By D. Channing Muller Posted January 25, 2011, 9:30 AM EST
The Children’s National Medical Center’s fourth annual Dancing After Dark fund-raiser on Saturday night continued its record streak, with a sold-out affair for 400 at LongView Gallery. The 40-person volunteer planning committee also doubled the number of sponsors compared with last year, with 39 companies and donors contributing across five levels, ranging from $250 to $5,000.
“We found that a lot of people want to get involved, but don’t have the time to volunteer 100 hours a year, so this is our way of getting young people into the hospital [via] a very fun event,” said Liza Tanner, assistant director of special and community events for the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Children’s National Medical Center. “Our committee involvement has also been crucial, and I’m very pleased with how they’ve stepped up and gotten people excited about the event and the opportunity to support the hospital.”
Formerly held at Sequoia in Georgetown, the planning moved the after-hours dance party farther south in an effort to create the event from the ground up. “LongView Gallery is such a unique space, both because it is a contemporary art gallery, and also because it is a raw space, and we were intrigued by the opportunity to make it our own with furniture, lighting, and other decor choices,” said Tanner.
Party Rental Limited provided black tables and chiavari chairs just inside the entry for the event’s eight $1,000 V.I.P. sponsors. Additional lounge areas consisting of white leather sofas and ottomans from AFR Event Furnishings, just off the main dance floor, hosted the three $5,000 premier sponsors: C.B. Richard Ellis, the MacCutcheon Family Foundation, and Kathie and Mike Williams. Frost Lighting used blue and lavender uplighting throughout the space to highlight the artwork on the gallery walls and create some color in the stark, white environment.
Headlining the night, NYX Entertainment kept the dance party going with its unique DJ, saxophonist, and bongo drum trio, until nearly 1 a.m. when guests received individually wrapped Georgetown Cupcake on their way out. Though final numbers are not yet available, Tanner estimates the event raised more than $65,000, nearly $20,000 more than in 2010 and $5,000 above the medical center's goal.