I will never forget how I found out that “Blonde Charity Mafia” would be the title of the upcoming reality show about the Georgetown social scene. It was at my annual polo fundraiser, The Courage Cup‘s Meadow Matches on June 21, 2008. I was running around making sure that everything was going according to schedule and running smoothly for attendees, polo players, and my corporate sponsors.
Then out of the blue one of Katherine’s friends informs me with glee that she had bought the domains - www.blondecharitymafia.com and www.blondecharitymafia.org, and that she was working with another girl to write a book which would be the book behind the TV show. She then tells me that Katherine Kennedy was trademarking the name “Blonde Charity Mafia”, and that they were going to create a 501(c)3 called Blonde Charity Mafia, which would take in money for all their events. Apparently, the girls had been searching the internet and found a LinkedIn page for one of the producers of the reality show that mentioned he was working on a show “Blonde Charity Mafia”. This was before the title was official. I can only assume that these girls figured they’d beat the producers to the punch by getting the intellectual property and websites in advance of the show in order to make a quick buck.
I was completely taken aback and overwhelmed by all this information, especially since it was coming to me on what was a huge day for me. I was completely stressed out with all the responsibility of managing an 1,000 person fundraiser. But they wanted to assure me that I would be a part of it. They told me, “You’re the one that started it all. The book is going to be about how I met you through Courage Cup, and then you got me involved in other charity events like Blondes vs. Brunettes, and that was how I met Krista and Alexa, and then through them I met Katherine. It’ll be about how I’m just a girl from Chantilly, Virginia, and how next thing you know I’m on private yachts and around all this money.” She told me she was hesitant to mention the drama she and I encountered with NY State Assemblyman Greg Ball, but then the girl who wanted to write the book persuaded her to include it in her book as it was so pivital to the story. I have no idea if she is actually writing a book, or why she chose to mention this to me at The Courage Cup of all times.
I couldn’t even think about what all this meant at the time. I was way too busy to be able to process it. Even now, I have to say it’s all a bit surreal. Several weeks after The Courage Cup event, I received an email from the PB&J reality show producers saying that they know I don’t want to do the show, but would I be interested in being in a few episodes and participate in a more limited way. They told me they were coming to town, and would love to meet me to get some background while they were in Washington. When I considered that the TV show was about LateNightShots (the birthplace of the moniker “Miss A”) and how the show was now going to be called “Blonde Charity Mafia”, I figured I might as well meet with them. Considering that I didn’t “coin” the term, but definitely created it, I felt I needed to find out what was going on.
So I met with one of the producers when he came to DC. He greeted me with, “Ah, the famous ‘Miss A’! We finally meet!” He had been on LateNightShots for some time researching for the TV show, and had seen my posts and heard a lot about me from Krista Johnson and Katherine Kennedy. Krista told me at a party that the producers kept asking her about me.
Along with questions about my involvement with LateNightShots, he asked me how I came up with the name “Blonde Charity Mafia”. I told him that it went back to Team Blonde 2006. The girls on the team really bonded while raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association through the Blondes vs. Brunettes (BvB) powder puff football fundraiser, which I founded the year before in 2005. As Captain of Team Blonde, I chose the girls for the team. I invited Keri Ann Meslar with whom I founded The Courage Cup 501(c)3, Windy Shepard who was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year for raising close to $100K in eight weeks for them in their Man & Woman of the Year competition, and other philanthropic blondes. I invited many of these same women to participate in a new fundraiser I was working on with Tara de Nicolas, Fashion for Paws, a fashion show fundraiser where my friends and I modeled with dogs to benefit The Washington Humane Society. I also invited these girls to host the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Fall Fete, as I served as Chair of the Steering Committee for the Corcoran’s 1869 Society, a young professionals which supports the Corcoran.
One night after a Corcoran Fall Fete planning meeting, we all went to Rugby Cafe for dinner. As we sat there having dinner, I noticed how more of the blondes from BvB were getting involved in charity work than the brunettes, and of course the competitive spirit against the brunettes had been building in us all, as Game Day was approaching. So I said, “We’re like the Blonde Charity Mafia, or something. Where are all the brunettes? What are they doing?” We all laughed, and it got to be sort of an inside joke, and a name for this group of girls. Since we were all girls, it made no sense for there to be a “Godfather” like you have in real mafias, so since I was the oldest and the leader, I became the “Godmother” or to girly it up a bit “The Fairy Godmother”. Blonde Charity Mafia (BCM) wasn’t meant to ostracize brunettes or redheads. It was just a silly group name for ourselves.
Katherine’s posting in her “Kennedy’s Kloset” segment on Big Head DC sheds light on her view of what the Blonde Charity Mafia was all about. Many of the girls she later refers to as having been in the Blonde Charity Mafia were not in the group…at least by my standards, as they did little if any charity work. In my mind, attending parties which happen to be for charity isn’t real charity work. So the original Blonde Charity Mafia fell apart with many of the girls prefering to “party” over volunteering their time to charity in a meaningful way.
In light of “Blonde Charity Mafia” airing later this year on Lifetime, I felt it necessary to share my point of view. By the way, I stuck with my initial decision not to do the show, even in a limited way. I feel like the real story would have been so much more interesting than what the producers seem to be creating. Perhaps I’ll write a book at some point.
I wish the girls all the best with the show and the fame it will likely bring them! I also hope they keep themselves centered, and continue to do some charity work. I hope they don’t mind my writing this piece. Since they planned to write about me in a book, I figure this is fair game. I’m not sure who has the IP rights to the name “Blonde Charity Mafia”, but if any attorneys want to email me with their take, I’d be interested in hearing.
- Miss A