paraded guests downstairs to the reception. "Next year I'm going to have to dye my hair brown," lamented Tiffany Spadafora, one of the 700-some blondes at the event.
It was a night where anything might happen -- and plenty did. "I don't know what these ladies are going to do," said a wary Kevin Gallaher of the erstwhile reality show "Married by America" just before he stepped up on the auction block to peddle himself as a dream date.
By the time the men from Fight Night, the all-male smoker at the Hilton Washington, arrived before midnight, the ladies resembled a PG-rated version of "Girls Gone Wild." The night raised $450,000 to fight domestic abuse, but this year's party was definitely a soft sell. "As far as the message, we didn't want to hit them over the head with it," Masri said during the post-party, which featured a "Studio 54" theme.
Girls just want to have fun.
Baryshnikov's Midas Touch
The best set of legs in the room were on a man, and not just any man. The stunning stems belonged to none other than the still swoon-worthy Mikhail Baryshnikov. The boyishly handsome 56-year-old ballet icon starred in "Forbidden Christmas, or the Doctor and the Patient," which just ended its run at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater.
"I've never met the man. God knows that I hope to," said Baryshnikov fan Meg Thompson, who attended Wednesday's small reception following the play's premiere. "He was cuter in 'Sex and the City,' but he's more interesting in this -- just the way he moves and suggests things."
The males in attendance were equally if differently enamored of the polite but aloof star, who displayed a small exhibition of his photography at the after-party. "I don't want to overstate the case, but he is da Vinci," said fellow Russian Dimitri Simes. "Everything he touches is genius."
For SOME, More Than Food for Homeless
Peter and Ann Prichard celebrated their 33rd anniversary at one of their favorite places: Saturday's 18th annual So Others Might Eat fundraiser. "I like it because it's true to its mission -- it restores dignity to people one person at a time," said Peter Prichard, president of the Freedom Forum and Newseum. SOME started out as a hunger program, but has expanded to tutoring, counseling and housing for the needy. More than 500 people gathered at the Capital Hilton and raised $400,000 for Independence Place, SOME's long-term residence for homeless families. Said Bill Ginivan, general counsel of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group: "They have grown way beyond their name."
With Laura Thomas