A night for the children — The 2009 AFCEA Bethesda NIH Children’s Inn benefit gala
Last night was the annual AFCEA Bethesda annual charity ball to Benefit the Children’s Inn at NIH. It is often one of the best events of the year — and this year was no exception. (Congratulations to Government Executive’s Steve Vito andHHS’s Michael Carleton, who were the co-chairmen of the event this year.)
AFCEA Bethesda does a great job with this event. It is always well organized with dinner, after-dinner dancing and charity games, and an auction, but the cause is remarkable. For those of you who don’t know about it, the Children’s Inn is similar to the Ronald MacDonald houses — they are a place where families can stay near the hospital and have as normal of a life as is possible. Each year, the gala features one of the Inn’s families who talks about life at the Inn. It is always one of the highlights of the evening, and this year was no exception. Katie Gajewski told the audience that she has a brain tumor. She has been coming to NIH for treatment for years and she and her family have stayed at the Inn. This young teen gave a remarkably poised presentation before the audience of probably 800 or more — something that can be daunting for even experienced speakers. Simply remarkable.
This was the first year that I was there for Federal News Radio 1500 AM — and we had a table. At the WFED table were Federal Drive co-anchor Jane Norris, Federal Drive producer Ruben Gomez, Federal News Radio John Meyer and Ralph Renzi… and we also had the honor of welcoming GSA’s Ed O’Hare and his wife — O’Hare, of course, was just named to replace John Johnson as the Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services, which oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts… We also had Bev Godwin and her sister-in-law, who was in town from Iowa. Godwin leads USA.gov at GSA but is currently on detail to the White House where she is working on new media. We also had Larry Allan of the Coalition of Government Procurement and his wife. Rock stars all the way around.
GTSI’s Leslie Barry usually takes photos for me at these big events, but she was out of town, so… you’re stuck with me as a photographer. I have posted all of my photos on my Flickr site … and you can see a slideshow of all the photos there. (See photos of Bob Suda wearing his all black tuxedo, which spurred some to call him Darth Suda… also VA CIO nominee Roger Baker… and much more…)
Again… I have created a Flickr page of all my photos from the Children’s Inn gals … and you can see a slideshow of all the photos there.